C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Stray cattle claim another life 
Tribune News Service

The scooter of Atma Ram that was involved in the accident.
The scooter of Atma Ram that was involved in the accident. Tribune photos: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, August 22
Another life was snuffed out on a city road when a scooterist hit stray cattle near Sectors 31/32/46/47 roundabout on August 17.

The deceased was identified as 42-year-old Atma Ram, who was the sole breadwinner of the family. Atma Ram, a resident of Sector 46-A, was working as mess cook at the 229 transit camp, APO, Hallo Majra. He was on his way back home when the scooter he was riding rammed into stray cattle. He was rushed to the GMCH-32. Atma Ram’s younger brother Milap Chand said his brother suffered head injuries and he breathed his last this evening.

He blamed the Mayor and MC officials for their failure to check the stray cattle menace. The body will be handed over to the family after post-mortem tomorrow.

Milap Chand said he would file a police complaint against the Mayor and MC officials for not performing their duties. 

Third death in five months

While the MC is finding it difficult to find a solution to the stray cattle menace, it is the third death in the past five months. All these accidents took place at night in the southern sectors of the city and the victims were on two-wheelers. 

April 6: 33-yr-old Harpreet Singh Sodhi

Thirty-three-year-old Harpreet Singh Sodhi, a resident of Sector 45-C, was killed on April 6, when the motorcycle he was riding rammed into stray cattle on the road separating Sectors 49 and 46. He is survived by his wife, two children and mother. He was also the sole breadwinner of his family. Sodhi’s family had lodged a police complaint against the Mayor and the MC Commissioner. 

August 20: 26-yr-old Avinash Kumar

Twenty-six year-old Avinash Kumar, who was on his way back home on his motorcycle, rammed into stray cattle on August 16 around 10.45 pm near Sector 45. He succumbed to his injuries at GMCH-32 on August 20 morning. He was the sole breadwinner of the family. The deceased is survived by his wife Sonia (24) and two children, a three-year-old son and a five-year-old daughter. Avinash Kumar was working at a Sector 9-based salon. His family has also lodged a police complaint against the Mayor and the MC Commissioner. 

August 22: 42-yr-old Atma Ram

Atma Ram, a resident of Sector 46-A, who was working as a mess cook at 229 transit camp, APO, Hallo Majra, could not see stray cattle and rammed his scooter into it at the Sectors 31/32/46/47 roundabout on the night of August 17. He succumbed to his injuries on August 22 at the GMCH-32. 



Family unaware of death
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
Unaware of his death, the family of 42-year-old Atma Ram, who succumbed to his injuries at the GMCH-32 today, is still praying for his life.

Atma Ram’s brother Milap Chand said they had not informed the family about his death. “We will inform his wife and children after we get his body after post-mortem,” he said.

Atma Ram’s wife and children were still praying his life. Atma Ram’s wife said her husband was battling for life at the GMCH-32.

Atma Ram’s relatives were coming to his house to inquire about his health.

Atma Ram’s brother Milap Chand said the elder daughter of his brother was married and his brother was planning to the marriage of the second daughter. “I don’t know how to tell my bhabhi and children about Atma Ram’s death,” he said. 

Narrow escape for nominated councillor

Nominated councillor Anup Sunny Gill on Thursday had a narrow escape when stray cattle came in front of his car in Sector 38. The incident took place around 9.30 pm. Gill said he managed to apply brakes on time. He informed the area councillor, Arun Sood, and the MC stray cattle catching team. The head of the MC team told him that they had been busy catching stray cattle since morning and would come to Sector 38 after some time, he added. Area councillor Arun Sood said that he had informed the Mayor and the Commissioner about the stray cattle problem in Sector 38. 



City in troubled waters 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
Residents of the city continued to reel under acute water crisis due to leakage in the pipeline of the Kajauli Water Works, Mohali. Residents complained of low water pressure throughout the day. Many sectors had to go without water.

Rajinder Pandey, a resident of Sector 44, said the water supply had been disrupted since Thursday and the authorities concerned were yet to swing into action.

Sanjeev Singh of Sector 10 said the authorities should rectify the fault so that the water supply could be restored.

