C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Youth drowns, 5 missing, 2 rescued
Victims were swept away by the strong currents of the Ghaggar; had gone to celebrate birthday
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Residents fish out Shubham Bhalla’s body at Burj Kotian village in Panchkula on Wednesday. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal

Birthday boy Akshay with his mother.

Shubham’s brother (in black T-shirt)

A missing youth’s mother were inconsolable.

Panchkula, July 24
An 18-year-old youth died and five others went missing in flash floods in Ghaggar near the Burjkotia area at Panchkula today. The six were a part of an eight-member group who had gone to celebrate Akshay’s birthday, one of their friends. Two of them were rescued by the village residents.

The deceased youth has been identified as Shubham Bhalla, a resident of Sector 25 and a student of class XII, DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, Chandigarh. Those rescued have been identified as Akshay and Deepansh, while those who are missing have been identified as Pradeep, Ravinder, Arjun, Samvit and Hitesh.

The incident took place at around 2:15 pm when the eight students jumped into the river to take a dip. Within a few minutes they were swept by the fast currents of the water.

The water currents were so strong that the youths, who jumped into the river in the Diwanwala area, were carried to a distance of two kilometers to Burjkotian. The local residents heard their shrieks and noticed two of them shouting for help. Akshay and Deepansh were rescued by the village residents. The two told them about their friends and the police and the rescue team was called.

Shubham’s body was fished out by the village residents of the area.Over 50 Army personnel and rescue teams from Madhuban and Kurukshetra were called for the rescue operation, which was on till late evening to find the missing youths.

All eight belonged to well-off families of Panchkula and were between the age group of 18 and 22 years.

Due to incessant rain at Morni, the river got flooded and suddenly the water level rose causing the incident. While Akshay and Pradeep are residents of Sector 20, Panchkula, Arjun and Dipanshu belong to Sector 21, Samveet stays in Sector 11, Hitesh in Sector 15 and Ravinder belongs to Sector 14 of the township.

Parents of the victims were called, they were inconsolable. One of them was even ready to jump in the river to save his son, but was controlled by the police.

No clothes, mobile phones and other belongings of the youths were found from the spot. Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Ashwin Shenvi, said, “We have not found any belongings of the youths. It is suspected that the same have been swept away with the currents. It is a tragic incident.” Panchkula DC SS Phulia, said, “The rescue operation is on and we are trying our level best. A number of divers have been pressed into service from Madhuban. The Army personnel is also helping us.”

Birthday turns tragic

It is no less than a rebirth for birthday boy Akshay who was rescued from the flash floods in Ghaggar. Not even in his wildest dreams had he thought that it would be the last day with his friend Shubham. Akshay had gone with his seven friends to Diwanvala area to celebrate his special day which actually turned out to be a tragic one. The birthday celebrations turned sour soon after all the eight friends plunged into the river and were washed away by its strong currents. The birthday boy and Deepansh were saved while the others have gone missing. “Akshay is in state of shock and is keeping mum since the incident,” said Vijay Kumar, a relative. Samvit Raina, who is missing had told his parents that he would be back home soon. “It was around 9.30 in the morning when he told me that he would be back in an hour. When I called up at 11, his number was not reachable,” said father CN Raina. “That one minute changed every thing for us. We shouldn’t have gone there,” said Deepansh with tears in his eyes.

Village residents real heroes

Three successive mishaps with 14 children coming in the spate of flash floods in Ghaggar and the administration failing to do anything without the help of village residents brought to the fore the ill-preparedness of the rescue team of the local administration.

Had it not been for the village residents, the administration would have found it impossible to rescue eight children, who were swept away by fast currents, in three different rescue operations .

Village residents who braved all odds and jumped in the river to rescue the children were the real heroes. The rescue operation saw three searches for 14 children swept away by the raging waters in three different incidents.

Even the rope that was thrown by the rescue team to help Rishabh, a youth swept away by flash floods, gave way leaving him amid the strong currents.

Ring tone on Samvit’s phone gave a ray of hope

The ring tone on Samvit Raina’s phone in the evening gave a ray of hope to the parents that he may be alive. All the children’s phones were on roaming, so Samvit’s number was dialled, the bell rang for sometime,” said a police official. He said, “We have asked the cyber cell to check the location so we may be able to trace them.”

CN Raina, Samvit’s father, said, “May be my son has taken shelter in some jungle, nearby.”

Warning of no use

Under Section 144 of the CrPc, orders were issued by the police that during the rainy season, no one was allowed to venture near the Ghaggar, and if anyone was found doing so would be booked. No police official ever inspects the area.

Rescue operation to continue today

Rescue operation to start at 5.30 am on Thursday. The rescue operation was stopped at 7 pm, as it grew dark.

Liquor bottles found

Liquor bottles were found from the spot, where the boys were celebrating.



Ghaggar tragedy
Rescue team remains ‘mute’ spectator
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 24
As many as 14 children swept away in the Ghaggar in three different incidents at three different places here today. The Ghaggar was in spate of flash floods today. The first incident took place at 11 in the morning when an 11- year -old Rishabh, a resident of Kharag Mangoli, was swept away with the strong torrent of the river near Sector 25. Despite the fact that the rescue team was present and seemed to be hesitant to jump in, the child was rescued by a local villager, Anil.

