C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


No respite yet from water woes
Elderly the worst hit; tankers fail to reach several areas; Mayor should declare water crisis, says BJP councillor
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Col Pritam Bhullar shows an empty overhead tank at his residence in Sector 2
Col Pritam Bhullar shows an empty overhead tank at his residence in Sector 2. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, August 27
There was no respite from the water woes for city residents today. Col Pritam Bhullar (87), a resident of Sector 2, has been facing a harrowing time due to a shortage of water. Adding to his woes is the alleged apathy of the authorities concerned. He alleged that despite making a number of calls to the authorities to provide water through a tanker at his residence, nothing worked out.

“Do the authorities think that I can lift water in a bucket from a tanker parked at a far-off street at this age?” said Colonel Bhullar. He said if the water situation did not improve in a day or two, he would move to his son’s place in New Delhi.

Sachin, a resident of Sector 21, spent Rs 300 for bottled water to meet his drinking water requirements as the authorities failed to send a tanker to his area despite the fact that the chairman of the water and sewerage department had assured the residents that water would be provided to them through tankers in the morning.

Residents in the city have been facing a lot of difficulty due to non-availability of water tankers despite making several requests to the authorities. The complaint centre of the corporation received around 25 complaints of no water supply since morning. Dhanwantry Ayurvedic College did not get any water supply through government or private water tankers throughout the day today.

Councillors are also raising questions over the erratic water supply management in this hour of crisis. BJP councillor Saurabh Joshi said Mayor Subhash Chawla should declare a water crisis in the city and take stringent steps to control the situation before it worsens. He wanted to know whether any contingency plan had been formulated to tackle this problem on a war footing. "Do we have sufficient water tankers and adequate water supply to meet the requirements of all residents in the city? Has any team been constituted ward-wise to look into the situation?" he asked.

According to the MC, the waiting time for supply through tankers was around five hours due to the enormous demand. Owners of private water tankers are having a windfall in this hour of crisis.

College books 20 water tankers

The MCM DAV College management has booked 20 water tankers by paying Rs 8,000 to meet the water requirements of hostels and the college for Wednesday.

MC staff on 18-hour duty

Due to the water crisis, the staff deployed at the helpline centre is working for 16 to 18 hours a day for the past four days to meet the water needs of the residents. Seventeen drivers and cleaners, along with four telephone attendants, are on the job for providing water through tankers in the city.

MC 'not following' water supply schedule

A resident of Sector 38 complained that the authorities had misguided the residents by publishing a water supply schedule, which was "not being followed by them". According to the schedule, water was to be supplied to Sector 38 between 7 pm and 9 pm, but the supply was discontinued at 8 pm. Adding to the woes of the residents, the contact numbers of two officials given by the authorities were not reachable, while that of the third one went unanswered. A number of residents from various sectors had similar complaints.



water crisis
Against 23 MGD, Mohali gets only 9
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

A Fire Brigade vehicle supplies water to residents of Phase IX in Mohali on Tuesday
A Fire Brigade vehicle supplies water to residents of Phase IX in Mohali on Tuesday. tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, August 27
Against the requirement of about 23 million gallons per day (MGD), the town has been getting just around 9 MGD of late.

If one goes by the claims of the authorities, Mohali has been getting 10 MGD from the Kajauli Water Works (2.5 MGD each from Phase I, Phase II, Phase III and Phase IV) and three MGD from around 30 tubewells while the requirement of the town is stated to be at least 23 MGD.

In fact, the town has been getting just around nine MGD as the contribution from the tubewells is said to be just 0 per cent. This fact was revealed to Mohali Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu by the officials of the Department of Punjab Water Supply and Sanitation. “Out of a total 10 MGD, the actual receipt is around 9 MGD, as about 1 MGD water is wasted due to leaking pipelines and for some other such reasons.

“On papers, Mohali is getting 13 MGD but in reality it gets not more than 9 MGD,” admitted Sidhu.

With some problem occurring in the pipelines in Phase III and Phase IV (carrying 5 MGD of water for the town), at present more than three lakh people here are forced to live on just 4 MGD of water.

