C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Get ready to pay house tax
Patil gives the go-ahead to MC proposal; tax to be collected from July
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil has approved the house tax proposal sent by the municipal corporation (MC). With the Administrator’s approval, city residents will now have to pay house tax at the rate of Re 1 per sq yard per year.

A senior official of the UT Administration said they would soon issue a notification in this regard and the MC will start collecting house tax from July. The house tax will be included in the water bill issued by the MC, the official said.

Confirming the development, UT Adviser KK Sharma said they had approved the rates proposed by the MC. With the imposition of house tax, the city will receive grants under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) from the Central Government, he said.

Mayor fails to keep word
After becoming the Mayor, Subhash Chawla had assured that no new tax would be imposed during his tenure. However, on February 28, amid total chaos at a meeting of the MC, the Mayor had announced the passing of the agenda relating to house tax.
The tax, that was the twelfth item on the MC agenda, was passed without giving a chance to any of the councillors to debate the issue. The House was then adjourned and BJP and SAD councillors had protested against the Mayor outside his office as well as outside the MC building.

Initially, the MC was not in favour of imposing house tax. However, later nominated councillors proposed it after holding a meeting with UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil.

In the house tax agenda, passed by the MC, it was proposed that owners of all houses bigger than 125 sq yards or five marlas should pay house tax at the rate of Re 1 per sq yard per year, but not more than Rs 1,000 annually.

With the imposition of house tax, the MC will get around Rs 2.50 crore annually. The owner of a five-marla house in the city will have to shell out only Rs 125 per year, followed by Rs 187.5, Rs 250 and Rs 375 per year for owners of 7.5, 10 and 15-marla houses.

The owner of a one-kanal house (500 sq yards) will have to shell out Rs 500 per year, followed by Rs 1,000 per year for owners of two, three, four, five and six-kanal houses. No house tax will be levied on houses less than 125 sq yards. EWS and LIG houses have been exempted. In the case of apartments, a category-wise lumpsum amount will be charged proportionately.

Former Union Minister and senior BJP leader Harmohan Dhawan opposed the decision of the UT Administration, saying that the UT was a fund-surplus state.

Rates to be revised after three months

According to UT officials, initially they will impose house tax at the rates proposed by the MC. However, after three months, they will review the rates and there are chances that the Administration will increase the rates because Re 1 per sq yard will not make much of a difference to the financial health of the MC and the Administration.

Number of houses to be affected

There are 20,265 houses (five marla and above as well as kanal houses), 7,979 houses in co-operative societies, 5,597 MIG houses, 10,675 HIG houses, 15,053 houses under the Administration and 22,040 under the Central Government, which will have to pay house tax.



PGI gets nod to introduce heart transplant facility
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
Three years after it mooted a proposal for introducing the facility of heart transplant, the PGI has finally got the nod of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for the purpose.

According to sources, the approval was granted after an inspection by a committee headed by Prof Balram to see the infrastructure and viability of introducing the facility at the institute.

“The committee, after evaluating the qualifications of doctors as well as examining the facilities, gave the go-ahead for the facility,” said a PGI official.

The infrastructure requirements for introducing the facility of heart transplant were completed last year and the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery would manage the programme.

“We are keen on introducing multi-organ transplants at the institute, including heart transplants, as we receive numerous patients with organ failure from different parts of the region,” said PGI spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar.

The PGI was one of the 10 institutes in India to be identified by the Directorate General of Health Services under the National Organ Transplant Programme. So far, the institute has been successfully conducting kidney and liver transplants.

Dr KK Talwar, a former Director of the PGI, who is credited with having initiated the programme at AIIMS, New Delhi, had proposed the facility for the PGI in 2010.

The institution has conducted more than 2,500 kidney transplants since the facility was first introduced in the 1980s. The facility of liver transplant, meanwhile, was introduced two years ago and six liver transplants have been conducted at the PGI so far.

Finding suitable organ donors, however, continues to be a challenge for the institute since families of brain dead patients do not give their consent easily.

Last year, the system was streamlined for maintaining records of all brain dead patients in ICUs at the PGI for checking the availability of organs when required.

Institute's take
We are keen on introducing multi-organ transplants at the institute, including heart transplants, as we receive numerous patients with organ failure from different parts of the region
— Manju Wadwalkar, 
PGI spokesperson



Woman, son booked for Facebook remarks
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 17
For the first time, the Mohali police has taken cognisance of vulgar remarks and threats posted on a social networking site and registered a criminal case in this connection following a complaint lodged by a man against his wife and son here.

