C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Hiring a maid! Beware
Agency providing domestic help defrauds Mohali resident
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 21
The police has arrested two persons, including a woman, on the charges of defrauding a woman of Rs 23,000 on the pretext of providing a domestic help.

The accused have been identified as Reena Dass, a resident of West Bengal, and Vinod Mandal. The accused were presented before a court today which sent them to a four-day police remand. The other two accused, Priyanka and Shankar, are still at large.

Station house officer Gurdip Singh said the accused used to cheat residents by giving advertisements for providing a domestic help through their agency under the name of Priyanka Maid Agency. “The accused used to take 11 months advance and send a girl, who used to run away from the client’s house in a day or two,” said the SHO.

“They had cheated a Mohali resident, Gurmit Kaur, of Rs 23,000. She had contacted the agency on April 10 after reading the advertisement. A contract was signed and the accused charged Rs 23,000 from the complainant. The agency sent a girl, Reena Dass, to the complainant’s house the next day. In the evening, the complainant found the girl missing from her house following which she contacted Priyanka, who assured that she would send another girl in place of Reena,” said the SHO.

When no domestic help came to the complainant’s house and the accused stopped taking her calls, she approached the police. The police trapped Reena and Vinod Kumar.

“Raids are on to nab Priyanka and her accomplice Shankar,” said the SHO.

Mohali Superintendent of Police (City) Swarndeep Singh said: “These frauds can be checked if residents contact the police for the verification of domestic helps immediately after employing them.”



Murder at Aroma
Denied justice, victim’s family cries foul; will launch crusade
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
It has been over a year when 28-year-old Harminder Singh, who had returned from Australia, was killed following a clash with a group of youngsters near the Aroma light point in Sector 22. With the Punjab and Haryana High Court granting bail to five of the seven accused last week, the victim’s family is crying foul over the police going soft on the case.

The deceased’s father Charan Singh Mann, too, died this year following an illness as he used to be constantly under stress after his son’s sudden death.

“Our life has been wrecked. With the police going soft, my husband used to remain tense and he died this year. We are not getting justice. The police did not register a case of murder and charged the accused with culpable homicide. We will fight for justice, but the police is adding insult to our injury,” said Harmeet Kaur, Harminder’s mother.

In April last year, the police had changed the charges of murder against the seven accused to culpable homicide in the chargesheet. The family had moved an application in a court stating that the police was shielding the accused. However, the court fixed charges of culpable homicide under Section 304 of the IPC against the accused.

The family suffered another setback after the complainant in the case, Dilshad Ali, who was the security guard at Aroma Hotel, turned hostile in September last year and retracted from his statements given to the police. He told the court that he was never a witness to the murder, even as the case was registered on his complaint only.

Last week, the Punjab and Haryana High Court described the occurrence as a ‘chance encounter’. Dismissing the Chandigarh Administration’s claim that the assailants were a part of an ‘unlawful assembly’, Justice Paramjeet Singh of the High Court also said common intention to cause death could not be inferred from the evidence on record.

The court granted bail to five of the accused. “The occurrence was a chance encounter and the fatal assault was a sudden, unanticipated and individual act of the unascertained assailants. Such a situation does not become an unlawful assembly. So, the contention of the counsel for the UT Chandigarh that the accused formed an unlawful assembly therefore they are equally responsible cannot be accepted,” the court stated.

The complainant, Dilshad Ali, had told the police that he was on duty outside the hotel when the victim came out and stood near his car at midnight.

After a while, six to seven youths, who were having ice-cream, also came out of the hotel and entered into an argument with the victim before beating him up.

The assailants then started running after crossing the main road opposite Aroma, but the victim chased them. One of the assailants then hit the victim on his head and others kicked and punched him.

Setbacks to victim’s family

  • January 2012: Harminder Singh murdered
  • April 2012: Police files chargesheet of culpable homicide (not murder)
  • September 2012: Witness turns hostile
  • February 2013: Victim’s father dies
  • April 2013: High Court grants bail to five accused



Realtor drugged, robbed of valuables
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
A 36-year-old realtor was robbed of his valuables on Saturday after being drugged by two unidentified women.

