C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


City reels under power cuts
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
Rekha Verma, regional head of a private infrastructure company, had to close down its operations for two hours, courtesy a long power cut in Sector 46. Rekha said when they opened the office today there was no power. Power inverter backup lasted till 2 pm. Left with no other option, they closed down operations at 3 pm, she added.
Rekha was not alone. Many other residents also had to suffer due to long power cuts in different parts of the city today.

There was no power supply in the parts of Sector 30, Industrial Area, Phase-I, from 7am to 10am. Besides, some parts of Sectors 19, 27, 29, 3, 33, 34, 44, 45, 46, 47, 17, 18 and 22, faced power cuts from 10 am to 3 pm. Though the UT Electricity Department had claimed that it would restore the power supply by 1 pm, it was restored between 3 pm and 4 pm.

Senior citizen Mohan Mehta, who had come to the RLA office in Sector 17 for some work, returned home disappointed, as no public work could be carried out in the office. Mehta said he waited for one hour but as there was no power, he returned home.

Swati Sharma, a resident of Sector 45, found it very difficult to handle her two-year-old grandson, as there was no power in the sector. She said in the afternoon, while she was helping her grandson to sleep, power went off. It is very difficult to handle small children during power cuts, she added.

A senior official of the Electricity Department said they were carrying out repairs in many sectors to upgrade the infrastructure before June, when the city witnessed peak power demand.

Admn to conduct survey

The UT Administration has decided to conduct a survey of the power grid to upgrade infrastructure to meet the ever-increasing power demand. The survey will also focus on the requirement of infrastructure in the next 20 years. The existing infrastructure has failed to meet the ever-increasing power load, especially in the southern sectors.

Undeclared load

The UT Administration claims that many consumers do not declare their actual power load. The department claims that out of 2.09 lakh consumers, only 7,000 consumers declared their actual load last year, resulting in overloading.



Shatabdi passengers suffer hunger pangs
Lunch served near Azadpur station while it is usually served near Ambala
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
More than 600 passengers aboard the third Shatabdi from Chandigarh to New Delhi, which leaves at 12 noon, today had a harrowing time as a majority of them were not served lunch on time by the pantry staff. The train was delayed as the catering staff had failed to load the food items on time at the Chandigarh station.

Accepting the delay in serving lunch to the passengers, Senior Divisional Commercial Manager of the Railways Gulshan said a detailed report in this regard had been sent to the Northern Railway Headquarters to take necessary action against the contractor. He said the contractor told the authorities that owing to a shortage of staff, lunch could not be served to the passengers on time. After receiving the passengers' complaints, immediate remedial action was taken by the authorities to provide lunch to the passengers.

Sharing his experience on the phone, Harjinder Jain, a resident of Sector 7, said the pantry staff failed to serve lunch to them on time and even the tomato soup served to him and his wife was cold. He said his requests to serve the meal on time, as he had to take his medicines, fell on deaf ears.

Another passenger Sanjay Sharma complained that after paying such a hefty fare to the railways, this was the service the passengers were getting. Why the authorities claim that after the hike in the fares, the services would be improved. He said lunch was served when the train reached near the Azadpur station, New Delhi, while it was usually served after the train had left Ambala.

Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had stated that the rates of food items had not been revised by the ministry for the past 12 years. The ministry is in the process of revising the rates to improve the quality of food and service, especially in the Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains.

Catering charges

The Shatabdi train has nine chair car coaches with a capacity of 702 passengers and one executive coach with 56 seats. The records revealed that the authorities charge ~124 as catering charges from a first-class passenger and ~83 from a chair car commuter.

Pre-inspection committee formed

Divisional Railway Manager PK Sangi said after receiving a complaint about the shortage of food in the third Shatabdi, they had decided to take action against the contractor. He said a pre-inspection committee was constituted by the department on Saturday and it would monitor the quality and quantity of food before loading it on trains departing from the city station.



Fault in Chandigarh-Ludhiana track delays train
Passengers on board go without water for an hour
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
A day after the Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link was inaugurated by the Union Railway Minister, Pawan Kumar Bansal, a technical fault in the track brought the Chandigarh-Amritsar super fast train (12241) to a halt near the New Morinda station. It took the railway officials over an hour to rectify the fault.