A case of criminal conspiracy under Section 66 of the Information Technology Act has been registered against Dharminder Kaur and her son Gunveer Singh Maini on a complaint of her husband Sandip Singh Maini, a resident of Sector 70, at the Mataur police station here.

The case has been registered following two inquiries, one conducted by sub-inspector Narinder Singh and another by DSP Rajinder Singh Sohal.

Maini (50) had lodged a complaint against his wife and son on November 22 last year, alleging that they had been posting abuses, vulgar comments and threats on his Facebook wall.

“My son and my wife not only maligned my reputation by posting these comments, but also threatened me through the site,” the complainant told the police.

Mohali SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar had marked an inquiry in the complaint before registering a case.

Mohali Superintendent of Police (City) Swarndeep Singh said after the inquiries, a case under Sections 380 and 120-B of the IPC and Section 66 of the IT Act had been registered against the accused.

He said this was the first time that the local police had taken cognisance of vulgar remarks and threats posted on a social networking site.

“After the registration of the case, the accused also approached us and claimed that there was a dispute in the family and pleaded innocence,” said Swarndeep Singh, adding that investigations were under way.



Thieves strike at petrol pump near MLA flats
Decamp with Rs 3 lakh, mobile phone and accessories from shop at the fuel station
Tribune News Service

CCTV footage shows the thieves inside the shop.
CCTV footage shows the thieves inside the shop. A Tribune photograph

Chandgarh, June 17
Leaving the UT police red-faced, two masked thieves decamped with Rs 3 lakh, a mobile phone and other accessories from a shop at a petrol pump Sector 4, which is at a stone's throw from the MLA flats and a few metres away from the Sector 3 police station.

The thieves had threatened the owner of the petrol pump a month ago that there will be a major theft in the shop.

The police has procured CCTV footage from the petrol pump, which shows two masked youths entering the shop at the petrol pump after breaking the glass door and stealing cash from a box in the store, "In and Out".

The police said the incident occurred late last night when the thieves entered the store after cutting a side glass door while three employees of the petrol pump were sleeping under a shelter in the station. According to the CCTV footage, the thieves spent 10 minutes inside the store and ate some chocolates before fleeing with Rs 3 lakh kept in a box. The entire activity of the thieves has been recorded in the camera, giving vital clues to the police.

Nihar Mahinder, owner of the store, said she had received a threat call on May 20 from someone who warned her of a theft inside the store. She had even complained to the police, but no action was taken. The petrol pump runs 24X7 while the store inside the pump closes at 11 pm daily.

CFSL experts collect samples from the shop inside the petrol pump at Sector 4 where the theft took place.
CFSL experts collect samples from the shop inside the petrol pump at Sector 4 where the theft took place. Tribune photo: manoj mahajan

Another threat call was received at the petrol pump in the morning that cash will be looted from the pump and there will be more burglaries. The call was traced to an STD in Sector 8.

Alleging police inaction, Nihar alleged that there was no PCR in sight when the theft occurred and the Gypsy was deployed merely for a day after she complained of the threat call last month to the police. A team of forensic experts of the police lifted samples from the spot. The police found some blood stains near the broken door and suspects that one of the thieves may have got injured while cutting the glass door.

The police said the cash lying in the box was the evening collection, as the day collection had been deposited in the bank.

The police said the CCTV footage was being examined and the two masked thieves had been caught on the camera. The police has also questioned the employees of the petrol pump. A case of theft has been registered at the Sector 3 police station.

DSP Ashish Kapoor said the cash box had been left open, making it an easy target for the thieves.



Demand for power in city down 48%
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
Monsoon showers have not only brought relief to city residents from the sweltering heat, but have also brought a smile on the faces of officials of the UT Electricity Department, who were finding it difficult to meet the power demand and supply gap. The demand for power in the city has come down by 48 per cent due to recent rainfall.

According to UT officials, the "maximum demand" for power in the city yesterday was 175 MW, while the "minimum demand" was only 89 MW. Earlier, the demand for power had increased from 220 MW on May 1 to 340 MW on May 23.

The Electricity Department was fearing that the power demand would reach 400 MW in June, but due to early arrival of the monsoon, the demand for power in the city has gone below 200 MW.

Due to the early monsoon showers, the Electricity Department will now have to purchase less power. Earlier, the department had planned to purchase 90 MW additional power and recently the Ministry of Power had also given its nod for it. An official said now they would have to purchase only around 20 to 30 MW.