The victim was found in an unconscious state near his office in Sector 22 at night.

The police said two women approached the victim, identified as Kulwinder Singh, on the pretext of buying a property. “The women asked Kulwinder to meet them in Sector 43 from where they came to a Sector 42 hotel,” said a police official.

Kulwinder told the police that the women gave him something to drink at the hotel after which he fell unconscious.

Kulwinder a resident of Sector 38, Chandigarh, was found unconscious near his office. His business partner rushed him to the GMSH, Sector 16, and informed the police.

DSP (South) Surjit Malik said the victim was still unconscious.

The police said the property dealer’s vehicle was recovered from Sector 42 and an inquiry had been initiated.

Sources said that the mobile phone records of the victim were also being scrutinised to trace the accused.

The DSP said a case would be registered after recording the statement of the victim.



Boleros catch fancy of car thieves
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Owners of Bolero SUVs in the city beware! These have become the favourite pick for the car thieves who rake in good profits by selling these vehicles in the neighbouring states and in rural areas where they fetch good price in the second-hand market.

The interrogation of Parveen Kumar, a Sonepat resident, and the kingpin of an inter-state car-lifting gang busted by the crime branch earlier this month, revealed that Boleros were the most sought after cars for auto thieves. These vehicles are in great demand in the rural and hilly areas of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.

Parveen, who was arrested on April 3, told the police that thieves were targeting Boleros. These SUVs fetch good price ranging between Rs 1 and Rs 1.5 lakh in the market.

The police has recovered eight Boleros out of the total 35 vehicles from a seven-member gang. Three of these vehicles have been stolen from Chandigarh. The accused used to change the engine and chasis number and then prepare fake documents to sell the stolen vehicles.

Besides, the police has recovered a number of Boleros from three vehicle lifter gangs busted by the UT police in the past two years.

“Boleros have become the latest fancy of car thieves as it easily gets disposed of in rural areas. There is a huge demand for this vehicle as its road clearance is good,” said DSP (Crime) Satbir Singh.

The data available with the UT police reveal that out of all the vehicles stolen in the city last year, 70 were Boleros. This year too, as many as 13 Boleros were stolen.



Watch out! Your toddler may be suffering from behavioural disorder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
If a child aged between 0 and 3 seems lethargic, does not take the feed, shows difficulty in breathing, passes blood in stool or remains extremely irritated, one must see a doctor.

Holding breath, refusing meals, hyper-activity and learning or speech disorders are the symptoms of behavioural problems in children, say experts. A number of parents gathered at Jindal IVF and Sant Memorial Nursing Home today to discuss the challenges of parenthood and shared their difficulties in understanding the behaviour of their children.

“Giving birth is much easier than actually bringing up the child. Dealing with diapers and spending sleepless nights, parents always have a task at hand. The problem has increased manifold due to the growing trend of nuclear families,” said Dr Umesh Jindal, gynaecologist and director of Jindal IVF and Sant Memorial Nursing Home.

“My child is not burping after taking feed, my baby often spills out cuddled milk, my baby has not passed stool for the past three days or my 10-day-old baby sleeps more than four hours after having feed. These were the major queries of parents during the interaction.

“Parents should continue with immunisation properly and not panic on baby’s reaction till the warning signs appears,” said Dr Mahesh.

Dr Mahesh said no traditional methods should be used on newborns like giving gutthi or applying kajal in baby’s eyes.

A parent from Sector 21 said she was going through a difficult time and the grandparents of the child were also annoyed with her. “The best way to deal with this problem is to talk it out, listen to the children and visit an expert if early signs of physical or behavioural problems are seen so that intervention starts as soon as possible,” said Dr Ruby Ahuja, clinical psychologist.

“Conflict at home between father-mother, in-laws or grandparents can lead to psychological disorders,” warned Ruby Ahuja.

