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uttarakhand floods
Help pours in for victims
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
In the hour of extreme crisis in the flood-ravaged Uttarakhand, volunteers in Chandigarh have begun a massive exercise to collect food items and other relief materials for the flood victims and local survivors, who are stranded in big numbers in many areas of the hill state.

Several welfare associations today held donation camps across the city to motivate people to come forward and donate food items like biscuits, warm cloths and other relief materials, which will soon be despatched to the flood-hit areas.

Bachan Singh, president of the Chandigarh Kumaon Sabha, said their camp at the Sector 32 main market got a tremendous response. Several people came forward to donate different items for the flood victims. While this camp would remain open for the next one week, two other camps would begin tomorrow in the markets of Sector 37 and 45.

“Two of our trucks will be despatched after Monday and will hand over the relief material to the Army in Srinagar (in Uttarakhand), the area which has witnessed a massive destruction," he said

The Shiv Parwati Seva Dal, which held a camp at the Satsang Bhavan in Sector 26, has collaborated with the ITBP in Dehradun and despatched relief materials, including medicines, packaged water and food to Uttarakhand. President of the body Rajinder Singh Samant said our camp would remain open till the time they get donations from the local people.

“The situation in Uttarakhand is grim. We are just trying our bit to help the survivors there,” he said.

Already running their camps at several places in Chandigarh and Panchkula, the city-based Garhwal Sabha yesterday despatched 5,000 packets of food to Rudraprayag in Uttarakhand and another 10,000 packets are ready to be dispatched tomorrow morning. These will be handed over to the Army.

A member of the Garhwal Sabha, BS Bisht, said people were really coming forward in this hour of crisis and donating blankets, medicines and even cash at their camps being held at the Gharwal Bhawan in Sector 29 and several other places. “We will continue our camps till the end of this month and try to mobilise maximum help for the survivors,” he said

The Resident Welfare Association of Sector 10, Panchkula, will hold a day-long camp tomorrow in the Sector 10 market.

These associations have requested the community at large to come forward for the flood victims' assistance.

Donation camps in city

Kumaon Sabha: Markets of Sector 32, 37, 45

Shiv Parwati Seva Dal: Satsang Bhawan, near Sector 26 petrol station

Garhwal Sabha: Garhwal Bhawan, Sector 29

Shiv Mandir (Mani Majra): Triveni Mandir in Sector 7, Chandigarh; market of Sector 8, Chandigarh; and Shiv Mandir, Sector 9, Panchkula



Hazy weather chokes residents
Many suffer from respiratory problems; relief from humidity in two days
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
A thick blanket of dust had choked the residents of the city and adjoining areas throughout the day today. Mixed with pollution, these dust clouds caused breathing problem and eye allergies to the residents, besides reducing visibility to a considerable extent. The dust cover was thicker in the periphery areas compared to the city.

The Met Department said the relative humidity recorded today was 64 per cent while the maximum temperature was 37.4 degrees Celsius and the minimum temperature 30 degrees Celsius. According to the forecast, their will be partly cloudy sky with the possibility of thunder showers on Sunday. The maximum temperature will remain 38 degrees Celsius.

The Meteorological Department Director, Surinder Pal Singh, said owing to the suspended dust particles, which raised over the Bay of Bengal and drifted to the North, there was an increase in the humidity level. As monsoon will hit the city early, the residents will have relief from the scorching heat and humidity in the next two days.

Many commuters were seen riding two-wheelers and bicycles with their faces covered. Even during the day, sun had remained elusive.

Many residents complained of sore throat and nasal, respiratory and eye infections. The commuters, many of whom who felt a burning sensation in the eyes, said they had not witnessed such a situation in the city before.

Dust particles drift from Bay of Bengal

Owing to the suspended dust particles, which raised over the Bay of Bengal and drifted to the North, there is an increase in the humidity level

— Surinder Pal Singh, Met Dept Director



Bridge collapse saved us: Survivors
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 22
The collapse of a bridge at Gobind Ghat turned out to be a lifesaving phenomenon for a Sector 70-based family. The family consisting Charanjit Kaur, her daughter, Kamaldeep Kaur, son-in-law, Jagjot Singh, and grandsons, Harsumit Singh and Manmeet Singh, could not reach the hotel at Gobind Ghat while returning from Gobind Dham due to the collapse of the bridge just 10 minutes before they reached there. The hotel in which rooms were booked for the family had washed away after an hour.

