C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Bansal makes quiet entry into city
To meet local Cong leaders today; plans to chalk out strategy for counter attack
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
A day after resigning from the Union Cabinet, former Union Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and local Member of Parliament (MP) returned to the city in a private vehicle without the red beacon atop and any police escort in tow.

There was an eerie silence at Bansal’s Sector 28 residence. He and his wife Madhu Bansal alighted from a silver-coloured Toyota Innova at about 8 pm. The usual scene of party workers and well-wishers queuing at his official residence was missing. Senior party leaders were also conspicuous by their absence.

After alighting from the vehicle, he simply said he was innocent before entering his house only to return later to repeat, “I have no link with the case. The CBI is investigating the matter and the truth will prevail.”

Hours before the MP arrived in the city, the back-door strategy by the MP to retain his political supremacy on his home turf had been put into action. On behalf of the MP, a clarion call was given to local Congress leaders to converge at his Sector 28 residence on Sunday (May 12).

Political analysts believe that post the cash-for-job scam, the MP sees more threat from arch-rivals than from the Opposition. With the general election round the corner, retaining the candidature from Chandigarh has become all the more important for Bansal.

With the political agenda in mind, Bansal through the public meeting wants to send a clear cut message to his rivals that he is “down but not out”. Today, a message from the Congress Bhawan was sent to all the Congress leaders, councillors and workers, to reach Bansal’s residence in Sector 28 at 9 am tomorrow.

Sources said that in the meeting, Bansal will chalk out a strategy to counter-attack rival parties, who are protesting against Bansal in connection with cash-for-job scam in the Railways Ministry.

Besides party workers, Bansal’s relatives will also meet him. In recent times, Bansal’s relatives and his friends were also under attack from Opposition parties and the media. A senior Congress leader said that they would reach Bansal’s residence along with their supporters. “Today, if our leader is in problem, then it is our duty to stand by him. We are with Pawan Kumar Bansal and will fight against the Opposition parties,” a Congress leader said.

Cong supporters to gather outside mp’s residence

If Congress leaders are to be believed, they will gather at Bansal’s residence in large numbers on Sunday. Leaders from urban areas, villages and colonies will come with their supporters. It will be difficult for the local police to handle them in Sector 28, which is a residential area.

Opposition to protest outside his house too

Opposition parties are also planning to protest in front of Bansal’s house after his arrival in city. Recently, on a few occasions, BJP workers had protested outside Bansal’s house. On one of these occasions, a clash between Congress and BJP workers had also taken place.



Jewellery, watches worth Rs 25 lakh stolen from store
Thieves enter Maya Jewels after breaking open the roof
Tribune News Service

Police officials inspect the jewellery store where thieves entered after breaking open the roof in Sector 7, Chandigarh, on Saturday. Tribune Photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, May 11
Jewellery and watches worth Rs 25 lakh was stolen from a jewellery store in Sector 7, Madhya Marg, on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday. Thieves entered Maya Jewels after breaking open the roof of the shop and managed to steal silver jewellery and watches lying in the store. Fortunately, gold and diamond ornaments, which were kept in coffers, were not stolen.

The thieves made their entry into the store by breaking open the roof of the second floor. The rod with which the roof was broken has also been recovered from the spot.

Store owner Sanjeev Jain said that the thieves after entering the showroom came down to the ground floor and stole the jewellery and watches, which were lying in the showcase.

Jain further stated that they got to know about the theft in the morning only after the showroom was opened.

The CCTV cameras installed in the showroom will provide some clues to the police in solving the case. “The CCTV footage is being scrutinised to nab the accused”, said police sources.

The police is also not ruling out the involvement of some staff members of the jewellery store. “All staff members are under scanner, as possibilities of them being involved in the crime can not be ruled out”, the police sources said.

A case has been registered by the police and an inquiry has been initiated.