Local MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu said he would take up the matter with the state government. “Why we are being given less water?” said Sidhu, adding that he, along with his supporters, would hold a protest in this connection tomorrow morning.



VIPs seek special treatment, want pump sets with tankers
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
While the residents reel under severe water shortage, the VIPs want a ‘special treatment’ from the Municipal Corporation (MC) to meet their domestic water needs. A majority of the VIPs returned the water tankers, complaining that pump sets should be provided to lift the water to their overhead tanks as it will be very difficult for them to manage the buckets to fill up the tanks.

Sources said the present MC councillors, former councillors, Punjab and Haryana ministers and officers and a senior Chandigarh police officer asked the MC officials to meet their water demand on a priority basis, ignoring the rest of the residents.

A senior official of the MC said since 7 am the VIPs had been making phone calls and asking them that they should instruct their staff to provide water tankers with motors. The official said strict instructions had been given to the staff that tankers with motors should not be provided to any residents as it would hamper the work of proper distribution of water among all the residents, as lifting of water took a lot of time.

On an average each tanker with a capacity of 6,000 litres takes around two and half an hours to fill up an overhead tank with the help of a motor. The official stated that if tankers with motors were provided to the VIPs, then it would affect routine water supply through tankers to the residents.

The records of the corporation revealed that there were only two tankers available with the department that can be utilised for lifting water with motors and the rest of around 40 were normal water tankers.

Another official said verbal directions had been given to the officers of all the wings by their heads that they should ignore personal requests from their near and dear ones for the supply of water tankers on a priority basis. Even commercial bookings of water tankers have been cancelled by the department keeping in view the water crisis and the authorities were refunding the money already deposited by the owners.



Water supply may be resumed by Friday: GMADA
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 27
Racing against the time, a joint team of Chandigarh Administration, Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), Department of Punjab Water Supply and Sanitation and Welspun Company have been working round the clock to fix the problem in Kajauli water works pipeline at Gharuan village.

The GMADA superintending engineer, Pardeep Sekhri, claimed that the team has been trying hard to resume the water supply by Friday morning.

“Instead of attaching joints, we are changing the pieces of the pipes in Phase III and Phase IV in which problem occurred. The earlier pipes have been removed after completion of de-watering today. Now we have to place the pipe pieces in both the lines and have to weld those,” said Sekhri adding that new pipes have been arranged.

More than 50 workers under the supervision of senior officers of the departments are on the job round the clock. “A big crane and two JCB machines have also put in to service at the spot,” said RC Diwan, superintending engineer, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, who was present at the spot to supervise the proceedings.

Erring officials to face the music

Following the reports of using a cracked ring to fix the joint of pipes of Phase IV and poor maintenance of the pipeline by the officials of the Department of Punjab Water Supply and Sanitation, Mohali Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu is going to recommend action against the erring officials. “Yes, I am going to recommend action against the officials responsible for the blunder. I will send a communiqué to the authorities concerned, recommending action against the officials, who did not perform their duty properly,” said Sidhu. 



fallout of  Bihar tragedy
6,000 students opt out of mid-day meal scheme
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
The Bihar mid-day meal tragedy has taken its toll on the mid-day meal consumption in government schools in the city. Nearly 6,000 students have opted out of the mid-day meal scheme since the Bihar tragedy in which 23 innocent lives were lost on July 17.

Chandigarh already has a low mid-day consumption in government schools. In 2012-13, of the 1.04 lakh eligible students, 67,000 opted for the mid-day meal scheme.

The response to the Central Government scheme in urban government schools is poor as children with a comparatively better economic background carry the impression that the scheme is meant for poor students.

Officials said after the Bihar tragedy, parents of students studying in urban government schools had become more apprehensive about the meal scheme.

During a mid-day meal inspection conducted by UT senior official Mahavir Kaushik at Government Model High School in Mani Majra yesterday, it was found that the mid-day meal consumption had come down from nearly 450 students to 300 students.

Renu Puri, Principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, said the Bihar tragedy had hit the mid-day meal scheme, but the school trying its level best to convince students that the city had a very good system of preparing and serving the mid-day meal.

An official said the recent incident of dead flies found in the mid-day meal at a government school in Chandigarh had sent a wrong impression about the scheme.

