C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


HC stays framing of charges
Tribune News Service

Doon MLA RK Chaudhary
Doon MLA RK Chaudhary

Chandigarh, May 1
Seeking a status report from the police in the Jyoti murder case, allegedly involving Himachal Pradesh MLA Ram Kumar Chaudhary, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today ordered a stay on the framing of charges by the trial court.

The directions came on a petition filed by the victim’s father, Buti Ram, of Hoshiarpur. He has alleged that the Panchkula police is not conducting the investigation in a fair manner and has colluded with the MLA, the prime accused in the case.

Jyoti (24), a resident of Bhunga village in Hoshiarpur district, was found dead on a road in Sector 21, Panchkula, on November 22. According to the post-mortem report, she had died of a head injury and had undergone an abortion.

In his petition, Buti Ram has sought directions to the state and other respondents to transfer the investigation into the Jyoti murder case from the Sector 5 Panchkula police to some other senior police official or an independent agency.

The petitioner stated that soon after his daughter’s murder, sufficient incriminating evidence was found against Chaudhary and the other accused. However, from the very first day, the Panchkula police had been favouring the accused.

He also alleged that Congress leaders from Punjab had pressured and threatened him to maintain silence over the issue and not to pursue the murder case.

In an attempt to substantiate the allegations of the police dragging its feet on the matter, counsel for the petitioner Naresh Shekhawat argued that the police had also not invoked the provision of law relating to an illegal abortion. Moreover, the police had not recovered the phone through which the MLA was in touch with the victim.



Jyoti murder case
Crucial documents missing again
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 1
The documents filed by the Panchkula police in the Jyoti murder case against Doon MLA Ram Kumar Chaudhary again have some missing contents. The defense counsel pointed out that they had not provided them with the CDs of the transcripts and tower locations.

It was also told before the court that tampering could have been done while writing the transcripts of Chaudhary’s wife with her maternal uncle and other people. The CDs were important for that purpose; still the police was concealing the same.

It was argued that the transcripts were only attested and the documents given by the Panchkula police again did not bear the tower locations of Chaudhary.

All the accused would be produced in the court on May 7.

It was recently that the counsel had pointed that the challan filed by the Panchkula police was incomplete and important documents were missing.

Recently, the Panchkula police had filed 1,500-page charge-sheet in the case. The defence counsel had pointed out various flaws in the same saying that most of the documents and evidences were missing in the challan.



Lease money
Court questions Golf Club
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today verbally questioned the Golf Club on the issue of paying the lease amount. Dubbing it as a rich club, a Division Bench of the High Court minced no words in saying that the lease money was not being paid by the club, while it was spending lakhs of rupees on elections and lavish parties.

As the lease row came up for hearing, the Bench asked the Golf Club counsel the reason behind its reluctance to pay the amount, even though it was charging fees for organising functions. The observations were made verbally during the course of the hearing as passing reference, and cannot be construed as expression by the Bench on the merits of the ongoing case.

Drawing a parallel between the Central Club and the Golf Club, the Bench observed that while the former was willing to pay from its meagre resources, the latter, a club of the rich, was yet to pay.

Counsel for the club sought time from the court, saying that mediation was still going on. Taking up the matter, the Bench fixed May 16 as the next date of hearing in the case.

A former apex court Judge, Justice Kuldip Singh, has been appointed as a mediator by the High Court to resolve the row over the renewal of the lease between the Golf Club and the Chandigarh Administration. During an earlier hearing, the Bench had directed the Golf Club to pay Rs 10 lakh, in addition to Rs 20 lakh already paid to the UT Administration. Acting on the petition filed by the Golf Club against the enhanced lease amount sought by the Chandigarh Administration, the High Court, during a previous hearing, had asked it to pay Rs 20 lakh.

The High Court had earlier made it clear that it wanted the Administration and the club to put their heads together for resolving the row. Seeking directions for setting aside the order/letter issued by the Administration on November 15 and 16 last year, the club had contended that the same was illegal, arbitrary and discriminatory. The Administration, vide the letter, had asked the club to deposit the lease money from March 16, 2008, to March 15, 2013. The amount, as per the calculations, came out to Rs 9,27,48,000.



Police fails to upload details of officers’ movable assets
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
The UT police today uploaded the details of immovable assets of police officers on its website. However, the details of movable assets like cars and jewellery have not been uploaded, raising a question mark over the entire exercise.

According to the details, UT IGP RP Upadhyaya has a property in Delhi, while UT SSP Naunihal Singh owns a property in Punjab. DSPs largely have houses in Chandigarh and their hometowns. While some of the properties are purchased, the others are ancestral.

The immovable property returns ( IPRs), the annual immovable property returns put up on its website by the Chandigarh Police regarding Class A officers, have not been filled in properly and defeat the purpose, barring some exceptions.

According to the site, eight senior officials of the Chandigarh Police have more than two dozen properties, including houses and land across the country. Some of these houses are ancestral, some have been purchased by the police officials while some others have been won through a draw of lots.

The DSPs have mentioned one or two houses as their assets.

Who owns what
UT DSP (East) Vijay Kumar owns a flat in a society worth Rs 12.5 lakh at the time of purchase and agricultural land.
UT DSP (Crime) Satbir Singh owns a flat in the Sector 51 police housing society. He has taken a loan of Rs 5 lakh and is paying Rs 6,317 as the EMI for the house.
UT DSP (Operations) Jagbir Singh owns a flat in the Sector 51 police housing society. Its approximate value is Rs 12 lakh and the total annual income from the property is Rs 2.50 lakh. Besides, he owns a plot in the MDC, Panchkula, which was allotted through a draw of lots by HUDA. The approximate value of the plot is Rs 22.60 lakh. He owns two more plots in Bahadur Garh and Aerocity, valued at Rs 15 lakh and Rs 60 lakh.