Panchkula admn
26 govt servants booked for claiming HRA fraudulently
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 11
At least 26 government servants in various departments in Panchkula administration have been booked under Section 420 of the IPC (cheating and dishonesty) by the Panchkula Police for fraudulently claiming house rent allowance (HRA).The officials belong to the office of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), Sector 6, office of Director-General of Police (DGP), Electricity Department, Civil Surgeon’s office and the CID Department.

The fraud was detected by HUDA Estate Officer Ashiwni Sharma who got the cases registered at the Sector 5 police station. A probe by the Estate Officer had revealed that they were claiming HRA without staying in the rented accommodations.

“The officials were staying on HUDA land for which no rent has to be paid and were still claiming the HRA from the department. This was going on for the past many years,” said Sharma.

He further added, “Not only this, most of them had even applied for Ashiana flats by forging papers. Thankfully they were not allotted any.”

Most of the officials were from HUDA itself. The accused from the HUDA Horticulture Department have been identified as Ram Jas, Dwarika Prasad, Ram Karan, Maya, Shambu Nath, Ram Bali and Raj Karan, while Subash Chander and Ram Bhajan belong to HUDA division 1, Mathura Devi and Gur Charan are from the Estate Office, Punya Prasad and Jai Prakash are working in the HUDA electrical wing and Jai Karan is from HUDA division 3.

Those booked from the DGP office are Ram Dhan and Satya Prakash. Another accused is Kamal, who is a cook at the Sector 20 police station while Sangam Lal and Sukhdev belong to the CID Department.

Sumitra, a junior engineer, Karan Singh, Asha Ram and Shiv Ram employed with the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vidyut Nigam Limited (UHBVNL) are also in the list of fraudsters. Other accused are Ram Bharat, who works in the Civil Surgeon office, Amita belongs to the government press office and Raja Ram is from the HSEB Department.



Patil seeks report card of MC panels
Majority of the 12 sub-committees failed to meet regularly last year
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
The UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil has sought the ‘report card’ of the nine sub-committees of Municipal Corporation before approving the names of committee members. Recently, Mayor Subhash Chawla had forwarded names of committee members for the Administrator’s approval, but Patil, instead, directed the MC to provide the last year’s performance report of these committees.

Sources said the UT Administration was aware of the poor performance of majority of these committees. These committees, which were constituted to pass and execute developmental projects, had hardly done anything for the city in the past one year, sources said.

Twelve municipal sub-committees were constituted to oversee developmental projects involving a finance of less than Rs 15 lakh. This was done to lesser the burden on the General House and the bigger committees, such as the finance and contract committee, so that these could handle other major issues.

Out of these 12 committees, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation had already constituted three committees -- road committee, water supply and sewerage disposal committee and house tax committee. For the constitution of the remaining nine committees — sanitation committee, environment and city beautification committee, electricity committee, fire and emergency services committee, women empowerment committee, apni mandi and day market committee, enforcement committee, slum colonies and village development committee, and arts, culture and sports committee — names of members were forwarded to the UT Administration.

While these committees are required to meet at least once a month, most of the committees met only twice or thrice in the past one year.

MC records show that last year only three committees — water supply and sewerage disposal committee, road committee and sanitation committee — conducted regular meetings. The water supply and sewerage disposal committee conducted over 10 meetings, including special meetings. The road and sanitation committee, meanwhile, held eight to 10 meetings in the calendar year.

As per records, the fire and emergency committee held only one meeting, while the enforcement committee and the environment and city beautification committee held two meetings last year. The electricity and apni mandi committees met thrice, and the house tax committee had four times. All these committees are directly related to the developmental works.



Showers bring relief from scorching heat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
The city woke up to a cloudy morning and showers, which brought smiles to residents’ faces and provided them relief from the scorching heat. The city recorded a rainfall of 15 mm today with the maximum temperature of 33.1 degree Celsius as compared to yesterday’s 41.6 degree Celsius, an official of the Meteorological Department said.