Problems faced by parents

  • Tantrums
  • Holding breath
  • Refusing meals
  • Being rude
  • Attention-seeking behaviour
  • Refusing to follow instructions
  • Toilet habits
  • Destructive behaviour
  • Hyper-activity
  • Learning/speech disorder


Vendors flourishing outside PGI gate
Enforcement wing of the civic body fails to check encroachment outside premier health institution
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
The enforcement wing of the Municipal Corporation has failed to check encroachment outside the main gate of the PGIMER, where a dhaba has been set up,occupying a large portion of the land. The dhaba has been set up right outside the main gate of the institution, encroaching upon the municipal corporation land.

Other vendors, including fruit sellers, cigarette sellers have also occupied some area along the boundary wall of the PGI. Interestingly, these encroachers that remain stationed round the clock had disappeared during President Pranab Mukherjee's visit last month at the PGI's annual convocation. However, within hours after the VVIP's exit, the vendors resettled - indicating a clear nexus with the authorities.

The highest punishment, as per rules, is the imposition of a fine. MC officials stated that these encroachments were removed twice in the past one week from the area. They said they had been penalising the encroachers.

The vendors who are visible round the clock in the area have not even been declared defaulters.

When contacted, Kashmira Singh, MC Superintendent, enforcement wing, said, “We have been keeping a regular check on these encroachments. In fact, we had challaned them twice last week. I will personally look into the matter tomorrow.”

The enforcement wing had issued as many as 140 challans during its anti-encroachment drive, last week, and removed encroachments from various markets of the city, but not the PGI gate.

During the drive, the enforcement team removed encroachments from Sectors 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, Sukhna Lake, Rock Garden, Sector 17, Mani Majra and Indstrial Area.



Roads that put your driving skills to test
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 21
Looking for some adventure! Start your vehicle, zoom through Mohali roads and the ride will leave you awestruck.
Damaged roads in Industrial Area, Phase VII, and Industrial Area, Phase II in Mohali
Damaged roads in and Industrial Area, Phase II and (below) Industrial Area, Phase VII in Mohali. Tribune photos: Vicky Gharu
Damaged roads in Industrial Area, Phase VII, and Industrial Area, Phase II in Mohali

Not even a single road in the town is in a good shape.

Potholes on the roads have failed to catch the eye of the civic body officials.

Despite residents expressing resentment over the state of affairs, nothing has been done so far.

Ride on the roads is not less than a nightmare for the residents.

A survey revealed that pits on the stretches had resulted in fatal mishaps in the past.

The road separating Phases 10 and 11 (leading to Chandigarh) is full of potholes.

Several accidents have taken place on the stretch.

"Even the streetlights have been lying defunct for long. The authorities have chosen to turn a blind eye to the mishaps. Pleas have fallen on deaf ears. The situation is even worse at night," said Jaspal Singh, a resident.

The condition of the road separating Phases 3A and 3B1 is no better.

"The roads are a blot on the town. It is a challenge to drive on the road," said Deepak Verma, a resident of Phase 3B1.

In Industrial Area, most of the roads are in a bad shape. "Why can't the civic officials get the roads repaired? Every month I send my car for repairs. The authorities should do something to solve the problem," said Gurmeet Singh, who owns a shop in Industrial Area.

Sources said the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority had earmarked Rs 30 crore for upgrading the road infrastructure in the town. "The work will begin soon," said a GMADA official.



Shifting of stray cattle one day in advance sparks row
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
As many as 60 stray cows were shifted from the city to a gaushala in Delhi on Saturday night, following the orders of the Mayor. The move has raised many eyebrows as it was allegedly done without informing members of the Finance and Contract Committee (FCC).

Pointing towards controversies, opposition councillors today called a meeting to look into the reason behind the “secret” shifting of the cows, which was earlier scheduled for today.