Residents panic as 3 tremors jolt tricity
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
Three tremors rocked the tricity this afternoon, causing panic among residents. The tremors were felt between noon and 3 pm, and lasted seven seconds. There was no report of any loss of life or damage to property.

According to the Met Department, the first earthquake, measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale, was recorded at 12.27 pm and its epicentre was in the Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh border. Another tremor of 3.7 magnitude was recorded at 2.14 pm followed by another jolt of 4.6 magnitude at 2.50 pm. Met Director Surinder Pal Singh said the intensity of the first tremor was the highest and its depth was 15 km, while the depth of the other two tremors was 10 km. He said the epicentre of all three earthquakes was the same.

On feeling the tremors, several residents in the tricity raised the alarm and ran out of their houses. Those residing in high-rise buildings panicked the most. Some residents were even seen driving their cars away from their houses. Panic continued to grip the residents long after the tremors were felt.

"I was sitting in my office and suddenly my chair started shaking. A lamp hanging from the ceiling started moving and it was then that I realised that it was an earthquake," said Amit Gupta, an employee of a private company in the city.

"I was working on my PC and suddenly felt the tremors. Before I could move down the stairs, it had ended. I am scared that if another earthquake strikes at night, people may not be able to move out of their flats," said Jyoti Sharma of Sector 30. 

8 tremors shook region in April
According to the Met Department, eight tremors were recorded in the region in April. Of these, three tremors were felt in the city. As many as 24 tremors were recorded in the country in April.



Obliging a constable lands drunk driver in trouble
Was asked to transport barricades in his Tata Ace; taken for a thief by a passerby
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
A drunk truck driver found himself in trouble last night when he followed the "verbal orders" of a constable to load eight traffic police barricades in his Tata mini-truck and drop these on the Ambala road. He was taken as a thief, questioned by the police and let off only after he "spilled the beans".

He caught the attention of a passerby, who called the police. He was intercepted at a roundabout separating Sectors 29 and 30. He told the police that he was not a thief and was "extending his services to the police", and had lost his way. The PCR was informed at 12.15 am that a Tata Ace (CH 01TA 0129) was loaded with eight police barricades at the Sector 29/30 light point. The police reached the spot and rounded up the auto driver, Sukhdev Singh, a resident of Pahleri village in Patiala.

As the SHO of the Industrial Area police station, along with other police officials, reached the spot, the auto driver, who was in an inebriated state, was questioned and he said he had lost his way. He told the police that he lived in Hallo Majra and had started from Sector 27, where he was employed, at around 11 pm. On his way, he stopped at a liquor vend in Sector 32 and took liquor and again started towards his residence when a constable stopped him on the Sector 32 road towards The Tribune roundabout.

"The constable loaded the barricades in my truck and told me to drop these anywhere on the Ambala road after crossing The Tribune roundabout as the police sets up nakas there for which the barricades are required. I did not know what to do with the barricades when I saw a PCR approaching me," he said. 

Constable's identity not known
While the drunk driver was let off after verification, the police has not bothered to find out the identity of the constable, who handed over the barricades to the driver. "We have verified the credentials of the driver. He was given the barricades to be dropped on the road. He was thus let off," said Inspector Narinder Patial, SHO of the Industrial Area police station.



Schools chip in to ease traffic congestion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
While parents seem to have "surrendered" to the chaos outside schools during the peak hours as they jostle for space every time they go to drop and pick up their children, some schools in the tricity have come up with solutions to the traffic problem.

Setting a precedent for other schools in Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali, these schools have either started a four-tier system for the students' exit or got the one-way traffic norm imposed outside the schools during the peak hours.

The schools acted after Chandigarh Tribune highlighted the plight of commuters and parents outside the schools due to the traffic congestion.

Satluj Public School, Sector 4, Panchkula, has come up with a four-tier system. Girls leave first, then boys who go by buses, then those who go by bicycles and finally those who are picked up by their parents. The school has also deputed two teachers as traffic marshals to man the traffic outside the school.

The Gurukul, Sector 20, Panchkula, has acquired permission for imposing the one-way traffic norm outside the school during the peak hours.

In Sector 26, five traffic policemen have been deployed to check the traffic chaos outside Strawberry Fields and St Kabir School in the afternoon.

The police is strictly imposing the one-way traffic norm on the road outside the schools in Sector 26 between 1 and 2.30 pm.



In a Tangle: Status Report
Some impact, but there is still a long way to go

Following a series of reports by Chandigarh Tribune, the police and several educational institutions have taken cognisance of the traffic chaos outside the school premises while some institutes seem to have ignored it. Our reporters do a reality check. The space outside strawberry school being used as a parking lot in Sector 26, Chandigarh. tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan

Some relief in Sector 26

 Police officials regulate traffic in the school lane in Sector 26.
Police officials regulate traffic in the school lane in Sector 26.

Waking up to the chaotic situation outside the schools in Sector 26, the Chandigarh Police has deployed five traffic policemen to check the traffic congestion outside Strawberry Fields school and St Kabir School during the afternoon hours. Earlier, even as the traffic on the road outside these schools was already declared one way, the congestion problem existed partly due to the haphazard parking of vehicles outside these schools and rest due to the lack of proper control.

