C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Patil seeks explanation from UT officials
Calls special meeting to discuss rising groundwater level and the threat posed to buildings
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil today sought an explanation from officials of the UT Administration for not taking action to pump out shallow water, which is at the 2-metre level in some southern sectors and is posing a threat to the foundation of buildings in these sectors.

Taking cognisance of a report published in these columns today, which highlighted that there are five sectors in the city where shallow water has been recorded at the 2-metre level by the Central Ground Water Board, the UT Administrator has called a special meeting of officials to discuss the issue and to find out the reason behind the “inaction”.

Officials of the municipal corporation today denied having received any such report from the Central Ground Water Board. “During a presentation by experts of the board, we were not told anything about the gravity of the problem; otherwise we would have surely taken action,” said a senior official of the MC.

An expert of the board, however, claimed that during the presentation, it was pointed out to officials of the Administration that if the shallow water was not pumped out, it would affect the foundation of buildings in some areas. In fact, till 2007, the utilisation of shallow water in the city was on a par with its availability.

Interestingly, in 2009 also, a report on “dynamic groundwater resources” in Chandigarh was drafted by a team of the board in collaboration with the UT engineering department in which recommendations were made by experts that in Sectors 37 to 46 shallow water was at the 5-metre level. In the report it was mentioned that there was no provision for pumping out of shallow water from these areas.

Solution offered by the board

The board has recommended that the UT authorities should utilise the shallow water for watering green belts through tube wells as was done before 2007.

Aquifers under stress

The Union Ministry of Water Resources has pointed out in a report that deeper aquifers were under great stress and were showing a declining water level while shallow aquifers were not being put to use and were showing a rising water level, causing dampness in southern sectors in the city.

Ground reality

Records of the corporation reveal that all 38 shallow tube wells installed by the authorities in green belts earlier were discontinued around four years ago after the installation of “tertiary treated water pipelines”. The MC needs to revive these tube wells to solve the problem.



Residents complain of dampness, cracks in several houses
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
Owners of buildings in southern sectors are a worried lot due to dampness and cracks in their structures. They are “clueless about the fact” that this is the result of a rise in the level of “shallow water” in their areas. Residents of Sectors 38, 41 and 52 claimed today that a large number of houses in their areas had developed minor cracks and dampness.

A resident of Badheri village, Ravinder Pathania, was surprised to know that the dampness in his house, constructed a year ago, was due to a rise in the level of shallow water. He said he had consulted the contractor concerned a number of times to know the reason, but he was unable to solve the problem. He had also consulted another builder to check the raw material used in the construction, but the report was satisfactory. He said it was strange that the authorities were so callous that they did not even bother to act on the advice of the Central Ground Water Board.

A resident of Sector 52, Satpal Yadav, in their colony many houses had developed minor cracks in the walls. Residents, who were unaware of the cause, had been blaming the builder concerned for not using quality raw material.

Jyoti, a resident of the CHB Colony in Sector 38 West, said in 2005, cracks had appeared in houses, which were repaired by the authorities in 2009. However, the cracks had reappeared in most of the houses. She said a number of complaints had been lodged with the housing board to look into the issue.



Dental caries among students a cause for concern, say specialists
Report finds 28.80 per cent pupils of govt schools affected
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
The problem of dental caries is quite prevalent among government schoolchildren in Chandigarh. According to a report of the school health programme, 33.14 per cent students were detected with dental caries during the 2011-12 session and 28.80 per cent students during the 2012-13 session.

About 1.44 lakh students underwent a medical check-up in government schools in 2011-12 and 1.06 lakh students in 2012-13. The students were checked on different health parameters, including nutrition deficiencies, anaemia, worm infestation, refractive error and dental caries.

Students of both urban and rural government schools were found having dental problems.

In 2011-12, 34.74 per cent rural and periphery school students were found having dental caries compared to 32 per cent students of urban schools. In 2012-13, 31.14 per cent students of rural and periphery government schools were detected with dental caries as compared to 26.80 per cent students of urban government schools.

Experts have expressed concern over the prevalence of dental caries among children.

Dr Ashima Goyal, Professor at the Oral Health Sciences Centre, PGI, said the problem of caries was highly prevalent these days among different age groups and even children were detected with dental caries.  According to her, bad food habits are to be blamed for it. Sugar exposure among children in any form is high these days. The problem is that sugar produces acid in the mouth, leading to cavity and then infection.