Arun Sood, Leader of Opposition, said, “The Mayor did not inform any member from the FCC about the move and shifted as many as 60 cows to Delhi. What was the need to carry out the operation secretly? Nobody knows who got the tender for shifting of the cows and what was the procedure followed during the shifting.”

“Moreover, they did not even check the status of Dabur Gaushala where these cows are learnt to have been sent. The move is fishy. We need to get to the root of it. We have called an emergency meeting to decide our line of action,” Sood said.“The MC has been publicising every small activity taken up by the Mayor. However, it apparently chose not to place any information on shifting of the cows in the public domain, this time,” said Sood.

When contacted, Mayor Subhash Chawla said, “It is an administrative decision. It does not need any consultation. The job of a Mayor or the FCC members is only to formulate policies and we have already done that. Beyond that, the concern is that the cattle should reach their destination safely and we have ensured that. This is not a political issue.”

Recently, the FCC had sanctioned Rs 20 lakh for the shifting of 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 of stray cattle from the city to gaushalas of other states.

The MC had decided that they would shift the stray cattle to a Delhi-based Dabur Gaushala and Garshankar-based Gau Sewa Mission. It was decided that the 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 the stray cattle to their gaushalas. Thereafter, two gaushalas had agreed to house the stray cattle.



Sector 50 residents assured of basic amenities
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
The Union Railway Minister, Pawan Kumar Bansal, today assured the residents of Sector 50 that basic amenities would be provided in the area. He was addressing a public gathering organised by the Resident Welfare Association of Sector 50 here.

The MP after listening to the demands of the residents said he would provide MPLAD funds to improve the state of basic amenities in the area. Kamal Gupta, president of the society, said the area had been devoid of basic amenities like streetlights, roads and regular water supply.

He said despite the societies giving transfer fee to the administration, the amenities provided were poor. Mayor Subash Chawla and BB Behl, CTCC president also spoke on the occasion.



8pc people suffering from heart ailments in India: Docs
Punjab reports high incidence of diabetes, blood cholesterol & obesity
Tribune News Service
Dr Sudheer Sexana
Dr Sudheer Sexana

Chandigarh, April 21
Almost 8 per cent of people in India are suffering from some form of heart disease. Punjab in particular reports high incidence of diabetes, blood cholesterol and obesity, which are the main triggers for cardiac problems. With an aim to educate people about the treatment of acute myocardial infarction (AMI), Max Super Speciality Hospital, Mohali, organised the AMI Summit, 2013, here, today.

"We have patients, as young as 20 years with cardiac problem," said Dr Sudheer Saxena, principal consultant and coordinator, cardiology at Max Hospital. “Heart attacks have become common amongst the Indian population with people of all age groups suffering from this ailment. With an aim to discuss the progress made in the treatment of heart attack and to discuss the advancement made in the field, we organised this Max AMI summit,” he added.

While deaths from heart attacks are decreasing worldwide due to control of risk factors like smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and physical inactivity, India is still recording high incidences of heart attacks.

Heart attacks have emerged as the number one killer in India claiming lives not just in urban areas, but also in rural India.

Acute heart attacks are a major cause of death amongst young people in their productive years.

A large percentage of these heart attacks are caused due to erratic lifestyle habits, including smoking and alcohol consumption, said experts.

Dr Ashutosh Sood, general manager, operations, Max Hospital, said “In case of a heart attack, the treatment provided within the first one hour can often save life. Ironically, the treatment of AMI cases is more challenging as it is determined by the age of the patient and the condition of heart attack. Often first-ever heart attack or stroke can prove to be fatal or disabling. Therefore, prevention becomes critical”.

He further said the heart attack prevention could begin right from the age of 20 years by assessing the risk factors and working towards keeping them as low as possible.

The sooner one begins, the stronger the heart will be,” added the experts. One should go for regular checkups.

The earlier the disease is detected, the better are the chances of recovery and one can even lead a normal and healthy life say experts.