A traffic official manning the traffic said that after the problem was highlighted by The Tribune, the police had been strictly imposing the entry of the vehicles from the other side of road in Sector 26 between 1 to 2.30 pm. Now, it has become mandatory to park vehicles in single horizontal rows. To avoid long queues, the vehicles have also been diverted to a vacant plot in front of Strawberry school. The problem can be rooted out if this plot is properly used as a parking lot during the peak hours .

Deploy cops, traffic marshals permanently: Parents

Parents complained that it was the same story on Monday, but the policemen could be seen managing the traffic today and did their bit to check the chaos. “There has to be a permanent deployment of traffic policemen, otherwise, nothing much will be achieved. The situation will come back to square one,” said a parent requesting anonymity. Several parents suggested that presence of traffic marshals outside the schools would also help. It will help in disciplining the parents as they will park their cars properly.

Atul Khanna, Director of Strawberry Fields school said, “We have no problem deputing traffic marshals, but deploying them in the past has been ineffective. A strong enforcement from the police is required to manage the traffic during the rush hours. Moreover, we have issued circulars to the parents to park their vehicles in a single row so that there is enough space for other vehicles”, he said.

No respite in Sector 32

 It is still chaotic outside St Anne’s school in Sector 32.
It is still chaotic outside St Anne’s school in Sector 32.

The road connecting PML SD Public School, GGDSD College and St Anne’s school in Sector 32 remained chaotic from 7.15 am to 8 am and 1.15 pm to 2pm.

The traffic chaos on the road connecting the three educational institutions in Sector 32 continued to ail other commuters and parents who jostled for space to move during the peak hours. As the road is narrow, it becomes impossible to move when the vehicles are parked on both sides of the road. During the peak hours, the school buses were lined up alongside the road, covering half of the road.

A wide pavement built alongside the road is of no use to the parents who need to park their vehicles or to the college students who fail to find parking space on the campus as its edges are not smooth and it’s impossible to negotiate a vehicle on it .It takes at least 20 minutes to cover a mere 200-metre stretch during the peak hours everyday.While the schools blame the college for not providing adequate parking space to their students’ vehicles on the campus, the college claims that “a very few vehicles parked outside actually belong to the students and visitors to the college.” 

It’s congested outside St Stephen’s school in Sector 45

No action by police
 The situation remains unchanged outside St Stephen’s School in Sector 45.
The situation remains unchanged outside St Stephen’s School in Sector 45.

No action has been taken by the Chandigarh Police, UT Administration and school authorities to check traffic congestion outside St Stephen’s School in Sector 45. As there is dearth of parking space, it leads to the misuse of the cycle-track and choking of the main road. The road, near the school gate has no light point, warning area or traffic avoiding signboards.

Parking of school buses still a nuisance

School buses that are parked inside the school have to pass through a narrow stretch of road before entering the school. During the school-closing hours, these buses block the road and this causes inconvenience to other commuters.

The school authorities said that they had sought help from the administration but the administration holds the schools responsible for the safety and convenience of children.

Schools make conscious efforts

Girls leave the campus of Satluj Public School in Panchkula.
Girls leave the campus of Satluj Public School in Panchkula. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Though in some schools, the traffic chaos was the order of the day even today certain school authorities have taken upon themselves the task of handling the situation. The local administration is also working on several proposals.

Four-tier system in Satluj Public School

Satluj Public School in Sector 4, Panchkula, has come up with a four-tier system. “To ease out the traffic congestion, we have started with the four-tier system. The girls go first, then the boys who go by school buses leave, followed by those on bicycles and later, those who go with parents. We have staggered the timings so that commuters don’t face any problem,” said Krit Serai, principal of the school. He further added, “We have appointed our own teachers as marshals to control the traffic.”

One-way traffic imposed outside Gurukul school

The Gurukul in Sector 20, Panchkula, got the permission to impose the one-way traffic norm outside its premises today. “The Police Department has granted us the permission to impose the one-way traffic norm during the peak hours. We have also decided to sensitise the parents in the forthcoming parent-teacher meeting where we will be having an orientation programme regarding the same,” said Harsimran Kaur, principal of the school.

Situation remains the same outside Shishu Niketan

The situation remains unchanged outside Shishu Niketan School, Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 5, Panchkula, and Little Flower Convent School in Sector 14.

“We have again written to the administration requesting them to get speed humps constructed outside our school,” said Jaya Bhardwaj, principal of Hansraj Public School in Sector 6, Panchkula.

Meanwhile, the administration has assured that they are working on new proposals and various solutions to ease out the traffic congestion. They will be implemented shortly.

Campaign leaves its mark

 The traffic has become more orderly outside Gian Jyoti school in Phase II, Mohali.
The traffic has become more orderly outside Gian Jyoti school in Phase II, Mohali. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

In Mohali, the campaign launched by Chandigarh Tribune seems to have made an impact on the district authorities, school authorities and parents, who come on their vehicles to drop and pick up their wards from schools. During a random survey in certain schools, the Tribune team found that the traffic congestion was being managed in a better way than before.

Vehicles parked properly outside Gian Jyoti school

At Gian Jyoti Public School, Phase II, rush of vehicles was certainly there, but the congestion was less as most of the parents were seen parking their vehicles at a proper place. A staff member of the school was deployed to regulate the traffic in the afternoon. “Today, those parents who park their vehicles alongside the road are careful while parking their cars. I think they have read the reports on the issue”, said a teacher on duty.

The situation outside Shivalik Public School in Phase VI was better as there was less chaos outside the school gate. “Today, I have parked my car in the market and have walked down to pick up my child”, said Manoj Kumar, a parent.

On the other hand, Tajinder Pal Singh Sidhu, Deputy Commissioner, Mohali, said that the PCRs and other mobile police teams have been instructed to make rounds at the peak hours near the schools. “I am also going to hold a meeting with the school authorities to workout a long-term solution”, said the Deputy Commissioner.