Anil works as a home guard and after finding that the rescue team was not taking any immediate action and saved Rishabh.

Adding to their trouble, when they had taken the support of a rock, the rope, which the rescue team extended, broke and the two were swept away again. But, finally, they managed to come out.

Just two minutes after the child was rescued, the rescue team got to know that five more children of Sector 28 had been washed away with the current in the river.

The children, who were between the age group of 12 to15, had gone to take bath in the river when the flash floods swept them away.

It was after the local villagers heard their shrieks that villagers, Gurpal and Rajbir of Kukrali village near Ramgarh, jumped into the river and saved the children.

The Driver of the Station House Officer of the Chandimandir police station, Raj Kumar, also jumped to rescue the children before the team could take any action.

Following suit, a few officials of the Fire Brigade Deparmtnet then jumped to save the children.

All were rescued. They have been identified as Sanjay, Aamil, Sunil, Pawan and Sunny.

Five minutes after the operation ended, a message was flashed that eight more children got washed away at Burj Kotian village. One drowned, two were rescued while five others are feared dead.

Panchkula Deputy Commissioner Dr SS Phulia said, “I will definitely look into the matter, but fortunately all the children in the first two instances have been saved. But for the third incident, we immediately called a team of divers from Madhuban and Kurukshetra. The Army has also been roped infor the rescue operation.”



Road accident
City police forms SIT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
The Chandigarh Police, which is clueless about the driver of the Audi Q7 involved in an accident with a Tavera yesterday has now formed a Special Investigating Team (SIT) to establish the driver’s identity. Although the UT police has registered a case against the owner of the Audi car, it is yet to be establish the identity of its driver. The owner of the Audi, identified as 30-year-old Rajat, an industrialist's son and a resident of Sector 4, Panchkula, reached the Sector 17 police station and said his driver Sukhpal, who was accompanying him, was driving the car when the mishap took place.

A senior police official said the SIT would conduct an independent inquiry to establish who was driving the car at the time of the accident and under what circumstances the area police registered a case against the deceased driver of Tavera.

“An action can also be taken against the area police, if any kind of negligence is found on their part during the inquiry," an official said.

The SIT includes DSP Ashish Kapoor, DSP Satish Kumar, Gurmukh Singh, SHO, Sector 11 police station, and Crime Branch In charge Ranjodh Singh. Interestingly, the area SHO, Ram Gopal, and the investigating officer of the case have not part of the team. Source said that the mobile locations of Rajat and his driver were being scrutinised. The mishap had taken place at 12.36 am on July 23 when four students from Ghaziabad were returning from Dharampur.



Justice Yadav took Rs 1.6 cr bribe in 3 other cases, accused Ravinder Singh had told CBI
Disclosures made in CBI report read out in court on Wednesday
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
It was not only the Panchkula property dispute case of 2007 that Justice Nirmal Yadav(retd) allegedly fast-tracked and decided in favour of the accused, former Haryana Additional Advocate General Sanjiv Bansal, against a monetary consideration of Rs 15 lakh, if disclosures made by another accused Ravinder Singh to the CBI in the judge bribery case are to be believed.

In a startling revelation made before CBI Special Court of Vimal Kumar today, CBI Special public prosecutor Anupam Gupta read out CBI SP’s report that summed up the entire investigations. He pointed out that as per the statements of another accused, Delhi-based hotelier Ravinder Singh to the CBI, Justice Yadav in her capacity as the High Court Judge allegedly took Rs 1.60 crore to decide three separate cases in Sanjiv Bansal’s favour from 2005 to 2008. All these allegations however, could not be substantiated by the CBI, the report clearly states.

These allegations are not a part of the CBI chargesheet in the case.

Reading out excerpts from the CBI SP’s report that was submitted to the Secretary, President of India (with a copy to Secretary, Ministry of Law) on June 16, 2010, Anupam Gupta told the court today that accused hotelier Ravinder Singh, who was in the CBI’s custody for 10 days from September 20, 2008, to September 30, 2008, after the case first broke had disclosed to the investigating agency that in 2005 at the instance of Sanjiv Bansal, he had requested Justice Yadav to quash the FIR of a murder case in Rewari. On the next date of hearing, Justice Yadav quashed the FIR of the said case. As a return, Sanjiv Bansal had arranged Rs 50 lakh which Ravinder Singh gave to Justice Yadav at her residence in Chandigarh,” reads the report.

“Not only this, Ravinder Singh also disclosed to the CBI that on the request of Sanjiv Bansal, he had also approached Justice Yadav in the matter of Gurdwara Sahib, Rajpura, and in this too, Justice Yadav had passed the order in favour of Sanjiv Bansal’s client. For this, Rs 10 lakh were given to Justice Yadav at her residence,” Gupta told the court.

“Apart from this, Ravinder Singh also claimed that in 2007, Sanjiv Bansal had requested him to use the influence of Justice Yadav in a matter pertaining to a land dispute related to the DC House pending in the district courts of Hissar.

