C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Mayor leaves office, blames officials
Says will not come to office or attend House till problem of stray cattle is solved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
A day after the death of 26-year-old Avinash in a road accident involving stray cattle, Mayor Subhash Chawla walked out of his office and surrendered the keys to his room and official car saying that officials didn’t act on his recommendations on the stray cattle problem.

Before leaving his office, he told mediapersons that he had to face the wrath of residents due to the negligence on the part of officials. “Residents used abusive language against me on my facebook page. The Mayor has no power. I can only pass proposals, but it is for the officials to implement the schemes,” he said.

The Mayor told mediapersons that he would come to his office attend the House meeting only after the problem of stray cattle is solved.

The Mayor called Deputy Mayor Satish Kainth and left the MC building in his personal car leaving behind his official vehicle. The Mayor’s office was locked by his staff. The Mayor also switched off his official mobile phone and was not taking calls on his personal cellphone. When this correspondent visited Mayor’s house in the evening, his son said that he was sleeping and would not meet anyone.

Arun Sood, BJP councillor and the leader of opposition, said in the previous House meeting, the Mayor had shown disrespect to the House and the Mayor’s chair. Subhash Chawla is incompetent to hold the Mayor’s post and for the betterment of the city, he should quit.

Deputy Mayor Satish Kainth today shot off a letter to MC Commissioner asking him to order a probe into the death due to stray cattle. He also asked the commissioner to fix the responsibility of the officials for the lapse.

Congress Councillor Darshan Garg said he had raised the problem of stray cattle on two occasions in the House, but the authorities failed to act.

Chawla takes U-turn

The Mayor took a U-turn in the evening and reportedly briefed a section of the media that people were spreading rumours about his resignation. He left his office as he was not feeling well. The Mayor, however, said he was upset about the death of the 26-year-old youth. He also told mediapersons that the cattle catching drive would continue. Sources revealed that pressure from senior party leaders, including MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, forced the Mayor to change his decision.



Kin want Mayor, MC Commissioner booked
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
Family members of 26-year-old Avinash, the sole breadwinner of the family, who died in a road accident involving stray cattle, demanded action against the Mayor, MC Commissioner and officials today.

Avinash’s father Narinder Kumar today lodged a police complaint against Mayor Subhash Chawla, MC Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh, Joint Commissioner Rajiv Gupta and Superintendent Dr MS Kamboj under Section 304-A (causing death due to negligence) of IPC.

The police has registered a daily dairy report (DDR) but the family members want an FIR registered.

Avinash’s father said the Mayor and MC officials were responsible for his son’s death. MC councillors are only interested in playing politics, but they do not have time to solve the problems of the city. “If they had been serious about the stray cattle menace, my son would have been alive. Avinash died due to the negligence on the part of the MC,” he alleged.

The family has decided to meet senior officials of the UT Administration officials and move court against the MC authorities.

Avinash’s wife Sonia said it would be difficult for them to meet the expenses as her husband was taking care of the family, including his three-year-old son and five-year-old daughter. “I never thought that I was seeing him for the last time when he left home on the fateful day, she added.

Tragic death

Avinash of Sector 49-C was killed when his scooter rammed into stray cattle at the Sector 46-49 lights on August 16. He was going home from his Sector 9-based beauty salon, when stray cattle came in front of his motorcycle around 10.45 pm. He was rushed to the GMCH-32 in a PCR vehicle. He succumbed to his injuries during treatment on August 20.

Insensitive councillors

Not even a single MC councillor visited the victim’s house to mourn his death. It was only after media queries that the area councillor, Harphool Kalyan, visited the family. Kalyan said that he would seek compensation for the victim’s family.

Not enough space

The civic body has not been able to deal with the problem of stray cattle. It has two gaushalas (cattle sheds) and a cattle pound. The cattle shed in Sector 45 can accommodate 350 animals and the one in Maloya has the capacity of sheltering 400 animals. The lone cattle pound in Industrial Area can accommodate 150 stray cattle.



Four months on, relief eludes Harpreet’s family
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
Even as Avinash’s death is the second death in past four months due to stay cattle, Harpreet Singh Sodhi’s family, who had died in similar incident on April 6, is still waiting for a government job and compensation.

Thirty three-year-old Harpreet Singh Sodhi, a resident of Sector 45-C, was killed when the motorcycle he was riding hit a stray cattle on the road separating Sectors 49 and 46.