MC Commissioner Vivek Partap Singh said they were in touch with officials of the Punjab Government and were hopeful that the damaged pipeline would be repaired soon.

Residents said the MC tankers were seen supplying water in some of the ‘VIP’ areas of the city.

Sham Kumar of Sector 46 said the MC should supply water through tankers in all sectors.



Mid-day meal menu: Dead flies, mosquitoes
Tribune News Service

Dead flies and mosquitoes in a plate; and (above) children watch as residents shout slogans against the authorities at Government School, Colony No. 4, Chandigarh.
Dead flies and mosquitoes in a plate; and (above) children watch as residents shout slogans against the authorities at Government School, Colony No. 4, Chandigarh. Tribune photos: Pradeep Tewari 

Chandigarh, August 22
Dead flies and mosquitoes were found in the mid-day meal served to students of Government High School, Colony No. 4, today. Perturbed at the unhygienic food being served to students, residents of the colony gathered on the school premises and raised slogans against the administration.

The students were served rajmah, chapattis, flies and mosquitoes. The food was prepared at centralised mid-day meal kitchen of the Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management, Sector 42.

The school staff spotted dead flies and mosquitoes in rajmah and informed the supervisor who came to deliver the food. The officials of the education department and the institute were also apprised of the situation.

Principal of the school Surinderpal Kaur said the food was not served to the children. Food from another centralised kitchen was given to the students. Officials of the UT Health Department also collected the samples of the adulterated food, said the principal.

Deputy DEO Shiv Kumar Sharma and mid-day meal inspector posted at the hotel management institute Ajit Singh Sethi reached the school but failed to pacify the protesters. Activists of the BJP also joined the protesters.

Member of school management committee Shashi Shankar Tiwari said it was a serious issue and it showed the laxity on the part of the institute and demanded an inquiry.

A member of local unit of the BJP, Rajkumari Mishra, said if the administration could not provide hygienic food to the students, the scheme should be withdrawn and the students should be given money to buy food.

Bharati Tyagi, head of the Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management, however, maintained that the institute was not at fault. She said the meal was supplied to 25 government schools today and no one else complained. The mid-deal meal inspector inspected the food before it was sent to schools.

“There is a possibility that the food may have got contaminated during loading or unloading or when it was being served in the school,” she said.

“The institute had been preparing food for over 20,000 students everyday for the past five years and we have not received a single complaint to date about the quality of food,” claimed Bharati Tyagi.

Meanwhile, the UT Education Department has expelled the mid-day meal supervisor, Amrik Singh for negligence. The department would also order an inquiry into the incident. 


CITCO ‘financially ill’
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
All is not well with the financial health of the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO), if the performance report from April to June is any indication.

Coinciding with the decision of the board of members of the corporation not to given extension in service to retiring employees, the report states that barring four units, Steel Depot, Park View Hotel, Chef Lakeview, boating and petrol pumps, the other major units have reported losses.

The flagship hotel of CITCO, Hotel Mountview has reported losses to the tune of Rs 3 crore due to decrease in profitability. The unit turnover at Rs 4.20 crore was about Rs 2.95 crore low than the turnover of Rs 7.15 crore achieved during the corresponding period last year. The turnover decreased due to a drop in room sales that were down by Rs 2.02 crore. The room occupancy was about 30 per cent and the sales from food sales and banquet hall went down.

Similarly, Hotel Shivalik View has shown a dip in profits by Rs 24 lakh. The revenue from rooms fell by Rs 16 lakh. CITCO spent Rs 8 crore on the renovation of certain amenities at the hotel last year and again an agenda of spending Rs 97 lakh for the renovation of rooms has been approved.

At a time when the two main hotels of the corporation are suffering losses, the budget of Park View Hotel has shown an increase in the revenue.

"When the occupancy dropped at Hotels Mountview and Shivalik View, it rose in Park View Hotel. Against 10, 519 rooms booked till June 2012, 12,274 rooms were booked during this period. After accounting for expenses, the unit earned a profit of Rs 1.50 crore as against Rs 1.15 crore achieved in the corresponding period last year.