JS Bedi, chairman, Gian Jyoti Public School, said that yesterday some policemen visited the school and asked us to depute more staff members outside the school gate during the peak hours to regulate the traffic. We will also discuss the issue with the parents during our forthcoming parent-teacher meetings”, said Bedi.



Fire breaks out at Sector 23 store
Goods destroyed; no casualty reported, shopowner yet to calculate loss
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
A fire broke out at a store-cum-shop in Sector 23-C today afternoon. The incident took place at the top floor of SCF No. 54. Goods were destroyed in the fire. However, no casualty was reported in the incident.

Fire officials said they received a call at 1.10 pm and immediately two fire-tenders were rushed to the spot. They controlled the fire within 20 minutes. There were no fire extinguishers in the shop.

A worker in the shop said the fire took place when they were preparing some food item and a piece of cloth hanging there caught fire. Workers immediately left the room and informed the fire station about the incident.

Fire officials controlled the fire within 20 minutes. Sources said a jeweller was using the room as a workshop where his employees used to work. After finishing their daily work, these workers also used to sleep there.

The fire officials said a TV, a table, a refrigerator and other materials were destroyed in the fire. The shopowner is yet to calculate the loss, officials said.

Electrician injured in Mani Majra

A fire incident was also reported at Bengali Sweets in Mani Majra today afternoon. Fire officials said they received a call at 1.23 pm and one fire-tender was immediately rushed to the spot.

A blast had occurred during the repairing of an air-conditioner in the shop, due to which the electrician got injured.

The fire officials said staff members in the sweet shop had controlled the fire and the injured was taken to a dispensary at Mani Majra.

The electrician was discharged after giving first aid, the officials said.



Anti-encroachment drive
Challans issued to 165 violators
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
In a special anti-encroachment drive, the enforcement wing of the Municipal Corporation today removed encroachments from various markets of the city and issued challans to 165 violators.

The enforcement team removed encroachments from Sectors 17, 19, 20, 34, Sukhna Lake Road and Sector 43. The team seized various unauthorised items, including rehris, tables, stools, crates, ready-made garments, cylinders, folding beds and furniture items.

Kashmira Singh, superintendent, Enforcement Wing, said they issued challans to those who had encroached upon the MC land. The drive was carried under the directions of Additional Commissioner Lalit Siwach, he said.



Air Commodore takes charge

Chandigarh, May 1
Air Commodore SK Indoria took over as 28th Air Officer Commanding (AOC), 12 Wing, here today. Prior to assuming this appointment, he was serving as the Principal Director Operations, (Transport and Helicopters) at Air Headquarters, overseeing the functioning of the IAF’s transport fleet.

He takes over from Air Commodore SC Chafekar, who has been posted to Air Headquarters as Principal Director Operations (Space). A ceremonial parade conducted by the Air Warriors under the command of Group Capt Navjodh Singh marked the change of guard.

Air Commodore Indoria was commissioned as a pilot in the fighter stream of the IAF in 1986. He has logged over 6,000 hours of flying and is “Fully Operational” for all operational roles and missions on MiG-21, MiG-27 and AN-32 aircraft. He is a qualified flying instructor and has undergone the Joint Staff and Command Course in Indonesia and Higher Air Command Course at the College of Air Warfare (CAW). He has commanded No. 12 Squadron, a premier transport outfit based at Agra, and has been decorated with the Vayu Sena Medal. — TNS



Govt promotes pentavalent vaccine, but parents wary of it
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
While the Central Government has been laying special emphasis on the immunisation of children with the pentavalent vaccine, the death of a six-week-old baby within 16 hours of administration of the Easyfive pentavalent vaccine at the PGI has made parents wary of it.

The baby’s father, Subhash, said: “The government should provide us the vaccine directly, instead of forcing us to buy it from chemist shops. I have already lost my baby due to the vaccine. I would rather not take my other baby for any vaccination, until the vaccine is directly provided by the government.”

The Chandigarh Tribune had highlighted two days ago that how parents were having apprehensions about administering vaccines to their children, doubting their own blind faith on doctors and chemists.

The government has declared year 2012-13 as Year of Intensification of Routine Immunization.? Also, the pentavalent vaccine administration was expanded to six more states in India, following its introduction in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The Centre had launched a special immunisation week from April 24 to 30, the first in a series of four such weeks planned in the months of April, June, July and August.

“The pentavalent vaccine expansion is a significant step in India’s call to action to renew its commitment to child survival and development by strengthening key strategic public health interventions. It protects children from Hib pneumonia and Hib meningitis in addition to protection from diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus and Hepatitis B,” said Dr Rakesh Kumar, Joint Secretary, RCH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.



Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary
2.5-km area to be declared eco-sensitive
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
In a significant development, the UT Administration today agreed to reduce the stretch of the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) around the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary to less than 2.5 km.

The UT has to declare and submit the report on the ESZ to the Ministry of Environment and Forests before May 15.

Today, in the meeting chaired by UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil, the UT officials discussed as to in how much area around the sanctuary developmental activities should be prohibited. Initially, the officials were of the view that the developmental activities in the 3-km area around the sanctuary should be regulated, but today the officials agreed to declare less than 2.5-km area as the eco-sensitive zone.

Recently, in the meeting chaired by UT Advisor KK Sharma, the UT officials had given green signal to the ESZ.

A senior official of the UT Administration said the UT Administrator had in principal approved the eco-sensitive zone. He pointed out some technical lapses, which would be sorted out soon, the official said.