Divisional Railway Manager PK Sangi confirmed that there was a fault in the track due to which the train was delayed by an hour. He said the driver of the light engine, which was sent on a trial run on the track, informed the authorities about the fault in the track near New Morinda. A team of maintenance staff was rushed to the spot to fix the fault.

Sources in the railways said due to buckling there was irregular expansion of the track on which the Chandigarh-Ludhiana train was plying. The passengers had a harrowing time as there was neither any provision for potable water nor a pantry on the train. The passengers questioned what inspection the authorities had conducted in the last three months when the basic technical faults in the track were not rectified. Till late this evening, the maintenance staff was at the site to rectify the fault that occurred a few metres away from the New Morinda station. The railway officials said orders had been issued to the staff to exercise caution (speed limits) while crossing the particular section.

The track was yesterday inaugurated by Bansal. He had mooted a proposal for plying another train from Chandigarh to Amritsar on the same line. The stretch from New Morinda to Sahnewal is about 52km while the total length of the Chandigarh-Ludhiana track is 112 km.

The Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail section was opened in phases as the Chandigarh-New Morinda and Sahnewal sections were opened in September 2006 and November 2012, respectively.

The records of the railway authorities revealed that the first trial run on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana track was conducted on January 15, 2013. On February 28, the trial of the first freight train was conducted on this link by the Railways. On March 20, the first electrical engine trial was successfully conducted on the track.



Panchkula case
Kusum, Sachin were runaway couple
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 20
In a major revelation in the case pertaining to the death of 17-year-old Kusum, who was allegedly murdered by her husband and in-laws at Sector 16, Panchkula, it has been found that the victim was one of the three runaway couples, who were put into a room of the Panchkula protection home and allegedly ill treated by the authorities concerned.

The case had been highlighted in these columns. Of the three couples, one parted ways after 10 days while the marriage of Kusum and Naresh ended in the former's death.

A surprise check by the Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-secretary of the District Legal Services Authority, Jaibir Hooda, and volunteer Manbir Singh Rathi in November 2012 revealed that three couples were put into a single room at the protection home, ill treated and allegedly made to starve by the authorities concerned.

One of the three couples gave their particulars, which were noted down on a register on November 22, 2012, as Kusum, daughter of Rajpal Yadav of Sector 56, Chandigarh, and Naresh, a resident of Rajiv Colony, Sector 16, Panchkula. The phone number they gave for reference was 09653357540. The register is in the possession of the legal services authority.

Kusum was unaware of the fact that for whom she had left her family and gone against everyone would allegedly kill her a few months later.

On April 18, Kusum, a professional cricket player, was allegedly murdered and left at the General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula. A day before the Diwali night, Kusum had eloped with Naresh, alias Sachin, and married him. The couple had also requested the Punjab and Haryana High Court for police protection.

The police has arrested Kusum's husband, brother-in-law and mother-in-law.

During a post-mortem examination of Kusum's body, the doctor was surprised to find that there was neither any "O" mark nor any "V" mark on the neck. No other injury marks were found on the body.


Delhi rape shocks city residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
The recent incident in which a five-year-old girl was raped in New Delhi has left the city residents in a state of shock. Residents are angry and appalled at the mindset of criminals who perpetrate such ghastly acts. They shared their emotions and offered some solutions for the policymakers to adopt in order to control such crimes.

It cannot be spontaneous

I am quite sure that the youth who committed this heinous crime had been suffering from some kind of psychological problem. Also, it seems that he had been tracing the happenings at the child’s residence for quite a long time to find the right opportunity to commit the act. It is not something that could happen spontaneously. Fast-track trials against the rape accused, as introduced during the recent gang-rape incident, do not appear to be the only solution. The authorities need to set a precedent by coming up with a grave punishment for the accused so that others fear it before even thinking about perpetrating such an act.