Interestingly, during the past two days, the Electricity Department sold power as it had excess power due to the low demand in the city.

In May-end and the beginning of this month, city residents, especially those staying in southern sectors, were facing power cuts due to an overload problem.

UT Superintending Engineer (Electricity) MP Singh said during the past three days, the demand for power had come down. The maximum demand was between 10 am and 6 pm, that too only on working days. During night, the demand for power was below 100 MW, he said.

How UT gets electricity
The UT Administration is receiving 220 MW of power from various sources. It gets 47 per cent from Mohali (PSPCL), 5 per cent from the BBMB, Dhulkote, and the remaining 48 per cent from Nalalgarh. Besides, the UT Electricity Department purchases additional power, if required, from the Central Power Exchange on a daily basis.


Passengers face tough time
3 trains cancelled as Jagadhri-Kalanaur rail link blocked after overbridge collapse
Tribune News Service



Sri Ram

Chandigarh, June 17
The passengers at the Chandigarh railway station had a harrowing time after three trains for the Chandigarh-Lucknow route were cancelled today.

The trains were cancelled as the rail link between Jagadhari and Kalanaur was blocked after an over bridge collapsed due to flooding on Sunday evening.

The Chandigarh-Lucknow Express (scheduled to depart at 5.15 pm), Unchahar Express (from Chandigarh to Allahabad, scheduled to depart at 4.20pm) and Sadbhavna Express (Chandigarh to Lucknow, scheduled to depart at 5.50 pm) were cancelled forcing the passengers to wait for several hours at the station.

As the passengers heading for Lucknow had some hope for rescheduling of the Unchahar Express at 11.35pm, they preferred to wait for the train. “The train was to depart at 4.20 pm. So, we reached the station well in advance. Upon reaching here, we learnt that the train had been cancelled. We cannot even go back to home immediately since we came here from Baddi,” said Somwati, who was waiting for another train.

Another passenger, Raju, who reached the station along with his children to board the Chandigarh-Lucknow Express, had spent anxious moments for several hours since going back to his home in Saketari was not easy. “We had an important function to attend in Lucknow. It is very difficult to travel with children. Now, we will have to wait for many hours to catch another train,” he said. The officials said they were trying to clear the lines. “The trains on this route had to be cancelled due to the bridge collapse. We are trying to clear the lines so that the passengers do not remain stranded for long,” said Senior CDM, Northern Railway, Gulshan Kumar.

Another passenger, Sri Ram, said: “For travelling a distance of few kilometres till Panipat, we will have to wait for several hours since we have bought the tickets and cannot get the refund right now.”



30% excessive rainfall this June
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
With the city recording 41.5 mm of rainfall till 8.30 am today, the overall rainfall figure in June has reached up to 223.6 mm. The local weather officials said the rainfall received so far was already 30 per cent excessive for this month. More rainfall was likely to come since the southwest monsoon had covered the entire region, including Chandigarh, said the officials.

The temperature will remain below normal tomorrow, as moderate rain is likely to occur within the next 24 hours. The day also remained breezy today with the maximum temperature recorded at 30.8 degree Celsius, a departure of 7 degrees from the normal temperature. The minimum temperature, too, was below the normal temperature by 5 degrees Celsius.

The residents of the city are enjoying the weather. A resident of Sector 15, Arvind, said the early arrival of monsoon was a pleasant surprise since there was excessive heat in the beginning of the month.

Power cuts have abated with the improvement in the weather, said another resident.



Rain leaves scars on the City Beautiful

Waterlogging near the CTU workshop in the Industrial Area, Phase I, in Chandigarh.
Waterlogging near the CTU workshop in the Industrial Area, Phase I, in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan
A damaged road near the Sector 40/41 roundabout in Chandigarh; and (right) A potholed road separating Sector 11 and Sector 12 in Chandigarh.
A damaged road near the Sector 40/41 roundabout in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: S. Chandan; and (right) A potholed road separating Sector 11 and Sector 12 in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan
A road separating Sector 37 and Sector 38 in bad shape in Chandigarh; and (right) A waterlogged road at the Sector 20-D market.
A road separating Sector 37 and Sector 38 in bad shape in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: S Chandan; and (right) A waterlogged road at the Sector 20-D market. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari
A potholed road at the Industrial Area, Phase II, in Chandigarh; and (right) A damaged road at Sector 24-D in Chandigarh.
A potholed road at the Industrial Area, Phase II, in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan; and (right) A damaged road at Sector 24-D in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari



Patil’s quick session leaves residents grumbling
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
The complainants, who turned up at UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil’s public hearing session, alleged that they were not heard properly after the Administrator took only half an hour to complete the public hearing session at the UT Secretariat today.