Recently, the Ministry of Environment and Forests had extended the deadline from February 15 to May 15 as the UT Administration failed to declare the eco-sensitive zone on time.

In a strong-worded letter to the Administration, the Ministry had warned that if it failed to meet the deadline, the Ministry would declare the 10-km stretch around the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary as the eco-sensitive zone where development projects would be banned.

The Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary catchment area is around 36 km, out of which only 2 km falls under the jurisdiction of the UT Administration and the remaining area is in Punjab and Haryana.

What is eco-sensitive zone
An eco-sensitive zone is a fragile ecosystem area where conservation or preservation of natural environment is sustained by state control and grants. In a bid to prevent ecological damage caused due to development activities around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, the Ministry of Environment and Forests has come out with new guidelines to create eco-sensitive zones that will work as shock absorbers for the protected areas. The aim is to regulate certain activities around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries to minimise the negative impact of such activities on the fragile ecosystem.



8 constables promoted

Chandigarh, May 1
The Inspector-General of Police, Chandigarh, today granted ORP (on rank and pay) promotion as head constable to eight constables (wireless operators) having 25 years of service and unblemished record.

Their counterparts in the executive cadre have already got promotion as head constable. The names of the constables who have been given ORP promotion are constable Ram Hari, constable Kuldip Singh, constable Jasvir Singh, constable Nand Kishore, constable Rajinder Kumar, constable Jasvir Singh, constable Birender Singh and constable Ramesh Kumar. — TNS



38 liquor vends removed from city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
As many as 38 temporary prefabricated liquor vends set up by the roadside in the city were removed by the owners here. On the directions of Punjab and Haryana High Court the authorities instructed the vendors of the temporary pre-fabricated vends to shut down.

Last year, in the Municipal Corporation House meeting, it had been decided that all the 38 temporary vends which were located on the MC land will not been auctioned by the UT excise department. Records of the administration show that out of the 217 liquor vends in the city, the corporation has 38 temporary liquor vends on various roads of the Sector.

Most of the high premium vends in the pre-fabricated vends that used to attract competition between applicants closed in the new policy, due to which the authorities had to face a huge monetary loss this year.



ATM machine theft
Bigger amount was deposited
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 1
In an interesting revelation, it came to the fore that the company that had transferred Rs 10 lakhs a day to the ATM machine, before the complete ATM machine was taken away by the miscreants, had actually taken Rs 1.08 crore the same day, to put it in various ATMs of State Bank of India (SBI). The police is now interrogating the bank staff and the companies that were dealing with the ATM.

Sources said that the company had taken Rs 1.08 crores the same day to deposit the amount in various ATMs. However, a larger amount was deposited in this ATM. " Though it is primitive work but someone was aware that cash had been put in this ATM and there was no security guard. That person was also aware that the hard disk of the CCTV camera was within the machine," said a police official.

It was an SBI ATM and not even a single guard was deployed at the kiosk. Before committing the theft, the youths had also covered the CCTV camera installed inside the room with yellow tapes.

Surprisingly, the ATM machine which is always grounded was actually fixed with nut bolts and connected with a wire in this ATM. Preliminary investigations by the police showed that the machine was taken after pulling the nut bolts and cutting the wire. 



complaint against CIA
Jewellers take a U-turn
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 1
The jewellers who had complained to the Haryana DGP against the Panchkula Crime Investigating Agency (CIA) for allegedly involving them in fake cases, submitted an affidavit to the Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), took a U-turn by saying that they had given a false complaint.

Recently, as many as 50 jewellers had gathered and met the Haryana Director General of Police alleging that they were being harassed at the hands of the Panchkula CIA. They alleged that the policemen harassed them by saying that jewellers bought theft properties from the snatchers.

In an affidavit submitted to the CP and DCP through fax, Rajesh Kumar, president of the jewellers' association, Chandigarh, said that they had torn the complaint and the allegations against the police were baseless and false. The jewellers said that they had filed the complaint due to some misunderstanding.

However, the officials said that now they would be conducting an inquiry into the matter, as to what was the provocation behind the jewellers making a false complaint. "We would conduct an inquiry into the matter and investigate what was the provocation which led to such allegations,” said Commissioner of Police Rajbir Deswal.

He further added, "That anyone cannot submit a complaint and then withdraw saying that it was false. A probe would be conducted and those found guilty would be booked."

It was recently that the CIA staff arrested two jewellers of Manimajra, who had purchased gold chains from snatchers.



Labour Day special
PGI security guards paid less, feel exploited
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
Security guards deputed at PGI’s public parking are harassed a lot, as despite working over 12-hours a day, these guards are being underpaid and denied the benefits of Provident Fund and ESI. The issue, however, does not seem to have caught the attention of the authorities.These guards are being exploited for last so many months. Their salaries range between Rs 4000 and Rs 4500 pm against their hectic job

On the contrary, guards deputed at other areas including the departments, Emergency and even staff parking, are being paid Rs 8,000 and above for their eight-hour job and are entitled to the benefits of PF and ESI also.

“If the guards are being paid as less, they must complain to the Labour official about it. Their pay scales are to be decided on the basis of DC rates or minimum wages.“ said advocate Subhash Talwar.

PGI, on the other hand, seems to be shifting the blame on the contractors.



PGI scientists find Brahmi effective in improving memory in mice
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
While Brahmi has been cited in ancient Indian medical literature as a prominent herb useful for memory-related problems, it had long been lacking acknowledgement in modern literature, making it difficult for the world to accept its value until any pre-clinical (animal testing) or clinical (human) testing is carried out.