Death of P’kula resident in Africa
Victim’s family left in the lurch
Besides grocery items, Panchkula admn fails to extend monetary help
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 21
The family of Karna Bahadur, a Panchkula resident, who was killed by French troops in the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) recently, has alleged that barring some grocery items, the Panchkula administration has not extended any financial help to the family.

"When the officials of the Panchkula administration visited our house, they promised to extend monetary help to us. However, the next day, we just got five kg of rice, five-kg flour and 1-kg dal, salt and sugar," said Dal Bahadur, Karna’s father-in-law. The grocery items finished the day Karna was buried. The only help they provided was that they got Karna’s body transported from Delhi to Panchkula. Even the burial expenses were borne by us, he added.

The France Government has not extended any help to the family despite their repeated assurances.

Due to disturbances in the country, Bahadur was approaching the Bangui airport in the capital of C.A.R to catch a flight to India when the troops mistook the vehicle of Karna to be that of suicide bombers and opened fire. Bahadur, who hailed from Nepal, was settled here in Panchkula for the past many years. He was one of the two Indians who were killed in the incident apart from the six injured. Bahadur was working as a cook in C.A.R and is survived by his wife and two daughters.



Australian counterparts send local cops in a tizzy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
The Chandigarh Police went into tizzy on Saturday after it received a phone call from their counterparts in Australia, who informed them about the death of an Aussie woman in Chandigarh. Different branches of the police were put on alert to trace the woman. The woman has been traced and is alive.

During the probe, the Chandigarh police traced the location of the woman to Solan in Himachal Pradesh (HP), 80 km from Chandigarh, with the help of her mobile phone number. DSP (Central) Ashish Kapoor said that an Australian woman had come to Chandigarh on a vacation and when one of her relatives called her on her phone from Australia some unknown person picked up the phone. “The receiver of the call informed him that the woman had died in India. The caller then approached the Australian police, who further intimated the Chandigarh police control room”, the DSP said. Police officials said that the Solan police was immediately informed about the call received from Australia and they were asked to trace the woman. “The woman has been traced and she is alive, her mobile phone has been recovered”, the police said.



open house response
With no respite in sight, city residents brace for taxing times

The number of vehicles has increased over the years in Chandigarh
The number of vehicles has increased over the years in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

With the development of the city, new institutions have come up and the priorities of the Administration have changed. The Municipal Corporation started levying taxes on residents. The Central government has been decreeing the Administration to levy taxes. The Administration appears to have forced the residents to fill its coffers. The proposed hike of 45 per cent on power tariff will only add to the burden of the common man. Coming to the rescue, the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission has nullified the move, saying the hike is uncalled for. The Administration is not working for the welfare of the people. It has only burdened the residents over the years. NGOs, human right activists and retired bureaucrats must act now.

Satish Chandra Sharma, Chandigarh

Residents' woes aggravated

The prices of essential commodities are going through the roof. The Administration is levying new taxes and hiking the existing ones, which is aggravating the woes of the poor and lower middle class. Raising funds by taxing the common man should not be the objective of the government.

Baljinder Kaur, Mohali

Hike unjustified

The hike in power tariff is unjustified. Taking a cue from Gujarat, the Administration should reduce power transmission losses. Kundi connections should be checked. Residents should not waste water by watering lawns and washing cars.

Tarsem Bhardwaj, Chandigarh

Policy needs to be reconsidered

The imposition of property tax and hike in road tax have come in as a shock. It has become difficult for the common man to meet both ends. In Chandigarh, the cost of consumer goods is much higher as compared to Mohali and Panchkula. The taxation policy needs to be reconsidered.

Ajit Singh, Canada

Electricity dept's petition rejected

Being a UT, bureaucrats rule the roost in the city. Giving relief to residents, the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission has turned down a petition filed by the UT Electricity Department proposing a hike in power tariff. Representatives of welfare associations, industrial bodies, trade unions and political parties approached the commission seeking help.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Steps must to check wastage

Residents should not mind paying more for getting better civic amenities. The prices of the essential commodities have touched an all-time high. The Administration is doing nothing to unburden the residents. The officials have failed to deliver on their promises. The summer has just set in and the water problem has started giving sleepless nights to the residents. The Administration should take steps to check wastage.