An RTI activist, RK Garg, who had urged the administration to get the rumble strips around the Sector 27/30/20/19 roundabout removed, said that UT Administrator was not interested in hearing his complaint and disposed off his grievance within only 30 seconds. The Administrator gave him only assurance, he added.

His turn came up after two months but nobody was interested in his complaint, which was made in public interest, he added.

Another complainant, Om Prakash, was not allowed to enter the venue. He alleged that the UT officials were not taking any action on the complaints submitted by him in the last three years. Later, the police whisked him out of the UT Secretariat building.

RK Thakur, a member of a government-aided school employees’ union, said Patil did not give a patient hearing to their demands. The UT officials apprised the Administrator that the matter was sub judice.

Complainant Kuljeet Singh Shan came with his representation regarding a property dispute. The officer concerned said it was a case of unregistered will and that the property was not transferred on the complainant’s intimation and thus the status quo has been maintained. When the Governor was told that the case was sub judice, he said: “Since the case is pending in the court, no decision can be taken by us. You will have to wait for the court’s decision.”

A delegation lead by a Seema was also heard. They said the guest teachers might be adjusted in the Education Department. The officer concerned apprised the Governor that in the vacancy notice, it was stated that their services would be utilised as and when the need arose.

Pana Lal came with a representation on the pending demands of the tabla instructors working in the government and private colleges of Chandigarh. They wanted the pay scale of the tabla instructors should be raised according to the rules of the Punjab Government. Patil said the case needed a proper examination and a rightful decision would be taken thereafter.

UT Adviser promoted
The UT Adviser, KK Sharma, has been promoted from the Additional Secretary grade to the Secretary grade. A communication in this regard was received by the UT Administration on Monday.



UT police relaunches website
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
The UT police today re-launched its citizen friendly website, www.chandigarhpolice.gov.in, at the UT police headquarters in Sector 9 today.

A number of citizen friendly services, including the uploading of FIRs and passport verification status, have been put on the website. The new services available on the website include compliant registration-procedures and avenues, all police helpline numbers for contacting the police in case of any problem or emergency and the online download of FIR copies.

Information about the traffic police-related services like pre-paid auto facility, driver's history record and driver's licence test can also be accessed on the website. Besides, the status of stolen vehicles, public window complaints, passport applications, list of immigration companies, servant/tenant/PG verification forms and foreigners registration rules can also be checked on the website. Mobile police station facility roster and late night towing facility are now available through the website. Moreover, the website also gives the details of various procurement-related matters in order to ensure complete transparency and probity in the Chandigarh police procurements. All details about proclaimed offenders, missing persons, unidentified bodies, lookout notices, most wanted criminals as well as crime and traffic accident statistics are available.

Moreover, the recruitment details are also readily available for the benefit of those aspiring to join the Chandigarh Police.

A police employee portal has been set up in which information about various employee-related matters like promotions, seniority list, police pool house allotment, e-salary, police hospital, police training, welfare schemes, etc, is available. The latest press releases as well as other Chandigarh Police-related news are regularly updated. Further, the schedules of various citizen-oriented programmes of the Chandigarh Police for the next month are also uploaded on the website.

The website was formally re-launched by UT Adviser KK Sharma in the presence of the senior UT Administration and police officials.



Mohali MC limits set to expand
Punjab Government passes resolution to add 21 villages
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 17
The Punjab Government today passed a resolution of the Mohali Municipal Corporation regarding the extension of its limits by adding 21 villages and new sectors from 82 to 122 in its area here.

According to sources, the state government has given its approval to the resolution in question and asked the top functionaries of the corporation to initiate further action in this direction. The resolution was passed by the Mohali MC on March 22.

In the resolution, the MC has proposed to merge 21 villages in its existing area.

“With the development, the forthcoming Gram Panchayat elections, scheduled for July 3, will not take place in these villages,” said a senior official of the Mohali Administration.

The main villages that will be added in the MC limits are Sohana, Daun, Chappar Chhiri, Balongi, Badmajra, Kumbhra, Mauli Baidwan, Raipur,, Raipur Khurd, Nanu Majra, Chilla, Tapri, Kambala, Kambali, Chajju majra, Patti Sohana, Badiali, Saidpur, Jagatpura and Ballo Majra.