The Education Department had recently dispatched a letter to all government schools, instructing the staff to eat with the students. They were also told to counsel parents.

DPI (S) Upkar Singh said, "The Bihar tragedy has temporarily impacted the mid-day meal scheme, but the situation is expected to become normal soon." A school head said nearly 200 students had withdrawn from the scheme after the Bihar tragedy, of whom 100 had again opted for it. According to her, Chandigarh has a good mid-day meal system.

In Chandigarh, four centres, the Dr Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management, Sector 42, the Chandigarh Institute of Hotel Management, Sector 42, Shivalikview Hotel, Sector 17, and the GMSSS, Sector 47, prepare and deliver the mid-day meal to all government schools.

Ajit Singh Negi, mid-day meal inspector at the Dr Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management, said their average mid-day supply had come town to 8,000-8,500 students from 10,000 last month.



It’s official, PU student poll on Sept 4
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
It's official -- the Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) elections will be held on September 4. The university announced the election date late in the evening soon after getting approval from the UT Administration.

With the announcement, the Lyngdoh recommendations have come into force till the polling is over.
Police personnel check a car at Gate No. 1 on the Panjab University campus on Tuesday
Security beefed up: Police personnel check a car at Gate No. 1 on the Panjab University campus on Tuesday. Tribune Photo: S Chandan

Dean Students Welfare (DSW) Navdeep Goyal said student parties would be briefed about the election schedule tomorrow.

According to the schedule, the nominations will be filed on August 30 and the list of approved candidates will be displayed on August 31. The withdrawal will be on the same day and the final list of candidates will be displayed at 3 pm.

The DSW said the students would have to reach their departments before 9.45 am on the polling day. However, those who got late due to traffic or some other genuine reason would be allowed to report at the department by 10.15 am. "No entry would be allowed without the PU identity card," the DSW said.

All entry gates on the PU campus in Sector 14 and the south campus in Sector 25 would be open on the election day to ensure that students did not get stuck in traffic jams. Hostel wardens would have to ensure that the students did not get late at the entry gates due to traffic.

Code of conduct

  • No student organisation will paste printed material on the campus
  • Only campus students will participate in electioneering and outsiders will not be allowed
  • Heavy vehicles such as trucks, buses and tractors will not be allowed during the elections
  • No loudspeakers will be used during the election campaign and no procession with jeeps or cars will be taken out
  • Student organisations may only utilise hand-made posters
  • All candidates shall be jointly responsible for ensuring cleaning up of the polling area within 48 hours of the conclusion of polling.

Lyngdoh panel recommendations

  • A candidate contesting the elections must be a regular student
  • The candidate should have a minimum of 75 per cent attendance
  • The candidate should not have any compartment or a gap year in academics
  • The candidate should not have any criminal record
  • The maximum expenditure per candidate shall be Rs 5,000
  • In case of any excessive expenditure, the election of the candidate will be nullified

Bailable warrants against 6 student leaders

SDM (Central) Tanvi Garg on Tuesday issued bailable warrants against six student leaders who failed to appear before her to furnish surety bonds. The leaders are Manoj Lubana (NSUI), Sunny Mehta (NSUI), Anil Ghangas (INSO), Somvir Singh (INSO), Sumit Pal (ABVP) and Bhagwana Ram (HSA). A list of 40 suspected trouble makers was prepared by the Chandigarh Police, of whom 34 furnished surety bonds. 


water crisis
Situation grim in Mohali
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, August 27
With residents' ordeal to get water for their daily needs showing little sign of abatement today, the district administration here is making efforts to increase the number of water tankers to provide relief to the residents. Following a major snag at the Kajauli waterworks , the Sector 57 waterworks here is lying dry for the past six days. This has led to a severe water crisis in Phases IX, X , XI, Sectors 70 , 71, Matour and Shahi Majra villages and the industrial phases I to V.

Former municipal councillor Sukhminder Singh Barnala said no tanker had supplied water since yesterday afternoon to the residents of house numbers 1301 to 1420 in Phase XI . He said he had to take the residents to the Phase X underground reservoir where department officials were available. Heated arguments took place between the residents and the officials over the crisis.