“Parents must plan and restrict the sugar exposure among children to a maximum of three times a day. The intake of sugar, whether by way of biscuits, chocolates or in any liquid form, at frequent intervals needs to be checked," she said.

Another dental specialist in the city, Dr Ritu Batra, said the pattern of food among the younger generation had drastically changed, leading to severe dental problems. What was aggravating the problem was the frequent consumption of candies, chocolates and junk food by youngsters and lack of proper brushing habits, she said.

Dr Kuldeep Singh, another city-based dental specialist, advised parents to increase the intake of high fibre diet and ensure that the children brushed their teeth twice a day. Brushing at night was important and should not be missed.

Dr Ashima Goyal said it was a wrong notion that parents should wait for the right age to inculcate brushing habits among children. Brushing should start right with the first teeth of the children. "For children below four years of age, parents should merely touch the fluoride gel on the baby's brush as they cannot spit properly. But once they start spitting properly, the parents must ensure that they brush their teeth twice a day and plan their day’s meal in advance. Flossing should also be introduced at a young age," she said.

Experts said the authorities should spread awareness among students, especially those from the poor strata, as they were more vulnerable to ailments. Regular health sessions in school should be held to sensitise students about the emerging health issues.

Steps to prevent dental caries

  • Start brushing teeth at a very young age
  • High fibre and protein intake must for children
  • Restrict sugar products like candies and cold drinks
  • Brush teeth twice a day
  • Teach the correct technique of bushing to children
  • Introduce flossing at a young age
  • Visit a dentist for professional advice



For Panchkula MC, swanky cars high on the agenda
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 29
“Development yes, but swanky cars first” seems to be the mantra of the newly elected Panchkula Mayor and senior officials of the Panchkula Municipal Corporation. An item pertaining to the purchase of at least six cars worth more than Rs 30 lakh is high on the agenda for the first meeting of the MC, scheduled for tomorrow.

All 20 newly elected representatives will meet for the first time at the conference room of the Mini-Secretariat in Sector 1, Panchkula, tomorrow. A 12-point agenda has been prepared for the meeting.

The agenda states that new cars for the Panchkula Mayor, two joint commissioners, two deputy municipal commissioners and other important officials are “the need of the hour”.

The item has been placed high on the agenda despite the fact that Panchkula Mayor Upender Ahluwalia is already using an official vehicle (Ambassador), which was earlier being used by Executive Officer-cum-Deputy Municipal Commissioner OP Sihag, who has now been given a Bolero.

While the Mayor is allowed to purchase a car worth up to Rs 8.5 lakh, the limit for other offcials is fixed at Rs 5 lakh.

The additional charge of two posts of Joint Commissioner is being held by City Magistrate Vandana Disodia (Panchkula zone) and Kalka SDM Manita Malik.

Panchkula Mayor Upinder Ahluwalia said, “The Ambassador car which I have been given is around 25 to 30 years old. We are also planning to buy cars for officials. Development works in the city are our priority.”

At times, Ahluwalia also uses her personal car with a red beacon while addressing functions in the city.



Most accidents occur in productive years of life: Study
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
A PGI study on road accident victims rushed to the institute has found that a majority of them belonged to the "most productive age group" (21-40 years) and ended up losing a limb or suffered prolonged injuries, while being single breadwinners in their families.

The main reason behind the accidents in most of these cases was that the victims were either not wearing helmets or seat belts. Of the 400 road accident victims with orthopaedic injuries (bone fractures) included in the study, conducted for over six months at the Advanced Trauma Centre in the PGI, 58 per cent were aged between 21 and 40 years. As many as 90 per cent among them were men and most of them were on two-wheelers when the accidents took place. Of them, only 31.3 per cent were reportedly wearing helmets.

"In India, men are often the breadwinners of their families and have a greater exposure to traffic as compared to women. Moreover, men have a more 'risky behaviour' such as hanging on the side of a bus, running to catch a bus, aggressive driving, impatience, lack of attention and indulging in drunk driving," said Dr Sukhpal Kaur, a lecturer at the National Institute of Nursing Education and key researcher in the study.

The research, conducted under the "principal investigation" of Dr Mandeep Singh Dhillon, Professor, department of orthopaedics, and with the support of Dr Sarvdeep Singh Dutt, Assistant Professor in the department, concluded that there was an urgent need for the enforcement of road traffic safety rules in order to decrease this "preventable cause of death and disability".

"In our study, we have interviewed a small number of victims and found lack of precautions as the prime reason for death and disability. The actual number of such cases in the nation is likely to be much higher. It is high time we all wake up to the grave matter and start following safety rules," said Dr Dhillon.