Vehicles had to switch on their headlights due to poor visibility on the road dividing Sectors 15 and 11 on Madhya Marg; and (right) children have fun during the rain in Sector 50, Chandigarh, on Saturday. Tribune photos: S.Chandan & Parvesh Chauhan

Met records revealed that the maximum temperature was six notches below normal. The minimum temperature recorded was 26.3 degree Celsius, which was three notches above normal.

As per Met reports, there would be generally cloudy sky with the possibility of rain and thundershower. There would be a decline in the maximum temperature of seven notches from normal.

Experts forecast the weather will continue to remain cloudy, but will clear in the coming week.

Surinder Pal Singh, director, Meteorological Department, said due to rain there would be a dip in both the day and night temperature, but by Tuesday it would increase.

He said the western disturbance passing over the region caused the drizzle and cloudy weather, which would clear out in the next two days.

Meanwhile, residents were seen enjoying the pleasant weather during the weekend and were hoping that the conditions continue to remain the same for the next few days.

Pooja Sharma, a student, said: “The weather was awesome today. The drizzle after a cloudy morning set the perfect mood for relaxation. I went out to a garden with my friends to enjoy the drizzle as it helped us de-stress”.

Businessman RP Gupta said: “The occasional rain has turned the weather pleasant. I pray it remains the same during the days to come”.



Panchkula MC poll: Political parties start canvassing
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 11
With the declaration of the date of the Municipal Corporation elections in Panchkula, political parties have started the informal canvassing. Abhay Chautala, son of INLD Chief Om Prakash Chautala, was also in the town to preside over the meeting of his party workers regarding the elections at the Chaudhary Complex, Sector 12, Panchkula.

Chautala said the position of the party had been further strengthened, and because of the fear of losing poll, the Congress was not getting ready to fight the elections on the party symbol.

While the BJP has decided to fight on the party symbol, they have selected persons in all the 20 wards to manage and help the candidates.

“We have started collecting the nomination papers from the prospective candidates. Today itself, we got nine of them. An in charge has been selected from each ward, who would help the candidates in managing the complete process,” said Gyan Chand Gupta, a senior BJP leader.

The HJC party won’t fight the elections on the party symbol and the candidates would be contesting independently.

Most of the candidates have started their informal canvassing. Seema Chaudhary, a former MC president, said they were ready to contest the poll and aim at getting maximum development done in the city.

State Election Commissioner Dharam Vir on Thursday announced that the Municipal Corporation elections in Panchkula would be held on June 2. The counting of the same would be held on June 4.



Bedi welcomes apex court’s directive on ensuring autonomy of CBI
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 11
The July 10 deadline set by the Supreme Court for the government to act in the direction of enhancing functional autonomy of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is a welcome step. India’s first woman IPS officer Dr Kiran Bedi made this statement while inaugurating a scholarship fair at Aryans Group of Colleges here today.

“Whenever it materialises, the CBI would no more remain a puppet in the hands of the Central Government, and will act honestly,” said Bedi.

Lashing out at the senior leaders of Congress, including Pawan Kumar Bansal and Ashwani Kumar, for their alleged involvement in corruption cases, Bedi said the time had come for the citizens to adopt zero tolerance towards such cases. “We should not remain quiet on such scandals. We have to be alert while electing our leaders,” said Bedi, while appreciating the role played by the media in unearthing these recent scandals.

On the issue of rapid increase in crime against women in the country, Bedi urged parents to imbibe good values in their male wards. “This is very important for dealing with the situation. The role played by the police is important too, but in my viewpoint parents are the one who should imbibe good values in their children and also keep a check on their acts and behaviour, especially the male wards,” said Bedi.

The Aryans Group of Colleges has collaborated with Dr Kiran Bedi’s Navjyoti Foundation to provide educational opportunities to the poor strata.