60 elderly couples from Panchkula stranded in Uttarakhand
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 17
As many as 60 elderly couples from Panchkula are stranded at Karan Prayag near Badrinath in Uttarakhand. They are the residents of Sectors 20, 21 and 12-A in Panchkula. The victims, who are the members of a Yoga group, had planned the pilgrimage together.

They went to Uttarakhand by a bus last Friday and were to reach here today. However, due to the flash floods at Uttarakhand, military officers stopped their bus and did not let them move further. They are still at a distance of 170 km from Haridwar.

“They are the members of a yoga group. The elderly couples, along with two children, left for the pilgrimage last Friday. I got a call from my father that they are stranded and will be putting up on the road itself,” said Gaurav Sharma, a resident of the Group Housing Society, Sector 20, whose father, RN Sharma, is stranded there with his wife. Sharma is in his late 60s.

He said: “Though my father is keeping me updated about the situation, I am worried.”

A yoga instructor and a cook are also with the pilgrims.

“We have been asked by the administration to stay here tonight. I have come with my wife for the pilgrimage, and I wish we all reach home safely,” said BB Sharma, a resident of Sector 20, Panchkula.

KK Pathak, a resident of Group Housing Society 28, is also on the pilgrimage with his wife. However, no one was there at his residence. Similarly, Tarsem Garg, a resident of Sector 21, is also stranded in Uttarakhand.

Flash floods in the Ganga and its tributaries triggered by incessant rains for over 48 hours have left a trail of death and devastation across Uttarakhand killing many of them and damaging over 160 buildings. Many of them are stranded there and many are feared dead.



Loot victim earns cop's wrath for 'defying' him

Panchkula, June 17
A mobile phone and Rs 400 were looted from a person by four miscreants at the Industrial Area, Phase 1, Panchkula, last night. The victim, Sanjay, alleged that when he went to the Sector 19 police post, the in charge beat up him, saying that he should have mentioned a theft in the complaint instead of a loot.

Sanjay, a resident of Abhaypur, was going home last night when four miscreants, with their faces covered, attacked him and snatched his mobile phone and cash.

“I was near the barrier when four youngsters attacked me and looted my money. When I contacted police post in charge Atma Ram, he told me to write in my complaint that my mobile phone was stolen and the money fell somewhere,” said Sanjay.

“When I resisted, he beat me up,” he added.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashwin Shenvi said: “If the police post in charge had said so, then it is totally wrong and necessary action will be taken against the guilty. I will take the details from the complainant and ensure that he gets justice.”

It is not the first time that a police official has made attempts to make a loot case a theft one. The SHO of the Mansa Devi Complex police station was placed under suspension by officiating DCP Nazneen Bhasin after it came to light that the SHO had registered a case of theft where miscreants looted a family after holding a baby hostage at knife point. — TNS



GMADA acquires SGPC land
Panthic leader cries foul, says committee has no right to sell land
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 17
Controversy erupted over acquisition of 23.5 acres of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC) land at Premgarh village (Saini Majra) by Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) here.

Expressing concern over accepting an amount of Rs 19.39 crore by the SGPC from GMADA in lieu of the land in question, Bhai Hardeep Singh, a senior member of the committee and panthic leader today demanded to cancel the acquisition of the land with immediate effect. The land belonged to historic Gurdwara Amb Sahib at Phase 8, here.

“It is improper on the part of the SGPC also for accepting money in lieu of the land, which was donated by some persons to the committee for religious purposes,” alleged Bhai Hardeep Singh adding that the SGPC has also passed a resolution in this connection.

Bhai Hardeep Singh claimed that the SGPC has no right to give the land to GMADA. “The issue of acquisition of the land had begun two years ago following which the local Sikh ‘sangat’ had lodged their protest time to time. “Then the SGPC had given assurance that the committee would not allow the government to acquire the land at any cost,” alleged Bhai Hardeep Singh.

“Today, the committee has accepted money after passing the resolution without taking the local ‘sangat’ (sikh people) in to confidence. It is just like selling the gurdwara land,” he said.

Bhai Hardeep Singh also claimed that the prevailing market price of the land is around Rs 300 crores.

“If GMADA needed the land, it should give us equal land at other place instead of paying us money, which is improper,” said Bhai Hardeep Singh.

On the issue, the SGPC president, Avtar Singh Makkar, claimed that there was nothing improper in getting money in lieu of the land. “We would purchase land according to our (SGPC) requirements with the amount in question. The decision is being supported by the ‘sangat’ (people),” claimed Makkar.