The research has already been accepted for publication in the Journal of Post Graduate Medicine. "We are proposing to study the demographic profiles of head injury patients in the next phase of our research," said Dr Dhillon. The study was conducted in 2009, and the mean stay of each patient was 66 days at the hospital, which is a long time and utilises a significant amount of hospital resources and reduces earnings of the breadwinners.

'Wear seat belts'

We all often forget the importance of road safety rules until something terrible happens to us. Seat belts have a lot of significance and should be worn regularly and not just because of the fear of the traffic police. I met with an accident and suffered a severe neck injury since I was sitting on the back seat in a wrong posture.

— Harman Sidhu, accident victim

Enforce traffic rules

My son had a spinal injury 16 years ago when my father was driving a car and another car rammed into it. My five-year-old son had a severe injury just because a 12-year-old boy was driving the car. Now, my son has been confined to the wheelchair for his entire life. Words alone won't do. It is high time stricter laws were enforced. Underage driving was the key cause of the accident in this case.

— MS Sekhon, father of an accident victim



Getting an X-ray done at PGI a Herculean task
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
The lack of a centralised facility for depositing fee for X-ray or ultrasound tests at the PGI and only a single counter being available for the purpose has been forcing patients to stand in a queue for several hours.

Even as the institute has set up eight counters for depositing fee for other lab tests, including blood tests, biopsy or minor operation theatre tests, the very purpose of saving a patient’s time has been defeated as the patient still has to stand in a long separate queue for X-ray since there is only one counter for X-ray and the centralised facility for depositing fee is not being used by operators.

The ordeal

Sample this: A patient who needs to undergo an X-ray or ultrasound test and also needs to deposit the fee for a urine test can save time by depositing fee for the urine test by going to any of the eight counters, but he cannot escape the long queue for depositing the X-ray fee. He will first have to stand in a queue to deposit the fee for the urine test and then wait in a long queue to deposit the X-ray fee. He will end up spending a lot of time at the counters. He will then have to visit the hospital the next day or at a later date as specified by the hospital for undergoing the tests.

Adhir Prasad, a 42-year-old patient from Ambala who was complaining of frequent pain in the lower abdomen, was asked to bring the reports of the urine and the ultrasound tests. “This is the second time I visited the PGI for the same problem. A few years ago, I had this problem and underwent the same tests, but the problem was solved easily. I was happy to see more fee counters here. However, these were of little benefit to me. I went to one counter to deposit the fee for the urine test and asked the staff if they would also allow me to deposti the fee for the ultrasound test, but they directed me to another counter. It was a long queue there and I ended up wasting a lot of time.”

Another patient, Suman Nanda, who had to undergo a chest surgery, was asked to undergo an X-ray of the chest and a few blood tests. “Since they allow the option of depositing the fee for all other tests at any of the counters by maintaining records centrally, why can't they include the X-ray facility in the centralised registration system? It will be convenient if we have to stand in a queue only once. Not only will it save time, but it will also mean less harassment for patients,” she said.

What the PGI says

Officials at the PGI said since X-ray had an entirely different infrastructure and consumed relatively more time, it could not be combined with the fee registration of other tests.

“X-ray consumes a lot of time per patient and hence cannot be combined with other tests. Each patient is allocated a date for undergoing the test unlike in lab tests. However, we are contemplating combining it with other tests and the modalities are being worked out,” said the official spokesperson for the PGI, Manju Wadwalkar.

Lack of vision

The PGI has created a separate counter for depositing X-ray fee in order to maintain records of the films used for audit purposes.

Sources said lack of vision on the part of the PGI had been causing harassment to patients, who were being forced to visit separate counters to deposit the fee. Instead, the clerk at the counter should be asked to update the records of the X-ray films being used.


Bansal bats for settlers outside lal dora
Holds first-ever meeting with senior officials of the Administration over UT issues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
The first-ever official meeting between the Member of Parliament (MP), Chandigarh, Pawan Kumar Bansal, and senior officials of the Chandigarh Administration over the issues pertaining to the UT saw the MP yet again raising the issue of providing basic amenities to the settlers who have raised structures beyond the lal dora (abadi deh) of villages.

Incidentally, the MP has been seeking the redress of the unauthorised settlers' grievances for a long time. Rather, the UT has hardened its stand on the constructions outside the lal dora, much to the annoyance of a large number of Congress workers.

The meeting was convened on the directions of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which has stated the Adviser should hold regular meetings with the MP to discuss important issues pertaining to the UT.