Harpreet’s wife Gurpreet Kaur said the MC and the UT Administration assured her of a government job, but to no avail. “We are yet to receive the full as promised by the authorities,” she said.

In the MC House meeting in April, 35 councillors, including nominated councillors, had decided to give their one-month honorarium of Rs 5,000 to the victim's family.

But only 21 councillors (Nine from the BJP, six from the Congress, two from the BSP, two from SAD and two nominated councillors) have given cheques to Harpreet Singh Sodhi's family to date.

Bansal fails to give cheque

In the MC House meeting, Mayor Subhash Chawla had said that MP Pawan Kumar Bansal would give ~2 lakh to the victim’s family, but it seems that the MP has forgotten his promise. Similarly, nominated councillor Sat Paul Bansal had announced Rs 50,000 for Harpreet's family, but he too has failed to give the cheque.

Councillors who forgot their promise

Rajbala Malik (Congress)

Harphool Chander Kalyan (Congress)

Satish Kainth (Congress)

Sat Parkash Aggarwal (Congress)

Sheela Devi (Congress)

Gurbax Rawat (Congress)

Gurcharan Dass Kala (Independent)

Anoop Sunny Gill (Nominated)

Aruna Goel (Nominated)

DS Sandhu (Nominated)

MP Kohli (Nominated)

Sat Paul Bansal (Nominated)

Shagufta Parveen (Nominated)

Surinder Bahga (Nominated)



Councillor asked to do counselling job
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 21
Councillor of the Panchkula Municipal Corporation Ravi Kant Swami was in for a surprise when he got an official communiqué from the headmaster of a local government school to send irregular students to the school. Perturbed at the letter, Swami visited the school and asked whether his work was to get development works done in the area or counsel children to attend the classes.

Swami received the letter, a copy of which is with Chandigarh Tribune, from the headmaster of Government High School, Sector 19, Panchkula, Anil Sharma, stating that four students of Class VII and two students of Class X were not attending the school. They were absent since since August 1.

“These students are remaining absent. I request you to send them to school,” stated the letter.

Swami asked Sharma: “Do you think that I have been elected to persuade students in my ward to be regular to school?” questioned Swami.

He also explained the difference between a councillor and a counsellor to the headmaster. Swami also informed Mayor Upinder Ahluwalia about the letter.

When contacted, headmaster Anil Sharma said: “Since he is an elected representative, we thought that he could persuade the students to be regular to school.”



Woman battles for life at PGIMER after being stabbed by husband
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
In a bizarre incident, a 34-year-old woman was allegedly stabbed by her husband with a knife at their residence in Sector 48. The victim is battling for life at the PGI. Ajay Chaudhary (37) allegedly stabbed his wife Santosh following a petty quarrel. The incident was reported around 11 am today. The victim suffered stab injuries in her stomach chest, hand and back.

Family sources said after incident, the accused called up his relatives and the police and said that he had stabbed his wife. The victim also called her family members.

The police found the victim lying in the pool of blood at the couple’s residence. She was rushed to the PGI where she underwent a surgery.

The accused, who runs a food joint in Phase XI, Mohali, was arrested by the police for attempt to murder. The police also recovered the knife used in the crime.

Doctors at the PGI said the victims’ lungs have been damaged. “The wounds are deep and the chances of her survival are bleak,” said a doctor.

Ajay and Santosh tied the knot around 13 years ago. They have two children who were not present in the house when the incident took place.



13-year-old rape victim pregnant: Report
Police moves application for medical termination of pregnancy
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 21
A 13-year-old rape victim, who was kidnapped and rescued recently, is seven weeks pregnant, stated her medical report. The medical tests of the girl, a resident of Surajpur, were conducted again by the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) at the Sector 6 General Hospital.

The police has moved an application in the court and the DLSA for the medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) of the victim.

The victim’s father had provided the location of the kidnapper to the police which led to his arrest on July 31 this year.

In April, the victim, a student of Class VIII, was on her way to the school when Saajan allegedly kidnapped her. He took her to Bihar where he raped her repeatedly, revealed police investigations.

In his complaint, the victims’ father said when he called up the investigating officer and told him that his daughter was in Bihar, the police officer said they were short of women police officials.

The panel advocate of the DLSA, Manbir Singh Rathi, said: “The police conducted a medical test 15 days ago. We asked the hospital authorities to conduct the medical again which confirmed that the girl was pregnant.”