Celebrating Mother’s Day a special way...
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Ranjana Tulsi (centre) with her daughter, Rumkan Arora, and granddaughter, Jyotika, at Sector 21
Ranjana Tulsi (centre) with her daughter, Rumkan Arora, and granddaughter, Jyotika, at Sector 21, Chandigarh, on Saturday. Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, May 11
For 11-year-old Jyotika Arora and her 40-year-old mother Rumkan Arora, the outlook towards life may not be the same due to the generation gap. The same spirit of celebrations, however, runs through both of them this Mother’s Day, as they plan to gift their mothers a mammography test to detect breast cancer.

"My family has always been exceptionally supportive. But a daughter's affection is always higher. Since I have had a history of breast cancer, my entire family is quite aware of the disease. My daughter keeps telling me to undergo mammography to ensure that I am completely free of the ailment and there is no recurrence," says Rumkan's mother, Ranjana Tulsi,

Ranjana, now 65 years old, was diagnosed with breast cancer 14 years ago. It came as a shock to the family. Yet, her courage and self-belief helped her sail through and overcome the disease successfully. It was then that she joined the Sahayata Cancer Trust to make women aware about the disease and advantages of its diagnosis. Presently, she is running a project wherein she sponsors mammography of women twice a week at the PGI.

Hearing her grandmother's tale of struggle with and victory over the deadly disease, Jyotika researched about the disease and understood that how timely detection could save a patient’s life. "As she sees that Rumkan keeps asking me to undergo screening, she also insists her to go for it this time," says Ranjana.

These three generations will make this Mother's Day a special one by both the mothers undergoing the breast cancer screening motivated by their daughters.



Cultural evening marks foundation day of C-DAC
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 11
The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Mohali, celebrated its 25th foundation day yesterday. Started as the Centre for Electronics Design and Technology (CEDT) here on May 10, 1989, under the Ministry of Information Technology, Government of India, it merged with C-DAC in December 2002, becoming one of the leading IT organisations of North India. It is currently a scientific society of the Union Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

To mark the occasion, a technical session was organised in which C. Roul, Principal Secretary, Governance Reforms, and Department of Defence Services Welfare, Punjab, was the chief guest.

JS Bhatia, Executive Director, C-DAC, Mohali, spoke about the transformation of the centre from being a training institute to a high-end R&D organisation.

He said the centre had trained 30,000 Indian students and 2,000 international students.

The Founder-Director of C-DAC, Mohali, and Director-General, Pushpa Gujral Science City, Kapurthala, RS Khandpur, laid stress on the importance of the centre as a pioneer in developing technical human resources in electronics and information technology for the nation.

A souvenir on C-DAC was released on the occasion. A coffee table book on ITEC/SCAAP programmes being undertaken by C-DAC was also released on the occasion.

A cultural evening marked the culmination of the celebrations.



Railways moots special trains to clear vacation rush
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
Taking into account the long waiting list of passengers for all the trains plying from Chandigarh and Ambala during the summer vacation, the railway authorities are mooting special trains for the region. The Railways officials said that after May 20 all the trains plying from the region have a long waiting list. After monitoring the demand, a proposal mentioning the number of special trains needed to meet the heavy rush would be chalked out, they said.

Sources in the Railways revealed that around five special trains would be proposed by the department, but the number could increase in case the demand for any specific train increased during the next three months.

Senior Divisional Commercial Manager, Railways, Gulshan said they were monitoring the sale of tickets of a majority of the trains, as the waiting list of some of these for the next month had increased manifold. He said the proposal for starting special trains would soon be sent to the headquarters for its approval.

He said the department was attaching additional coaches to some of the trains depending upon their availability, as and when required. Recently, additional coaches were attached to the Lucknow Express to clear the rush, he said. Another special train from Ambala to Jaipur ran on May 13 to clear the waiting list, he said. The department has already introduced a few special trains.



Ghosh enthralls city audience

Chandigarh, May 11
Classical artist, Subhash Chander Ghosh, a foremost disciple of Padmavibhushan Ustad Amjad Ali Khan Saheb, held the audience spellbound with his recital of Sarasvani here today at Bhaskar Rao indoor auditorium.