Putting the ball in the court of the Chandigarh Administration, which has refused to withdraw the Periphery Act, relating to illegal constructions beyond the lal dora of five MC villages namely Maloya, Palsora, Kajheri, Dadu Majra and Hallomajra, the MP sought a suitable amendment to the notification of 2009 regarding the inclusion of these villages under the Punjab New Capital (Periphery Control) Act. In 2007, the UT had agreed to provide amenities to such settlers before going back on its orders two years later.

On the issue of providing basic amenities to the residents of Deep Complex, Hallo Majra, it was stated that the Municipal Corporation was working on the modalities for providing water and sewerage facilities to the residents.

Bansal said apart from the overall development of the villages, he had sought the relocation of houses scattered outside the lal dora. A green corridor around the villages should be formed. The UT officials said the vision for a holistic planning of these villages had been articulated in the draft Chandigarh Master Plan-2031, which is in the public domain for suggestions/comments. An appropriate solution to the issue would have to be thought of after looking into the practices adopted in the other cities, said an official note from the Chandigarh Administration.

At the meeting, the MP also raised the pending issues of transfer of dwelling units to the GPA holders of the Chandigarh Housing Board and the UT Estate Office, amendment to the building bylaws (residential and commercial) and policy for the allotment of land for religious purposes. Hardships faced by an allottee in getting his work done at the CHB was also highlighted.

The Adviser was urged to speed up work on the UT employees housing scheme. “Not only housing for employees, but I have also asked the officials to prepare a general housing scheme for the city residents who have been living here for the past 15 years but still do not own a house,” said Bansal. He also took up various issues pertaining to the ailing industry of Chandigarh, including the conversion charges.

A total of 13 issues were raised at the meeting. Other officials who attended the meeting included Anil Kumar, Home Secretary; VK Singh, Finance Secretary; Satya Gopal, Chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board; Vivek Pratap Singh, Municipal Commissioner; Prerna Puri, Additional Secretary (Home); SK Setia, Joint Secretary (Estates); and Sumit Kaur, Chief Architect.

Some of the issues figured in Cong manifestoes

In the previous elections, the MP had assured the voters of providing basic amenities to the settlers outside the lal dora, filling vacancies in the UT and redressing the CHB allottees' grievances. However, the officials of the Chandigarh Administration have been working on the contrary.

Meeting to be a monthly feature

Pawan Kumar Bansal said the meeting between him and the UT officials would be a monthly feature. It would benefit the city residents.

The following are the other issues raised by the MP

  • Regularisation of daily wage employees working with the Administration/Municipal Corporation as a one-time measure
  • Setting up of more Fair Price Shops in the city
  • General housing scheme for the needy city residents, who have been living in the city for the past 15 years



P’kula MC ignores common problems
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 29
As the elected representatives of the Panchkula Municipal Corporation meet for the first time tomorrow and discuss problems, like providing vehicles to functionaries, they seem to have conveniently forgotten several issues that confront the city like bad roads, speed-breakers outside schools and many others.

The agenda mentions only two points for development in Kalka and Pinjore that is maintenance of slaughter houses and cleanliness in villages falling in the district.

The agenda includes, increasing of labour cost in the park development from 1.50 to 2.50 per square meter. Procuring more sweepers and additional staff for the corporation, new designs of bus stop shelters, office of the MC, and procuring new dustbins for the city are some of the agenda points.

Sanitation, broken benches, gates and grills in the parks, potholed roads, provision of bus stops, parking outside schools and speed breakers outside the same were not taken into consideration.

Councillor of ward No 12, Lily Bawa, said, “I had given a list of 19 items, including roads and other important points. But I was told that only common issues would be taken up in the first meet. It is just the beginning.”



Sanitation campaign to beautify Mohali from August 1
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 29
To beautify the town, a special sanitation campaign will be carried out from August 1 to August 10. During the campaign, saplings would be planted on a large scale. The town has been divided into five zones and 500 safai karamcharis per day will be deployed during the campaign. The overall charge of the campaign will be with Dilraj Singh, Joint Commissioner of the corporation.

This was stated by Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu at a meeting in the District Administrative Complex. The meeting was attended by officials of GMADA and the Municipal Corporation.

Sidhu said the campaign would be started from the YPS Chowk. Special attention would be given to the cleaning of dumping points, kerb channels, removal of wild growth, lifting of garbage from roadsides and cleaning of roads.

