C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Road safety takes a back seat in rally
Daredevils perform stunts without protective gear, helmets; speed limit violated
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Vehicles stuck in a jam due to the rally
Vehicles stuck in a jam due to the rally. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, August 11
All caution was thrown to the wind in a car and bike rally organised by motor vehicle enthusiasts in collaboration with the Chandigarh Police to promote road safety in the city. The event started with stunts performed on bikes and cars at Sector 10 where daredevil drivers put their lives at risk by performing the stunts without wearing safety gear.

If that was not enough, people participating in the rally with their swanky cars and bikes zoomed on city roads at a high speed, forgetting that the rally was meant to promote traffic rules and road safety. Traffic was also disrupted due to the rally on several routes.

UT SSP Naunihal Singh, while speaking to mediapersons before the bike and car stunts were performed at the venue in Sector 10, said through the stunts, they wanted to give a message that only professionals should perform these stunts with safety gear. “We want people to know that like car rallies, bike stunts are also part of motor sports and should be performed under guidance,” the SSP said.

However, interestingly, not even a single biker was wearing a knee or an elbow guard, the basic safety gear for performing bike stunts. Two car drivers also showed stunts on ill-equipped cars that didn’t even have a roll-cage fitted inside, a safety feature to protect the driver in case the car turns turtle. The car divers were also not wearing helmets while performing the stunts.

The message to promote road safety through the rally was lost somewhere as it appeared that the participants were more willing to show off their high-end swanky dream cars. As soon the car rally began, the participants moved from Sector 10 and took the Madhya Marg to reach Panjab University (PU). As the road was closed for traffic due to the rally, car drivers and motorbike riders had a field day, driving rashly and giving the speed limit norms the go-by. Seeing the swanky cars zoom through the roads, motorists stuck in long traffic jams thought that it was a car race event. The traffic police deployed at roundabouts and light points to control traffic acted as mute spectators.

The participants even drove at a high speed on the PU campus, where the permissible speed limit is 30 km per hour.

The rally then moved from the PU to Elante Mall in the Industrial Area, causing traffic jams en route.

Violations all the way

  • Stunts performed without safety gear, putting life at risk
  • Participants drove at high speed with the police acting as a mute spectator
  • Jeeps with extra wide tyres, which are not allowed, participated in the rally
  • Two-wheeler riders were without helmets
  • Traffic snarls on roads through which the rally passed



SSP pulls up DSP for providing misleading info
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
UT Deputy Superintendent of Police (South Division) Surjit Malik is in the dock for providing misleading and false information to a query under the RTI Act. In a scathing order, UT SSP Naunihal Singh, who is the appellate authority under the RTI Act, has reprimanded the DSP for providing misleading information and ordered him to supply correct and factual information pertaining to a case. A compliance report has been sought from the DSP.

The complainant, Vineet Gulati, had first submitted a complaint of cheating on February 27 this year involving Rs 12.5 lakh. The money was allegedly taken by the accused, Devinder Gupta, for booking a residential plot.

It has been alleged that the SHO of the Sector 36 police station, Inspector Bhupinder Singh, did not record the complainant's statement. He quietly sent the complainant to Delhi, citing jurisdiction issue, on May 22.

The complainant kept following with the police station and was never informed about the progress of the case. He requested to know about the progress of the case through an RTI application. In reply to that application, officials of the Sector 36 police station confirmed on May 23 that the "complaint is still under inquiry under close supervision of the SHO".

The complainant was kept in the dark about the fact that the complaint had been sent to Delhi, just a day ago. It was yet another RTI filed by the complainant which revealed this fact.

After the complainant met the IGP, a case under Section 420 of the IPC was finally registered by the UT police on June 20 after a legal opinion. The DA evaluated the facts ignored by the Sector 36 police station. However, the case has now been transferred to the Sector 19 police station as the accused had an office in Sector 20.


— Surjit Malik, DSP ‘Case under investigation’

I investigated the case thoroughly and no vague information was provided by me. The case was transferred owing to the jurisdiction issue

— Surjit Malik, DSP

SSP's order

“The CPIO/South is directed to supply correct and factual information to the appellant rather than providing vague and misleading information. The CPIO has not pursued the document carefully. When the CPIO had already forwarded the complaint on May 22 to the Commissioner of Police, Delhi, then he should have informed the complainant accordingly. However, he was supplied factually incorrect information.”