Villagers seize construction firm vehicles
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 17
High drama was witnessed at Jheurheri village here when its residents seized around 15 trucks of a private company engaged in the construction of Shaheed Bhagat Singh International Airport here.

The residents alleged that all the link roads in the area had been damaged by the heavy vehicles transporting construction material to the site.

“These heavy vehicles have caused extensive damage to link roads. Let alone driving vehicles, it has become impossible to walk on these strips. We have cautioned the officials of the company many a time against the damage being done to the roads by their vehicles, but they did not bother,” said Gajjan Singh, Bahadur Singh and other residents here.

“Accidents are taking place everyday due to potholes on the roads,” alleged the residents.

Meanwhile, the company official, Pramod Kumar, who reached the spot to resolve the issue, claimed that the condition of the roads was pathetic even before the work at airport site started. He, however, said the roads would be soon repaired by the company.



Over 1 lakh children administered polio drops in Mohali dist
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 17
Over one lakh children in the age group of 0-5 years were administered polio drops till today, the penultimate day of the ongoing pulse polio drive, in the district here.

Giving details, Dr Rajiv Bhalla, the Mohali Civil Surgeon, said around 75 per cent of the total target of the drive has been achieved.

“We have administered the medicine to about one lakh children out of the total 1,32,123 children in this district in the last two days. The rest would be administered the dose tomorrow,” said Dr Bhalla. He added that so far, their teams have covered 2,35,823 houses here. The number of total houses, set to cover under the drive, was 2,78,036. A total of 1,069 teams under the supervision of 117 supervisors are on the job. As many as 11 transit booths have been set up to achieve the target.



Suman case: Show-cause notice to GMSH-16
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
The UT State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission today issued a show-cause notice to the GMSH, Sector 16, on a contempt petition filed by Suman, a victim of its medical negligence.

Suman lost her child in the womb allegedly due to wrong blood transfusion at the GMSH on December 16, 2010. Her kidneys were also severely affected. Later, she was referred to the PGI, where her kidneys were revived after prolonged treatment. The Chandigarh Administration appointed an inquiry committee. On the basis its report, the Consumer Commission directed the GMSH and its three doctors to pay Rs 4 lakh as compensation and Rs 50,000 as legal costs.

The GMSH was also directed to bear the burden of Suman’s treatment for life. The commission issued a contempt notice July 22. 



Bar council poll: Tampering with ballot box alleged

Chandigarh, June 17
High drama was witnessed at the High Court today when a candidate, who is in the fray for the Bar Council elections, alleged that a ballot box had been tampered with.

The police reached the spot and on scrutinising the CCTV footage established that there was no tampering of the ballot box. The advocates had lodged a complaint with the Sector 3 police station. — TNS



GMCH updates directory

Chandigarh, June 17
The GMCH-32, has finally updated its online directory and uploaded Dr Atul Sachdev’s name as Director.

The name of Dr Raj Bahadur, who was relieved as Director, had not been replaced for a long time. — TNS



Four-day summer festival concludes at Tagore Theatre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
Four-day Chandigarh Summer Festival organised by the UT Administration concluded here today with the splendid performance of Dr Ananda Shankar Jayant, one of the country’s renowned dancers.

Performing in the two classical styles of Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi, Ananda displayed a fine technique and grammar of her dance during her performance at the Tagore Theatre here.

Her performance highlighted her work that spanned from rich mythologies, historical chronicles to searing commentaries on contemporary issues.

She performed Simhanandani, which was the revival of an old traditional dance that used to be performed outside the Durga temples in Andhra Pradesh. Ananda was decorated with the “Padma Shri” in 2007 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Puraskar for Bharatanatyam in 2009.

Ananda holds a master’s degree in Ancient Indian History (where she topped her university), MPhil in Art History and PhD in Tourism.



‘Read Bapu Dham’ campaign launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
NGO Yuvsatta with the support of Oxfam India today launched a unique “Read Bapu Dham Campaign” with a focus on inculcating the culture of reading among the marginalised children of Bapu Dham Colony, Chandigarh.

Harjit Singh, SI, in charge of Police Post, Sector 26, inaugurated the initiative. Gagan Swarup Singla, social activist, donated a bicycle and gave 10 other gifts to children who read the maximum number of books.

Parmod Sharma, coordinator, Yuvsatta, said the fortnight-long campaign involved innovative weekly cartoon, photography, storytelling workshops, elocution contests and educational excursions for tiny tots.