For this, Sanjiv Bansal had offered Rs 1 crore. This offer was discussed by Ravinder Singh with Justice Yadav who told Ravinder Singh to keep the money ready. The matter was also decided in favour of the client of Sanjiv Bansal and as promised, first installment of Rs 50 lakh was delivered at the residence of Justice Yadav in Chandigarh. Second installment of Rs 50 lakh was kept by Ravinder Singh in his hotel as per the directions of Justice Yadav and the same was collected by her sometime in November, 2007,” the CBI special prosecutor told the court. he arguments on framing of charges will continue in the CBI court tomorrow.

Tale of Rs 1.6 crore

  • Revelations by Ravinder Singh to CBI (could not be substantiated by CBI and not part of chargesheet in the case)
  • Justice Yadav allegedly took Rs 1 crore (in two installments of Rs 50 lakh) pertaining to a land dispute related to the DC house pending in district court of Hissar in 2007.
  • Justice Yadav allegedly took Rs 10 lakh in the matter of Gurdwara Sahib, Rajpura in January, 2008. The appeal filed through Sanjiv Bansal was partly accepted.
  • Justice Yadav allegedly took Rs 50 lakhs to quash the FIR of a murder case in Rewari. The FIR was quashed on February 22, 2006.

Monetary advantages

The CBI investigation also revealed that Justice Yadav availed of valuable advantages from Sanjiv Bansal. As per the CBI SP’s report, Sanjiv Bansal had purchased an executive class air ticket for Justice Yadav for her journey from Chandigarh to Delhi on August 2, 2008, through the Internet and the payment of Rs 7,125 was paid by Sanjiv Bansal through his credit card.

SP report was basis of prosecution sanction

The CBI SP’s report, which had the disclosures made by Ravinder Singh that Justice Yadav used her influence in other cases too, was submitted to the President of India on June 16, 2010. On July 28, 2010, the then Chief Justice of India granted sanction for prosecution.

Why the allegations could not be substantiated by CBI?

The CBI stated in its report that no independent corroboration of Ravinder Singh’s claim that the judicial pronouncements were made by Justice Yadav for monetary considerations have come on record. “There is some truth in the disclosure statements made by Ravinder Singh regarding favour shown by Justice Yadav by quashing the FIR of a murder case, whose chargesheet had been submitted in the court. But these allegations could not be substantiated during investigation so far,” the CBI had stated in its report read out in the court on Wednesday.

The case

The Punjab and Haryana High Court was hit by the scam after a packet containing ~15 lakh in cash was delivered on August 13, 2008 at the Sector 11 residence of High Court Judge Nirmaljit Kaur. She complained to the police and an FIR was registered. It was alleged that the cash was actually meant for Justice Nirmal Yadav (now retired), an accused in the case for giving a judgment related to a property dispute case in Panchkula in 2007, in Bansal’s favour. The police later arrested the then Haryana Additional Advocate General, Sanjiv Bansal, property dealer Rajiv Gupta and Delhi-based hotelier Ravinder Singh Bhasin in connection with the case. Justice Yadav went on leave after her name figured in the bribery scandal. She was later transferred to the Uttarakhand High Court.

As per the chargesheet, Justice Yadav ruled a property dispute case in favour of Bansal and the money was paid through her close friend Ravinder Singh.


Anupama’s death anniversary
A life lost, who is to blame?
PGI fails to create triage area where priority of patients’ treatment is determined
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Students struggle to get into a CTU bus outside a school in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, July 24
A year after a 15-year-old girl lost her life due to ‘error in judgment’ on the part of the team of doctors at the PGIMER, the institute has failed to create a triage area in the Emergency where the priority of patients’ treatment is determined. The death of Anupama Sarkar on July 24, last year, who succumbed to her severe injuries that remained unattended, does not seem to have stimulated the authorities.

As an immediate solution, the External Probe Committee examining the cause of Anupama’s death had recommended that at the entry point where a patient is first received, a senior resident should be put on duty. The committee had stated that the doctor would screen the patient and decide the treatment.

However, no such regularity is visible either at the Emergency or the Advanced Trauma Centre to date.

At a recently held meeting of the governing body of the institute, the officials told Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad that in the absence of the triage area, it was difficult to improve patient care.

Anupama’s death has failed to move the hospital authorities as they have not even come up with a makeshift arrangement for the triage area. The officials said as far as the decision regarding the priority of treatment was concerned, senior residents took the call.

“As recommended by the committee, our senior residents decide the treatment for patients in the Emergency and the Advanced Trauma Centre. To monitor it further, consultants take rounds to ensure the smooth functioning of the system everyday,” said PGIMER’s official spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar.


July 17, 2012: Anupama rushed to PGI’s ATC at 2.45 pm
July 18, 2012: She remained in preoperative room after initial bandaging 
July 19, 2012: She remained in preoperative room
July 19, 2012: Taken to the OT late at night but suffered hypotension 
July 20, 2012: Underwent hip disarticulation surgery in the morning, shifted to high dependency unit
July 24, 2012: died at 5.16 pm. 
July 28, 2012: Internal probe committee gave a clean chit to staff
August 2, 2012: External Probe Committee constituted 
December 25, 2012: Committee submitted report to the PGIMER. 