Sachin Sharma, Chandigarh

Middle class the worst affected

The life in the City Beautiful is becoming difficult with each passing day because of new taxes being imposed by the city administration and the Municipal Corporation. The proposed hike in electricity charges by a whopping 45 per cent and water by 15 per cent would hit the middle class most. The steep increase in electricity charges is totally unjustified and should be rolled back. Instead, the "kundis" in the colonies must be removed and the theft of electricity be checked by the Electricity Department. The steep increase is not justified. A marginal hike of say, 5 to 10 per cent is tolerable keeping in view the rising prices of all essential commodities. One fails to understand why "congestion tax" on road users should be imposed when the Administration takes road tax on vehicles? It is a shame that many roads in the city are full of potholes which damage vehicles. There is no control over the stray cattle. These result into fatal accidents. Is it not the duty of of the Administration/MC to meet the accident expenses of the victims and financially compensate the affected families. Similarly, the 15% increase in water charges is totally unjustified as people living in upper floors do not get even a drop of water in the afternoons and evenings. Moreover, the quality of water supplied by the MC is not good enough.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

Grants should be used judiciously

Merely introducing new taxes is no solution. The Administration should utilise the grant judiciously. Adequate planning is required under the expert guidance. Misuse of transport machinery and electricity should be banned by the authority . The officers should use the government vehicles only for office work. The Administration should cut down the security of political leaders and bureaucrats.

Sumesh Kr Badhwar, Mohali

Regulatory commission brings relief

Chandigarh was made a Union Territory by the Central government under the Punjab Re-Organisation Act on November 1, 1966. Residents have welcomed the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission's decision to reject the proposal on hiking power tariff. The commission has directed the department to pay interest on the security deposit to consumers in accordance with the Electricity Act 2013, latest by September 30,2013. The proposed hike in water tariff has also been condemned. The civic body should act against those who have not paid water bills.

Puran Kant, Chandigarh

Open house question

The recent incident of a city businessman being booked under preventive section of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and having spent a night in the police station after he reportedly avoided collision with an SDM’s car has brought to light the issue of abuse of power by the custodian of law. What should be done to prevent recurrence of such incidents. Write your comments and suggestions to openhouse@tribunemail.com mailto:house@tribunemail.com



Save water, it won't cost you a penny
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 21
The Administration has adopted a traditional way to sensitise residents against water wastage.

The officials are making announcements through public address system.

Message is being spread through auto-rickshaws. The Water Supply and Sanitation Department is urging people not to waste water and stop washing vehicles and watering lawns.

"A ban was imposed on such activities on April 15. We want to spread awareness instead of issuing challans. Making public announcements is one of the most effective ways," said Gurparkash Singh, SDO, Water Supply and Sanitation Department.

Earlier, the department used to issue press notes.

"This time the department wants to reach out to people," said the official.

The department has also constituted teams to check water wastage in the town.

The department will continue the drive if the teams give a good feedback.

"We are mulling over using 'nagada' to make the announcements," said Gurparkash Singh.

In Mohali, water supply is about 13 MGD (million gallon per day) against the demand of 23 MGD. "We are already facing an acute water shortage. Residents should come forward and take the initiative," said RP Gupta, executive engineer, Water Supply and Sanitation Department.



PU turns a blind eye to garbage
Tribune News Service

Waste dumped in the parking lot of the University Business School
Waste dumped in the parking lot of the University Business School

Chandigarh, April 21
Garbage strewn over various parts of the campus is a common scene at Panjab University. The authorities, however, have turned a blind eye to it.

The lax attitude adopted by sanitation workers and carelessness on the part of students were responsible for garbage being scattered at Student Centre, said a student.

"It is very unfortunate that the PU authorities have failed to keep the campus clean on a priority-basis,” said the student.