Paving way for clinical (human) testing of Brahmi to establish its effectiveness in curing memory loss, a group of neuroscientists have shown that when Brahmi (botanical name B. Monniera) is given to amnesic mice (suffering amnesia) in which memory loss has been induced, there is a significant improvement in learning and memory.

The team of PGI scientists led by Dr Akshaya Anand created artificial memory loss in healthy animals by using a series of drugs that act at putative molecular targets in brain, so that such areas in brain, which are responsible for memory acquisition, are selectively altered.

They then verified the resulting memory deficit caused due to such drugs by recording the time taken by the animal to memorise and then tried to rescue the animals from this memory loss using a combination of Brahmi and amnesic drug, one at a time, followed by recording of memorising time, which went down each time Brahmi was used in different combinations.

These experimental studies were peer reviewed and subsequently published in Psychopharmacology, Neuroscience and Behavioural Brain Research, the leading international journals in this field.



Play tries to break social stereotypes
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
A play, "The Last Tale", was staged at the Rock Garden today. It was directed by Neelam Man Singh.

The play successfully managed to create a space that had enough creative liberty to raise questions over society's partisan customs and rituals.

Sponsored by The Tribune, the play, as such, had no theatrical script but was rather beautifully weaved through an improvisational structure, which was a rightful mixture of music, drama, local folktale and above all a volley of contemporary issues like gender, class and caste on the face of the local audience.

It was the narrative of a woman named Bihag, who was murdered by her husband Udav soon after their marriage. He too killed himself after killing his wife.

The play opened in a supernatural space between death and life and gave both the characters an opportunity to vent their inner paradoxes, which was otherwise not possible for them in mortal life.

Bihag always found herself suffocated amidst customs and rituals, imposed on her since her growing years. Udav, an orphaned son of a blacksmith, could not find inner peace and continued to have inner complexities about his low caste existence.

A series of flashbacks brought their individual stories before the audience that gave an insight into their existence. Their stoic existence, however, could not bring them relief even after their marriage and that resulted in their sad demise. But there is a life even after death, that is free of customs and pseudo rituals and the play aspired to portray such an existence for the audience.

What made the play worth watching was the use of different elements and nuances, well fitted into the play’s narrative. The music was bit submissive, probably because of the open auditorium, but had relevant progression.

The play was an experience rather than a simple preaching text, making idealistic claims. It tried to break the stereotype not only with its narrative but also with his cast. The male actor, Vansh Bhardwaj, well endured the pain of both Bihag and Udav through his acting. 



snatching incident
Police inaction comes to fore
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

The victim Maya
The victim Maya

Mohali, May 1
Inaction of the local police came to the fore when a scooter-borne youth snatched an earring of a woman, leaving her ear badly injured at Phase 3A here today.

The traffic police had laid a naka hardly at a distance of 75 metres from the spot, which occurred near Hanuman Temple at Phase 3A at 12.15 pm today.

An eyewitness, Karam Singh, who is a senior vice-president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (city), said the victim, Maya, was on her way back to her home after picking her five-year-old child from a nearby school, when a scooter-borne youth snatched her earring.

“Her ear was bleeding profusely. When I approached the policemen at the naka, which was laid just a stone’s throw away, and asked them why they didn’t chase the miscreant, the policemen told me to dial 100, if I have a cellphone,” alleged Karam Singh.

“I was shocked to see the attitude of the policemen. Then I called up one head constable, who is known to me, following which two women commandos and a beat policeman reached the spot,” said Karam Singh.

No case has been registered in this regard at the area police station.

Atul Soni, station house officer of the area, said: We have not received any complaint in this regard. So, we have not registered any case”.



Riot victims hold protest march
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 1
In protest against the court’s decision of acquitting Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, several riot-victim families, along with activists of the Shiromani Akali Dal, hold a protest march from Gurdwara Amb Sahib, Phase 8, to the Phase 7 Traffic Light Point today afternoon.

The protest also led to traffic blockade for about half-an-hour. Raising slogans against the Central Government and the Congress, the protesters also burnt an effigy of Sajjan Kumar.

Tajinder Singh Oberoi, president of the Danga Peerit Welfare Association, sought government job for a member of each such family.



GMADA goes hi-tech to check building violations
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 1
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) is adopting technology to curb building violations in the town.

Special software is being developed to maintain a record of violations through house-to-house survey, for which special teams of officials of the junior engineer rank have already been constituted.

Giving details, the GMADA Estate Officer Navjot Kaur said talks were on with a specialised software development firm. “The software would be ready soon. All the records of building violations would be fed in the software and then uploaded on the GMADA website before initiating action,” said Navjot Kaur.

The special teams of officials would conduct house-to-house survey on a daily basis and submit a weekly report. “The exercise is being done to make the town free of building violations on both commercial and residential premises,” said Navjot Kaur. She said teams have already started conducting surveys.

Apart from checking the building violations, these teams would also keep a check on illegal paying guest accommodations and encroachments on the government land.

Building bylaws are being flouted openly in the residential and commercial areas of the town. In a survey conducted by the GMADA, it was found that no action was taken against these violations. 



Panchkula MC POLL
Voting time increased by one hour

Panchkula, May 1
The voting time for polling has been increased by the State Election Commissioner (SEC) by one hour. People will now be allowed to caste their vote till 5 pm instead of 4 pm.

It has also been decided that the counting to the votes will be either done on the next day or a day after that but not on the same day. This decision was taken by State Election Commissioner Dharam Vir. It was after the representatives of various sectors requested the SEC for the issue that this decision was taken.