Dr Amit Gupta, Associate Professor, PGI

A shameful incident

This is a highly shameful incident. I fail to understand the level of frustration and mental instability of people who abuse a young innocent child in such a manner. Just imagine the mental trauma and agony of the child who do not even understand her vulnerability yet. Such criminals should be punished exactly in the same manner the way they inflicted injuries on the child. This, I believe, is the only solution if the policymakers are actually moved by such incidents.

Pawan Yadav, IT professional

Reminds of recent gang-rape incident

It is difficult to believe that how we Indians have turned so insensitive. The previous incident in which a girl was raped in a moving bus seems to have given ideas to other criminals to perpetrate such crimes. Did anybody notice that this crime was committed in a similar manner? The culprit inflicted injuries on the victim in the same way. What did we achieve despite creating uproar over the previous incident? It has been repeated.

Umesh Duggal, Mohali resident

Policemen should show more sensitivity

Immediate steps should be taken to ensure that such incidents are not repeated in the future and the guilty should be punished as early as possible. The accused should be handed down most stringent punishment available under law. Such criminals should be hanged to death for such a heinous crime. The police should show more sensitivity respond in a more humane manner.

Mukesh Bassi, MC Councillor

Most stringent punishment needed

The incident has left everybody numb and shocked. These sick people should not just be put behind bars, they should be humiliated in public and then tortured in detention cells. No mercy should be shown to such criminals and no lawyers should provide legal assistance to them. The punishment should be so stringent that people dread committing such an offence.

Neeru Verma, Panchkula resident



Medical camp

The Desh Bhagat Hospital organised a three-day medical camp in which more than 800 patients were examined by a team of specialist doctors. During this camp, besides general check-up and treatment of eyes, stitchless operations of eyes were also performed by Eye Specialist Dr Asha Pritpal Kaur. General Surgeon Dr HS Gill examined patients suffering from different diseases and performed laparoscopic operations. These operations were performed at very reasonable rates. Poor and needy patients were given free medicines. Blood and urine tests of the patients were also done free of cost. This information was given by University School of Ayurveda Director Dr Kulbhushan. Desh Bhagat University Chancellor Dr Zora Singh said the main objective of the camp was to provide health facilities to the needy patients at affordable cost and create health awareness among them.

Chain fast

On the 6th day of 'Fifteen Day Chain Hunger Strike' another group of five CHB employees, Anand Gupta, Pawan Kumar Chauhan, Pritam Singh,Navneet Sharma and Vinod Kumar, sat on the day-long hunger strike to register their protest against delay in implementation of pension scheme to the employees of the Chandigarh Housing Board. Sunil Malik Executive Engineer garlanded the employees before they sat on the hunger strike.

Health workshop

As the country is trying to minimise the impact of the recent swine flu, the Global Hygiene Council has strongly recommended the adoption of good hand hygiene practices to avoid flu and viral infections. Sharing its views at select media briefing on "Infection Control & Good Hygiene Practices", Global Hygiene Council advises simple and effective guidelines on hand-washing that would help the public protect their families against flu and virus. The workshop was presided over by Dr Narendra Saini, Global Hygiene Council - India representative. While addressing the workshop, Dr Narendra Saini, Global Hygiene Council, India representative, said: "Human body is quite vulnerable to infections during every season, especially during the ongoing change in season which leaves us very prone to various infections."

Canadian citizenship

Canada has re-opened the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) allowing people enlisted in 24 occupations' list released on Saturday. Col BS Sandhu, CMD, World Wide Immigration Consultancy Services , said: "Citizenship, Immigration and Multi-cultural Minister Kenney made this announcement today under which the maple country will start taking applications from the enlisted people from May 4 onwards. The Canadian Government's focus is on specific occupations, which are experiencing labour shortages in Canada. — TNS



UT Electricity Department overstaffed: Commission
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
The UT Electricity Department is not facing the problem of staff shortage; it is rather overstaffed. The excuse of staff shortage made by the electricity department while dealing with power complaints of the city residents, especially during summers, was exposed by this observation of the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC).