Due to the inflow of weekend revellers, Chef Lakeview shows an increase in profit from Rs 46.38 lakh to Rs 77.26 lakh. However, once a popular eating joint of the corporation suffered losses to the tune of Rs 5.29 lakh due to the decrease in the franchise fee and increase in expenses. Similarly, the CITCO canteen at the UT Secretariat has reported losses to the tune of Rs 21.55 lakh against Rs 19.17 lakh in the corresponding period last year. 

In loss

The flagship hotel of CITCO, Hotel Mountview has reported losses to the tune of ~3 crore due to decrease in profitability. The unit turnover at ~4.20 crore was about ~2.95 crore low than the turnover of ~7.15 crore achieved during the corresponding period last year. 



Devinder group wins PUTA polls
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
Missing a hatrick in the Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) elections the Akshaya-Kahlid group lost the polls against the Devinder group that won four out of the total five posts of office-bearers and 12 seats out of 13 seats of executive members.

Devinder Singh of the Department of Law became the new PUTA president after defeating sitting PUTA president Mohammed Khalid of the Department of Evening Studies.

While Devinder bagged 366 votes, Khalid managed to secure 223 votes only.

Devinder group has promised to get the retirement age of teachers enhanced from 60 to 65 years and recruitment of faculty at all levels at the earliest.

The only post Devinder group lost was that of the secretary, which was bagged by Jayanti Dutta of Khalid group who got re-elected on the post after defeating Parveen Goyal with a margin of 22 votes. While Jayanti bagged 306 votes Goyal managed only 284 votes.



41st community centre inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
UT Adviser KK Sharma today inaugurated the 41st Community Centre of the city, developed by the municipal corporation at Sector 27-B.

The Adviser appreciated the efforts made by MC officials. He said that he had discussed regarding opening of E-Sampark Centre within the community centre campus with the Secretary, IT, Chandigarh Administration, and after completing the formalities it would be constructed shortly.

On the stray cattle issue, the Adviser assured that a police force would be provided to the MC whenever required during the cattle catching drives. Talking about the stray dog and monkey menace, the Adviser said that recently a meeting was held to tackle the problem, in which the Mayor and senior officials of the MC and Animal Husbandry Department were present. He said that the issue was discussed at length during the meeting and it was decided that UT Administration and MC would take necessary steps to tackle the stray dog and monkey menace.



Stray cattle menace: Mayor in the dock
Had written letter to MC officials asking them to release impounded cattle of Cong leaders
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
Before leaving his office yesterday, city Mayor Subhash Chawla had slammed MC officials for not listening to him and not “doing enough” to tackle the stray cattle problem, but it was discovered today that the Mayor had written a letter to MC officials asking them to release the stray cattle of Congress leaders and other “influential” people, which were impounded by the MC.

Records of the municipal corporation revealed that the Mayor had written a letter to MC officials in which he had asked the officials to release the stray cattle of villagers.

On the basis of Mayor’s letter, the MC officials, who after the death of Harpeet Singh, had decided that MC would not release any stray cattle roaming on the city roads, released 128 stray cattle recently.

Sources revealed that a majority of cattle that were released belonged to Congress leaders of Kishangarh, including of Manoj Lubana, who is also anNSUI leader at Panjab University.

According to data available with the MC, they released 34 stray cattles on August 12, 40 on August 13, 43 on August 14 and 11 on August 17.

A senior official of the MC said that they were performing their duty, but it was only after they received the Mayor’s letter that they released the stray cattle. The Mayor had also asked them to reduce the feeding charges, (which the MC charges from cattle owners), ie from Rs 150 to Rs 75. But since it was not allowed under the MC Act, therefore, they did not reduce the feeding charges, the official added.

When contacted, Chawla said the cattle that were released were milking buffalos. The villagers had also protested in the MC House. He said the MC had also imposed heavy fines on them before releasing them. He also assured that in future the MC would not release any cattle, he added.

“Media should also support the Mayor and the MC when strict action is taken against violators and should not only highlight the protest of violators,” the Mayor appealed.

BJP Councillor and Leader of Opposition Arun Sood said that the Mayor did not have any policy and vision to solve the stray cattle problem. 