Rape victim faces 'harassment' at Zirakpur police station
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
A 21-year-old woman who works as a domestic help in Zirakpur and allegedly raped by a man on the pretext of marrying her has been struggling for empathy. In the absence of any woman police at the police station, she had to brave the humiliating questions of the policemen and got her complaint registered only after two days.

The complainant lives with a family at the Unicity Mystique Homes in Zirakpur.

In April this year, a man approached her and allegedly raped her. He promised to marry her. Their relationship continued for over a month after which the man refused to tie the knot.

The woman visited the police station in Zirakpur on Saturday. According to her, when she insisted that a woman officer should be there to register her complaint, the ASI on duty told her that the police station had only the male staff.

She was then compelled to answer a variety of “humiliating questions”, posed by the ASI. But, her complaint was not registered immediately.

It was only after a woman police officer was deputed to her employers' residence on Sunday for inquiry that a DDR was registered and she was called for medical examination today.

The police said the complainant was called for medical examination several times in the past three days, but she did not turn up. She finally agreed today.

The Station House Officer of the Zirakpur police station, Tarlochan Singh, said, "The DDR has already been registered. Some of the residents of the society had given us a complaint stating that the complainant's employer is falsely implicating the accused in the case."



Passport adalat
110 pending cases disposed of
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
As many as 110 applicants, out of 200, got their issues resolved during a passport adalat at the regional passport office today. The applicants submitted the relevant documents in the absence of which objections had been raised by the passport authorities. The department collected a fine of Rs 78,000 from the defaulters, while clearing their long-pending cases.

During the passport adalat, officials raised objections in 70 cases for various reasons including non-submission of documents and absence of original documents. Regional passport officer Rakesh Aggarwal said the applicants were given three days’ time to submit their documents to clear the cases. He said 22 applicants requested for the closure of their files as they had shifted to other states of the country.

Aggarwal said this was the last chance given by the passport authorities to the applicants whose cases were lying pending for a long time. He said the passport authorities will start the process of closing the remaining 800 case files as there was no response from the applicants despite a number of reminders. The officer said last year too the authorities had organised a similar lok adalat for disposing of passport cases of the year 2010.

Records of the department revealed that around 1,000 cases of 2010 were lying pending with the authorities due to the non-submission of the required documents by the applicants.

2 more passport adalats lined up in coming months

Aggarwal said for clearing the pending cases of 2011 and 2012, the department would organise passport adalats in the next two months. In 2011, the authorities had received around 2.70 lakh cases out of which 2,000 were lying pending. These would be sorted out on September 18, he said. In 2012, around three lakh applications were received, of which the 2,000 pending ones will be cleared in another passport adalat on October 23. The passport authorities have started informing the applicants about the proposed passport adalats.



Need-based changes in residential buildings
GMADA serves notices on residents
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, August 21
A strong wave of resentment has spread among the Mohali residents with the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) serving notices on house owners following the scrapping of its policy on the need-based changes in residential buildings.

People in large numbers had gone in for alterations in their buildings after the introduction of the policy three years ago. They were required to pay Rs 100 per sq ft for getting the additional construction regularised. According to reports, owners did not pay the requisite fee after making the changes.

The show-cause notices to the owners for the violation of the allotment terms and conditions are being issued under the Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Act, 1995. They are now being asked to give an explanation within 30 days as to why the buildings in question should not be resumed by GMADA.

The Residents said what was legal earlier was now being declared illegal by GMADA. They said the policy was scrapped some time ago without any public notice.

Former municipal councillor Sukhminder Singh Barnala said GMADA had scrapped the policy after a resident of Phase XI approached the court after getting an allotment cancellation notice by GMADA.

Barnala said the court had then directed GMADA to review the policy but the authority scrapped it and started issuing show-cause notices to the residents. “How can a government policy be scrapped after people carried out changes in their buildings?” he asked.

Mohali MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu condemned GMADA for issuing notices to residents who had carried out the changes in accordance with the need-based policy of the development authority. He said it was unfortunate that GMADA had scrapped the policy.

The MLA said he would take up the issue at the next session of the Vidhan Sabha. He urged the government to intervene in the matter, failing which the residents would be compelled to go to the court.

Need-based changes in the building had not only led to an increase in property prices but also brought relief to a large number of owners who might have faced resumption of property proceedings.