The case forwarded to the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

Following Anupama’s death, her parents moved the UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum alleging ‘negligence’ on the part of the PGI doctors and the CTU. In April this year, the commission directed both the respondents to pay Rs 10 lakh as compensation to Anupama’s parents. The PGIMER filed an appeal in the National Commission against the judgement of the state commission while her parents appealed in the National Commission for enhancement of the compensation amount. The matter is subjudice.

How Anupama died

Anupama’s left leg was crushed under the rear wheels of a CTU bus on July 17 while she was on her way home from school. She had succumbed to her injuries at the PGIMER on July 24. Her parents had alleged that the bandage on her leg was not changed for many days and it had resulted in the development of gangrene and septicemia. “Doctors had failed to check the spread of gangrene during the amputation of her lower left limb, which led to her death,” said Amit Sarkar, Anupama’s father.

The schedule of the operation theatre at the PGIMER revealed that patients with less severe injuries were given preference to Anupama. The schedule mentioned that surgery of the patient with fracture dislocation hip was performed on July 19 at 9.15 am and completed at 10 am. The surgery of other patient with vascular injury was performed on July 18 at 11.40 pm. The surgery of Anupama for urgent hip disarticulation, which required amputation of her entire leg from hip to immediately stop the spread of gangrene was scheduled at 12.35 am on July 19, two days after she was admitted to the hospital.

These two patients had relatively lesser urgency and were admitted after Anupama. Yet, they were given preference. While Anupama was admitted on July 17, the other two patients, one admitted on July 18 and the other on July 19, were operated on the respective days of their admission.

What do Anupama’s parents suggest

“We never visited the PGIMER after we lost Anupama. We are not competent enough to completely understand the system of patient care in the institution. But one crucial observation we made during Anupama’s one-week long struggle at the Trauma Centre was that a variety of doctors attended to one patient and there was no uniformity in their treatment patterns,” said Anupama’s father Amit Sarkar, with tears in his eyes, as he performed the rituals on his daughter’s first death anniversary.

“The doctor who checked Anupama on the first day was never visible at least to us, again. Also, every new doctor suggested a different thing. While one would say keep the the bandage on, the other would ask us to do exactly the opposite. We had so many concerns and queries as we wanted to strictly follow the instructions of the doctors to ensure that Anupama remained safe. But there was nobody who could answer our questions. Not even any attendant,” he said as he broke down.

What did the External Committee probe and conclude

The PGIMER initially made several attempts to subdue the matter by shielding its staff, but criticism from the media and Anupama’s parents forced the institution to initiate an independent probe into the matter. The committee headed by Prof SS Gill, Vice-Chancellor, Baba Farid University, Faridkot, mentioned that the doctors who deposed before it accepted that there was a delay. However, it failed to fix anyone’s responsibility for the ‘delay’.

A patient awaits treatment at the Emergency of the PGI. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

“The mechanism of injury of the patient should have raised a high index of suspicion that the patient had sustained crush injury of the thigh and was likely to develop serious complications. However, the team (those who attended to Anupama) decided to stick to their previous waiting list and hence the patient could not be taken for surgery till July 19 (2012). This was an error in judgment,” read the report submitted by the committee to the PGIMER Director.

“The committee feels that the priority should have been rearranged for the patient (Anupama),” stated the report. It had only come up with 26 recommendations for the PGIMER.

What the PGIMER claims to have done

“We have increased the working hours of the operation theatres to accommodate a higher number of patients. Also, we have increased our staff and the number of beds in the Advanced Trauma Centre,” said PGIMER’s spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar.




Special buses still ‘off-road’
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Students rush to board a bus in Sector 19, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, July 24
Tall claims of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) of starting special buses for schoolchildren after Anupama’s death have fallen flat on its face as students can still be seen struggling to get home after school.

With Anupama’s death anniversary falling tomorrow (Thursday), a Tribune team today conducted a random survey of the special buses started by the CTU only to discover that not even a single special bus ferried schoolchildren from the ISBT-17.

This exposes the claims of the CTU of having started five special buses for students from the ISBT-17 on different routes at 2 pm everyday.

After Anupama’s death, the CTU in coordination with the UT education department took a slew of measures.

It started 20 special buses for government school students and increased the number to 40 in April, this year. While 25 buses ply on different routes in the morning, 15 ferry passengers in the afternoon.

But it was learnt that most of the buses were not ferrying students as per the routes and time schedule finalised by the CTU.

As per the schedule, one of the five buses was to pick up students from the ISBT-17 at 2 pm and drop them at Maloya. The bus was supposed to pass through Sectors 18, 20, 34 market, 35 market, 37 market, 38 market and 38 (West).

Ashwini Kumar, a student of the GMSSS, Sector 22, and a resident of Maloya, said he had never seen any special bus for Maloya. “Some buses had started for students of a government school in Sector 18, where Anupama had died, but he had never got home by a special bus.”

Most of the students did not know about the special buses while there were a few who demanded that the officials concerned should inform them about the routes and the timings.

Parmod, a student, said he had never come across such buses. “We have to go through a harrowing tome to catch a bus. Many hang on to the doors of the CTU buses to get home,” he said.

Malkit Singh, station supervisor, ISBT-17, said he did not know about the buses.

Chaos on roads

The buses started by the CTU are of a little help as long queues of students waiting for buses are still seen outside schools. During a visit to Sectors 19 and 20, it was found that students, including girls and boys, had to wait for half-an-hour to catch a bus. Many were seen running after the buses.