Barnala alleged that some persons plying tankers, hired by the department, were selling water in some other areas and failed to reach their destination. Karam Singh Dhanoa, president of the Residents' Social Welfare Society, Sector 70, said a tanker had come to their area yesterday and another one was sent only today. Only 25 houses were able to get water from the tanker. He had received complaints that people were paying tanker operators to get the underground tanks at their houses filled.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu held a meeting with the officials of various departments today. Civic bodies in the district have been told to arrange water tankers for Mohali. As many as 100 tankers would be pressed into service , he added.

Sidhu said a control room has been set up at the underground reservoir in Phase X . SDO Gurparkash Singh has been made the nodal officer in this regard. He can be contacted on 9872519223 . SDO Jagjit Singh ( 9878081613) and JE Charanjit Singh ( 9779080352) will also be on duty at the control room. The residents can contact them between 6 am and 10 pm .

Those parts of the town, which are facing the crisis, has been divided into 12 sectors.

Civil Surgeon Rajiv Bhalla said chlorine tablets were being distributed in the affected areas as a preventive measure. Executive engineer of the Water Supply Department RP Gupta said 20 to 25 per cent of water from the Phase VI waterworks would be diverted to the crisis areas. He denied that water was being sold by the drivers of tankers hired by the department.



MLA writes to CM on water issue

Mohali, August 27
MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu today wrote to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal seeking the immediate proper supply of drinking water to Mohali so that residents did not suffer.

Sidhu said in his letter that if such a long time was required for repair, then before the repair work some alternative arrangements should have been made for proper water supply. He sought action against the persons responsible for this bad state of affairs. — OC



Exposed Kajauli pipeline leaks
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 27
The authorities seem the least concerned about the maintenance of the Kajauli Water Works pipeline. Portions of Phase III and Phase IV pipes was found exposed in the middle of a ‘kutcha’ path at Sukhopura village on the Morinda-Fatehgarh Sahib highway here.

The path is used by heavy vehicles, including loaded tractor-trailers, claimed the residents of the village.

A senior Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) official admitted that it was a serious threat to the pipeline, which is the lifeline of around 14 lakh population of Chandigarh and Mohali.

“All the four pipes, Phase I, Phase II, Phase III and Phase IV, have been laid underground but at certain points, these are exposed. This is certainly not good for it,” said the official.

Apart from that, The Tribune team found major leakages at two or three points during a random survey of the pipeline.

The Department of Punjab Water Supply and Sanitation and the Chandigarh Administration are responsible for the maintenance of the pipelines.

“The recent problem in the pipeline, due to which Chandigarh and Mohali have been witnessing a severe water crisis for the past one week, has occurred due to a leakage in the pipeline. I failed to understand why the officials concerned are not bothered to check leakages at other points to avoid any such problem in the near future,” said the official.

Mohali Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu said after fixing the problem in the pipeline at Gharuan village, he would ask the officials concerned to check the entire pipeline.

“I was also told by the certain officials about leakages at different points. At the moment, the entire staff of the departments concerned have been deputed to fix the problem at Gharuan,” said Sidhu.



Water supply better in Panchkula

Panchkula, August 27
While there is a water crisis in Chandigarh and Mohali, Panchkula is comparatively better placed. While the current demand in the city is 46.5 cusecs, the water supply is 48 cusecs. Besides, the supply from the Kaushalaya dam has also started reaching the township. With the dam completely filled with water, about half of the desired water (9 cusecs) has reached Panchkula. "Panchkula is having 182 tube wells presently. By the next year, we will get water from the Kajauli waterworks . The pipelines from the Kajauli waterworks are being laid in Sector 1," said Preet Mohan, Executive engineer of the public health wing of the HUDA.

He further added, "We are comparatively better placed when it comes to the water situation. By the next year, the desired water from Kaushalaya and Kajauli will reach the township." — TNS



It’s raining milk for civic body, courtesy impounded stray cattle
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
The ongoing special drive to impound stray cattle has brought with it a number of difficulties for the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. Apart from facing resistance from villagers, the MC is finding it difficult to dispose of the milk collected from the impounded cattle!

After the death of three persons, the MC had launched a special drive to impound cattle.