The Students’ Organisation of Panjab University leader Rashpal Hakuwala said in order to make the university authorities conscious about the garbage problem on the campus, they had started a cleanliness drive.

"Last week we cleaned Student Centre and today we cleaned premises of the Boys’ Hostel No. 6,” said the SOPU leader.

Waste material can also be seen littered near the UBS canteen, English Hut and various other canteens near the sciences departments.



Research scholars at receiving end due to delay in stipends
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Research scholars at Panjab University have been waiting for their stipends for past many months. With the University Grants Commission (UGC) failing to release the fund, students are at the receiving end.

Pooja, a research scholar at University Business School (UBS), said she along with other PhD students had been waiting for their stipends for the past 11 months. “We have approached the university authorities a number of times, seeking the release of funds; however, nothing has been done so far,” she said.

She said some research scholars had not received their stipends for over a year now.

Another research scholar from the same department said he had not received the stipend for the past nine months. “I should have started receiving the stipend from the last June; however, I am still waiting for the scholarship,” the student said.

The research scholars who got enrolled to the PhD programme after leaving their jobs said scholarships were the only source to fund their research and meet various daily expenses.

Himangana Gupta, a research scholar at the department of environment studies, said she had been awaiting her scholarship since March this year.

Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) president Satinder Singh said the authorities failed to take up the matter with the UGC to ensure the timely release of funds. “How can the university expect students to continue with their research work without ensuring that they got stipends on time,” he said.

PU Registrar AK Bhandari said the university did realise students were facing problems due to the non-release of stipends. “In a bid to solve the problem we are planning to create a buffer grant for research scholars. It will be used for providing stipends to students in case of any delay in the release of funds by the UGC,” he said.

Buffer grant mooted

In a bid to solve the problem we are planning to create a buffer grant for research scholars. It will be used for providing stipends to students in case of any delay in the release of funds by the UGC.

ak bhandari, Registrar, pu



NSUI volunteers spread awareness on right to education at Sector 25
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
The National Students’ Union of India today held an awareness drive on the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act at the Sector 25 colony.

The volunteers spread awareness about the seats reserved for the economically weaker section (EWS) in private schools under the Act.

Sunny Mehta, NSUI national delegate, said they had succeeded in getting a stay order against the conversion of EWS seats to the general category in private schools. However, no further steps had been taken to fill those reserved seats which were still lying vacant, he said. “We want to spread awareness among the EWS families to avail of the opportunity by getting their children admitted to schools against these seats,” he said.

The team met residents of the colony and acquainted them with their rights under the Act. During the drive, residents were asked to bring their documents to the camp being organised in front of Vivek High School, Sector 38, on April 23. “We will fill the forms of all the EWS students there,” said Mehta.

Jasvir Singh, another team member, said residents were overwhelmed and could see a ray of hope for educating their children. The team members said they would leave no stone unturned to ensure that the children got their fundamental right of education.



Student bodies flay decision to allow traffic cops on Panjab varsity campus
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Various student organisations at Panjab University will come together to oppose the recent decision of the university authorities to allow the Chandigarh Police to challan students for traffic violations on the campus.

Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) president Satinder Singh said the university, rather than allowing the police to fine violators on the campus, should encourage students to follow the traffic rules and drive safely. Authorities need to educate students; challans would not solve the problem, he said.

“The police challans traffic violators across the city, still there is rampant traffic violations, which proves penalising is not the solution,” the PUCSC president said.

Opposing another decision regarding banning outstation students from keeping four-wheelers at hostels, Satinder Singh said the university should rather restrict the entry of outsiders on the campus in order to ease the traffic. The council has decided to submit a memorandum to the university authorities opposing both decisions.

Echoing similar views, the Students’ Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) leader Vikramjit Singh Meddukhera said the traffic police would harass students on the campus. “The authorities should ask the university security staff to ensure that students don’t drive rashly on campus. For violating rules, action should be taken against students at the university-level,” he said.