The case

Vineet Gulati was approached by Devinder Gupta in January 2006, who introduced himself as the main accredited dealer of Unitech. The accused showed him a piece of land in Mohali in 2006 and said Unitech was investing in Sectors 97,107 and 108 in Mohali.

The accused collected Rs 12.5 lakh from him. He later sold the plot to someone else and made a profit of Rs 34 lakh. Later, it came to light that the land did not belong to Unitech.



PGI’s first heart transplant gives birth to more donors
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The first heart transplant at the PGI last week and the subsequent awareness on the need for organ donation has ushered in an overwhelming response from city residents towards cadaver donation.

The number of persons who have pledged to donate organs at the dedicated website of the PGI for the purpose has doubled in just one week. This is in addition to queries being received at the institute from people who want to know about the manual procedure to pledge organs.

Until last month, about 200 people had pledged to donate their organs on the website, www.lampoflife.com, created by the PGI nine months ago.

“There has been a remarkable increase in the enthusiasm of people towards pledging their organs for donation during the past one week. It is a moment to cheer for society as it is growing and being more sensitive towards the responsibilities of individuals towards each other,” said Dr RK Dhiman, Professor, Department of Hepatology, PGI.

The PGI conducted its first heart transplant on a 55-year-old patient from Ambala on August 4, after finding a brain-dead patient, whose family showed utmost courage to give consent for organ donation.

Following a series of media reports highlighting the contribution of the donor’s family and how it proved to be a blessing for the recipient’s family, more than 200 new persons pledged their bodies for donation.

While the facility for organ donation has been there at the PGI since 1963, there has been a dearth of donors.

For a transplant, organs of a brain-dead patient are utilised. A brain-dead patient is officially considered as dead, according to the law. As the organs of such a patient continue to function, these can be utilised for transplant in other needy patients. Mostly, such brain-dead patients are accident victims.

According to official records, the PGI gets at least one brain-dead patient a day. The PGI has conducted more than 2,500 kidney transplants, nine liver transplants and one heart transplant.

The patient, whose heart transplant was conducted last week, is still admitted to the PGI for recovery.

How to register for organ donation

Volunteers can fill a form by visiting the website, www.lampoflife.com and pledge for donation. Following the consent of their family members, the volunteers will be provided donor cards.



Government schools give RTE norms the go-by
Student strength in some sections as high as 80 against the stipulated 35
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
UT government schools have failed to adhere to the norms of the Right to Education Act, 2009, with the strength of students in some sections as high as 80, which is in gross violation of the stipulated norms. The RTE Act stipulates that the strength should not be more than 35 students per section or per class.

According to information accessed under the Right to Information Act, classes at Government Model High School, Sector 39, are bursting at their seams, with around 50 to 60 students per section. The highest enrolment is in Class III that has 80 students in Section A and 77 students in Section B. “The school needs 17 additional classrooms to meet the norm of 35 students per section,” the Principal said in her reply to the query under the RTI.

Government High School, Karsan, is in need of 23 more classrooms to meet the RTE norms. Due to the high enrolment, the school has been forced to carve out more sections for each class. For instance, Class VI has eight sections, while Class V has seven sections, with around 40 to 50 students each.

Some government schools have stuffed more students in a single classroom due to lack of proper infrastructure. For instance, Government Model High School, Sector 43, has 77 students in Class II, 58 students in Class III. In other classes, there are around 50 to 55 students each. The school is short of 12 classrooms.

Government High School, Hallo Majra, is a classic example of imbalance between student enrolment and infrastructure. It has just 28 classrooms for a whopping 2,842 students. Even after running the school in a double shift, each class has around 70 to 80 students. Sections A, B, C, D of Class III have 81, 83, 81, and 81 students, respectively.

In Chandigarh, nearly 40 government schools are run in a double shift, which is also a violation of the RTE norms. Principal of the GMSSS, Mani Majra, Kund Bala, said in her reply to an RTI query that if her school was to be run in a single shift, 57 additional classrooms were required to meet the RTE norms.

Government High School, Daria, too, faces similar challenges. Even though the school is being run in a double shift, it does not have proper classrooms for 13 sections. As a result, students have to be adjusted in other sections, resulting in overcrowding. For instance, Class X B has 65 students, Class IX B has 62 students, while Class VI C has 60 students. Other sections, too, have a high enrolment of students.

Despite being run in a double shift, Government Model Senior Secondary School, Maloya, is short of three classrooms.

RTI activist Pankaj Chandgothia said “According to the RTE norms, quality education is not possible if the strength of students is more than 35 in one section. However, most government schools fail to adhere to this norm.”