While dismissing the power tariff hike petition filed by the UT Electricity Department, the JERC said, “The utility was overstaffed in 1990-1991, when one employee was catering to only 73 consumers. Even today the physical area of Chandigarh is the same whereas the density of consumers per sq km has increased. As of now, one employee is catering to 199 consumers as shown by the petitioner.”

“Considering an all-India average of 0.403 employees per thousand consumers as per the annual plan of 2011-12, it can be construed that the electricity department of Chandigarh is still overstaffed,” the order reads.

The order goes on to state, “The petitioner had projected recruitment of 207 employees in its earlier petition for 2012- 13. The Commission had noted that 209 employees were approved to be recruited for that financial year in its tariff order dated May 07, 2012. Despite the approval for recruitment of 209 employees, only three employees have been proposed to be recruited by the petitioner. It means that 206 employees are not required by the petitioner. Commission observes that the approval was given for 2012-13; since the period is already over and it seems the work is going fine, they do not require any additional manpower.”

UT Superintending Engineer MP Singh said there were only 1,088 employees to look after the complaints of 2.09 lakh power consumers, out of which 36 would retire by the end of this year. “I have no idea on what basis the JERC termed the UT Electricity Department overstaffed,” he said.

UT Powermen Union's general secretary Gopal Dutt Joshi said there was a shortage of employees. Against the sanctioned staff strength of 1,780, only 1,088 employees were working at present. “It is because of the staff shortage that the department has failed to recover the defaulting amount and check power theft,” he said.



Free medical camp for cancer patients at Mohali
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Buses in which mammography and other tests were conducted during the free medical camp for cancer patients in Mohali on Saturday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Mohali, April 20
In the coming six to seven years there would be death with cancer at every household in Punjab. We are sitting virtually on 'cancer-bomb' here, said Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal, Global Roaming Ambassador of UK-based Roko Cancer Charitable Trust.

The charitable trust has been organising camps all around the world to aware the people about the disease and various tests, including mammography are being conducted in these camps free of cost.

Dhaliwal, who was in the town to organise camp at the Community Centre in Phase VII, Mohali, to aware the public about the disease and to examine the patients, said that the disease has been spreading its tentacles in this state very fast.

"According to the statistics, as many as 18 deaths per day with cancer were recorded here. Punjab has become cancer capital of the entire world. Sadly, we have no medical infrastructure to fight and treat the disease", he said.

He said after visiting various districts of the state, he could only say that the primary health infrastructure here was a totally failure.

Giving statistics of World Health Organisation (WHO) on cancer in the state, Dhaliwal said that as many as 32,000 people have already died of cancer so far in Punjab whereas 87,000 persons have been detected with the cancer and 23,500 have been already been receiving treatment.

"Shockingly we have no effective medical infrastructure to fight with the disease.

"In Mohali district only, as many as 248 cancer patients have been detected so far. We have called them all patients here and will conduct further tests in our camp free of cost," said Dhaliwal.

Dhaliwal, who was also involved in fund-raising campaign for research on cancer in UK, claimed that a sum of 6,500 pounds is being spent daily for the purpose. "We have collected the funds for next 10 years there," he claimed.

Dhaliwal said that now onwards, the trust would hold regular camps in all the districts of the state in a big number to fight against the deadly disease. "The required funds will be raised from the NRIs", said Dhaliwal.



Avoid cut fruits, reheating of food: Experts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
With change in season, a number of cases of gastrointestinal infection (digestive system) are reaching city hospitals. According to experts, dizziness, vomiting and dehydration were the some common symptoms of the infection.

Dr Gopal Bhardwaj, Department of Medicine, Government Multi Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, Chandigarh, said: "Five to ten per cent cases in the OPD at the hospital are that gastrointestinal infection these days."

"One of the key causes for this infection is the consumption of food lying out in open for long. Food gets affected the atmospheric temperature and then causes problem," said Dr Gopal.

Dr Atul Sachdev, Head Department of Internal Medicine at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, said: "Chopped fruits and even salads kept out in open or available in the market should strictly be avoided. Maintaining hygiene by consuming clean water is also very important."