“Had the bridge not collapsed, we would not have alive today,” said Charanjit Kaur, who reached with her daughter, Kamaldeep Kaur, at the Sector 43 bus stand around 12.30 pm here today.

“Earlier, the family had a booking to fly from Gobind Dham to Gobind Ghat in a chopper, but it too had washed away at Gobind Dham the same day we were scheduled to fly,” said Charanjit.

“We are lucky that ‘Waheguru’ (the almighty) saved us,” said Charanjit Kaur, while meeting her son Harnesh Pal Singh today.

Remembering the worst experience the family had, she said they were stuck at Gobind Ghat. “The sound of water and clouds was so loud that it seemed everything would be finished. We spent our days while praying to God,” said Kamaldeep Kaur.

She said the family was airlifted by the Army from Gobind Ghat to Joshi Math where they had hired a taxi with the help of the Army till Chamoli, then they reached Rishikesh by a bus.

While appreciating the role of the Army there, Charanjit Kaur said the local administration had totally failed in handling post-calamity situation.



Web-based system to track people stuck in U’khand
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
In a move to facilitate the tracking of Chandigarh’s missing residents affected by the floods in Uttarakhand, the Chandigarh Administration today set up a web-based information resource that provides information about the local residents stranded in Uttarakhand.

The administration will provide details of the local residents, who are affected by the floods in Uttarakhand, on the administration’s official website www.chandigarh.gov.in

Besides, in a meeting of senior officials of the UT Administration, it was also decided to participate in the relief operations for the Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh victims.

After discussions, it was decided that a team, along with an ambulance, would be set up at the Sector 43 bus stand and the Chandigarh Railway Station to take care of any passenger coming from Uttarakhand or Himachal Pradesh. The passengers would be provided with the medical and transport facility by the team on a priority basis.

The UT Administration also appealed to its officers, employees and residents to contribute one-day salary to the relief fund set up for the Uttarakhand calamity.

It was also decided that a team of officers would be sent to Rishikesh to find the whereabouts of pilgrims from Chandigarh and provide them all assistance.


Vashishts back, parents still stuck at Rudraprayag
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 22
Though Sudesh Vashisht, a resident of Sector 10, Panchkula, may have reached here, he is mentally in Uttarakhand because his parents are still at Rudraprayag and he fears June 25 because of the expected rains.

Being elderly and unable to walk such a long distance, Sudesh’s father and mother said they would stay at their home in Rudraprayag and he should leave with his family before June 25.

Sudesh had gone with his wife, son and daughter to spend the summer vacation at his parent’s house.

“I don’t know what to do. Since we had to walk 15-20 km to reach a safer place where rescue teams were available, my parents being elderly could not walk and they asked us to leave for Panchkula,” said Sudesh.

According to the Meteorological Department, more rain is expected there from June 25. For the past three-four days, the situation in Uttarakhand is under control because there has been no rainfall.

“I told them to come along but even they were helpless. They are in their late 70s and how can they walk 15-20 km,” said Sudesh.

He also told how everything that was built for years together washed away in just a few seconds.

“My friend’s house got washed away within seconds. He just managed to save his laptop and certificates,” said Sudesh.



Mohali police, gurdwara panels extend help to pilgrims
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 22
The Mohali police and the local gurdwara committees came forward to help the Punjab-based pilgrims with food, medical assistance and arrangements of their travel to their homes free of cost. The pilgrims in a large number have started reaching Chandigarh today morning in the buses being arranged by the police.

“As many as 105 buses have been plying between Rishikesh and Chandigarh, which are carrying the pilgrims free of cost,” said Mohali SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, who himself was supervising all arrangements at the police transit camp set up at the ISBT Sector 43, Chandigarh, here to help the pilgrims.