At the GMSSS, Sector 47, all classrooms have over 50 students per section. Vlass VI A has the highest number of 71 students.

The GMSSS-35, the GMHS-36, the GMHS-25, the GMHS-38 and the GMSSS-44 need eight, seven, 12, 10 and 13 additional classrooms, respectively, to maintain the student strength as stipulated under the RTE norms.

In its reply, the UT Education Department said 200 additional classrooms were constructed in government schools in past three financial years. Schools where construction work was going on for additional classrooms included the GMS, Indira Colony, the GMSSS-56, the GMSSS, Mani Kajra, the GHS, Karsan, and the GHS, Mauli Jagran.



City railway station projects not on track
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Is the Chandigarh railway station well-equipped to cater to the needs of the thousands of passengers who will travel by new trains, scheduled to start from the city to various important tourist and religious places in the country in the coming months?

A majority of the projects sanctioned by the railway authorities to give a facelift to the city station have missed the deadline, while work on several others is yet to start.

Former Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said a proposal for extending the Chandigarh-Haridwar train to Rishikesh was in the final stage of clearance. He said another train from Yesvantpur (Bengaluru) to Hazrat Nizamuddin (the Sampark Kranti Express) would also be extended to Chandigarh for two days in a week within a fortnight. The Kalka-Shirdi Express will also be on track in the first week of September. Besides, six new express trains will also start plying during the current financial year.

Several projects hanging fire

Escalators: The department started work on the installation of escalators to reach platform numbers 2 and 3 from outside the station around two months ago. The project was mooted for the convenience of senior citizens. However, the work was stopped around a month ago. The machinery for the escalators is lying on the station premises.

Ambala Divisional Railway Manager Anil Kumar Kathapal said the work on the escalators had been held up as the contractor had some issues with the officials concerned, who were allegedly asking him to udertake some works not mentioned in the tender.

Work on expansion of parking lot yet to start

After the announcement of the new trains, the authorities have prepared a report stating that there is an urgent need for increasing the space at the parking lot to accommodate more vehicles. The authorities are working on a proposal for constructing a multi-level parking at the station. However, the ground reality is that due to a shortage of funds, work on the expansion of the paid parking lot has not started yet.

Rest room for porters

During an inspection of the railway station, former Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had agreed to a demand for the construction of a rest room for porters at the station. Bansal had directed the officials concerned to prepare a feasibility report at the earliest. However, till date the proposal has not been initiated by the officials.

Vintage engine yet to get on track

During one of his visits to the station, Bansal had proposed that for the beautification of the railway station, a vintage engine should be placed on its premises. Interestingly, for the past over three months, a track for placing the engine has been constructed, but the authorities have failed to decide on the engine to be placed on it.

Construction of foot bridge

Work on the construction of a foot bridge at the station has been going on for the past five months, but is far from completion. Officials, however, claim that by next month, the work will be completed.



Railway station a picture of neglect
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The portion of the city railway station falling on the Panchkula side is a picture of neglect. It has always got a "stepmotherly treatment" from the authorities. Although a number of proposals have been mooted by the authorities for this side, no project has seen the light of day.

Renovation of building

A proposal to construct eight rooms on the Panchkula side of the station was sanctioned. These included waiting rooms and an administrative block for accommodating the staff.

As per the proposal, four rooms were to be used as waiting rooms, two each for general category and first-class commuters.

In the remaining rooms, the administrative staff of the Railways, including the deputy station superintendent and ticketing staff, were to be accommodated. However, no work on the project has commenced so far.

At present there is only one waiting room on the Panchkula side, in which every category of commuters is accommodated. Moreover, there is only one ticketing counter for the reservation of tickets.

Additional platform

The proposal for construction of two more yards (stabling line) was proposed by the authorities. These yards were to be used for cleaning trains after the journey. In addition to it, a platform (number 6) was to be constructed, keeping in view the increase in number of trains plying to and from the city.

Till date, however, the work has not been sanctioned by the authorities.

Lack of security

How ill-equipped the station is can be gauged from the fact that on the Panchkula side there are multiple unmanned entrances.

No scanning equipment or metal detectors have been installed at any of the entry points, except the deployment of two ill-equipped railway police force (RPF) officials for security check and to avoid any untoward incident. Officials said there were no fresh proposals for enhancing the security on that side.