Sidhu said during the campaign, plantation work would also be undertaken. In this regard, help from social service organisations would also be sought. Besides, parks would be beautified and benches, hammocks for kids and potable water facility would be made available, wherever needed.

He appealed to the residents to participate in the campaign to make it a grand success.


The campaign will be started from the YPS Chowk. Special attention will be given to the cleaning of dumping points, kerb channels, removal of wild growth, lifting of garbage from roadsides and cleaning of roads

— Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu, Deputy Commissioner



Mohali MC to outsource survey work
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, July 29
The Mohali Municipal Corporation has decided to hire an experienced private agency to carry out a survey of outdoor advertisements displayed in various parts of the town to find out which of these are proving to be traffic hazards.

AK Sinha, commissioner of the corporation, had issued orders on July 18 stating that the services of a private agency, which had adequate knowledge of the traffic rules and regulations, should be availed of to know about the violations in connection with outdoor advertisements.

Sources said the civic body had last week invited tenders from firms, agencies and individuals having three years of experience in conducting surveys/ study of outdoor advertisement media from the angle of traffic hazards and road safety.

The decision to hire a private agency was taken after the higher authorities of the civic body were told that the Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed Punjab to give a statement in connection with the court orders issued to Haryana. The court had asked Haryana to inform it whether any study or survey from an agency having knowledge about the traffic rules and regulations was got conducted before displaying outdoor advertisements.

The court had also asked municipal corporations and municipal councils that had put up outdoor advertisements to ensure that all illegal hoardings were removed, failing which responsibility of the employees involved in the work should be fixed.

The local civic body had already carried out a survey at its own level earlier in order to streamline the display of outdoor advertisements, which were creating visual pollution due to their large number.

Contractors were allowed to put up advertisements only at points that did not prove to be traffic hazards. As such, the number of unipole hoardings put up was reduced to 82 from 131, gantry billboards to 15 from 18 and gypsy shelters to four from 13 while “hanging kiosks” and “central verge kiosks” were totally removed.



development of panchkula ward
Mayor does rounds of HUDA office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
Facing a peculiar kind of a problem, Panchkula’s first Mayor, Upinder Ahluwalia, is being forced to make rounds of corridors of power department to get the development of her ward that falls under the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), transferred to the Municipal Corporation (MC).

Getting the transfer of the development works of her Sector 20 from HUDA in her hands, also marks the agenda list.

Till now, Sectors 1 to 19 fall in the jurisdiction of the MC and Sectors 20 to 28 fall in the jurisdiction of HUDA.

Ahluwalia’s Ward No 18 consists of Sector 20 which lies with HUDA.

She said, “I want the sanitation, garbage and development of parks in my hand, rest can be with HUDA. At least some part of the development of my sector should come in my hand.”

This issue has been discussed with several officials of HUDA and discussion of the same would be there in tomorrow’s meeting too.



Beetle bite cases up in tricity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
The rainy season has brought along beetle attack in the tricity if the number of cases reported at dermatology clinics and hospitals per day are to be believed. On an average, 10 new cases are being reported at dermatology clinics and hospitals per day.

Rove beetles are a dangerous species of insects that can cause a skin disorder called “peadrus dermatitis” and can leave permanent scars on face and exposed areas of any individual.

“The problem can not be taken lightly as usually six or seven groups of people living in close proximity are coming together with the same condition, specially students staying together in paying guest accommodations or hostels. The condition is more prevalent in the peripheral areas like Zirakpur, Banur, Derabassi and Ramgarh where a lot of colleges and hostels have come up,” said Dr Vikas Sharma, Chief Dermatologist, National Skin Hospital, Panchkula.

One must consult doctors within 48 hours after redness in skin persists, to avoid severe damage and permanent scars, the doctors at the PGI said.

“It is important to clean your bed properly. Also, clothes lying in almirahs for more than two weeks must be checked properly,” said Dr SD Mehta, from Mohali.

The Advisory

  • Learn to recognise paederus beetles and avoid handling or crushing these insects with the exposed areas of skin.
  • Keep doors closed and put screens on doors. Doors and windows should be kept tightly closed to check the entry of beetles to rooms.
  • Sleeping under a bed net, preferably permethrin-treated, may also reduce the probability of a beetle falling on the skin during the night.
  • A net or mesh can be tied under the lights to prevent the beetle from dropping on persons sitting in rooms.
  • Patients should avoid crushing the beetle with bare skin, manipulating primary lesions or rubbing the eyes.
  • If a beetle lands on the skin, try to remove it gently (example: blow it off, try to get the beetle to walk on to a piece of paper and then remove it). Wash contact areas of the skin.
  • Check areas for beetles (especially on walls and ceiling around the light) before going to bed. Beetle, if present, should be killed by using insecticide (pyrethroid) followed by sweeping up and removal of dead beetles.
  • Remove excess vegetation around your residence.