Also, the Global Hygiene Council recommended simple, effective guidelines that can help families against viral infections. Dr Narendra Saini, Global Hygiene Council- India representative, said: "Human body is quite vulnerable to infections during every season, especially during the on-going change in season which leaves us very prone to various infections. In order to control the spread of infection we must break the process of transmission. Good hand hygiene is the first line of defense against spread of many illnesses. Simple yet effective hygiene practices like washing hands properly, effective use of antiseptic liquid etc can help us break this process of transmission and we can lead a healthy and infection free life."



Contractors overcharging power consumers in slums, villages
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Residents show electricity bills issued by contractors in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, April 20
The contractors engaged by the UT Electricity Department to supply power to slums, colonies and villages are reportedly overcharging consumers. Besides, on a number of occasions, they issued handwritten bills to many consumers.

These contractors are not only duping consumers, but the electricity department as well.

Recently, members of the Aam Aadmi Party submitted a memorandum in this regard to the UT Administration.

In Colony No. 5, Shastri Nagar in Manimajra and other colonies, consumers are getting bills at Rs 4 to Rs 6 per unit for less than 150 units of consumption, whereas the electricity department charges just Rs 2.3 per unit from such consumers.

In some cases, contractors are charging average bills between Rs 300 and Rs 500 for consumption of less than 100 units.

The issue of overcharging by contractors was also raised during the recent public hearing session of the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC). In the hearing, a complainant had also alleged that these electricity contractors are using more electricity than the sanctioned load. The complainant stated that in Colony No. 5, a contractor was using 1,756 kW against the sanctioned load of 672 kW.

Besides, many contractors are regularly collecting money from people residing in colonies, but not depositing it with the UT Administration.

Denying allegations, Deepak Sharma, contractor in Shastri Nagar, Manimajra, said that in the present bill they had added fuel charges in the bills, which is approved by the JERC.

“These charges increased the bill amount. Otherwise, we never overcharge consumers for power consumption,” he said.

When contacted, Superintending Engineer (Electricity) MP Singh said he would look into the matter.



Protest in support of jeweller
‘Victim’ meets UT Adviser, alleges harassment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
Members of All-India Rahul Gandhi Brigade today staged a silent protest at Sector 17 against the booking of a jeweller under preventive measures following a verbal spat with a staff member of a Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM).

Rakesh Garg, national president of the organisation, who was leading the protest, said they wanted to send a message to residents that they should raise their voice against any wrong done to anyone. “Nobody has the right to suppress the voice of a citizen,” Garg said.

On April 17, Vikrant was booked under preventive measures after his Bolero jeep had a close brush with SDM Tanvi Garg's official vehicle at Sector 44. The incident had resulted in a heated argument between the SDM's driver, Harjit, and 26-year-old Vikrant. Tanvi Garg claimed that she was not in the vehicle at the time of the incident, while Vikrant had claimed that the official was in her vehicle at that time.

Following this, high drama was witnessed the next day when Vikrant was produced in the court presided by Tanvi Garg. Vikrant and his guarantor, Jagdish Diwan, argued with the SDM and alleged that they had been wrongly booked.

UT Adviser to the Administrator KK Sharma, speaking to the media today, said Vikrant and Jagdish met him and narrated the entire incident.

Sharma said it would be very unfortunate if an innocent person had to spend a day in a lock-up. “The facts need to be verified and I will be asking for the versions of all the persons concerned,” he said.



Electricity wastage rampant at Panchkula Mini-Secretariat
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 20
The hike in power tariff might have made a hole in the pockets of every household but it is not making much a difference to the ‘babus’ of Panchkula Administration.

A visit to the Mini-Secretariat, Sector 1, Panchkula, showed how fans, lights and air conditioners were on without a blink while all the incumbents were missing from their seats. How the government’s money was being wasted was evident when The Tribune team took a round of the offices.With an effect from April 1, the power tariff has been hiked by 13 per cent in Haryana.

At the offices of District Revenue Officer, Town and Country Planning Branch, ETO Ashok Panchal, Complaint Branch of the DC office, Zila Parishad Offices and others, all were found with lights, fans and air conditioners on even when the officials were missing from their seats.