He said the security arrangements would be reviewed after the renovation of the building.



open House response
Use shallow water for secondary purposes

— Sanjiv Chadha, Retired hydrologist, Panchkula Topographical gradient or slope of the city is towards southern sectors and these sectors are receiving canal water for drinking as well as secondary purposes and groundwater is not being exploited, resulting in the rise of water table due to natural recharge. Considering the grave situation, the administration should pump out shallow groundwater for secondary purposes. Shallow water can be pumped out and supplied to the sectors where residents depend on groundwater so that stress on deeper groundwater could be reduced. The administration should take steps to lower the water level below the existing sewer line so that the quality of water could be maintained. The administration should keep a strict watch on the rising water level by engaging experts on contract.

Sanjiv Chadha
Retired hydrologist

Adopt long-term measures

— Sunil Kapoor, Retired hydrologist, ChandigarhGroundwater plays an important role in meeting the demand of rising population. As a groundwater expert I have seen that the level of groundwater is depleting due to excessive exploitation while in some areas the water level is rising due to quality problems. Chandigarh is well planned city and we must join together to avoid such a situation by adopting long-term measures for the utilisation of this natural resource for our domestic consumption, which is already scarce due to increasing population and forcing societies to install shallow tubewells in their compounds to meet the need of irrigation. These steps are urgently required to help check this alarming situation.The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation should divert the tertiary water to other areas of the city than these southern areas.

Sunil Kapoor
Retired hydrologist

Follow recommendations of groundwater board

The recommendations of the Central Ground Water Board regarding the use of shallow water must be obeyed. The rise in the level of shallow water is a threat to the existing houses in southern sectors as the water is penetrating into the walls of houses. To reduce the wastage of potable water, it is the best option to use shallow water for construction purposes. It has been reported that many residents of lesser developed areas near Chandigarh do not get potable water to drink. The Municipal Corporation should keep a check on such practices in the interest of people.

Aasra Brar

Identify worst-affected sectors

An alarming situation, caused by the accumulation of shallow water in southern sectors of the city, has failed to stir the MC authorities. As a short term measure, the MC should identify the worst -affected sectors, pump out the excess water and drain it into nearby nallahs so that the dampness, which is damaging buildings in the area, could be arrested. Soon after the monsoon season, a long-term measure to pump out the water and divert it to nearby parks and green belts should be taken.

SC Luthra
Mani Majra

Use tertiary water

Tertiary water should be utilised for irrigation or other purposes to save houses from dampness. The government should take the matter seriously and take suitable steps.

IPS Anand
Mani Majra

Provide separate pipeline for tertiary water

People waste drinking water in washing their cars, two-wheelers, lawns and the portion of the road in front of their houses. But, the citizens have no other option as there is only one form of water available for all purposes. There should be a separate pipeline for the supply of tertiary water to every house for secondary purposes. Merely imposing fine on the residents for the misuse of water is not justified. The administration and the MC must supply two sets of water to the dwelling unit in the city. Only then the wastage of water can be prevented .

RK Kapoor

Don't use potable water for other purposes

It is a fact that in few areas of Chandigarh, the level of shallow water is to five to eight feet high. As a result, the administration of Chandigarh has recommended the residents to use shallow water for tertiary purposes. Besides, a warning has also been given against consuming this water,as this water can cause severe stomach problems. Potable water should be used for drinking and need to be kept for that purpose only. More stress on potable water can lead to decrease in its level. We hope and pray that such a drastic situation does not arise in future.

Priya Darsh Growar

Use tertiary water for irrigation of parks

The problem has surfaced as the city is being recharged by the extra water supplied to the city for domestic, horticulture and industrial purpose. Moreover, the treated water supplied by the treatment plants is being used for irrigating parks and gardens in the city. A network of artificial groundwater recharge structures have been constructed in the city, which are adding extra to groundwater recharge and obstructing the natural flow of runoff. If this trend is not checked, the city will have to face multiple problems like waterlogging, damage to the fertile land qualitatively and quantitatively and badly effecting the multistory buildings. There is a need to use treated of tertiary water.

NK Khattar


While previous study tours by councillors have failed to benefit the city residents and were sheer wastage of public money, do you think that councillors and officials of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation should go on another study tour? Do the study tours serve any purpose for the betterment of the city? Write your suggestions to openhouse@tribunemail.com


Public money will not be wasted, claims Mayor
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
A day after Chandigarh Tribune highlighted the wastage of public money on study tours, Mayor Subhash Chawla said he will hold a special meeting with the MC councillors and officials on the issue. This year, the MC had planned to spend Rs 15 lakh on the study tour of 20 councillors and five officials to various cities in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

The Mayor said they would go on the study tour only after councillors gave their consent. He said the MC would consider suggestions of councillors and officials, before finalising the schedule. The corporation would identify various problems being faced by the city and seek solutions in the cities of South India. The MC would not waste the public money, said Chawla.