A team of doctors is also stationed at the camp for the medical check-up of the pilgrims, if needed. Two ambulances have also been sent to Rishikesh by the police.

The camp coordinator, DSP (City I) Rajinder Singh Sohal, said all pilgrims were being sent to their hometowns by specially arranged buses, public transport buses and taxis free of cost.

To provide food and other eatables to the pilgrims, the local Gurdwara Shri Singh Sabha and the SGPC unit have arranged “langars” at the bus stand. “We know that most of the people are left with no money. So, we are giving them food, sweets and snacks to eat during traveling,” said the organisers.

DSP Sohal said as many as nine buses had reached the city till 8.30 pm, carrying around 400 pilgrims.

The help

  • A team of doctors is stationed at the camp for the medical check-up of the pilgrims, if needed. Two ambulances have also been sent to Rishikesh by the police.
  • To provide food and other eatables to the pilgrims, the local Gurdwara Shri Singh Sabha and the SGPC unit have arranged “langars” at the bus stand.



Industrial body begins donation drive

Mohali, June 22
The Mohali Industries Association (MIA) today started a collection drive for the victims of the Uttarakhand natural disaster at the MIA Bhawan here. Anurag Aggarwal, president of the MIA, said the Crisis Management Committee formed for the purpose of collecting cash and kind for the relief work collected Rs 9 lakh, which was contributed by members and non-members of the association. Contributions in the form of clothing and other items were also received.

He said the collection drive would continue for a week.

The Beopar Mandal, Mohali, had joined hands with the association and would also collect relief materials for the flood-hit people, he said. — OC



20 ambulances, material despatched to Uttarakhand
Parmod Mehta

Dera Bassi, June 22
The Health Department, Punjab, and some other government employees’ and social organisations have come forward to provide relief to the flood-affected people in Uttarakhand. The department today flagged off 20 ambulances with doctors, medicines and other infrastructure to the rain-ravaged state.

The ambulances were flagged off by the Civil Surgeon of Mohali, Dr Rajiv Bhalla, and the SMO, Dr SK Mittal.

The ambulances have been procured from Mohali, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ropar Ludhiana and Patiala.

Meanwhile, the staff of the Community Health Centre, Lalru, under the guidance of the SMO, Dr Daler Singh Multani, deposited Rs 21,000 in the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.

Three trucks carrying rations and medicines were flagged off by Chief Parliamentary Secretary NK Sharma here.



BJP reschedules agitation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Keeping in view the disaster in Uttarakhand, the Chandigarh unit of the BJP has converted its “Jail Bharo Aandolan”, scheduled for June 23, into “Shraddhanjali Samaroh”. The programme will be held at the BJP Headquarters “Kamlam”, Sector 33-A, Chandigarh, on June 23 to pay tributes to the departed souls.

It was unanimously decided in the meeting of BJP leaders today that the disaster in Uttarakhand is a national disaster and the party is having full sympathy with the affected people and shows its concern.

Party’s national spokesperson Prakash Javdekar and Chandigarh in charge Aarti Mehra were also informed about the decision.



Panchkula physics prof alleges plagiarism
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 22
In a first of its kind, a renowned physics author has registered a case against a professor in Odisha for plagiarising his works and publishing the same across the country in his own name.

A case was registered on the complaint of Prof SK Gupta at the Sector 5 police station.

Gupta is a resident of Sector 4, Panchkula. The police said the accused prof in Odisha has been identified as PK Mahapatra.

“Gupta had gone to Odisha and was on an evening walk when he came across the books published in the name of the accused prof. When he read the books, he saw that 80 per cent of the content was all of his works,” said a police official.

He added, “Gupta also came to know that the accused had worked in connivance with some worker of a publisher.”

When contacted the Panchkula Deputy Commissioner of Police, Ashwin Shenvi, he said, “We have registered a case under the Copyright Act and have started the investigation. We are also trying to find requisite possible connections in the case.”

Station House Officer of the Sector 5 police station, inspector, Mukesh Kumar, said that it’s a major offence as per the copyright act and they will arrest the accused soon.