“From April 1, the power tariff has been exorbitantly hiked but after having a look here it seems that it is free of cost,” said Shikha Nanda, a resident of Sector 17, Panchkula, who had come to the secretariat for some work.

Despite the fact that the nation is clamouring to save electricity through seminars and holding earth hours, the situation spoke the other way round here.

“It is quite shocking. Actually the irresponsible ‘babus’ think that they don’t have to pay for it. It is the government’s money. They should take their offices as their homes. Even today there are many villages who don’t get electricity and people have to sleep without power but this is painful how it is being wasted.,” said Manoj Aggarwal, district president of the INLD.



States should join hands with Centre to sensitise police personnel: Minister
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Union Minister Manish Tewari tests his basketball skills after inaugurating a new court at St John's High School, Sector 26, Chandigarh, on Saturday. Tribune Photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, April 20
Terming the recent Delhi rape case a shameful act, Manish Tewari, Minister for Information and Broadcasting today condemned the incident during a function at St John’s High School, Sector 26. The Minister also stressed on police reforms to address such incidents.

“The incident that happened in New Delhi is shameful, condemnable and unacceptable. The Prime Minister, too, has denounced the act,” said the Minister.

When asked about the rising incidents of violence against females, he said: “The government besides dealing with such culprits with an iron hand has taken strict measures to reform laws related to rape and other crimes against women. In addition to this, the nation needs reforms in policing. As it falls under the jurisdiction of states, the state governments should join hands with the Centre to sensitise the police personnel. It is also important for men to change their mentality,” said Tewari.

The Union Minister was here to inaugurate a basketball court at St John’s High School. He is an alumnus of the school.

“I am happy to be back here. The alumni association has done a good job and hopefully they will continue providing best of the facilities to students. The court is being named after one of our former teachers and I am privileged to make this announcement,” said Manish Tewari.



High drama over illegal PG
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 20
High drama was witnessed in Phase VII yesterday when residents saw a girl and a boy entering a house being used to run as a PG accommodation and called the police.

A case was registered under the Section 188 of the IPC against the landlord for failing to obey the duly promulgated orders about providing information to the police about his tenants.

According to reports, residents of the houses in the phase saw two young persons entering the house and rang up the PCR. The police then took the two to the Matour Police Station for questioning.

According to the police officials, the two said they were residents of Amritsar and had appeared in the Class XII examinations. They also said that they had known each other for about three years and were engaged. They said their families were aware that they had come here.

The police later handed over the two youths to their parents.

Residents said there were about 20 illegal PG accommodations being run in certain smaller houses in the phase. Such unauthorised use of the houses was creating problems for residents. They accused the Greater Mohali Development Authority for failing to check the menace.



Gold broom catches fancy of devotees
Tribune News Service

Devotees take part in a procession; and (right) one of the devotees sweep the floor with a gold broom at Sector 20 in Chandigarh on Saturday. Tribune Photos: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, April 20
Thousands of devotees today took part in a procession taken out by Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math with deities sitting on a decorated chariot. A gold broom donated by one of the devotees to sweep the road ahead of the chariot turned out to be the major attraction for enthusiastic devotees who wanted to take a glimpse of it.

Devotees were seen waiting for their turn to get a chance to clean the road with the broom.

Adding colours to the procession, an aircraft showered petals on the chariot that was decorated with flowers and balloons and carried idols of Sri Gaursunder and Sri Radha Madhav.

The procession began at around 4 pm with prayers and kirtan performed by various groups of devotees from Bengal, Delhi and Chandigarh.

Two band parties were leading the chariot that was pulled by devotees and went across various parts of the city. The procession concluded at Sector 20, where a feast was organised for all the devotees.



Lensmen capture life on Kalka-Shimla track
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
Capturing the seasons and life on the railway stations on the heritage Kalka-Shimla track, two of the city lensmen today organised a photography exhibition at the Punjab Kala Bhawan, Sector 16. The exhibition was inaugurated by Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal. While interacting with the lensmen, Sanjay Kaushal and Shubh Mohan Singh, Bansal appreciated their work and passion for this heritage track.