Notified with effect from August 31, 2010 , the need-based changes had helped the residents meet their needs for more accommodation. The relaxation in the bylaws had been allowed on the pattern of changes permitted in Chandigarh.

According to the relaxations, an allottee could extend the front and rear balconies by 3 feet, the verandah on the first floor of HE houses could be converted into a room, a 2.25 m-mumty (to cover the stairs) excluded from the height of a building above the second floor could be constructed.

According to the relaxations, kitchen in HIG houses could be extended or a 150 sq ft store/servant quarter could be constructed in the rear courtyard of houses. Increasing the floor area ratio (FAR) for different sizes of houses , however, required clearance from the Secretary of the Housing Department. For other need-based changes, the Chief Administrator was the competent authority to relax or compound the constructions under the Punjab Regional and Town Planning Development Act.



Industrial Area sans basic facilities
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
Even as 10 new hotels and two malls have come up following the conversion of plots in the Industrial Area in the past couple of months, the UT Administration and Municipal Corporation have failed to upgrade the basic infrastructure in the area. The industrialists and hoteliers have to bear with the poor condition of internal roads and parks besides the lack of power supply and streetlights.

Despite the conversion fee paid by the industrialists crossing Rs 1,000 crore in the past eight years, the consolidated amount has not been utilised for developing infrastructure in the area.

Chander Verma, chairman of Converted Plot Owners’ Association, said, “We were assured that the consolidated fund would be utilised for the improvement of infrastructure in the area. But it never happened. No parking lots have been constructed till date, as promised. Besides, only the external roads have been recarpeted.”

On some of the internal roads, especially in the Industrial Area Phase II, huge potholes can be seen. Industrialists complain that waterlogging is a major problem faced by them since the advent of monsoon this year.

While Elante Mall that came up in Industrial Area Phase II in March this year, has been surviving on generators in the absence of power supply, the new hotels have been depending on nearly 10 to 15 water tankers to manage water supply.

Industrialists also complain that due to non-functional streetlights, it is unsafe to drive on the internal roads of the Industrial Area.

“We requested the Finance Secretary to change the name of the Industrial Area to Industrial and Business Park as approved by the Administration earlier,” said Chander Verma.

The new name would certainly help the hoteliers and mall owners in their business; but so far, no signboards had been installed, he said.

The number of people visiting the industrial area due to the increased number of malls and hotels is bound to multiply, and hence maintenance is all the more crucial, the industrialists said.

The problem areas

  • Parking: A number of vehicles remain parked on roads as there are no proper parking areas earmarked by the authorities
  • Roads: Roads are in a poor state and leave a poor impression on visitors
  • Water: The existing water pipelines do not have enough capacity to keep up with the ongoing construction activities. The water supply is available for only two hours per day. Hotels have been surviving on water tankers. Even for sewage, there is only one pipeline.
  • Power: At present nearly 25-30 MV of power is being consumed in the Industrial Area, but the requirement is of over 50 MV. The UT Administration has not made any plans to cope up with the increased demand of the ever-increasing number of business units.

Over 40 letters shot to the Administration about problems in the past five years.

The advisory committee for converted plots, which has a representation of a few industrialists, has met only once in the past eight years.


The UT Administration is planning to conduct an exercise to identify specific infrastructural deficiencies in the Industrial Area. Based on the findings, the infrastructure will be upgraded. Since the industrialists of the area are important stakeholders, their feedback on this will certainly be valued

— VK Singh, UT Finance Secretary



City roads not safe for cyclists: Study
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
Cyclists are not safe on the city roads. A recent study done by the Chandigarh traffic police on the road accidents reported in the city between January to March this year has revealed that of the total 31 persons who died in road accidents reported in this period, 12 were cyclists. Twenty of these deaths were caused by cars, the study also revealed.

With the increase in the number of vehicles, the city roads are becoming dangerous for cyclists. In the last two years, 40 cyclists have lost their lives in road accidents and over 50 got injured.

The accident figures compiled by the traffic police show that there were 102 accidents reported in the first three months. Other than the 12 cyclists who died in these accidents, four were motorcycle riders, two were travelling on scooters, three were auto-rickshaw drivers, one was an auto-rickshaw passenger, and the remaining were pedestrians. Seven cyclists also got injured in road accidents in the city.

In all, 112 persons were involved in the accidents in the city, out of which four were grievously injured and 77 received minor injuries.