During the past five days, the MC has impounded around 400 head of cattle from various parts of the city. The cattle, including cows and buffaloes, have been kept in a cattle pond in the Industrial Area, Phase I, and at gaushalas in Sector 45 and Maloya.

On an average, the MC is collecting around 70 litres of milk daily from the cattle. The MC is supplying this milk to The Institute for Blind in Sector 26 and Kusht Ashram in Sector 31.

A senior MC official said initially they had given 65 litres of milk to The Institute for Blind on August 26. Today, they gave 35 litres of milk to the institute. Besides, the MC today gave around 35 litres of milk to Kusht Ashram in Sector 31.

MC Joint Commissioner Rajiv Gupta said they were distributing the milk free of cost. They had deployed 10 people, who were part of the cattle-catching team and were experts in milking cattle. They spent four hours daily milking these cattle, he said.

Dr MS Kamboj, slaughterhouse superintendent, said there were around 50 calves in the cattle pond which also drank milk from these cattle. Collection of milk from these cattle was also important for health reasons. In case milk was not collected from the cattle, it could cause pain to the cattle, he said.

KR Sood, secretary-cum-principal of The Institute for Blind, Sector 26, said the milk received from the MC was used for the students.

Apple season hits shifting of cattle

The apple season in Himachal Pradesh is creating problems for the MC in shifting the impounded cattle from the city to a gaushala in Barsana in Uttar Pradesh. As a majority of the city transporters are busy transporting apple from Himachal Pradesh to Delhi and other cities, the MC is finding it difficult to arrange trucks for shifting the cattle.



Councillor holds ‘munadi’ on cattle-catching drive in his ward
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
While the Municipal Corporation powers are limited to issuing public notices in newspapers, a councillor on his own held a "munadi" (public announcement by beating a dhol) in Mani Majra to inform the local residents about the special cattle-catching drive of the MC.

As villagers had alleged that the MC carried out the drive without giving any prior information to them, independent councillor Gucharan Dass Kala ordered a "munadi" in his ward. The residents were told to shift their cattle or do whatever they deemed fit.

Kala said he consulted MC Commissioner Vivek Partap Singh and only after his assurance, he carried out the "munadi" today.

“As we are public representatives, it is our duty to inform the public in advance before taking action against them. I have done my duty,” Kala said.

Meanwhile, villagers today again reached the MC office but the Mayor did not turn up at his office. They met the MC Commissioner Vivek Partap Singh, who said they were examining the applications submitted by the cattle owners. They are verifying their claims and only after conducting a proper verification they would release their cattle, he added.

Villagers’ claim falls flat

Though on Monday many villagers claimed that they had the permission of setting up a cattle shed from the UT Administration, only one villager, Amrik Singh, a resident of Dadumajra, submitted the permission papers obtained from the UT Administration on July, 2009. The MC Joint Commissioner, Rajiv Bhatia, said they were checking the related record.

31 more head of cattle impounded

The MC staff on Tuesday impounded 31 head of stray cattle from various parts of the city. Owing to Janmashtami, less police force was provided to the staff. Therefore, the drive was carried out in a limited area.

MC gives names of 20 cattle owners to police

The MC on Tuesday sent a letter to the UT SSP and gave names of 20 cattle owners. The MC also submitted that criminal FIRs be lodged against these cattle owners for illegally keeping these animals on MC land. This was for the first time that the MC has given the names of cattle owners to the police. Sources said a majority of these cattle owners had left their cattle to roam around on the city roads despite giving an undertaking to the MC in this regard.



Mohali MC told to carry out delimitation of wards
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 27
After a long time, the Director of Local Government has finally asked the Commissioner of the Mohali Municipal Corporation to begin delimitation of wards for elections. A letter to this effect was received by the corporation this evening. A team of officials, set up by the election wing of the directorate, also visited the office of the civic body today. The team met the Joint Commissioner of the corporation, Dilraj Singh.

Sources further said that a nine-member team had been set up at the level of the directorate to take care of the delimitation work . The Commissioner has also been asked to depute some officials of the civic body to assist the team in the work related to the corporation elections. The Commissioner had been asked to complete the entire delimitation process by mid-October.