Sharing their experience, Shubh Mohan Singh said that it took them two years to cover the different moods of life near the track and on railway stations. “The railway employees guided us with tips on train timings and scenic locations where better photographs could be captured for our collection,” he said.

Sanjay Kaushal said he was personally attached to the heritage track as in the childhood he travelled on it for four years to reach his school. The major attraction of the exhibition was the photograph of the longest and highest bridge on the track.



BJP leaders meet Patil

Chandigarh, April 20
A delegation of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by party president Sanjay Tandon today met UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil along with former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan and former Member Parliament Satya Pal Jain.

The delegation told the Administrator that in the demolition drive carried out at Kishangarh, the UT officials adopted the pick-and-choose policy and only demolished godowns belonging to the BJP workers, while sparing others. Four godowns of Bhajan Singh Maru, district president of the BJP, were demolished during the drive. The BJP leaders alleged that Maru was constantly being pressurised to join the Congress to enjoy immunity from such incidents.

The delegation demanded a strong action against those UT officials who were adopting such a biased attitude. — TNS



Encroachments galore in Panchkula



Panjab varsity finds paper setter at fault
Recommends strict action against him for maths examination goof-up
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
Panjab University (PU), during a high-level meeting held today to look into the matter of repeat of BA, BSc mathematics question paper this year, has found the paper setter at fault and has recommended a strict action against him.

The mathematics question paper of differential equation 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 preliminary inquiry has revealed that the paper setter, who in 2012 was asked to send two different question papers, had sent a single question paper to PU in two different sealed envelopes. Out of which, one was used the same year and the other question paper in the sealed envelope that was kept in reserve was sent for printing this year.

Based on the report carried by Chandigarh Tribune, an urgent meeting was called by the PU authorities, which was attended by the Registrar and the Controller of Examination (CoE), during which the action has been recommended against the paper setter.

PU CoE Parvinder Singh termed it as a casual behaviour of the paper setter.

“We have recommended a strict action against the paper setter. He should have sent two different papers, but he took it casually,” the CoE said.

The CoE said: “Paper setters send question papers in a sealed envelope. Those question papers, which are not used, are kept in reserve and used for other exams, including compartment exams. The PU examination branch never opens the sealed envelope of question papers that are sent for printing”.

The minutes of the meeting have been sent to Vice-Chancellor Arun Grover for action.

Officials said both handwritten question papers, which were sent by the paper setter, along with the envelopes in which they were delivered to PU, have been sent to the VC as documentary evidence.

“It seems that the paper setter sent the same question paper to PU. How could someone write the same question paper twice when he was supposed to prepare two different question papers,” Parvinder Singh said.

Paper setters send question papers in a sealed envelope. Those question papers, which are not used, are kept in reserve and used for other exams, including compartment exams. The PU examination branch never opens the sealed envelope of question papers that are sent for printing. — Parvinder Singh, CoE, PU



From schools
Rama Navami celebrated

The festival of Rama Navami was celebrated with religious fervour at Blue Bird High School, Sector 16, Panchkula. A special assembly was organised on the occasion. Speeches related to the life history of Lord Rama were delivered in Hindi and English. Students of class VII and class VIII presented a short skit.

Declamation contest

Students of St Xavier’s School, Panchkula, won the ICSE Declamation Contest held at Convent School, Nahan. The team of Bahar Sharma of class X and Rubal Arora of class IX bagged the trophy for the best team. The winners spoke fervently on the topic ‘gender bias in Indian society’.

Science experiments

Kiran Rattan of Government Model High School, Sector 38, performed various interesting science experiments. The experiments were aimed at removing superstitions. The event was organised to develop a scientific temper in students and the hidden power of science in lives.

Annual fete

The annual fete of Tribune Model School was organised here today. Vandana Saxena, principal of the school, inaugurated the fete. Teachers organised various fun games. Stalls for tattoo making and music remain a hit with students.