Replying to a query that why all these exercises, including the identification of problems, written consent and suggestions of councillors and special meeting with councilors and officials, were not carried out before sending the proposal of study tour to the UT Administration, the Mayor said the MC was competent enough to make these changes, and would inform the Administration later.

On the proposal of bearing expenditure of family members of officials and councillors, the Mayor said the MC would not do so and no such proposal would be finalised.

Criticising the Mayor’s decision to call a special meeting on the study tour, BJP councillor Satinder Singh said recently a team of Fourth Delhi Finance Commission had visited the city to decide the “city’s future”. On such an important issue, the Mayor did not call any special meeting of councillors, despite announcing it in the MC House meeting, he said.

“Why is he calling a special meeting on study tour, which is wastage of public money?” Singh said.

Meanwhile, nominated councillor Surinder Bahga said presently the city was facing the problem of sanitation and water supply. Instead of going on study tours to cities in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the MC should have sent the sanitation committee to Surat to study their successful sanitation project and the water supply committee to Karnataka for the 24X7 water project which had reduced water wastage there, he said.

The independent councillor said instead of going on study tours in groups, the MC should send committees to seminars and conferences, which could be beneficial to the city.

Pleasure trips, not study tours

BSP councillor Jannat Jahan Ul Haq said study tours were a sheer wastage of public money. “I, therefore, decided not to go on a tour,” she said. Calling these tours “pleasure trips”, the councillor said in the past eight years, no project was properly implemented in the city after these wasteful study tours.

Families to enjoy in the name of councillors

A senior official of the Municipal Corporation said they had planned to book a room each for councillors and officials in hotels. Family members would be allowed to stay with them in their rooms, he said. Similarly, councillors and officials would order food in their own names, but it will be enjoyed by their family members as well, the official said. This will help in showing in the records that all the expenditure had been made on the councillors and officials only, he said.



Non-commercial vehicles to be registered at Sector 42
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Chandigarh Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) has decided that in future the passing of all non-commercial vehicles will be held at the Sector 42-based office of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (South).

The decision was taken in view of the persistent problem of inadequate parking at the two branches of RLA at Sector 17 and the office of the SDM in Industrial Area, Phase I.

Presently, visitors to the Sector 17 and Industrial Area office of the RLA face a lot of hardship in finding parking space. This also affects the work of affixing the high security registration plates (HSRP) as the office can accommodate a limited number of vehicles.

RLA Mahavir Kaushik said since the Sector 42 office, housed in the Sector 42 Sports Complex, had adequate space, the motor vehicle inspector would be present there from 9 am to 11 am everyday.

No such decision has been taken with regards to the affixing of HSRP on new vehicles. Barring the passing of vehicles, all the RLA-related work will be handled by the respective branches.

The RLA said a decision on affixing the HSRP on old vehicles would be taken soon. There are over seven lakh old vehicles registered in the city.

Entry to the Sector 17 office of the RLA would also be restricted. To check the entry of agents and unscrupulous elements, the RLA would ask for receipts from the visitors before allowing entry to the office. The visitors, who come for any RLA-related work, would have to produce documents to gain entry.



Potholes greet staff, visitors at GMCH-32
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Rainfall over the past one week has exposed the lack of maintenance of parking lots, including those reserved for the staff, at the Government Medical College Hospital, Sector 32, here.

Potholes filled with muddy water welcome the visitors as well as the staff these days at the institution every morning. The condition of the visitors’ parking is equally poor.

Due to the lack of cementing and proper levelling, waterlogging has become a routine affair at the parking lots, and people jostle for a clean place before stepping out of their cars or two-wheelers.

The staff parking near the Block A of the institute is the most affected. The covered staff parking remains overcrowded and hence, a number of doctors and other staff members are forced to use the muddy parking lot.

The situation is even worse for patients. While the footfall of patients has been rising, the parking space at the institute remains limited, leading to a lot of inconvenience to patients.

For instance, the parking lot opposite the emergency unit, which is the most frequented public parking at the institute, sees the patients’ attendants jostling for space every day.

The public parking lot adjacent to the C Block at the hospital is equally ill-maintained despite covering a wide area. The parking area can be seen full of mud and accumulated water during rains, leaving a majority of the parking area underutilised.