According to the police, SK Gupta has published books in and across the country. Known for his engineering physics books for BTech and other classes, many colleges are using his subscribed books.



Tanvi Garg given ADC charge

Chandigarh, June 22
The UT Administration has given the charge of Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) to SDM (East) Tanvi Garg, a 2009 batch UT-cadre IAS officer, who is also holding the charge of Director IT and Tourism.

Last week, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had transferred ADC Parshuram V Kavle, who was also a UT-cadre officer, to Lakshadweep.

A senior official of the UT Administration said along with the charge of ADC, Tanvi Garg will also hold the charge of SDM (Central), Additional Excise and Taxation Commissioner. She will continue to hold the charge of Director IT and Director Tourism.

The Administration has given additional charge of SDM (East) to Secretary STA Balbir Dhol. — TNS



TMC leaders join Cong

Chandigarh, June 22
Leaders of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) under the leadership of Prempal Chauhan, convener, local unit of the TMC along with office-bearers and many workers joined the Congress in the presence of former Union Minister Pawan Bansal and Chandigarh Congress president BB Bahl.

On this occasion, Pawan Bansal welcomed the leaders and said the Congress Government was committed to the implementation of the Food Security Bill, which would benefit 60 lakh people of the country. — TNS



244 donate blood
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Thalassaemic Children Welfare Association (TCWA) organised 134th blood donation camp at the PGI today. It was inaugurated by the PGI Department of Orthopedic, head Dr Raj Bahadur.

He praised the efforts of TCWA in saving the lives of serious patients by providing them blood especially during summer when there is an acute shortage of blood. He congratulated the donors hailing from Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh for this noble cause. More than 244 donors donated blood in the camp.



world music day
Singer enthrals audience at Sukhna Lake

Chandigarh, June 22
With the phenomenal success of world musical evening held yesterday at the Sector 17 Plaza, Chandigarh, the Chandigarh tourism today held an electrifying musical evening by a young singer, Rahul Sharma, here at the Sukhna Lake.

His performance cast a magic spell on the audience, who enjoyed his soothing voice playing songs like “tum hi ho, alvida, jiyen kyun, gulabi ankhen” at the event. A large number of audience was delighted with the evening performance. The programme was a special treat on the World Music Day.

Tanvi Garg, Director tourism said the Chandigarh tourism was celebrating the World Music Day.



Councillors of P’kula to take oath before July 5
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 22
Newly elected councilors of the Panchkula Municipal Corporation are all 
set to take oath before July 5. Besides, the much awaited elections for the post of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and the Senior Deputy Mayor would also be held before July 7.

This was issued in a recent notification by the State election Commissioner to the Municipal Corporation office.

The elections for the Panchkula Municipal Corporation were held on June 2, the results of which were declared on June 4.

“All the 20 councillors would take oath before July 5. We have received the notification from the State Election Commissioner and a meeting in this regard would be held by the higher authorities soon,” said Executive officer of the MC, OP Sihag.

He further added, “The meeting would be convened soon of all the high ups and even the councilors would be informed about the election date.”

On the other hand, the race of the Mayor’s post has begun and contenders are scrambling to get the coveted post.



Mohali admn seals 34 generators
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 22
The Mohali Administration today sealed 34 diesel generator sets in the Phase I market here as the owners did not have a clearance certificate for their use from the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB).

A team, headed by SDM, Lakhmir Singh, inspected diesel generator sets, installed by various commercial establishments in Phase I. The team included, tehsildar Sanjiv Kumar, SDO of the PPCB, Anuradha Sharma, JE of the PPCB, Amandeep Singh, and BD Singla from the Municipal Corporation.

The team sealed 34 generator sets, which were creating air and noise pollution and did not have a clearance certificate from the PPCB.



Free medical camp today
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 22
A free medical camp will be held tomorrow at the Lakshmi Temple, Phase XI, Mohali, tomorrow. The camp is being organised for the treatment of various chronic diseases such as asthma, piles, blood pressure, diabetes, joint pains spondelitis and slip disc with Indian traditional medical system.