“Usually people cast votes are from 8 am to 4 pm but now they can do it till 5 pm,” said Dharam Vir. — TNS



PU launches teacher evaluation system
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
The much awaited teacher evaluation system was finally launched at the Panjab University (PU) today. The development comes as a major relief for students who had long been striving to bring this system into effect.

The PU Senate in January, this year, had approved the system after several arguments between the senators. The matter was again taken up during the Syndicate meeting held on April 25 wherein it was decided that the system would be introduced from the current session.

The student feedback form for evaluation can be downloaded from the Panjab University website (http://campusstudent.puchd.ac.in/) and submitted to the department.

The PU student council had long been making efforts for approval of the system. The demand for teacher evaluation was first proposed by students in 2009. After opposition from the teachers and sessions of debate, the university finally agreed to introduce the evaluation system in the university.

However, the uphill task for students to evaluate the teachers didn't end here; the Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) had demanded that modalities for the teacher's evaluation should be worked out and minimum eligibility conditions should be fixed. It took over one and a half year to finalise it and get an approval from the PU syndicate. The PU has finalised that the evaluation will be deemed only as a feedback mechanism for the self-improvement of the teachers.

The evaluation
Students will evaluate teachers on fixed parameters, including regularity and punctuality, response to queries, informal behaviour and response to queries.
A student, evaluating a teacher, needs to have minimum 75 per cent attendance and no re-appears.



teachers’ recruitment
UT Education Department fails to amend rules
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
Even as the deadline for the compliance of the RTE act is over, the UT Education Department is still sitting on the required amendments in its recruitment rules for the school cadre.

Due to the problem of inconsistency in teacher qualification across the country, the HRD Ministry and the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) has laid down minimum qualification for teachers at the elementary level under the Act and asked each state to amend their recruitment rules accordingly. Acting on the direction, the UT Education Department, about two years before, began the exercise to prepare the draft proposal for the required amendments in Chandigarh recruitment rules (school cadre). But the whole exercise has yet not been fast tracked.

"The UT should get the amended recruitment rules notified at the earliest to clear the confusion in the mind of the existing and aspiring teachers as far as the required teachers' qualification and promotion is concerned," said Arvind Rana, President of the SSA Teachers Welfare Association.

He said, "The recent SSA teachers appointment was done on the draft rules but if the department has to carry out further recruitment of teachers, it needs to lay down rules properly for which notification of rules are required to be at the earliest."

As per the information, the shortfall of the teachers in government schools is looming at large. Recently, the Education Department had sent the proposal to the Ministry of HRD for the creation of teachers' post.

According to officials, the draft proposal was recently sent to the department of personnel as well the district education office for their comments. They have sent back the draft with their observation and soon a departmental meeting will be held for further deliberation.

"The draft proposal will soon get the approval from the higher officials and there after it will be sent to higher officials for the notification. The minimum eligibility criteria for teachers are being prescribed as per the NCTE rules only and soon both academic and professional qualifications required for becoming teachers will be notified for the UT," said an official.



Student rush
Two more government schools to start double shift
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
The Education Department has decided to start double shift in two more government schools from this month as it is getting difficult for the department to handle the increasing number of students due to the lack of infrastructure as well as implementation of the RTE Act.

According to an official, Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, and Government Model High School, Kudda Jassu, are two new schools where double shift will be introduced shortly.

With the fresh addition, number of government schools running double shift will crossed 40, indicating an acute shortage of schools and infrastructure in the city.

An official asserted that there has been a tremendous increase in the strength of the students in the recent past but the pace at which the new school buildings were required, has remained very sluggish so far.

“The teacher-pupil ratio in several government schools, including those where double shift is already happening, has gone much beyond quality parameters. Many of the classes have more than 70 students now,” said an official.

A school head of a rural school said, “The classes are literally busting at its seams in government schools. Even as my school is on double shift, three classes are still being run from the verandah. The education department needs a proper planning to add new school buildings, especially in periphery areas. The situation, if not addressed on priority basis, will be extremely difficult in future and the quality education is not possible in such situation,” said another school head suffering from exhaustive strength.

According to a source, as many as six more government schools in the city have been asked for double shift in their schools due to the increasing strength of children. 



Disaster management teams to deliver lectures in 200 schools
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
About 200 city schools have been shortlisted by the National Disaster Management Department, Chandigarh, for organising special earthquake mock drill awareness camps.

As per the schedule, the disaster management teams will hold lectures in the schools to make the students aware about the do's and don't which they should follow during and after the earthquake if it occurs in the city.

Similar awareness camps will also be organised for all the residents' welfare associations (RWA) of the city soon. According to the officials, the priority of the department was to cover THE RWAs of the southern sectors, where the high rise buildings are at maximum risk and acquaint them how they should act when the earthquake occurs.

Sanjeev Kohli, senior civil inspector, UT Disaster Management and Defense Department, said: "Special rescues teams will be deployed to handle the situation after getting the information of the earthquake in the city. Soon, the disaster management plan will be finalized which were being drafted to handle the situation effectively."

He said the draft of the plan was chalked out on the basis of the shortcomings of the mock drill, organised in the month of February. 



Protesting NIPER students hold blood donation camp
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 1
Striking students of the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) organised a blood donation camp today to press the authorities to accept their demands. Today was the 17th day of the students' protest.

The camp was organised with the help of doctors and other staff from the GMCH, Sector 32, and Chandigarh. A total of 134 persons, both students and non-teaching staff members, donated blood.

The protesting students said that through this social service they hoped to "awaken the NIPER administration to be more responsible" and heed their demands.

They said a delegation of students had also met the Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers. They claimed the Minister gave an assurance that action would be taken on their demands within eight to 10 days.