At the end of the programme, 11 winners who had read the maximum numbers of books from the Kitab Ghar Library will be given attractive prizes.



Sanction for new posts
Education Department submits revised proposal to HRD Ministry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
The UT Education Department inched one step closer to get the sanction for 3,472 new posts after it recently submitted the revised proposal for these posts to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).

In March this year, the department had submitted the proposal to the MHRD to get the sanction for these posts, both teaching and non-teaching. However, the Ministry sent the proposal back to the department, asking it to resubmit it after incorporating the objections it officially raised.

Among the objections, the Ministry had asked the department to submit the details of the already sanctioned and vacant posts along with the date of vacancy. The time frame within which the proposed posts would be filled and the school-wise break-up of the financial implications was also been asked. The Ministry had also asked for the list of schools that were upgraded from the secondary to the higher secondary level as well as the list of schools in which new subjects and streams were introduced. The figure of the enrolment of students for each school in the past three years was also sought.

A senior official said the revised proposal based on these instructions had been submitted to the Ministry, following which their approval was expected in the near future.

Among the 3,472 posts proposed by the Education Department, nearly 2,200 posts are for the teaching faculty and the rest are for the non-teaching staff.

Several teachers’ organisations in the city are asking the department to start their fresh recruitment process since there is a massive shortage of teaching staff in schools and the department is helpless in maintaining the teacher-people ratio as per the norms under the Right to Education Act.



Combined Entrance Test
2,100 appear for entrance tests on Day 3
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
Around 2,100 candidates from different parts of the country appeared for the entrance tests of various postgraduate (PG) courses on the third day of the Combined Entrance Test (CET) at Panjab University today.

The CET for 38 PG courses had begun from June 15 and will continue till June 18.

Dr Parvinder Singh, Controller of Examination, PU, said today’s entrance test was conducted for courses like MA (English), MTech (Instrumentation), MPEd, MSc (Biochemistry) (Honours School), MSc (Mathematics) (Honours School), MA (Journalism and Mass Communication), ME (Instrumentation & Control), MSc (Environment Science) (2 year course), MBACIT, MSc (2 year course) Microbial Biotechnology, MSc (Industrial Chemistry), BPEd, MCom (Honours), and Master in Public Health.

Entrance test for courses like MSc (Biophysics) (Honours School), MTech (Nanoscience & Nanotechnology), MSc (Human Genomics) (2 year course), ME (Computer Science & Engineering)/ME (Information Technology), MSc (Honours School) (Geology), MSc (Microbiology) (Honours School), MSc (System Biology and Bioinformatics)/MSc (Bioinformatics) (2 year course) and ME (Chemical) are scheduled for June 18.



Post-retirement benefits
Aided schools’ delegation meets UT Administrator
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
A delegation of the UT Aided Schools’ Union, Chandigarh, met the UT Administrator on the issue of their improper post-retirement benefits.

The delegation members said about 250 employees of aided schools were getting just Rs 3,475 per month as pension, which was worse than what a peon was getting in the UT after the retirement. Besides, they were not paid gratuity and other benefits.

RK Thakur, president of the union, said neither the employees here were covered under the Central scheme nor they were paid retirement benefits as per the Punjab Service Rules.

“On June 3, 1998, the Chandigarh Administration endorsed the Punjab Service and Pension Rules for all aided school employees. But, the said endorsement is still on papers and has yet not been implemented,” he said.

The delegation urged the administrator to grant them proper retirement benefits since their issue was lingering on for the past two decades.



Traffic marshal programme to begin on July 1
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
Come July 1, the Education Department will start its traffic marshal programme in front of government schools to ensure the safety of schoolchildren during the morning and afternoon hours.

As many as 10 government schools have been selected in the first phase of this programme.

The principals of these schools were called for a meeting today at the DEO office, and those who have not yet recruited their marshals were instructed to hire their marshals at the earliest. Following their training programme scheduled from June 25, these marshals will start their monitoring from July 1.

Officials said these marshals would help in streamlining the transportation activity and regulating the traffic outside and in front of the main gates of schools during their opening and closing hours. Besides, they would also monitor issues like eve-teasing in front of the schools.

The officials said this programme was a part of their initiative to increase surveillance security outside the schools.

“GSSS-Dhanas, GGSSS-20, GSSS-Mani Majra, GMSSS-21, GSSS-27, GSSS-Raipur Khurd, GGMSSS-18, GMSH-25, GMSH-43 and GMSH-41-D are among the schools selected for having traffic marshals in the first phase. Once the system will be set in these schools, more schools will be covered under this programme,” said an official.