15 cops deputed with stray cattle catching team

After the death of Avinash, the MC has now got the support of the police force. The UT police on Thursday deputed 15 policemen round the clock with the MC stray cattle catching team.

Legal demand notice to MC

Advocate Pankaj Chandgothia on behalf of Avinash’s father Narinder Kumar, on Thursday sent a legal demand notice to the UT Advisor, DC, MC Commissioner and Mayor. In the notice, a compensation of Rs 50 lakh was demanded for the family of the deceased, who died due to collision with a stray cattle.

BJP demands special House meeting

The BJP on Thursday demanded that a special House meeting be called to discuss the cattle menace. Leader of opposition Arun Sood said that on Friday, they would meet the MC Commissioner and the Mayor and demand for it. 



Kin should not name councillors in plaints: Mayor

Chandigarh, August 22
On the stray cattle menace and recent deaths, City Mayor Subhash Chawla today said that elected representatives should not be named in police complaints lodged by family members of accident victims as have been done in the recent deaths.

The Mayor said that when Harpeet had died he had thought of meeting his family members, but when the family lodged a police complaint against the Mayor and others, he maintained a distance. Same thing happened in the case of Avinash. “We have full sympathy for the family members and we also want to solve their problem. But holding the Mayor or any other elected representative responsible for the death of the victim is not the right thing to do, he added.

On his decision to leave the Mayor’s office yesterday, he said that he was upset due to the death of Avinash. Therefore, he left his office to take rest at home, but he was in constant touch with his staff, he added. — TNS



Supervision to become tighter: DPI (schools)
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
In the wake up of contaminated mid-day meal (MDM)found at Government High School of Colony Number 4, Upkar Singh, DPI (School), held a detailed meeting with all stakeholders involved in the process of preparing and distributing the mid-day meal and decided to make the process of supervision, distribution, transportation, interim storage and distribution more effective.

Upkar Singh said that in the past, they had not received any complaint in the preparation and distribution of mid-day meal, but after today’s incident more attention would be paid to supervision in the city.

“It is decided that the daily inspection reports by the inspectors have to be more thorough and in writing. Also, the supervisors (while receiving the meals from the kitchens) and MDM incharges (while receiving the meals from the supervisors) will give a detailed written receipt that the meals thus received is good from the point of view of quantity, quality, hygiene and taste, he said.

He said that the place of the MDM storage in the schools had to be covered, neat and tidy and that there would be no laxity on the part of supervisors and the MDM incharges in checking the meals and all the containers they received respectively from the inspectors and supervisors.

In Chandigarh, four centralised kitchens, including Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management, Chandigarh Institute of Hotel Management, CITCO and Rajiv Associates prepare the food for most city schools. The heads of these four institutes were present at the meeting.



Victims’ kin meet IGP, demand speedy action
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
The kin of two engineering students, who lost their lives in a road accident after being hit by an Audi on July 23, met IG (UT) RP Upadhaya demanding speedy action against the negligent policemen who had registered a wrong case.

Yashpal Juneja, father of the deceased, Sahil Juneja, said, “A SIT was formed and head of the SIT, who was a DSP rank official, was sent on ex-India leaves, that delayed the probe.” Sahil along with Kuldeep and Hast Bahadur was killed when an Audi rammed into their Tavera after breaking an electricity pole at the dividing road of Sector 17 and18.

Sahil’s kin stated that they had tried to contact the local police many times to ask regarding the progress in the investigation however, they failed to get any satisfactory response. The IG assured the kin of the victims that appropriate action.



Worked up docs give GMCH-32 a shock therapy
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
Seven doctors of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, today put in their papers and later revoked the decision.

They cited immense work pressure as the reason behind the step.

It came as a shocker for the hospital that has been reeling under an acute staff shortage.

Director-Principal Dr Atul Sachdev, who happens to be from the same department, later sorted out their issues and convinced them to withdraw the resignation.

Dr Atul Sachdev said, “It was a trivial issue related to the roster. The problem has been solved now."

This is not the first time that the hospital has faced such a situation. In the past one year, six consultants (Assistant Professors) from three departments have left the hospital. A few others are planning to quit.