Officials at the institute said plans for upgrading the parking lots were in the pipeline and proposals had been mooted for increasing parking areas.



extension of deputation
Dr Raj Bahadur’s case referred to Health Ministry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will take the decision on the extension of deputation of PGI doctors to other institutes beyond the maximum permissible period of five years.

This was decided during a meeting of the Institute Body (IB) of the PGI, chaired by Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.

The agenda for sanction of extension beyond a five-year deputation was tabled before the Institute Body (IB) recently. The body, however, did not grant the sanction.

The decision assumes importance in the backdrop of the recent controversy surrounding the former Director Principal of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, Dr Raj Bahadur. The item regarding a retrospective sanction to the extension given to his stay at GMCH-32 was a part of the agenda, a copy of which is available with the Chandigarh Tribune.

Dr Raj Bahadur was initially allowed to proceed on the deputation for a period of one year from December 1, 2007. Following this, his tenure was extended till May 30, 2012. A further extension to his tenure, till February 28, 2013, was then approved by the President of PGIMER (Union Health Minister).

Dr Raj Bahadur’s tenure was then further extended till the selection of a new director of GMCH-32 by the UT Administration.

He finally joined back the PGI on April 23, 2013. The last extension was challenged by a GMCH doctor in the local bench of Central Administrative Tribunal.

All eyes are now fixed on the decision of the Ministry for Health and Family Welfare. When contacted, Dr Raj Bahadur, the head of orthopaedics department at the PGI, said: “The case has been referred to the ministry. It is a part of the procedure.”



Leaders of CHB residents’ body to court arrest against demolitions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Taking up the cause of occupants of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) flats, the CHB Residents’ Federation organised its fourth corner meeting at Sector 56. The series of meetings will culminate with a protest march to the house of the UT Administrator under the campaign ‘Aasin Yaad Rakhange’ announced by the federation.

While addressing the gathering, federation chairman Nirmal Datt and other leaders said the CHB authorities had ignored their suggestion regarding regularising all sound structures within the plot area and frame control. Rather, the CHB decided to raze all need-based changes made by the CHB residents, they said.

To intensify the campaign, the federation leaders have decided to court arrest at places where any demolition drive is conducted.

The main demands raised during the included the restoration of the six-year concession allowed to the CHB residents to transfer the ownership, the freehold, and the sale of a dwelling unit without any inspection, regularisation of all sound structures in the CHB and rehabilitation colonies that are within the plot area and granting of ownership rights to the power of attorney holders in the rehabilitation colonies.

The leaders said any additional secure construction done in small houses should be regularised by charging a reasonable compounding fee.



Ghazal maestro enthrals audience
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Oman-based ghazal maestro Vandana Jyotirmayee enthralled the audience at the 190th Baithak Programme at the Bhaskar Rao Indoor Auditorium in the Pracheen Kala Kendra, Sector 35, here today.

She sang various genres of Hindustani classical and light classical music such as Sufi songs, thumri and ghazal.

Trained in classical music of Gaya and Kirana Gharana, she commenced the recital with a ghazal “niyate shauk bhar na jaye kahin” immortalised by Noorjahan and Asha Bhosle, followed by another ghazal “jafa-e-gham ka chara” by Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

Vandana then moved on to present famous composition “main to piya se naina milae aayi re” penned by Ameer Khusro, followed by Sufi song “ishq mein ter kohe gham”. Her flawless rendition of some of the ghazals enthralled the audience.

On the demand of the audience, she doled out one dadra, originally sung by Ustad Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan. The thumri sung by her left the audience mesmerised.

The programme concluded with all-time hit Sufi Kalam “damadam mast kalander”.

Amjad Khan on tabla, Kashif Ahmed on harmonium/keyboard and Arshad Khan on esraj provided admirable support to the performance.

Chairman of the kendra SK Monga, IAS (retd), and secretary Sajal Koser honoured the artistes.



Folk songs, dances mark cultural programme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
A cultural programme of folk songs and dances of Punjab by the Jugni Cultural and Youth enthralled the audience at the Tagore Theatre, Sector 18, here. Several groups presented the bhangra folk dance and left the audience spellbound.

The function began with a folk song by the local Bai G group. It was followed by an energetic folk orchestra by the Jugni group, which saw performers in traditional Punjabi folk instruments, including algoza, tumbi, vanjali, been, dhol, dholki, dhad, sarangi, bugdhu and chimtta.

“Ludi” and “Dandas” by the performers of North Zone Cultural centres were the main attractions of the show. Dandas is a traditional dance, once popular in areas like Peshawar, Kohar, Banhu, etc.