Kapil Sharma, another student, who was waiting for a bus near the Sector 20 market, said the CTU had failed to improve its services. He said there was no check on overloading.

The buses stationed outside GMSSS, Sector 18, and GMSSS, Sector 21, were overloaded.

Monika Sharma, student of GMSSS, Sector 18, said, “Four to five special buses have been started for Mani Majra but there are no such buses for Sector 38.”

Efforts to contact CTU GM SP Parmer proved futile.

An official of the education department said they would tide over the problem soon.



Traffic marshals of little help
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

A traffic marshal helps students cross a road outside GMSSS, Sector 21, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, July 24
The traffic marshal programme introduced by the education department outside 10 government schools has apparently failed to serve the purpose. The marshals, who were in civvies, were unable to handle the situation. There was no coordination between the school authorities and the marshals as teachers and students were seen leaving the schools at the same time.

This added to the chaos in front of schools.

In the absence of a zebra crossing, the traffic marshals were unable to help student cross a road.

Gurnam Singh, nodal officer of the traffic marshal programme asserted that there were several issues that needed to be sorted out. He said the programme was started last month, but still the marshals were without uniform.

“A teacher should be put on duty on a rotational basis to help the marshals ,” he said.

A traffic marshal, Pritam Singh, deputed in front of GMSSS, Sector 21,said, “There should be a zebra crossing in front of the schools.” Another traffic marshal at GSSS, Sector 27, PS Dalal, said parents should not park their vehicles in front of schools.

GSSS, Dhanas, GSSS, Sector 20, GSSS,Mani Majra, GMSSS, Sector 18, GMSSS, Sector 21, GSSS, Sector 27, GSSS, Raipur Khurd, GMHS, Sector 25, GMHS, Sector 43, and GMHS, Sector 41D, are the schools where the traffic marshals have been appointed.The programme will be implemented in all schools.



Keeping his commitment, High Court Chief Justice donates blood
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today kept his school days commitment by donating blood, once again. When Chief Justice Kaul was just a school student, he told himself that he must donate blood. He kept up the practice when he reached college and even after his elevation as a High Court judge.

Chief Justice Kaul was the first in the queue this morning to donate blood at a camp organised by the High Court Blood Contributors' Club. With his donation, Justice Kaul joined the ranks of judges and legal luminaries, who have been donating blood at the camps held since February 2007. Chief Justice of India, Justice P Sathasivam, too had donated blood at one of the camps, when he was a judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

And, Chief Justice Kaul was not the only judge. No less than five more High Court judges volunteered as a team of expert doctors collected blood.

The judges, who contributed to the cause, are Justice Augustine George Masih, Justice Jitendra Chauhan, Justice Paramjit Singh, Justice Rameshwar Singh Malik and Justice Mahavir S. Chauhan. Justice Masih even brought his daughter to donate blood. Also present at the event was former Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court, Justice SS Sodhi.

In all, 306 units of blood were donated at the camp. Among the donors were senior advocate Manmohan Lal Sarin, who donated blood for the 113th time, and his wife Niti Sarin who contributed for the 57th time. The enthusiasm to donate blood could be gauged from the fact that at the end of the day, the team of doctors had to request the donors to come forward and contribute at a later date.

Giving details of the camps, Sarin, an active member of the voluntary blood donation movement, said the contributors' club was inaugurated in February 2007. It functions through volunteers, who ensure easy availability of blood for all members of the legal fraternity by maintaining a database of donors.



Trains delayed, passengers face inconvenience
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Railway passengers had to face a lot of inconvenience today as all trains plying between New Delhi and Chandigarh were delayed by an hour due to a disruption between Ganaur and Sandankalana stations. Sources in the Railway Department said an overhead electrical wire between the Panipat and Sonipat stations was found missing this morning due to which the trains were diverted on a single track. Due to this reason a majority of the trains from New Delhi got late.

The Shatabdi from New Delhi to Chandigarh reached an hour late at the railway station. The arrival time of train number 12005 at the city railway station is 11:05 am, but due to the technical fault it reached at around 12:15 pm. Even the evening Shatabdi from New Delhi to Chandigarh left the Delhi railway station 45 minutes late. The departure time the train from Delhi station is 5:15 pm .

There was a heavy rush of passengers at the enquiry counter of the Chandigarh railway station to get the status of the Shatabdi this morning. The worst affected were those who came to pick and drop their near and dear ones in the morning. A majority of the people had a harrowing time as they did not get any space to park their vehicles.

BSNL All-India general secretary RP Sahu, who was travelling in the morning Shatabdi from New Delhi to Chandigarh to hold a rally of employees, got late by an hour due to the delay in the arrival of the train.The organisers of the association, who went to receive him at the railway station, faced trouble as hundreds of workers were waiting since morning for the rally.

Railway officials said during the inspection of this track in the morning, they found that an overhead wire was missing after which it was decided to use a single track for running the trains till the repair of the track.



Panic grips Mohali as headless body of woman found
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 24
Panic gripped the area when a headless decomposed body of an unidentified woman was recovered from the local sewerage treatment plant (STP) at Sector 83, here today. Shockingly, the chopped head was found tangled in the net of the treatment plant at around 8.30 pm last night. The local police was informed immediately by the officials of the plant.