Assessment test

The Swami Devi Dyal Group of Professional Institutions, Barwala, organised the AMCAT- Employability Assessment Test for the students of MBA, MCA, Diploma, B.Pharma and D.Pharma. A placement drive by Henkel India for B.Tech (mechanical) final-year students was also held. Later, a seminar was organised for BTech second-year and third-year students. Manjeet Singh from Techno Campus interacted with the students during the seminar. A total of 98 students from MBA, MCA, B.Pharma, D.Pharma and pre-final year participated in the assessment test. The first round of the placement drive of Henkel India included aptitude test. The shortlisted students will get calls for final interviews to be held at the company headquarters in Gurgaon. The selected students will be posted in Mumbai.

Annual function

The E-Max Group of Institutions celebrated the annual function here today. DDS Sandhu, Vice-Chancellor of Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, presided over the function. He was the chief guest on the occasion. The programme started with the lighting of the traditional lamp, followed by Saraswati Vandana by students of the E-Max Group of Institutions. Rajiv Bansal, finance secretary of the E-Max Group, honoured students and faculty members of the institution. — TNS



Authorities to encourage online fee submission
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
After receiving a lukewarm response to the facility of online admission fee submission offered by Panjab University to the students during the past few years, the authorities have now planned to encourage Internet-savvy students of various departments to opt for the services.

PU official said the departments like the University Institute of Engineering and Technology, University Business School, University Institute of Applied Management and Sciences and Chemical Engineering would be roped in to encourage the students to avail the facility of online fee submission.

The facility was introduced in 2010 for the university students in a bid to ease the chaos at fee counters during admissions. However, there have been a few takers for the facility.

“Students not being Internet-savvy was one of the reasons behind the proposal getting a lukewarm response,” said a PU official.

Unaware of the fact that there are no takers for the facility, one of the student parties staged a protest outside the Vice-Chancellor’s office s few weeks ago demanding that the examination fee should also be submitted online.

Panjab University officials said awareness would be spread among the students and the department heads would be asked to promote the facility among them.

“We can’t make the facility compulsory for the students. Rather, we can encourage them to switch to hassle-free system of fee submission,” said the officials of the university.



Students continue to flout traffic norms on university campus
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20
Even as Panjab University (PU) has decided to enforce the traffic rules on the university campus, students still continue to ride two-wheelers without helmets. The university, following a major accident on the campus due to reckless driving by two students, had decided to enforce the traffic rules. However, not many seem to have started following the rules.

The students can be seen overspeeding on the university roads and triple-riding two-wheelers. The traffic problem still continues on the campus.

AS Ahluwalia, Dean, Students Welfare (DSW), said the university had not yet written to the Chandigarh police to ensure that the traffic rules were followed on the main roads of the campus. “Till the time, we will involve student leaders in counselling students to wear helmets and drive safely,” he said.

The DSW said: The decision had been taken recently and we will take time to implement it. We want to add the decision to the PU rules so that it can also be tabled before the Syndicate.”

PU officials said the traffic problem would be solved soon with the introduction of the shuttle bus service. “The shuttle bus service will operate every 15 minutes so that the hostelers can easily commute within the campus,” officials said.



School buses
Women caretakers hired
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 20
In the wake of Delhi gang rape case, a Panchkula-based school has kept lady caretakers in each school bus to avoid an untoward incident when some girl students are left in the end of the route. A lady caretaker, who has been trained, will be present in the bus throughout the route.

This initiative taken by The Gurukul School, Sector 20, Panchkula, has left parents satisfied.

“Presently we have started this thing with the buses of junior wing and within few days we will start with the senior wing as well. This decision was taken after we found that some girl students are left in the end of the route with the driver and conductor,” Harsimran Kaur, Principal of the school.

She said, “The caretakers are between the age group of 25 to 30 years and they are completely trained.”

“I start worrying when my daughter gets a little late from school as she is left alone in school bus at the end of the route. Only the driver and the conductor are left. It is good that now there is a lady caretaker in the school bus,” said Shweta Talwar, mother of a five-year-old girl student.

Vibha Gupta, another parent, said: “Your child feels comfortable in the presence of a lady caretaker. There are things which you can’t share with a male conductor or a driver.”



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