The hospital is reeling under staff crunch. There are 250 doctors attending to more than 3,000 patients in the OPDs and over 200 indoor patients in the Emergency.

The selection of doctors for appointment at the institute requires a direct recruitment by the Union Public Service Commission in New Delhi which implies that no city-level recruitments are allowed.

Sources in the GMCH said due to consistent shortage of staff, senior residents in almost all departments remained under immense work pressure.

The hospital caters to a large number of patients from the region and sometimes the doctors work for over 24 hours at a stretch.

Among the total sanctioned posts of 432 Group A employees (doctors) at the GMCH-32, 168 have been lying vacant, 61 of the 255 posts of Group B staff (paramedics) have continued to be vacant since past many months.



Setback for Panchkula police
Four out of seven witnesses turn hostile on the first day of trial at the district courts
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 22
On the very first day of the trial in the Jyoti murder case, four witnesses turned hostile today. Only two witnesses gave evidence against Doon MLA Ram Kumar Chaudhary.

The case had come up for hearing before the district sessions court today. As many as seven witnesses, including one police official, all in connection with the sim cards procured by the accused on fake documents, deposed before the court this morning.

All the accused in the Jyoti murder case, including Chaudhary, his nephews Gurmeet and Dharampal, Paramjit, driver Tilak Raj and others were present in the court.

It was a major setback for the police when four witnesses, identified as Yashpal, Praveen, Surjit and Manoj stated that the police did not even approach them for any statements as per their claim. They even said that the statements given by the police in their names in the chargesheet that their IDs were used by the accused were not given by them (witnesses).

Chaudhary was seen hearing the evidences cautiously and after a majority of witnesses turned hostile, he was seen smiling.

The two witnesses, Saroj Rani and Manoj Kumar, said that they did not know Chaudhary and never applied for sim cards, but still their identifications were used.

Meanwhile, Chaudhary’s bail plea and his plea to attend monsoon session has been kept for tomorrow; the decision of the same will be given subsequently.

In the last hearing, charges on all the accused were framed in the murder case. Chaudhary, the main accused, has been charged with seven sections that is 302(murder), 201(destruction of evidence) 420(cheating), 467(Fabrication of documents), 471(Using a forged document as genuine), 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and SC/ST Act.

The case

Doon MLA and four others have been accused of killing Jyoti, a girl, who hailed from Hoshiarpur. The victim was found murdered on a road in Sector 21, Panchkula. The chargesheet by the Panchkula police stated that since Jyoti was coming in the way of Chaudhary’s political career and wanted him to continue their alleged affair, he eliminated her with the help of aides. First, Jyoti was strangulated and then a truck was run over her to show it was an accident. Later, the accused even destroyed the evidence.



Green signal to multi-level parking lot at ISBT-43 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
The Standing Finance Committee (Upper), which approves projects/schemes costing between Rs 10 crore and Rs 50 crore, today approved the construction of a multi-level parking lot at the ISBT, Sector 43, Chandigarh.

The project will come up at a cost of Rs 18.33 crore. It will be a two-storeyed building with a three-tier parking floor. It will accommodate 376 cars and 336 two-wheelers. The total floor area of the parking lot is 85,000 sq ft.

The committee also gave a green signal to the construction of a central judicial archives building of the Punjab and Haryana High Court at Industrial Area, Phase II, Chandigarh. An amount of Rs 29.26 crore has been earmarked for the project. It will be a five-level building (three storeyed) with 2 level basements. The total carpet area of the building will be 85,000 sq ft. It will help the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the shifting of decided cases to the record room. It will have a reprography room, weeding and fumigation room, preservation room, scanning/indexing operator room, project manager room, digitisation hall, digital media room, server and network control room and conference hall. The committee also approved the construction of an NCC complex, Sector 31, costing Rs 23.61 crore. It is a five-level building (four storeyed) with one basement.

The total carpet area of the building is 73,000 sq ft. The building will have a counselling room, clerical staff room, commanding officer room, administrative officer room, conference hall, multi-purpose hall, ship modelling room, aero-modelling room, classroom, medical instructor room, training officer room and group commanding officer room. 