An official at the STP said the head was in a polythene bag. "We were shocked when we saw the head in the bag," said the official.

Giving details, Mohali Superintendent of Police (city) Swarndeep Singh said the headless body was recovered from the plant at around 7.30 am today. "It was a decomposed body. The killing might have taken place about five to six days ago," said Swarndeep Singh.

He added that the victim seemed to be a migrant woman between the age of 25 and 30 years. She was wearing a magenta-coloured blouse and on her left arm word Dharminder was engraved.

The face was badly mutilated, probably to conceal the victim's identity. Several injuries on the indicated that she was thrashed before her murder. "We have sent an alert to our counterparts in Chandigarh, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh to find if any report of a missing woman was registered there," said the SP. He added that they were trying to locate the site where the incident took place.

The SP added that the police had started the investigation. "The first thing is to identify the victim," said the SP. No case has been registered so far.



Panchkula MLA starts parallel corporation with 21 members

Panchkula, July 24
In a bid to run a parallel corporation of councillors, a committee of around 21 members led by Panchkula MLA DK Bansal would represent their areas and help in development works for the city.

The committee known as the Greater Panchkula Constituency Co-operation Committee will work for the development works running by the Haryana Government and also solve the problems of the people on priority bases.

The committee has two losing candidates, Ranjeeta Mehta and Pritam Singh Lubana, who lost in the MC elections.

While Mehta can prove a threat to the councillor Bhawna Gupta from Ward 10 and Lubana can prove a threat to counsillor Kuljeet Waraich from Ward 8 as they have been given parallel powers by the local MLA in the development works of her area.

Bansal said Satnam Singh Chatha has been appointed as the founder chairman of this committee.

According to the information, Poonam Ahluwalia is the chief patron of this co-operation Committee, Ranjeeta Mehta is the chairman of the Zone -1 of the committee Pritam Singh, President, B.K. Singla president of Men Committee where as Kusam Kapil , president for Women Committee. Pushpender Rana is the Chairman Corporation Zone (Villages) and Naresh Sharma is the President Block Barwala. He said that the Chairman B.C. Cell( Block Barwala) is Gurcharan Singh Bharily, Viney Sohal is Senior President, R.K. Garg Vice President, Ashok Johar Joint Secretary, Jyoti Sehgal General Secretary and Kirandeep Kaur is the Organizing Secretary of Greater Panchkula Constituency Co-operation Committee. — TNS



Special teams to conduct raids at ultrasound centres

Mohali, July 24
Following complaints of overcharging and sex determination tests by some private ultrasound centers, the district administration has constituted special teams to conduct surprise raids on the centers being run in the district.

Mohali Deputy Commissioner Tajinder Pal Singh Sidhu, during the monthly review meeting on health issues, gave directions to constitute special teams to conduct surprise checks at private medical centers having facility of ultrasound.

"In these teams, the officials of health authorities would also be included. Centers found flouting guidelines would be shut down," said the Deputy Commissioner.

Sidhu said he has received complaints of overcharging and flouting of other guidelines at certain centers.

"We are also starting awareness campaign on family planning in the district by staging 'nukkar nataks'. Some NGOs will also be included in the campaign," said Sidhu.

During the meeting, Civil Surgeon Dr Rajiv Bhalla apprised the Deputy Commissioner of their preparation to deal with the dengue cases.

"We are fully prepared to handle the dengue cases. Awareness drive on safety from dengue is under way," said Dr Bhalla. — TNS



CTU to introduce e-ticketing

Chandigarh, July 24
With the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) inviting tenders for new low-floor buses, the authorities have decided to introduce e-ticketing for the new buses. The hand held electronic ticketing machines (ETMs) will enable the authorities to monitor occupancy at regular intervals. The device, equipped with the GPRS system, will update the server of the each bus.

“The new mechanism would enable us to monitor the issuing of tickets," said a senior official. Explaining the mechanism, the official said an ETM was a device capable of issuing passenger tickets and sending ticket data over serial and GPRS interfaces. It is capable of automatic fare collection using smart cards and recharging of cards.

All transactions will be stored on the ETMs, uploaded directly to the PC-based application or on the driver console unit over a serial interface.

A control room will be set up at the CTU office to monitor occupancy and movement of buses. Officials of the CTU have in the past visited cities like Mumbai and Pune to study the system. The 98 new low-floor buses would compromise 49 AC buses and 49 non-AC buses. The buses are expected to be inducted in another two months. — TNS



Work on water-holding chambers begins
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 24
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has started the construction of water-holding points in Phase III B2. During rainy season, water enters houses in the area.

A pipeline laid by the civic body at a cost of Rs 2.85 crore failed to solve the problem.

GMADA is now constructing two chambers for holding rainwater in Phase III B2. Two more chambers will be constructed at Phase VII.

While one chamber in Phase III B2 will measure 60 X 25 ft, the other will be 40 X 22 ft. Similarly, in Phase VII, one chamber will measure 60 X 25 ft, the other will have an area of 45 X 36 ft. It is learnt that work on one chamber in Phase III B2 is nearing completion. Work on the second chamber will be started in a week or so.