On the occasion, a short play “MUDA” was also presented by director Rupinder Rupi.

The function also saw a spectacular ghatka show by the Chandigarh Gatka Association and bhagra by the NZCC. Singer Gulam Jugni also enthralled the audience with his rendition of Punjabi folk songs.

Harcharan Singh Bains, media adviser of the Punjab CM, was the chief guest on the occasion.



Teej festival concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The last day of the Teej festival at Mani Majra’s Shivalik Garden saw folk dances presented by artistes from states like Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana.

Famous folk singer, including Bittu Bajwa and Nishu Raja, enthralled the audience with their performances later in the evening.

Star cast of the upcoming Punjabi film “Put Zattan De” also performed at the festival. The function also marked “Teeian de Geet” by famous artistes of various states.

The audience present in the mela could not stop itself to dance on the foot-tapping beats of “dhol” and popular Punjabi numbers.

The Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, organised the colourful function. The Tribune was the media sponsor.



Over 200 senior citizens attend health seminar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Over 200 senior citizens, including members of the Railway Senior Citizens’ Welfare Society, attended a special health seminar today. In the seminar, Dr HK Bali, director of cardiology, Fortis Hoapital, Mohali, educated the senior citizens on the prevention and management of cardiac diseases.

Dr Harsimran Singh, director, department of orthopedica and joint replacement, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, spoke on the treatment of joint problems.

Dr Bali talked about changes in the heart with old age. "Some of the pathways of the pacemaker system may develop fibrous tissue and fat deposits. The natural pacemaker loses some of its cells and these changes may result in a slightly slower heart rate,’ he stated.

“A slight increase in the size of the heart, especially the left ventricle, is not uncommon. The heart wall thickens, so the amount of blood that the chamber can hold may actually decrease despite the increased overall heart size. The heart may fill more slowly,” he added.

Talking about the affect of the changes, Dr Bali said, “Normally, the heart continues to pump enough blood to supply to all parts of the body. However, an old heart may not be able to pump blood when you make it work harder. Some of the things that make your heart work harder are certain medications, emotional stress, extreme physical exertion, illness, infections and injuries.”



Federation expresses concern over master plan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The Federation of Sectors Welfare Association of Chandigarh (FOSWAC) during a meeting today at the Community Centre of Sector 33 raised concerns over the master plan draft of Chandigarh.

The federation has demanded that the date of filing of objections should be extended so that residents could study the master plan draft in detail.

After deliberations on the master plan, it was felt that it was a voluminous document running into more than 500 pages, along with figures running into more than 100 pages, and its downloading from the website and detailed study required a lot of time.

PC Sanghi, chairman of The Federation of Sectors Welfare Association of Chandigarh, said the preparation of the draft had taken more than three years and the Chandigarh Administration should not be in a hurry to finalise the master plan without inviting suggestions and objections from the public.

Members of various resident welfare associations (RWA) were of the view that the date of inviting objections should be extended by a month to enable the public to study the document properly and file their objections. “A similar demand has also come up from other organisations in the city and councillors of the Municipal Corporation," Sanghi said.




Orientation programme

Aryans Group of Colleges held a seven-day orientation programme to welcome the freshers. The programme commenced with the lamp lighting ceremony by the students. The programme was presided over by Dr Anshu Kataria, chairman of the group. BTech, MTech and diploma students of Aryans College of Engineering, MBA students of Aryans Business School, BBA and BCA students of Aryans Institute of Management & Technology, BEd students of Aryans College of Education, BA, BCom students of Aryans Degree College, GNM students of Aryans Institute of Nursing participated in the programme. Various renowned speakers, including Ketan Bhagat, Sandeep Wadhera, Simarpreet Singh, Brig Dhaliwal, interacted with the students.

Film promotion

The star cast of the upcoming Punjabi film "Punjab Bolda" visited Doaba Group of Colleges, Kharar. The cast of the movie include Sarabjit Cheema and Anisha Pooja. The star cast gave a live performance. Sarabjit Cheema, hero of the movie, stated that the movie took inspiration from important historical events connected with Punjab. He added that the movie was a true package of emotion, comedy and entertainment and had a message for the youth. It asks the youth of Punjab to unite in fight against the social evils present in these times around us.