Harman Sidhu, a social activist who runs the NGO Arrive Safe, said cyclists were not safe on the city roads as the fast-moving vehicles were using the same road used by them.

“At times, we can find cars speeding on the cycle tracks during traffic jams, putting to risk the lives of cyclists and pedestrians,” he said.

Ashish Dogra, a resident of Sector 11, said drivers of four-wheelers were least concerned about the safety of cyclists, which resulted in the accidents. “The cycle tracks are also not well maintained and there are no streetlights on the tracks,” he said.

Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Maneesh Chaudhary said efforts were being made to ensure the safety of cyclists and pedestrians in the city. “The basic aim of the study is devise a strategy to ensure safe city roads,” he said.

Over 100 engineering proposals to improve the traffic situation forwarded by the traffic police to the UT Administration and Municipal Corporation (MC) are lying pending for the past several years. These include construction of footpaths, cycle tracks and slip roads with proper signboards.



City resident loses Rs 61,000 in ATM fraud
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
A Sector 45 resident lost around Rs 61,000 of his hard earned money in a case of ATM fraud. Mohit Walia, who works in a private company, was in for a shock when yesterday he received four SMSes regarding transactions made from his ICICI bank account. The transactions amounted to Rs 61,000. At the time the transactions were made, the ATM card was with the victim.

“I received the messages of transactions made from my account while the ATM card is with me. It seems a case of card cloning,” said Mohit Walia.

The victim has submitted a complaint regarding the fraud at the public window of the Chandigarh Police in Sector 9.

“I have also informed the bank about the transactions made from my account,” said Mohit Walia.

What is card cloning

ATM cloning or card cloning is a card fraud in which criminals hack your ATM password from the magnetic tape on the back of the ATM card by a skimmer device and wireless surveillance camera. A hacker installs a magnetic card reader over the real automated teller machine. ATM hackers also use a wireless surveillance camera or a modified digital camera to observe the user's PIN.



Hike in passenger tax
Bus operators demand rollback
Tribune News Service

Bus operators protest at Sector 34 in Chandigarh on Wednesday.
Bus operators protest at Sector 34 in Chandigarh on Wednesday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, August 21
As many as 50 private bus operators of the Chandigarh-Punjab Bus Operator Welfare Association staged a protest against the Punjab Government for undue increase in passenger taxes today.

The bus operators submitted a memorandum to the Punjab State Transport Commissioner, Harjeet Singh, today. The demanded the withdrawal of the hike. On August 8, 2013, the government had increased the passenger bus tax from Rs 90,000 to Rs 3 lakh per year. The annual tax for college buses was increased from Rs 60,000 to Rs 90,000 and for school buses it was increased from Rs 9,500 to 15,000. The bus operators alleged that last year the government had hiked the passenger tax for private buses by two times due to which they were facing losses.

The Chandigarh-Punjab Bus Operator Welfare Association member Jaswinder Singh said if the decision was not revoked by the next week, the representatives of the association would submit a memorandum to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.



Temporary sheds razed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
The UT Estate Office demolished as many as eight temporary sheds at Raipur Khurdh today. These sheds had been shut down by the contractor as the authorities had not given him the permission to use them under the new excise policy.

During the drive, the team demolished the sheds which were utilised as a store by the contractor. A team of officials including tehsildar Amarinder Singh, naib-tehsildar Inderpal Singh, and two enforcement inspectors, Anil Sharma and Parveen Mittal, conducted the drive.

The officials were assisted by 20 labourers. A JCB machine was employed to remove the material from the site. To avoid any untoward incident, 50 police personnel were also deployed during the drive. The drive commenced at 10 am and continued till 1 pm.



BSNL staff holds protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
BSNL employees staged a protest against the anti-employees policies framed by the management today. The employees alleged that there had been no progress on the issue of the revision of wages after 2007.

They said no action had been taken by the authorities to regularise the casual labour of the department.

They regretted that no decision had been taken to implement the rules of the minimum wage for contractual employees.

The demand for appointment on the compensatory grounds is still hanging fire. Earlier, the employee had taken up the issues of fresh recruitments and pension benefits to the employees, but no decision has been taken on it till date.



School fee hike
Panel seeks clarification on order
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
A three-member committee appointed by the Punjab and Haryana Court to look into the fee hike issue of Chandigarh’s private unaided schools has moved a petition before the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to seek clarification on whether the High Court’s judgment dated April 9 on fee hike issue is applicable on minority schools in the city as well.