Rainwater will channelised into these chambers and later pumped out into the stormwater sewer. Pump sets have been installed in Phases III B2 as well as Phase VII to drain out water.

Brainchild of Prof Kapil Gupta, department of civil engineering, IIT Bombay, the water-holdings points will not let rainwater enter the houses.

Gupta asked GMADA officials to reduce the level of parks and greenbelts in order to check waterlogging.



Health Dept to conduct surprise checks on medical stores

Mohali, July 24
Officials of the Health Department have been directed to conduct surprise checks on medical stores in the district and ensure that strict action is taken against anyone found selling drugs.

The directions were given by Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu while addressing a meeting of district health societies here.

He also directed the health officials to initiate village-level awareness through road shows and short plays against drug addiction and the declining sex ratio. Other government departments would cooperate in the campaign.

The Deputy Commissioner asked the SDM to constitute special teams for the surprise inspection of ultrasound centres in the district. Health officials would be part of the teams. If any centre was found violating the law and the rules, it would be closed down. — OC



Power snag affects southern sectors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
The power supply to a number of sectors in the southern part of the city was badly affected after a 66 KV high tension line near Kajehri village developed a snag. The line which had developed snag last night was repaired only to develop the same snag this evening.

The power supply remained suspended to a majority of sectors from 4 pm till late this evening. A senior official of the UT Electricity Department said apart from the fault at Kajehri, the supply from the Mohali sub-station was also affected. As a result, the supply to a number of phases in Mohali remained suspended from 5 pm to 7 pm.



Science stream loses popularity in govt schools
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
The science stream in Chandigarh government schools is losing popularity, courtesy the UT Education Department’s recent increase in school timings for the science stream students from the new session.

The cut-off grade for the science stream in several government schools has come down in the second round of admission counselling for Class XI. The school and stream-wise merit list was uploaded today at the Education Department’s website.

On the other hand, the cutoff for commerce, humanities and vocational courses has seen a considerable rise in all the government schools

An official said for the last many years, students of Class XI and Class XII science stream were being freed at 12.30 pm compared to 2 pm for students of other streams. The practice was revised last month due to objections raised by local teachers’ union. “This decision has, however, led many students to desert their seats in the new session since their revised timings are clashing with their private coaching for entrance exams,” he said.

As per the merit list, the cutoff of science stream decreased in six government schools, which rarely happened in previous years. For instance, in GMSSS-16, it came down from 9.4 in the first counselling to 9.2 CGPA in the second counselling.

The cut-off came down from 7.4 to 7.2 CGPA in GMSSS-22. In GMSSS-32, GMSSS-33 and GMSSS-27, it has also come down by 0.2 CGPA. Elsewhere, it is stagnant, same as it was in the first counselling.

Anujit Kaur, Head, GMSSS-16, said: “The students of the science stream in the school are perplexed and waiting for the department to rollback its decision. If that does not happen, we fear more students can leave their seats and find other options as the revised timings are clashing with their preparation for entrance coaching.”

Sunil Bedi, subject expert, UT Education Department, also asserted that the revision in timings could be one of the reasons.

A schoolhead informed that this year, many science seats can remain vacant by the third round of counselling.

As far as commerce and humanities streams are concerned, there has been an increase in cut-off in all the government schools. GMSSS-Manimajra emerged the top choice of students for commerce as its cut-off increased from 8.6 CGPA in the first counselling to 9.6 CGPA in the second counselling.

Other top schools, including GMSSS-35, GMSSS-37B and GMSSS-16, recorded the cutoff of 9 CGPA, 8.6 CGPA and 9.2 CGPA in commerce stream, an increase 0.2 CGPA from first counseling. In GMSSS-19, cut-off for commerce increased from 8 CGPA to 8.4 CGPA.

Similarly in humanities, there has been a hike in cut- off in all the government schools including schools in the periphery areas too.

Vocational courses too remained the favourite as a limited seats jumped up on the cut-off for Information Technology Applications, Fashion Designing, Health and Beauty course and Medical laboratory Technology in the second round.



PU-affiliated colleges charging more fees
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Ignoring the Panjab University’s (PU) decision to introduce a uniform fee structure in all the affiliated colleges, the GGDSD College, Sector 32, has charged more fees from the students for various courses.

While the university had finalised Rs 15,000 as fee for MCom in all the affiliated colleges, the SD College charged around Rs 30,900 from the students. Similarly, the university had asked the colleges to charge Rs 25,000 as annual fee for BBA. However, the students have been charged Rs 33,000 by the college.

The university in a bid to check the fleecing of the students by the colleges in the name of fee had finalised a uniform fee structure which was even sent to the colleges a day before the admission process started.

Bhushan K Sharma, principal the college, said: “The college is providing various additional facilities to the students, which are not available in other colleges following which the fees charged is more. There are smart classrooms for the BBA students and they are even provided literature free of cost.”

College authorities said the university should have finalised the fee structure after calculating the expenses for running the courses and facilities offered by the college.

Dinesh Talwar, a PU syndicate member, said why the university has released a uniform fee structure when the colleges do not follow them. “I will raise the issue in the upcoming syndicate meeting and will demand stern action against all such colleges who are fleecing the students,” said Talwar.