Big Bazaar fined for overcharging
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
The UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has penalised Big Bazaar for overcharging. The company has been directed to pay Rs 10,000 as compensation to the complainant.

Deepak Uppal, a resident of Panchkula, complained that the opposite party (Big Bazaar) charged Rs 90 for a tomato ketchup priced at Rs 59 and Rs 20 each for two units of macaroni priced at Rs 15.

He said when he showed the MRP printed on the items to the staff present at the counter, they expressed helplessness and said they had to charge the amount as fed in the billing system.”

In its reply, Big Bazaar stated that after the complainant brought the matter to their notice, they apologised to him.

“The store manager offered to return the amount, but the complainant declined to resolve the matter. The opposite party (Big Bazaar) even offered a free coupon worth Rs 1,000 to the complainant, but he did not accept it," stated the Big Bazaar in its reply. The forum held penalised the company for deficiency in services and unfair trade practice.

Big Bazaar at Elante Mall, Industrial Area, was directed to refund the overcharged amount of Rs 41. Apart from Rs 10,000 as compensation, the forum asked the company to pay Rs 5,000 as litigation costs to the complainant. 



Face-off with Deputy Commissioner costs PCS officer dear, loses key posts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
The face-off between Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Shayin and PCS officer Amandeep Kaur cost her three important positions, as in a reshuffling of the UT departments, she was only given the charge of the CGM, CITCO.

Amandeep Kaur has been given the charge of the chief general manager (CGM) of CITCO. Earlier, she was holding the charge of the SDM (South), joint secretary, food and supplies, and secretary, Red Cross.

Tilak Raj, who was holding the charge of CGM CITCO, has been given the responsibility of the SDM (South) while Balbir Singh Dhol has been given the charge of joint secretary, food and supplies, and secretary, Red Cross.

Recently, PCS officer Amandeep Kaur had shot off a letter to UT Adviser KK Sharma asking him to relinquish her of the charge of the SDM (South) as Deputy Commissioner Mohammed Shayin was "biased against her" and was issuing her explanation notices. Shayin had maintained that it was well within his power to seek an explanation from the officer for a delay in the issuance of the SC/BC certificates. After the incident, Amandeep Kaur had reportedly lodged a protest asking the top brass in Chandigarh and Punjab to repatriate her and went on leave.



Residential property tax opposed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
The Group Housing Cooperative Societies Welfare Council has opposed the imposition of residential property tax in the UT. The MC notified that the tax would be levied on residential property of more than 125 sq yds.

While computing tax that can be levied on cooperative society dwelling units, the entire land will be taken as a single unit and thereafter tax will be divided against the individual flat/dwelling units depending upon their respective area. Members of the council said the computation formula worked out to assess property tax on flats should be disproportionate to the original view of the draft of the residential property tax.

The group housing societies are allowed to carry out construction on the land allotted to them. The infrastructure created by the societies themselves is, now, languishing due to inadequate funds at their disposal and due to policies pursued by the Chandigarh Administration. 



Heaps of garbage dot Mohali town
Local MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu writes to the MC, demands immediate action
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 22
Mohali MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu has written to the Municipal Corporation about the appalling state of garbage dumping points in the town.

Sidhu alleged that the garbage dumping points were not being cleaned on a daily basis. Besides, the required chemicals were also not sprayed. The MLA said the unhygienic conditions at the points can lead to the spread of diseases.

“The corporation should ensure that the garbage was thrown in a proper manner. An immediate action should be initiated against the offenders,” demanded the MLA.



Pu polls
Chaos prevails as parties converge on UIET
Panjab University security staff call in police; 10 outsiders rounded up, four vehicles detained
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
Chaos prevailed on the south campus of Panjab University that houses the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) and the dental institute when over 200 supporters of various student organisations reached the UIET at the same time and started raising slogans.

The Chandigarh Police rushed to the scene to avoid any untoward incident. The police rounded up over 10 outsiders and detained four vehicles.

The incident took place in the afternoon when supporters of the Students’ Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU), Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU), Hindustan Student Association (H SA), National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) and other parties reached the campus in Sector 25 and gathered outside the canteen of the engineering department. In order to make their presence felt, all the supporters started raising slogans. Fearing a clash, the PU security alerted the police that reached the venue to disperse the crowd.