GMADA starts process to bring illegal colonies into planning framework
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 29
To bring all the unauthorised colonies and buildings into planning framework, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has initiated the process in its area, which is not part of the ‘GMADA original plan area’.

The GMADA chief administrator, AK Sinha, said their teams had surveyed the illegal colonies in the area, which fell in “other than GMADA original plan” area, and had given pro formas to the colonisers, builders, house owners to apply for the regularisation of their premises.

The GMADA authorities have also sought complete details of such projects.

“There are around 200 such colonies in the area in question while in the area, which comes under the original plan area of GMADA, the number of such colonies is 600,” said Sinha.

The new directions from the Punjab Government categorically state to regularise only those illegal colonies which fall in the area which does not fall in the GMADA original plan area while the decision on such colonies falling under the GMADA original plan area is yet to be taken by the authorities.

In Fatehgarh Sahib, the number of such colonies is 114, of which 48 are under GMADA jurisdiction and 66 under the local Municipal Corporation. The total number of illegal colonies in Rajpura is 34 (GMADA 17, MC 17), Ropar 23 (GMADA 16, MC 7), Morinda 6 (GMADA 2, MC 4), Anandpur Sahib 4 (GMADA 2, MC 2), Nurpur Bedi 1 (GMADA 1), Nangal 5 (MC 5) and Chamkaur Sahib 10 (MC 10).

The chief administrator Sinha added that under the state government’s policy, the process had been started to regularise these 200 colonies.

“These colonisers/builders have to apply before August 25,” said Sinha, adding that his office has also set up a helpline (0172-221502) to facilitate the colonisers or builders in this connection.

After regularising the colonies in question, these would be included in the new master plan.



‘Veer Raja Nahar Singh’ invokes spirit of nationalism
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
The play, "Veer Raja Nahar Singh", staged today at the Tagore Theatre as part of the ongoing summer theatre festival invoked the spirit of nationalism and took the audience back to the colonial days of the freedom struggle.

Written by Ashok Lal and directed by Sudesh Sharma, the play was a gripping depiction of valiant figure of Raja Nahar Singh of Ballabhgarh, who played a vital role in the 1857 mutiny. It depicted the life and rise of Nahar Singh as a king and as a pioneer in initiating the fight for independence in Haryana. With the use of Haryanavi folk songs and powerful presentations on the screen, the production became more enchanting.

The British were aware of the Raja’s secret dealing. Consequently, they apprehended him after the loot of the treasure of Palwal (a district in Ballabhgarh) and brought him to trial on December 19, 1857. Nahar Singh was also charged with the offence of helping the rebels. Raja Nahar Singh was finally hanged at Kotwali, Chandi Chowk in Delhi, on January 9, 1858.

Mohit Gupta, Purnima Thapa, Geeta Gandhi, Krishan Kumar Doda, Harwinder Singh and Anshi Sharma were among the cast of the play.



Award for paediatric neurologist
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
Prof Pratibha Singhi has been awarded the first Dr S Janaki Memorial Oration-2013 by the National Academy of Medical Sciences for recognition of outstanding contributions in the field of neurological disorders in the paediatric-adolescent age group.

She has done extensive clinical and research work in the field of paediatric neurology, particularly CNS infections, such as neurocysticercosis and meningitis, neurodevelopmental disorders, particularly cerebral palsy and autism, and childhood epilepsy.

Dr Singhi is a global leader in paediatric neurology. A researcher for 30 years, she established the paediatric neurology unit, started the DM course and helped develop the speciality in the country. Her main research interests include CNS infections, childhood disability and epilepsy.



22-year-old electrocuted
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 29
A 22-year-old electrician was electrocuted while repairing a transformer at Landran-Kharar road today. The victim has been identified as Balwinder Singh, a resident of Una, Himachal Pradesh. He was employed with a contractor of the Punjab State Electricity Board and had taken up what was his first job only on July 11.

According to sources, Balwinder along with his two colleagues, were asked to repair the transformer over which a high-tension cable was passing. During the repair work, the victim came in contact with the wire and was electrocuted on the spot. The charred body was brought down from the cable later.