Placement drive

As many as 124 students were shortlisted in BEd job fest organised at Chandigarh College of Education, Landran. As many as 327 students participated in the placement drive. More than 20 institutions from the tricity took part in the placement drive. Prominent schools from the tricity that took part in this event included Oakridge International School, Mohali, Gurukul Global School, Mani Majra, Shemrock Senior Secondary School, Sector 69, Mohali, Banyan Tree School, Sector 48B, Chandigarh, and Shishu Niketan Public School, Sector 43A, Chandigarh. The representatives of these schools appreciated the efforts of Chandigarh Group of Colleges for helping the students as well as the institutions. — TNS



Old students walk down memory lane
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The alumni meet of the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology (CCET), Sector 26, was held today at the Kisan Bhawan. Over 250 old students from different batches gathered for the alumni meet. It was also attended by former teachers of the college.

The old students walked down the memory lane and shared their nostalgia.

Sudhir Narang, 1982-batch pass out from the college, said today they had also established a ‘CCET Teachers Chapter’ under which the former teachers would also be a part of the alumni association.

The CCET Alumni Association also has its branches in other parts of the country to remain in touch with former students and organise alumni meets.




Aptitude tests

The second aptitude test for admission to MA part-I in Sanskrit at Panjab University will be held on August 12 at 10 am in the Department of Sanskrit. All candidates will have to bring their original certificates at the time of the test. The Department of Art History and Visual Arts (Fine Arts), PU, would conduct an aptitude test-cum-interview on August 13 in the department to fill vacant seats of MA semester-I (History of Art) for the session 2013-14.

Dustbins installed

In a bid to ensure clean college campus, the Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) installed seven dustbins at various parts of the college. SOPU chairman Anter Sidhu said dustbins were the basic requirements of the college in different parts, following which the SOPU took the initiative. SOPU president Amandeep Singh and party president Jodh Tiwana were also present on the occasion.

Orientation programme

Post Graduate Government College, Sector 11, organised an orientation programme under Community Hygiene and Sanitation Society in the college auditorium. Prof Vinod Vijay, convener of the society, made the students aware of hygiene and sanitation not only at personal level but also at the community level.

Training school

The week-long 12th training school on “learning methodologies in pharmaceutical chemistry: medicinal and analytical aspects” conducted by the University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS), Panjab University, under the UGCNRC programme, concluded at the Golden Jubilee Seminar Hall at PU. On the occasion, chief guest Professor N. Chandrakumar, Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, delivered the valedictory lecture on NMR in pharmaceutical science: high resolution spectroscopy, MRI and MRS. A brief report on the one-week long deliberations was presented by Professor Ranju Bansal, coordinator of the current training course. — TNS




Debating competition

Two students of Dikshant International School, Zirakpur, Nikhita Rawal of Grade VIII and Naman Aggarwal of Grade IX, teamed up to win the first prize in the Glasnost Inter-School Debating Competition held at The Gurukul, Sector 20, Panchkula. Nikhita Rawal brought laurels to the school by winning the “Best Orator” award surpassing 45 participating speakers. Overall 23 schools from the tricity participated in the competition.

I-Day rehearsal

The Junior wing of Doon International School, Sector 69, Mohali, held a Independence Day rehearsal. Students of classes I to III were busy making flags for the day. The activity was conducted so as to inform the students about the significance of the National Flag in the life of every Indian.

Plantation drive

A tree plantation drive was organised at New India Smart High School, Pinjore. About 90 saplings mango, lichi, orange, neem and Tulsi were planted on the campus. The students also pledged to take care of these plants.

Environment week

Environment Week was celebrated at Saupin's-32 with fervour and enthusiasm. Students of Class VII presented an impressive programme to highlight the importance of environment in our lives. The programme included a Punjabi skit based on the theme “Littering” and a Hindi skit “manmade disaster”. Valuable tips on being eco-friendly were the major attraction of the day. Parents were invited to witness the show. They were given paper bags and were advised to ban the use of plastic bags.

Vanamahotsava celebrated

Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 32, celebrated Vanamahotsava Day in the school premises under the Banyan Eco Club. Chanchal Singh, Deputy Director, School Education, Chandigarh Administration, presided over the function and planted saplings on the school campus along with students. Tree plantation was followed by a small cultural programme comprising a song, poetry recitation, speeches and a skit related to “Environment and Save Trees”.

Fancy dress competition

A fancy dress competition was organised for students of the primary wing of St Joseph’s Senior Secondary School, Sector 44-D, Chandigarh. The students participated in the competition with great zeal and enthusiasm. The students showed their creativity and awareness on how to save the environment. The modern technology was highlighted through cellphones, microwaves, computers etc. — TNS



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