A graded artist of AIR and Doordarshan, Ghosh explained the salient features of Sarasvani, an amalgam of the qualities of sitar, Sarod and Veena with four main melody strings and many turbs, before his performance. He opened up with a short aalap and jhalla of raga Puriya Kalyan and presented a slow gat in jhaptal.

He then presented two more compositions in teen tal-one in madhya laya and the second in drut laya. He concluded the captivating recital with a dhun starting in raga Mishar Kirwani and terminating in melodious raga Bhatiyar. — TNS



Traffic violations
Mohali admn to install CCTV cameras
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 11
To check the growing number of accidents and traffic violations, the Mohali administration has decided to install closed-circuit television cameras at traffic light points, busy chowks and sensitive points. The decision was taken during a meeting between Mohali Deputy Commissioner Tajinder Singh Sidhu and the Senior Superintendent of Police, Gurpreet Singh Bhullar.

Giving details, the Sidhu said special funds would be provided for the purpose. Apart from that, the traffic lights would be attached with the electricity hotline.

Sidhu also asked the SSP to purchase advanced equipment such as speedometre and alco metre. The authorities appealed to the people to follow traffic rules and regulations.



Aam Aadmi Party holds protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
Members of the Aam Aadmi Party today staged a protest in Sector 27 and demanded that the CBI should arrest former Union Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal.

Party workers were protesting along with a goat and an artificial parrot. The party workers said they were protesting along with a goat and a parrot because yesterday Bansal performed a puja at his Delhi residence and fed a goat brought specially to ward off bad luck.

Similarly, on the functioning of the CBI, the Supreme Court had termed the investigation agency as the parrot of the Union Government, the workers said.

Aam Aadmi party workers also raised slogans against Bansal and the Congress government.



Private schools ‘tight-lipped’ over EWS seats in city
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
Even as the local district education office is sleeping over the plight of the EWS parents, a senior official of the Chandigarh Administration, SK Setia, apprised the local education department of the problems being faced by these poor parents at the hand of the private schools in the city.

In his letter, addressed to the education department, SK Setia, currently Joint Secretary (Estates), UT, said the private public schools are not allowing parents to meet the management and staff at any time during the time. The front gates of the schools are kept closed which does not allow anybody to know whether there are any vacancies particularly under the EWS or not. Nor vacancies are displayed outside or inside on the notice board. This speaks against the pubic character of these private public schools, he stated in his letter.

It further stated that since these schools were not allowing access to their management and staff, nobody is able to know whether there is any vacancy under any category including EWS.

“It needs to be appreciated that the people have to contact the staff and principal for the EWS seats, vacancies and other issues. It needs to be impressed upon the private schools that they need to fix sometime for meeting the general public and parents because there are public institutions and should be open to the general public for various issues including EWS,” said Setia in his letter.

He further added that private schools always give statement that they have not received any application or no application is pending with them under the EWS. The appropriate action is required in this matter.

Responding to the letter, District Education Officer, RK Sharma, said it was a very serious matter and needed urgent attention, “I will soon put up the proposal before the higher officials directing the schools to fix some time for meeting the general public,” he said.

So far there is no clarity whether there are vacant seats vacant under the RTE Act in private schools. As per information, last month, the education department had directed the schools not to convert their RTE seats.



from schools
Mother’s Day celebrated across tricity

Shishu Niketan Model Sr Sec School-22

The students of Shishu Niketan Model Sr Sec School, Sector 22, Chandigarh, put up a scintillating cultural show to celebrate Mother’s Day with the residents of Senior Citizen Home, Sector15, Chandigarh. Children sang songs dedicated to mothers. Senior citizens also took part in the programme and danced with them.

Manav Mangal High School, Sector 21

Mother’s Day was celebrated in Manav Mangal High School, Sector 21, with great zeal and enthusiasm. In the morning assembly, students spoke on importance of mothers in their lives and expressed their love and gratitude for them. It was followed by a song dedicated to all mothers. Later, during the day, a card-making activity was conducted in which all students participated actively and made beautiful cards for their mothers.