Proposal yet to see light of day
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
The proposal of introducing the new concept of learning for the holistic development of students in all PU-affiliated colleges in Chandigarh and Punjab, and replacing September tests, which currently are subjective exam, with objective-type question-based class exam, is yet to see the light of day as the PU Syndicate in the recent meeting has decided to keep the proposal pending.

The committee, which was formed by the university on the representation made by Ajoy Sharma, former Director, Higher Education (DHE), UT, suggesting alternative internal assessment system, had suggested various changes in the internal examination system.

Sharma had suggested swapping September and December exams in the colleges with class quizzes, assignment and presentations to ensure that the students receive total 180 days of teaching in a year. However, the committee had decided that the house test conducted in December every year in colleges should continue as subjective exam with 50 per cent internal marks, and September tests, which currently are subjective exam, with objective-type question-based class exam, consisting of 20 per cent of internal exam.

The committee had also decided that there would be pedagogic activities, including quizzes, presentations and filed trips, based on which the students would be tested on 30 per cent of their internal marks in an academic session.

Presently, the internal assessment awarded to a student during an academic session consists of total 20 marks.

The committee had also decided that activities such as workshops, seminars, project work, presentations, case studies and community outreach activities would be introduced, which could be conducted by the teachers throughout the session.

The issue was supposed to come up for discussion in the Syndicate meeting held on July 27. However, the House kept the issue pending.

A syndic said the issue might be taken up during the next Syndicate meeting.

New concept of learning

The committee, which was formed by the university on the representation made by Ajoy Sharma, former Director, Higher Education, UT, suggesting alternative internal assessment system, had suggested various changes in the internal examination system.



Schools from abroad to take part in Bhavan Vidyalaya conference

Chandigarh, July 29
This year’s edition of model united nation (MUN) conference of Bhavan Vidyalaya-27 will be held from August 2 to August 4. Their conference goes international this year, as it is playing host to schools from countries such as the US, Pakistan, Dubai, etc. There will be about 246 students from over 40 schools participating in this event.

While its opening ceremony will be held at the Tagore Theatre, Sector 18, on August 2, the conference will be held on the school premises. The theme for this year’s MUN is “Power of the People - Atulyam, Apurvam and Anantam” (incredible, unique and infinite). The committees being planned this year are the UN’s General Assembly Third Committee (UNGA SOCHUM), the UN Security Council, the UN’s Economic and Social Council, the UN Convention Against Corruption and the UN Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

Like every year, this year, too, the agendas are related to the world issues of utmost concern. The topics include protection and rights of human rights defenders with special emphasis on conflict areas; amendment of the International Space Law with reference to Outer Space Treaty; International Tax Cooperation; reforms under the scope of the UNCAC with special emphasis on transnational organised crime, etc.

Officials of the school said this event had been meticulously planned by the organising committee comprising over 150 students and several staff members. — TNS



Arguments trigger tension at SGGS-26
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
Tension was witnessed on the campus of SGGS College, Sector 26, when supporters of the Khalsa College Student Union (KCSU) and the NSUI entered into an argument today while the members of the KCSU were announcing the party panel.

The KCSU party was scheduled to announce its party panel when the members of the rival parties also reached there.

Sources said the members of both parties entered into an argument. The police soon reached the spot and controlled the situation.

Meanwhile, KCSU announced Harshdeep Singh as the president, Roopkamal as the party campus in charge, Mandeep Saini as chairman, Jasbir Singh as campus president and Satinderpal Singh as the party president.

Later, a meeting of the student leaders of all parties was held at the principal’s office over the issue of defacement, which was also attended by the police officials.

The sources said the student leaders were counselled for keeping the campus defacement free and ensuring peace on the campus.



NSUI members meet Tharoor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
National Students Union of India (NSUI) members from Panjab University today met Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for Human Resource Development (HRD), in New Delhi over Delhi University’s decision to finish Punjabi as the elective subject in graduation course.

With the introduction of a four-year undergraduate programme, 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 the past 17 years.

NSUI president Manoj Lubana and chairman of all colleges Hardeep Singh led the group that met the HRD Minister at his office in New Delhi.

The student leaders demanded that the university should continue with Punjabi language as the elective subject.

Lubana stated the Minister had given them an assurance that the decision would be taken back.

“He appreciated our concern as he stated that a large percentage of population in Delhi is of Punjabis,” Lubana said.

The student leaders also met the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Delhi over the issue.

A few days ago, the faculty members of the Punjabi Department at PU and the students of the university carried out a protest march on the campus against the DU’s decision.