Significantly, the letter is expected to kick off a controversy as it did not mention anything about the increase in the limits of the corporation area as the erstwhile Municipal Council had been upgraded to the level of the corporation. The then council had 31 wards under its jurisdiction. As the limits of the civic body have not been increased, the same area will now have 50 wards because of the upgradation to the status of a corporation. Proposals relating to the expansion of the corporation limits had been lying pending with the government for a long time.

Former municipal councillor Kuljit Singh Bedi said the government had done injustice to the residents by not increasing the corporation limits. Bedi said Sectors 66 to 69 were fully developed while Sectors 76 to 80 were in a semi-developed state.

"These areas could have been included under the jurisdiction of the MC. Even 22 villages has been left out," he added.



Retired CJ Dewan’s son refuses to vacate house
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
Suvir Dewan, son of former Punjab and High Court Chief Justice Shanti Sarup Dewan and his wife Romilla, today refused to vacate their Sector 11 house here.

As the matter came up for resumed hearing before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Bench wanted to know whether Suvir was willing to shift to Panchkula or settle the issue after taking a one-third share.

Refusing to vacate the house, Suvir blamed his family and sisters for creating differences between him and his father. He read out an affidavit filed by him earlier in the court and insisted he wanted to remain in the Sector 11 house where he had resided since his childhood. Suvir said he would live on the first floor with his wife and daughter.

Suvir sought four weeks’ time to settle the dispute between him and his father. The Bench, however, refused his request. Chief Justice Dewan’s counsel Puneet Bali argued that at his age, it was not be possible for the retired Chief Justice to approach a civil court and get himself entangled in a litigation over his share in the house.

Seeking protection from his son, the Dewan couple sought directions to the UT Administration and other respondents to ensure that their son moved out of their Sector 11 house to his own residence in Panchkula.

Alleging that “their son has been ill-treating them in their own house,” the retired Chief Justice and his wife had contended that “a perusal of Section 22 (2) of the 2007 Act would indicate and show that the state government shall prescribe a comprehensive action plan for protecting the life and property of senior citizens.

“The petitioners with full humility state that no action plan has been notified under Section 22 (2) of the 2007 Act by the official respondents.”



Schedule of PGI docs a click away
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
Now finding the OPD day and room number of a preferred doctor at the PGI is just a click away for patients. The institute has come up with the facility of “finding a doctor” on its website.

The facility will save the efforts of ringing up at the reception and waiting for operator’s response for knowing the OPD days of consultants. The authorities are now aspiring to introduce online appointment facility in the next phase.

Under the computerisation process, patients would be given unique identification registration numbers that would enable them to get online appointment.

“Patients, especially the referred cases from other cities, used to face a lot of difficulty in knowing about the availability of doctors on specific days. They would ring up at different numbers to confirm about it. But now they can check it online,” said official spokesperson for the PGIMER Manju Wadwalkar.

Online appointment next

The authorities are now aspiring to introduce online appointment facility in the next phase. Patients would be given unique identification registration numbers for online appointment.



Tree falls on car

The damaged car at Sector 34 in Chandigarh on Tuesday
The damaged car at Sector 34 in Chandigarh on Tuesday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, August 27
The car of a Sector 48 resident was damaged after an uprooted tree fell on it in a parking lot of Sector 34 due to a storm that hit the city this afternoon.

Nitika Malhotra, owner of the car, said the roof and the windshield of the car were damaged as the portion of a tree fell on it.

Meanwhile, another tree was uprooted near house No. 1415 in Sector 34 C.

On August 15, a 45-year-old woman had suffered critical injuries after a dead tree fell on her head. The victim, Amarjeet Kaur (45), a resident of Sector 22-D, had received 16 stitches on her right hand and 28 stitches on her head. — TNS



Play on Bhagat Singh staged
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
Play "Gagan Damama Bajeyo" by a city-based Wowsome Drama Company evoked several emotions about India's freedom struggle

Bhagat Singh is looked upon as an icon by the youth of India but sadly is not acknowledged as a martyr by the government of India. "Inquilab" that Bhagat Singh wanted to bring about during freedom struggle did not solely aim at independence rather the aim was to eradicate exploitation of common man, an Indian, the majority that makes India through the hands of fellow men. Is this the country of Bhagat Singh's dreams? Did our forefathers wish for such Independence? Had Inquilab ever arrived? All these questions were raised in this play that saw fine performance by the local actors. Honey Singh played Bhagat SINGH's role, Varun as Rajguru and Parveer as Sukhdev. Other cast included Amitoj Grewal, Sparsh Khetarpal, Parabhdeep Bangar, Kiran Chawla, Arvind Bains and Naveen Arya.