Aanchal International School, Sector 41

Aanchal International School, Sector 41, organised a number of contests for mothers on the occasion. Principal of the school congratulated the mothers and thanked the staff and teachers for arranging the event. In her address to the mothers, she said "the child's first teacher is their mother only" she emphasised that in this age, when the moral values were degenerating fast, we need to revive the old traditions of respect for parents and elders among students. Student also performed saraswati vandana, gidda and bhangra.

Kidzee, Sector 12 A

Panchkula: Kidzee celebrated Mother's Day in a special way and to make it a memorable one for mother's with many activities like yummy salads and mesmerise everyone with your gift wrapping. The programme commenced with a PPT on good parenting skills. Prizes were distributed to winners.

Brilliance World School

The occasion was marked by a colourful display of cultural items of dance and music. Ladies (mothers) who had turned up in large numbers were enthralled by the display of dandia. The children expressed their gratitude for mothers with the number. Solo dance performance by ‘Mehak’. The function culminated with musical chair race in which ‘mothers’ enthusiastically participated. Prizes were given to the winners. — TNS



UT schools
Over 80 service disputes in 5 years
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
The relationship between staff and private school authorities does not seem to be as cordial as it seems in the UT. As per a recent survey by the local education department, as many as 80 cases of the service dispute between both teaching and non-teaching staff and management of the private schools in UT were filed in different courts in the city in the past five years. Most of these cases are still under litigation in the Labour Court, District Courts and High Court.

Officials of the department said the education department conducted this survey on the direction of Punjab & Haryana High Court, which wanted to know the number of service related disputes arisen between the staff and management of the education institutes (aided/unaided) in recent years in the UT before giving direction for the constitution of independent education tribunal here.

An official of the education department said after submitting their report, the court was strongly convinced of a separate education tribunal for the UT and it has already appointed additional District and Sessions Judge of the Chandigarh court to hear appeals from the employees of the recognised private schools (aided/unaided), colleges and universities in UT relating to their appointment and removal besides other disputed administrative decisions.

“This appointment is till the time the UT constitutes the permanent education tribunal, for which it has already begun the required process,” he said. A teacher at the private school said the education tribunal would be a big weapon for them against the erroneous decision of the management.



St Anne’s snaps ties with shopkeeper
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
St Anne’s Convent School, Sector 32, swung in to action and snapped dealings with the shopkeeper in Sector 20 a day after parents raised objections against that shopkeeper for selling track suits at higher rates. Moreover, it was also not conducive for summer wear. They also questioned the school authorities for recommending that shop for the tracksuit. Clarifying that stand today, the school authorities said the shopkeeper cheated the school by not only inflating the price of the track suit but also offering the stuff other than what it was approved by them.

“We extend our apology for the inconvenience caused to the parents. We are looking into the matter as to why the shopkeeper overcharged for the tracksuits. The school has closed the dealings with the shopkeeper and the parents can buy the tracksuits from other shops till the notification of specific dealers is announced,” the school stated in the clarification uploaded on its website.

Principal of the school, Sister Gracy, told The Tribune that the shopkeeper in Sector 20 fixed Rs 450 per set of track suit for parents and its fibre was also summer wear. “It is unfortunate that he did not keep his promise and sold synthetic track suit for Rs 700 per set that caused a lot of problem for the parents,” she said. She further said the school had never binding any parent to buy any thing related to students from any particular shop. Some parents, however, said that those who have already bought the tracksuit should be helped getting the refund.



700 students take part in painting contest

Mohali, May 11
A painting-cum-poster making contest on the ill-effects of tobacco was organised by the Generation Saviour Association at Shivalik Public School here recently.

Amteshwar Kaur, president of the association, said over 700 students took part in the event which was held as part of the chain of programmes organised to celebrate World No Tobacco Day - 2013. Similar events were held at Patiala and Chandigarh to create awareness against the use of tobacco and its products among the youth. — OC



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