While members of different parties went further to the dental institute, the rest started moving out of the campus.

The station house officer, Sector 11, Gurmukh Singh, arrived at the scene and started checking the identity cards of the students, many of whom were outsiders. Many of them sneaked away. Vehicles belonging to the party supporters were also checked for the presence of arms.

Following the incident, the DSW office released a schedule of campaigning at the UIET. All the parties have been given a 30-minute slot for campaigning at the department.

(Clockwise from top) While other personnel round up an outsider; the ground strewn with pamphlets after the crowd is dispersed; and the supporters move to the dental institute to canvass on the south campus of Panjab University in Chandigarh on Thursday.
(Clockwise from top) While other personnel round up an outsider; the ground strewn with pamphlets after the crowd is dispersed; and the supporters move to the dental institute to canvass on the south campus of Panjab University in Chandigarh on Thursday. Tribune photos: Pradeep Tewari and Amit Sharma



Students pay no heed to directions
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
Paying no heed to the directions of Panjab University (PU) barring parties from holding road shows on the campus, supporters of different parties reached the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) to drum up support for the student council polls.

In a bid to ensure peace on the campus, Dean Student Welfare (DSW) Navdeep Goyal, in a recent meeting, had told the students that not more then three vehicles belonging to a single party would be allowed to move on the campus for campaigning or any road show. However, SOPU organised a rally with more than 20 cars that moved from the Sector 14 campus to the south campus in Sector 25.

Similarly, supporters of PUSU, NSUI and Hindustan Student Association also moved on the campus in more than three vehicles.

The huge number of vehicles choked the parking lot at the UIET and led to a snarl-up that could be cleared only after the police arrived.

The DSW, when contacted, said all the student parties would be issued a warning. He said the parties would be asked not to include outsiders and to move in small groups on the PU campus during the campaigning.

Not the first time

Last week, the Panjab University authorities imposed a fine of ~2,000 on Students’ Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) for trying to carry out a car rally on the campus. The party is yet to deposit the fine. 



Leaders fail to turn up for police briefing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
The Chandigarh Police today held a meeting with the student leaders of Panjab University at the Sector 11 police station.

The meeting was called at 11 am; however, at the designated time only the representatives of the Students’ Federation of India turned-up for the briefing on the student council elections. An hour later, members of Student Organisation of India (SOI) too reached the police station. The remaining parties failed to attend the meeting.

Later, the police again summoned the leaders of the remaining parties, who attended the meeting in the evening.

Gurmukh Singh, station house officer, Sector 11 police station, said the student leaders had been warned against indulging in incidents of violence. The leaders were also asked to restrain themselves from inviting outsiders on the PU campus, the SHO said. The student leaders have been directed to inform the police before holding any gathering.

“We want all the parties to follow the university directives,” the SHO said.



from schools

Chandigarh: Dadi Padumjee, a leading puppeteer of India, conducted a workshop for the students of Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 27. With the display of a variety of puppets, he enthralled the students. The founder of The Ishrat Puppet Theatre Trust, Dadi Padumjee began by narrating the history of different kinds of puppets and went on to describe the art of making puppets and muppets. He along with his team performed with puppets so naturally that the children were left asking for more.


A rakhi exhibition was organised at MDAV School. Students brought colorful, handmade rakhis from home. Rakhi-making activities were also organised. The principal appreciated the students’ effort.

Dental check-up

St Soldier School, Dhakoli, organised a free dental check-up for students. Doctors from Soni Dental Clinic conducted the check-ups. They persuaded students to inculcate good dental habits and hygiene.

Rakhi celebrations

Mohali: Sant Waryam Singh Memorial Public School celebrated Raksha Bandhan with fervour. A rakhi-making competition was held for the students of up to Class VI. Other students decorated thalis.

Student brings laurels

Ashima Sharma, a student of Gem Public School, Phase 3B2, has been bestowed with the certificate of merit by the Central Board of Secondary Education for her outstanding academic performance. She stood in the top 0.1 per cent of successful candidates in the Senior School Certificate Examination. Principal Veena Bakshi and director HS Midha congratulated Ashima on her achievement.