Director of the play was Mohneesh Kalyan. The play was written by actor-writer Piyush Mishra.



CHB fails to vacate tenements illegally rented out by allottees

Chandigarh, August 27
Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) is all set to hand over possession of one-room tenements to 8,448 "jhuggi" dwellers under the small flat scheme in Dhanas but has failed to vacate the tenements that have been illegally rented out by the allottees.

As per the allotment’s terms and conditions, the dwelling units cannot be sub letted. As per the survey carried by the CHB officials, there are around 60 such flats that have been found to be rented out. Though the survey teams have recommended cancellation of the dwelling units, the illegal occupants are still in possession of the flats. Sources reveal that the tenements are rented out for Rs 3,000 per month. — TNS



Outsiders caught hiding in cupboards at PU hostels
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
Outsiders were caught hiding in cupboards of hostel rooms at the PU during a raid conducted by the Chandigarh Police at 4.30 am today. Attendants of patients admitted to the PGI were also caught staying in the hostels. Around 34 outsiders were rounded up by the police, who were later released after verification.

The Police was surprised to find outsiders hiding in cupboards at boys' hostel No. IV during the raid. The police was asked to check cupboards to check for weapons.

An outsider caught during the raid at hostel No. I turned out to be an attendant of a patient. He showed medical reports and other documents to substantiate his claims.

Gurmukh Singh, SHO of the Sector 11 police station, expressed surprise at outsiders hiding in cupboards.

Boys' hostel Nos. I, II, IV and V were checked during the raid. The police did not find weapons there.

The police let off outsiders who had informed the hostel authorities about their stay as guests after verifying the entry registers at the hostels.

PU security caught napping

The guard at boys' hostel No. IV was found sleeping in the hostel. Chief Security Officer Anil Monga and Senate member-cum-warden of hostel No. VII Yograj Angrish had to search for the security guard for several minutes in the hostel only to find him asleep. Similarly, the security guard at hostel No. V was also asleep.



Rooms with inter-locks a safe haven for outsiders
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
Rooms with inter-locks have turned into safe haven for outsiders at Panjab University hostels. This was witnessed during police raids conducted during wee hours today when the police force had to return empty-handed after a majority of the rooms having inter-locks could not be checked.

The police personnel who were conducting the raids had a tough time checking the rooms that had inter-locks installed. The police force had to leave after repeatedly knocking the doors.

Sources said the rooms accommodating the outsiders had inter-locks installed to dupe the hostel authorities and the police during surprise checks. “Nobody can make out as whether there is anyone inside the rooms or not as it is not possible to climb the balconies of the rooms from the back,” said a source.

Gurmukh Singh, Station House Officer, Sector 11 police station, said: “With the inter-locks, the police cannot establish whether there is anyone inside the room or not, following which most of the times the outsiders manage to give the police the slip. The university should find out a solution so that the raids can be conducted smoothly. The students who are not in the hostel should inform the hostel authorities.”

The police team conducting raids at different hostels gave the similar feedback.

PU officials also held a meeting over the issue. However, they decided that the students can’t be stopped from installing inter-locks on the doors as they are safer.

Yograj Angrish, PU Senate member, and Warden, boys hostel No. VII, said: “This problem is faced during election days only. We can’t stop students from installing inter-locks as the students have laptops and other valuable stuff in the rooms.”



Pu polls
Major setback for SOPU
Party chairman announces unconditional support to NSUI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
Ahead of the student elections, the Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) got a major setback after the party chairman announced his unconditional support to the NSUI. To encourage NSUI supporters, Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, who became MLA from Gidderbaha after defeating PPP chief Manpreet Singh Badal, also visited the university for the announcement.