Student parties gear up for elections
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29
Though the student elections schedule is yet to be announced, the student parties in the city colleges have geared up for the polls. The supporters of the parties wearing party batches can be seen on the college campus meeting the newcomers in a bid to ensure their support in the elections.

A leader of the Student Organisation of Panjab University at DAV College, Sector 10, said they were meeting all students personally to know about their grievances, if any.

“The aim behind the exercise is to ensure the trust of students in the party,” the student leader said. The activists of various other parties can also be seen reaching out to new students.

One of the Panjab University Students Union supporters said groups of students had been made to approach their juniors for any kind of assistance. The election scene at the university is yet to pickup. The elections in the university and colleges are usually held in the last week of August or the first week of September.




Counselling list

Panjab University has said that online second counselling list for admission to BPharmacy and BSc (HS) courses will be available on July 31 on the university website. Officials said the candidates could deposit the fee in the respective departments from August 1 to August 3 till 4 pm.

Plantation drive

A tree plantation drive was held on Monday near girls’ hostel number 8, South Campus, Panjab University, as part of the ongoing Plantation Drive. It was attended by various officials and students of the university. Around 100 saplings of various varieties were planted on the occasion.

Vedic Conference

Panjab University’s professor and chairperson of Sanskrit and Dayanand Chair for Vedic Studies, VK Alankar, has been invited to present his paper at Vedic Conference at Vedic Culture Centre, Toronto, Canada. Prof Alankar will present his paper on “Vedic solution to social evils”. He will also deliver a series of lectures on Ved, Indian philosophy and contribution of India to Vedic studies in New York and Atlanta, US.

Valedictory function

The Department of Lifelong Learning and Extension, Panjab University, in collaboration with YWCA, Chandigarh, organised a valedictory function of the 15-day orientation programme held from July 11 to July28 on the theme of “First Aid and Home Nursing”. During the 15 days of the training programme, it has been realised that women do not possess sufficient knowledge about first aid, reproductive system, HIV/AID and life skill programmes for adults. — TNS




Visit to post office

Chandigarh: DAV Public School, Sector 8, organised a lesson-oriented activity “a visit to the post office” for its students. The students bought stamps and postcards to write to their near and dear ones.

Plantation programme

The Eco Club of GMSSS-37 B, Chandigarh, and residents of Sector 37, carried out a plantation programme outside the school premises to mark Residents’ Welfare Day. Around 100 volunteers took part in the programme. Saplings of ashoka, chandni, hibiscus, mulberry and various flowering creepers were planted on the occasion.


A workshop on innovative technique to teach mathematics was held at GMSSS, MHC, Mani Majra. Students were shown the practical application of theorems with the help of models. The students took keen interest in the subject. They also made rangoli patterns with geometrical shapes under the guidance of Meera Bhandari, maths teacher. Principal Kund Bala, under whose guidance the workshop was conducted, encouraged the students to continue with such innovative work in future also.

Kargil Victory Day

Panchkula: The Kargil Victory Day was celebrated at Sky School, Panchkula. Colonel Kaushal, a senior war veteran, was invited to share his experiences at the battlefield and hardships that soldiers face to safeguard our motherland.

Vanamahotsava celebrated

Around 500 students of The British School, Panchkula, celebrated Vanamahotsava and World Conservation Day by planting saplings on the school campus. Deputy Commissioner of Panchkula Dr SS Phulia, IAS, led the tree plantation drive by planting a ‘Jamun’ sapling in the school yard. Dr Phulia lauded the efforts of the students.

Science exhibition

A science exhibition was held at Blue Bird High School, Panchkula. The students made innovative models on the theme “conservation of energy resources”. They explained the working of their models. The students also showed their creativity by making handmade crafts, posters, birthday caps, piggy banks, etc. “Rakhi Thali” prepared by the students was the main attraction.

Environment Week

Mohali: The Environment Week of St. Joan’s Public School, Zirakpur, concluded on Monday with a students’ rally. Principal Meenakshi Mathur flagged off the rally whose main motto was to spread awareness among the residents of Zirakpur to save trees. The rally also motivated the students to sustain and develop interest in nature and all its blissful contributions to the human race.

Pot-decoration contest

Doon International School, Mohali, organised a pot-decoration competition for the students of classes I to III. Some of the students applied a base coat of paint over pots. Some of them preferred to keep it natural terracotta colour and decorated these with flowers, stars, stones, etc. Little chefs of classes IV and V prepared fruit 'chaat' and lemonade. — TNS



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