Traffic marshal Gurnam Singh, who has been appointed as the nodal officer of this programme, said during the discussion of various issues in the meeting, it was suggested to appoint a teacher along with traffic marhsals to have better monitoring.

“Besides, a meeting with CTU officials has also been sought so that bus drivers are properly being instructed as how to stop their buses in front of the schools and pick up and drop the students,” he said.

Gurnam Singh, who will also help in training others marshals, said the training was scheduled to begin from June 25, and after 5-6 days of the training, the marshals would start their work from July 1 onwards.

He said: “Some schools have problems in hiring marshals. We are trying to arrange suitable candidates for them.”

As per information, marhsals will be senior citizens and will be paid an honorarium of Rs 3,000 per month. Each school will have one marshal who will be asked to arrive one hour before the beginning of the school and at least one hour before its closing time to regulate the movement of students. The schools, which are running on double shift, will have separate marshals.



Panjab varsity invites applications for MBA (off-campus) course
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
Working executives and fresh pass-out students wishing to pursue MBA from Panjab University have got an opportunity to take admission to the MBA course as the university has invited applications for the MBA (off-campus) seats.

There will be 545 seats and the admission would be based on the entrance test. The prospectus and application forms are available on the PU website, http://mbaoffcampus.puchd.ac.in

A spokesperson for Panjab University said the price of the prospectus for the general category was Rs 1,500 and for SC/ST was Rs 750.

The last date for the submission of online application to generate the bank challan was July 14 and the last date for the submission of fee in any branch of the SBI was July 16. The entrance test would be conducted on August 4. The qualifying percentage in the test would be 15 per cent, the spokesperson said.

Out of the 545 seats, 45 seats have been reserved for NRIs, while the remaining seats would be available as per the quota. As many as 55.5 per cent seats are for the open category, 15 per cent seats have been reserved for the SC, 7.5 per cent for the ST, 5 per cent each for the BC, sports and Defence, 3 per cent for physically handicapped, and 2 per cent each for riot victims and the kin of freedom fighters.

The last date for the submission of fee details and uploading photographs and signatures with the rest of the information on the website is 19 July. E-admit cards will be available on the website on 26 July. There will be no physical communication for this purpose. The centre for the entrance test is Chandigarh.

The entrance test would be of objective type and will carry 100 per cent weightage. It will be of two hours’ duration consisting of 100 questions. The test will consist of multiple-choice questions having four responses - A, B, C & D. The components of the test will include (I) data interpretation and problem solving; (ii) numerical ability; (iii) verbal ability/reasoning; and (iv) general English & comprehension. There will be 25 questions in each section.



6,249 register online for BCom admission
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
A total of 6,249 students registered on the website, http://bcomadmissions.puchd.ac.in./admissions-colleges.php, till Monday on the 10th day for admission to BCom (first year) in 12 institutions in Chandigarh.

Around 2,560 forms were submitted till date for BCom admission at PU. There are 1,120 seats in coeducational colleges, 770 seats in women’s colleges and 140 seats in men’s college in Chandigarh.

The last date for the registration is June 23. The application forms can be submitted by post or by hand up to June 26 till 5 pm at the University School of Open Learning of PU. The tentative merit list will be displayed on July 1.

A demand draft of the required amount from any scheduled bank branch in the country, preferably nearest to the hometown, by the student will have to be submitted. In case some error or mistake is committed by students during the filling of the online forms, they should communicate the correction on email ID bcomadmissions@puchd.ac.in mentioning their application form number.



PU uploads roll numbers of UGC-NET candidates

Chandigarh, June 17
Panjab University (PU) has uploaded the roll numbers of all candidates of the UGC-NET examination for the Junior Research Fellowship and Eligibility for Lectureship on the PU website, http://exams.puchd.ac.in/show-noticeboard.php?id=678.

The UGC-NET examination is scheduled to be held on June 30. The candidates have been asked to write the name of their centre on the admit card as per the list. As many as 19,177 candidates will be appearing at the PU Chandigarh Centre i.e. Centre-48. Forty-six centres have been set up at Panjab University and various local colleges and schools of Chandigarh.

The candidates of the visually handicapped category, who have still not requested the coordinator for a scribe, may do so by June 24 in order to make available an appropriate scribe for them. No candidate can bring the scribe of his choice for the examination. — TNS



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