“The popular German QRS therapy will also be used to treat the patients during the camp. A special QRS machine has also been imported from Germany for immediate results,” said Dr Pritam Singh Doad, an Ayurvedic and Yoga expert.



Assistant Professor’s selection questioned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
A city-based RTI activist has complained against the selection of an assistant professor at DAV College, Sector 10, who possesses a Phd degree of CMJ University, Shillong. The activist has complained that degrees of CMJ University stands cancelled but still the college has selected the candidate who is also the daughter of the college principal.

RTI activist RK Singla has made a complaint against the appointment to Vice-President of India, who is also the Chancellor of Panjab University (PU), the University Grant Commission (UGC), the UT Education Secretary and the PU authorities.

Singla in his complaint has stated that Mandeep daughter of Dr BC Josan, principal, DAV College, has been appointed in the computer science department of the college. She possess a Phd degree from CMJ University which is under question. Mandeep has been selected by a selection committee in an interview conducted on June 16.

“Governor of Meghalaya and visitor of CMJ University has lodged an FIR with the state police against various acts of corruption committed by the university authorities, including issuance of fake PhD degrees,” claimed Singla.

As many as 434 PhD Degrees have been issued by the university in the academic session of 2012-13 alone, despite the fact that the university was established in 2009 and has only 10 faculty members on its rolls who themselves have a PhD degree.

Principal BC Josan said he was not the part of the selection committee that has selected his daughter. He said nowhere the UGC had given any directions over the validity of Phd degrees issued by the university.

PU Dean College Development Council (DCDC) Naval Kishore said the university has written to the UGC for the clarification over the candidates possessing Phd degrees from CMJ University.



Police seeks CCTV footage from PU
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The Chandigarh police has asked for the footage of the CCTV camera installed outside the University Business School (UBS) from the Panjab University in connection with an alleged sexual harassment case of an assistant professor of the UBS department.

The Chandigarh police had booked Prof AK Vashisht, chairman, UBS, and Prof Dinesh Gupta on the charge of sexual harassment last month.

The police officials of the Sector 11 police station where the case has been registered have written to the PU authorities for the CCTV footage of the day when the incident happened outside the department.

The police has already taken the report of the PU’s Sexual Harassment Committee that had probed into the complaint made by the assistant professor to the university.

The committee had concluded that the evidence on-record, oral and written established that the incident of sexual harassment alleged by the complainant against two professors could not be substantiated. The report was submitted to the Vice-Chancellor.

The sources in the police department said as per the complainant, the professors had allegedly harassed her outside the department and a rickshaw-puller had witnessed the drama. “During the investigation we discovered that a CCTV camera was installed outside the department following which we had decided to scrutinize the recording of the cameras to get some evidence,” said the sources.

The PU officials confirming the development said the CCTV footage would be soon handed over to the police for investigation.



Online submission of BCom forms ends today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The online submission of the BCom form in the city colleges will be closed on June 23. The students who will successfully complete the online application form will only get a chance to seek admission in the course.

The co-ordinator of the BCom centralised admissions, Prof RK Gupta, said, “After June 23, no registration or information update will be allowed.”

“The students are also required to submit the application form print-out along with necessary documents and demand draft at the University School of Open Learning, Panjab University, before June 26 till 5 pm,” he said.



Punjabi theatre festival concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The Punjabi theatre festival concluded at Government College, Sector 46, with the play, “Yudh Atte Budh”. The play was directed by Dr Sahib Singh. The play narrated the story of a Kashmiri family whose elder son Jameel had joined militants.

Army and the police officials terrorised the family and after great pressure, mother informed them about her son’s whereabouts. After getting a tip-off, the Army killed Jameel. The play raised question as to who was the real culprit. While Army’s dilemma was shown in the play, it also questioned the political establishment of both India and Pakistan who had failed to provide even the basic facilities to the Kashmiris.

The cast of the play included Rajinder Rozy, Vinod Kumar, Mallika Singh, Arshika Singh, Rakesh Kumar, Surinder Singh, Mandeep Singh, Gurvinder Singh and Preetkamal Singh.



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