This move is taken in view of the objections raised by the six minority schools of Chandigarh, which argued in their reply to the said committee that their fee structure couldn’t be regulated by any authority.

The minority schools, which raised the objection, include St John’s High School, Sector 26, Carmel Convent School, Sector 9, St Anne’s Convent School, Sector 33, St Mary’s School, Sector 46, Mount Carmel School, Sector 47 and St Xavier’s, Sector 44.

In their reply submitted to the committee, these schools stated that being religious minority institution, declared under Section 2 (g) of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institution Act, 2004 and Article 30 of the Constitution, their fee structure couldn’t be regulated by any authority except that they can’t charge capitation fee.

These schools, it is learnt, have submitted some information, though incomplete, in response to committee’s questionnaire but these schools have maintained that the information is being sent without prejudice to their right to challenge the high court’s judgment before the appropriate court/forum.

Talking to chairman of the committee, Justice (retd) RS Mongia, he said that although the high court’s judgment clearly stated that the appointed committee would look in to fee hike issue of all the private aided schools but in view of objections raised by the minority schools, the committee has moved a petition in the Chief Justice’s court today to seek his direction on this issue.

It is learnt that the committee had a tough time in gathering information from several private schools, including minority institutions for the purpose of its probe in fee hike of the schools here for the session 2012-13 and 2013-14.

As many as 25 to 30 have yet not submitted the complete information to the committee, owing which its overall proceedings have been delayed.

The committee, meanwhile, has begun its inspection and would visit some schools in the first week of next month.



From schools
Students selected for national coaching camps

Chandigarh: Six students of St John’s High School have been selected by the Chandigarh Education Department for the national coaching camps in the disciplines of cricket, chess and football. Aadilpreet Singh has been selected for (U-14) cricket; Abhinay Mehta and Karan Cheema for (U-17) football; Utsav for (U-17) chess and Vishwa Poswal and Dervesh Singh for (U-19) chess. The students will attend national coaching camps and will further represent the UT in the 59th National School Games.

Ryan International School

Student of the NSS wing of the Ryan International School observed the Sadhbhavna Diwas. A special assembly was conducted by the students, comprising of the Bible reading, special prayer and a speech. The idea behind the observance is to eschew violence and to promote goodwill among the people. The students actively participated in the event and pledged to work for harmony.

Lecture on puppetry

Under the aegis of the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Academy, Sri Guru Harkrishan Model School, Sector 38-D, Chandigarh, organised a lecture-cum-demonstration on puppetry. Lecture was taken by artist Dadi Pudumjee. Students had a wonderful opportunity to interact with the maestro. He explained the intricacies involved in creating a puppetry display.

Independence Day celebrated

Students and staff members of the Government High School, Mauli Colony, celebrated Independence Day with patiotic favour. The event started with a flag hoisting ceremony and march past by the students of senior classes. Headmistress Kamlesh Kumari hoisted the flag. She encouraged the students for building a progressive nation.


Independence Day was celebrated with great patriotic fervour on the premises of the GMSSS-56, Chandigarh. The celebration was started by unfurling the National Flag by Principal Anita Sharma. A spectacular cultural programme was also presented by the students of the school which included various patriotic songs, poems, enactments and dances. The principal addressed the gathering and in her speech she highlighted the glorious history with the importance of the day.

BMD Public School

Independence Day was celebrated with great enthusiasm by the students of BMD Public School, Sector 63, Chandigarh. Students presented patriotic songs in their melodious voice. They also danced on beats of “Mile Sur Mera Tumhara” and “Jai Ho.” Bhagat Singh House stole the show with their performance.

Raksha Bandhan celebrated

Mohali: Raksha Bandhan was celebrated at Gurukul World School, Mohali. The tiny-tots were dressed in traditional dresses and the rituals of the festival were explained to the students through a skit. Beautiful rakhis were also made by girl students and thank you cards by boy students.

Shishu Niketan School, Sector 66

Raksha bandhan was celebrated at the junior wing of the Shishu Niketan School, Mohali. The tiny-tots were told about the importance of the day followed by a rakhi-making activity. Students made beautiful rakhis using papers, colours and stickers.

Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77

Raksha Bandhan was celebrated with great enthusiasm on the premises of Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77, Mohali. Students of primary section participated in a rakhi-making competition with great zeal and enthusiasm. The students also participated in “thali decoration” competition.

Medical camp

Sherwood Convent School organised a medical camp on the school premises. A free eye check-up was also held on the occasion. Dr Sunil Kumar conducted the eye check-up. The main aim of the camp was to provide awareness about the importance of health in our life. — TNS



Pu polls
Unions eye big departments to ensure victory
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
With the tentative date for the Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) elections approaching, the attention of student parties haS shifted to the departments having larger number of students, which once again will decide the fate of the leaders contesting the elections.

Emphasis to attract maximum voter strength is being made at the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) that has strength of around 2,500 voters, Law department with over 1,200 votes and the University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS) with approximately 850 votes.

The departments having larger strength of voters have always played a crucial role in ensuring the win of the student parties, realizing which student parties are holding regular meetings with the voters and party supporters to ensure their support from these departments.

The NSUI leaders on Wednesday also held a meeting with the students of the UILS department to make sure they get support from the department.

The SOPU party president, Rashpal Hakuwala, said that their party has always got lead from the University Institute of Engineering and Technology and UILS following which they are making more effort to continue the tradition. "These are the major departments that can turn the game for any party, ensuring larger vote bank in these departments is the prime concern," he said.

Echoing, similar views PUSU leader Yadwinder Singh said that they were also giving special attention to the departments having great strength of students. "We are roping the first-year students of these departments to ensure margin votes. Although we lost last student elections, however, we had a lead of 112 votes from the UIET department and we will certainly retain the lead this year also,"he said.

Every party is stressing upon giving at least one seat to a candidate from either of these departments to ensure support which can help them in registering their win in student elections.



Govt to spend Rs 5.44 cr on developing school infrastructure in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 21
The state government will be spending Rs 5.44 crore on developing the basic infrastructure of primary and middle schools in the Mohali district. Mohali Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu said Rs 2.73 crore would be spent on schools which had no boundary walls. Sidhu said besides providing more classrooms in high and senior secondary schools, the basic infrastructure of the school buildings was also being developed. A new school building will also be constructed at Dera Bassi.

For providing sanitation facilities in schools, over Rs 2.8 crore will be spent on the construction of toilets. The government will spend Rs 24.87 lakh on the construction of extra classrooms in primary and middle schools in the rural areas and Rs 6.41 lakh in the urban areas.

The DC said a library grant of Rs 12.78 lakh would be provided to primary schools and Rs 18.40 lakh would be given to middle schools in the district. Besides, repair work would be initiated on priority in case school buildings needed urgent repairs.

The Deputy Commissioner said keeping in view the environmental concerns, a special plantation drive had also been initiated. Saplings were being planted in schools and other places in the district.



Teachers submit demand charter to DPI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
A delegation of Joint Action Committee (JAC) met DPI (s) Upkar Singh today and submitted a charter of demands. It asked the official concerned to revoke the FIR registered against the four office-bearers of the committee. They demanded transparent transfer policy.

They appraised the DPI that the teachers were not in favour of extension in school timings. They said that their time should not be extended till other provisions of the RTE Act 2009 were not implemented.

They demanded that the issue of pending promotion orders of JBT/TGT be released immediately besides the nursery teachers should be given grade pay of Rs 4,200. "All types of contractual teachers be regularised and equal pay should be given to all teachers, including guest faculty," they said.

They demanded independent enquiry against prevailing malpractices/ misuse of authority in the department. According to the members of the committee, the DPI(s) assured to get the demands examined.



BCI inspects UILS for extension of affiliation of 5-year integrated courses

Chandigarh, August 21
A team of the Bar Council of India (BCI) today conducted inspection for extension of approval of affiliation to the University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS), Panjab University (PU).

The inspection is a mandatory requirement for running the BA/BCom LLB, a five-year integrated course.

The five-member team inspected the physical and academic infrastructure of the institute.

The Director, UILS, PU, Prof Sangita Bhalla, said the UILS had applied for extension of approval of affiliation for its five-year integrated courses in December, 2010, and a team from the BCI inspected the institute for the same today.

"As part of their inspection, besides inspecting the records, the team members also visited the classrooms, library, language lab, computer lab, moot court hall, and legal-aid clinic of the institute," said the officials.

The team also interacted with the faculty, students and administrative staff of the institute. — TNS



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