Sources said the complaints of college overcharging the students have also been made to the university.

Janak Raj Dhiman, PU’s Deputy Registrar (Colleges), said the university has sought a reply from the colleges on the complaints of overcharging from the students. “We are waiting for the reply from the colleges following which further action will be taken,” he said.



Varsity all set to tackle ragging menace
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Panjab University has geared up to tackle the menace of ragging on the campus. The university has decided that frequent rounds of police control room (PCR) vehicles would be arranged on both the campuses and outside the campuses up to August 31.

"Security in the teaching department as well as in the hostels in Sector 14 and 25 is being beefed up by providing additional security personnel. One additional security personnel will also be provided in each hostel at night," officials said.

The members of the anti-ragging committee have been asked to be available on the campus at least up to August 31 when chances of ragging are potential.

"Chief of the university security has been asked to ensure that CCTVs installed at all designated places are functional for constant surveillance," said an official.

A meeting of all students' organisation and wardens would soon be called with senior officials of the university and police department for providing necessary counselling on ragging and other unlawful acts and their serious consequences.

Officials said the anti-ragging committees at the level of each department/hostel comprised of faculty members and senior/research students in the case of department and wardens/faculty members and senior residents in the case of hostel would be constituted to keep a constant check and vigil in and around the departments and hostels to ensure that no ragging incident takes place.

In order to motivate the students against the menace of ragging, an awareness march would be organised. A play against ragging by the Indian Theatre students would also be organised near the Students Centre in Sector 14 and near the boys hostel in Sector 25 campus by the DSW Office.



From Schools
Special assembly

Chandigarh: A special assembly was organised by the students of Class III of the Tribune Model School. It was a theme-based assembly on honesty. All the students of the class participated enthusiastically. The assembly started with a prayer, followed by thought for the day, a poem, a play and a song. Parents also enjoyed their ward’s performance.

Investiture ceremony

Investiture ceremony of the school student council was held in Chandigarh Baptist School, in which head boy- Lizo K Raju, head girl - Anjali Gladwin, captains and vice-captains of all the Houses took oath in the presence of entire school to uphold the good name of the school at all times. They were honoured with badges.

Sri Guru Harkrishan Senior Secondary Public School

Investiture ceremony for student council was held at Sri Guru Harkrishan Senior Secondary Public School, Sector 40C, Chandigarh, in the presence of the members of the school management committee. The ceremony commenced with the school shabad. The badges were bestowed upon the newly appointed student council. Arshdeep Singh and Shubkirat Kaur were appointed as the head boy and the head girl.

Van Mahotsav Week

On the occasion of ‘Van Mahotsav Week’ a poster making and declamation competition was organised t MDAV School. Students of different classes took part in various activities. The students planted different types of plants on the school premises with great enthusiasm. — TNS



Protest enters third day, teachers plan to meet Education Secretary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Protest by the members of the Joint Action Committee of UT Schoolteachers entered its third day today. The teachers wore black clothes and back badges. Heavy security was deployed at the venue of the protest in Sector 17 to avoid any tension. The protest was against the Chandigarh Administration to revoke the suspension and FIR against the four teachers. They also demanded that the show- cause notices issued to more than 100 teachers should also be withdrawn.

The members of the committee said they would continue the protests till the demand raised by the teachers are not met.

Meanwhile, the agitated members would meet Education Secretary VK Singh to sort out the matter after a senior official of the administration SK Setia alongwith Duty Magistrate Rajiv Tewari visited them. One of the suspended teachers, Kushali Ram Sharma, said they were not against the faculty development programme of the department but wanted some changes.

On the other hand, president of the Government Teachers Union, Vinod Sharma said they would also meet VK Singh to request him to withdraw the show-cause notice sent to the teachers.



Students protest DU’s decision to end Punjabi as elective subject

Chandigarh, July 24
The faculty members and the students of Panjab University’s Punjabi department today carried out a protest march on campus against the Delhi University (DU)’s decision to finish Punjabi as the elective subject in graduation course.

Prof Yograj Angrish, a faculty member at the department, said: “With the introduction of a four-year undergraduate programme, the DU has decided to end the option of Punjabi as an elective subject. There are 16 DU-affiliated colleges where Punjabi was taught as the elective subject from last 17 years.”

Prof Yograj said, “There are many colleges under the DU that have MA in Punjbai and with the ending of the option of Punjabi elective in undergraduate course, the number of students applying for MA will also be affected.”

A senior professor of Punjabi at the PU said, “This is a conspiracy against the Punjabi language and culture which will not be tolerated.”

Panjab University’s Punjabi department is going to write to the Chief Minister, Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and Vice-Chancellor of the Delhi University demanding that the decision should be rolled back. — TNS



Students get tips on healthy living
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
The 6th IJ Dewan Workshop on "Organs Talk" organised at the Zakir Hall, PGIMER, by the Anatomy Department concluded today.

Over 500 students from various schools of the tricity and the surrounding cities like Ambala attended the two-day workshop.

The students were practically shown how badly the human organs like lungs, liver and heart are damaged due to the ill-effects of smoking, alcoholism and unhealthy food habits. Fractured skull and damaged brain were shown to stress upon the importance of wearing a helmet while driving.



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