Harmony House wins quiz

Panchkula: An inter-house quiz was organised at MRA Modern Public School for students of Classes VI to X. Harmony House was adjudged first, while Prosperity House came second in the quiz based on freedom struggle in India. The principal motivated the students to be self disciplined and be ready to sacrifice anything for the nation.

Sanskrit Diwas

Sanskrit Diwas was celebrated at Blue Bird High School, Sector 16. Students gave speeches on the importance of Sanskrit. They also recited shlokas from Bhagavad Gita. Story telling in Sanskrit was also a part of the event.

Eye check-up camp

The British School, Sector 12, organised a free eye check-up camp for the students. The camp was organised in collaboration with Dr Sanjay Kalra Dental Clinic. Dental surgeon Dr Sourabh Kesar and Dr Gurvinder Singh examined around 300 students. The students were given guidelines on oral hygiene. — TNS



panjab university
Guard caught unawares as CCTV cameras stolen
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
Putting a question mark on the preparedness of the Panjab University security staff for the student council elections, two closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed at an entry gate to the south campus in Sector 25 were stolen on Saturday night in the presence of a guard.

The cameras stolen from the entry gate opposite Sector 24 were among the 40 recently hired by the university to keep a close watch on the students’ activities at sensitive locations. The cameras were installed at the gates to capture the images and registration numbers of vehicles.

The security guard, who is a daily wager, was suspended on Tuesday. The officiating chief security officer (CSO), PU, Prof Anil Monga said an explanation had been sought from him.

Dean Student Welfare (DSW) Navdeep Goyal said a committee had been formed to inquire into the case nd further action would be taken on the basis of it’s report.

A senior teacher said the university should pull up the security staff and fill the post of CSO.



Six new schools to come up on periphery
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
The Education Department has approved the construction of six new schools to ease the pressure of ever-increasing number of students in the peripheral areas.

Officials said the move will address the issue of lack of infrastructure, especially on the periphery, where there is an acute shortage of rooms and excessive enrollment of students.

The department has reportedly begun the exercise of scouting land for constructing the new schools. Among the six, a government school has been planned at Mauli Colony. Three government schools are already running in the Mauli Jagran area. Despite this, the classrooms in these schools have a strength of nearly 80 students.

“A new school will ease the pressure on these schools and will be vital for providing quality education to students there,” said a government official.

Another government school has been approved for Sarangpur. Officials said there was a vacant land in the area that could be used for the purpose. It could also cater to the Khuda Alisher area, officials said.

The department is also mulling a school for Raipur Kalan, which too is facing the problem of excessive students. Another school has been approved for the Dadu Majra and Maloya area that faces similar problems.

For constructing a school in the Daria and Makhan Majra area, the department will soon write to the Rural Development Department seeking help for finding suitable land.

The department has also taken the cognisance of the poor infrastructure in the Hallo Majra and Karsan area, and there is the possibility of another government school coming up near Government High school, Hallo Majra.

Besides these schools, the department has approved an additional block for Government Model High School, Sector 38 (West) and Government High School, Sector 39. A new block for Government Middle School, Palsora village, has also been approved.

Officials said infrastructural development has been going on a war footing. Four schools are already under construction in Pocket Nos. 1, 6, 8 and 10 of Mani Majra besides at Kishangarh, Sector 48 and Sector 49. The construction of two schools in Dhanas is about to begin.



Ruhani to represent city

Ruhani Arora
Ruhani Arora

Chandigarh, August 22
Ruhani Arora, a Class X student of Saupin’s School, Sector 32, stood first at the State Science Seminar held on the topic ‘Water Co-operation: Issues and Challenges’ at the State Institute of Education in Sector 32.

Her project was adjudged the best among 134 entries from Chandigarh. The event was organised by National Science Centre, New Delhi.

In the preliminary round on August 8, 10 best entries were selected. These students competed in the final round today.

Ruhani will now represent the UT at the National Science Seminar in Mumbai on October 8. An elated Ruhani thanked her physics teacher Anurag Vashisht for helping her in the project. — TNS



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