At a meeting with the dean's committee, the issue of the students' stipend was discussed. The students wanted that there should be no cut in their stipend for all the working days lost as they believed they were fighting for a just cause.

The students' demands include the resignation of the Officiating Director of NIPER, recognition of the NIPER degrees by the UGC or the Pharmaceutical Council of India, the provision of the hostel facility for girl students, better hostel facilities and a substantial increase in the number of faculty members. 



Schools get trophies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
The UT Education Department organised its annual sports prize distribution function at the Tagore Theatre, today.

According to the organisers, as many as 13,000 boys and 7,000 girls from all the government and private schools participated in 43 sports disciplines in last year's inter-school tournaments.

The schools winning top honours in these tournaments were awarded today.


Government High School, Sector 7, bagged four trophies; KB DAV Sector 7, bagged four trophies; CL AGG DAV 7 bagged one trophy; Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, bagged nine trophies; DAV Public School, Sector 8, bagged seven trophies; Carmel Convent School, Sector 9, bagged 14 trophies; Government High School, Sector 11, bagged four trophies ; Government Model High School, Sector 12, bagged two trophies; Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 15, bagged six trophies; DAV School, Sector 15, bagged three trophies ; Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, bagged 12 trophies; Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 18, bagged four trophies; New Public School, Sector 18, bagged seven trophies; Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 19, bagged eight trophies ; Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 20, bagged three trophies ; Gayan Deep Model School, Sector 20, bagged one trophy; Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 21, bagged five trophies; IS Dev Samaj bagged seven trophies; Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 22, bagged four trophies; MDAV, Sector 22, two trophies; Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 23, bagged one medal; St Kabir, Sector 26, bagged six trophie; SGGS, Sector 26, bagged six trophies; Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 27, four trophies; Bhawan Vidhilaya, Sector 27, bagged five trophies; Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 28, bagged three trophies ; Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 29, bagged one trophy; Tribune Model School, Sector 29, bagged one trophy; Guru Nanak Khalsa, Sector 30, bagged five trophies; St Anne's, Sector 32, bagged six trophies; Saupin's School, Sector 32, bagged 10 trophies.



PU holds photography exhibition

Chandigarh, May 1
A photography exhibition on World Labour Day was held at Panjab University’s Student Centre on Wednesday. The display of art was done by Lucky Kadian and Deepak Arora in collaboration with the Department of Social Work of the university.

The social work department also honoured the office staff as well as other workers associated with all the departments running from the centre of emerging areas in social sciences at the university. Also, the canteen workers associated with boys’ hostel number 6 were honoured. —TNS



from schools
May Day

Chandigarh: The May Day was celebrated with great fervour and enthusiasm at St John's High School. A series of activities were organised on the school campus. The day kicked off with a special assembly in which all the grade D employees, including gardeners, sweepers, watchmen, peons and cook were entertained as special guests and honoured with special gifts. There was a great enthusiasm amongst the students, as well, in sweeping the floors, cleaning the washrooms and doing the duties of peon.

Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sec 27

The Sanskara Human Excellence Club and the Coffee House (Dramatics Club) of the Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 27, Chandigarh, organised a special assembly to honour its work force on the occasion of Labour Day. The students appreciated the selfless service put in by the school workers through speeches and self composed poems. They also staged a thought provoking street play titled “Shram ka Mahatva” appreciating the crucial role each employee plays in society.

St Anne’s Convent School, Sec 32C

The school celebrated Labour Day with a special assembly to express gratitude to the Class IV Employees working in the school. The day was observed so that the students learn about the dignity of labour. The programme began with a speech on the significance of Labour Day. The school environment reverberated to the strain of the song. Later, Father Anil Sequeira honoured Class IV employees.

Lawerance Public School

Students of Lawerance Public School celebrated Labour Day in a novel way. Recognising their contribution, helpers of the school were welcomed on the stage. Children sang a welcome song and showered petals on the workers who were later asked to participate in various games. The male helpers were divided into two teams. There was a bag of balls on the top of each ladder. Each member had to climb up the ladder and collect as many balls as he could in 30 seconds. The winning team was put to a test of eating as many bananas as they could eat in 30 seconds. The winner was Rudrmani, guard of the school. In another game, the male helpers had to blow balloons. After that they had to burst them one by one by sitting on them. The winner was Sohan Lal, the gardener of the school. A bottle shooting game was also in place in which male helpers had to shoot at a bottle. The winner was Dayal. Female helpers played musical chairs. The winner was Monu. The female helpers were given another task of putting balls into a basket. The winner was Jyoti. The female helpers also engaged in tug of war. The team which won was put to a test of drinking a bottle of soft drink in 30 seconds. The winner was Radha. The programe concluded with a thanksgiving speech by Mohan Lal. Veena Malhotra, principal of Lawerance School, thanked the students for their efforts to make the day memorable for the helpers. The programme concluded with a dance performance by helpers.

Manav Mangal High School, Sec 21

The Labour Day was celebrated in the school with great zeal and enthusiasm. The function started with a speech welcoming the workers and acknowledging their hard work. A group song by students of class V and VI marked the beginning of the programme followed by a dance performance presented by students of Class I. As a token of love and appreciation, students of the school presented them gifts which consisted of eatables, clothes and household utilities.

Annual athletics meet

The Annual Athletic Meet of the Saupin’s School, Sector 70, Mohali, concluded today at Sports Complex, Sector 46, Chandigarh. It was a day full of fun and frolic as the students brimming with enthusiasm assembled in their respective house arenas. It was held division wise to bring out the true sportsman spirit in each athlete. The best part of the show was the participation of each and every student from class I to VIII. The finalists were short listed after a series of heats. —TNS



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