Decisions to allow the police to challan students on the campus and ban four-wheelers in hostels were taken following an accident involving two students of the University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS) department, who were allegedly racing their vehicles on the PU campus.

Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU) leader Sumit Gokhlaney said the university could construct more speed humps on the campus and install barricades to check speeding on the campus.

Penalising not a solution

The police challans traffic violators across the city, still there is rampant traffic violations, which proves penalising is not the solution. — Aatinder Singh, President, Panjab University Campus Student Council

The authorities should ask the university security staff to ensure that students don’t drive rashly on campus. For violating rules, action should be taken against students at the university-level. — Vikramjit Singh Meddukhera, Students’ Organisation of Panjab University 



Mid-day meal scheme to be decentralised
Kitchens to come up at 10 government schools in city; process under way
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
The UT Education Department will soon open more mid-day meal kitchens in government schools in order to further streamline the supply of meals under this Central-sponsored scheme. So far, only four kitchens are catering to students studying in all the 104 government schools in the city.

These are situated at the Institute of Hotel Management (IHM) and BIHM, Sector 42, Hotel Shivalikview, Sector 17, and one at Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 47, run by a non-governmental organisation.

To decentralise the mid-day meal scheme, the education department, on an experimental basis last year, opened a separate mid-day meal kitchen managed completely by the school authorities at Government Model Senior Secondary School (GMSSS), Sector 10. The idea was to let the school prepare and serve food to students as per their requirement rather than depending on a fixed supply from the four centralised kitchens.

The department is now making required arrangements to implement this experiment in other schools as well. A senior official said the department was providing as many as 10 government schools with the required infrastructure to enable them to open their own mid-day meal kitchens. Some of the schools which will soon have these kitchens include GMSSS-15, GMSSS-44 and GMSSS-26.

The officials said kitchen sheds were being constructed for this purpose in these schools, besides providing them with cooking gas connection and adequate ration. This step would further empower the school management committees, which have been assigned the duty of formulating the menu, ensuring quality of food and executing the project successfully, said an official. Two to three kitchens are expected to get functional very soon, the official said.



from schools & colleges
Earth Day celebrated

Chandigarh: Earth Day was celebrated by the primary wing of St Joseph’s Senior Secondary School, Sector 44. The event was organised to make students aware about the earth and its environment, and why it is important to save it. Students participated with great enthusiasm. Class III students made a collage using a variety of pictures related to the environment. Students of Class IV proudly wore badges they had designed. Class V students wrote quotations related to the environment.

Notebook covering

Classes II and III students of Bhavan Vidyalaya Junior, Sector 33, participated in the notebook covering, labelling and bookmark-making competition, the first activity of the new academic session. Using innovative ideas and their artistic imagination, children designed beautiful bookmarks. Selected entries were awarded.

World Heritage Week

Panchkula: Celebrating World Heritage Week, students of The British School went on an educational trip to Government Art Museum, Sector 10, Chandigarh. The visit was an eye-opener for students as they had an opportunity to see sculptures, paintings and coins from ancient and medieval periods, besides contemporary works. Students were most fascinated by the natural history section of the museum.

Orientation programme

To apprise parents of their teaching methodologies, Blue Bird High School conducted an orientation programme. Parents of children who took admission to pre-nursery to kindergarten classes in the new academic session attended the programme in the school hall. The programme started with short speeches by respective class in-charges, who equipped parents with tips on good parenting and information about the extra-curricular activities and evaluation system followed by the school. The programme concluded with the school song and thanksgiving note by the Principal, Mrs Vandna. She also gave a small appreciation gift to the most punctual parents.

Degrees conferred

Dera Bassi: Degrees were conferred on over 200 students during the convocation ceremony of the Punjab Group of Colleges, Lalru, on Saturday. Obeisance was paid to Goddess Saraswati at the beginning of the function. College director Dr VP Batra read out the annual report and highlighted various achievements of the institute. Chief guest Dr Buta Singh shared his experience with students and motivated them to become entrepreneurs. — Tribune Reporters



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