SOPU chairman Rimpy Brar in the presence of NSUI national president Rohit Chaudhary and MLA made the announcement at the PU’s Student Centre. The SOPU leader showed his strength along with his supporters.

Rimpy Brar said he had left the SOPU, but he had not joined the NSUI. “I have given unconditional support to the NSUI,” he said.

Terming it a major setback for the SOPU, NSUI leader Brinder Dhillon said the ideologies and leadership of the NSUI forced the SOPU chairman to give his support to their party.

SOPU leader Vikramjit Singh Medukhera said the party would not suffer any major loss due to the party chairman’s support to the NSUI. “It’s about voters, not the leaders. We have full trust on our voters, who will only vote for SOPU despite a change in the leadership,” Vikramjit said.

The NSUI also announced a coordination committee for the upcoming elections in which the NSUI office-bearers from Punjab and Haryana will be assisting the NSUI in the elections.



Leaders take dummy admissions

Chandigarh, August 27
Most of the student leaders campaigning for the elections have taken dummy admissions to the departments of the university.While many have enrolled themselves in diploma courses, some have taken admissions to MA in Community Education, etc.

The leaders of various parties who are not regular in the university have taken admissions just for the sake of participating in the elections.

One of the leaders said: “As the university claims that outsiders can’t take part in campaigning and even can’t get involved in the party functioning, following which we have taken admissions to unpopular departments where getting admission is not tough”. Rashpal Singh, SOPU leader, has enrolled himself in the Urdu Department as a diploma student. Robin Brar, another SOPU leader, who earlier was a student of the Department of Defence and National Security Studies, has now taken admission to MA Philosophy. Brar is yet to clear the exams of defence studies.

NSUI leader Brinder Singh Dhillon has taken admission to the Department of Life-Long Learning and Extension. He has also applied for admission to the Law Department. Bhupinder Singh, another NSUI leader, has taken admission to MA Philosophy. — TNS



Students accuse teacher of harassment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 27
Students of the Government College of Arts, Sector 10, today staged a protest in the college against a college teacher for allegedly harassing them.

The students demanded that the teacher of the Sculpture Department should be suspended.

The agitating students also held a meeting with the college principal to raise their grievances.

One of the students said they would hold another protest on Thursday if the college authorities fail to meet their demand.



Kids, parents sensitised on gender ratio
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 27
To sensitise children and their parents on the social issues of “Save the Girl Child” and gender ratio, a seminar was held by The Millennium School here today.

This initiative was taken by the school in collaboration with “Nanhi Chhaan” to spread social awareness and promote gender equality among children and parents.

A declamation competition was held among the students who spoke on various issues related to gender sensitisation.

Dr Gursharan Singh, District Health Officer of Mohali, was invited as the chief guest for the occasion.

The programme ended with a prize distribution ceremony and a speech by the chief guest.



from schools
Janmashtami celebrations in schools

Students of Rainbow School celebrate Janmashtami at Sector 27 in Chandigarh on Tuesday
Students of Rainbow School celebrate Janmashtami at Sector 27 in Chandigarh on Tuesday. Tribune Photo: S Chandan
Kids have fun while celebrating Janmashtami at Shivalik Public School, Phase VI, Mohali, on Tuesday
Kids have fun while celebrating Janmashtami at Shivalik Public School, Phase VI, Mohali, on Tuesday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Chandigarh, August 27
Tribune Model School: Tribune Model School celebrated “Lord Krishna Janam Ustav” with fanfare. Children were enlightened about Lord Krishna’s life, followed by a song, bhajan and dance by the students of class III depicting Radha-Krishna.

Kids ‘R’ Kids School: Various competitions were organised at Kids ‘R’ Kids School, Sector 42, to celebrate Janmashtami. Students decorated Lord Krishna's favourite items like flute, swings and pots.

Govt Middle School: A special Janmashtami assembly was held at Government Middle School, Sector 26. The celebrations began with a speech by teachers on the importance of the day. Students They performed a group dance depicting the story of Lord Krishna.

Sharda Sarvhitkari School: Students of Sharda Sarvhitkari School, Sector 40, celebrated Janmashtami with religious fervour. A cultural programme was organised wherein primary and pre-primary children enacted scenes from Lord Krishna's life.

PMLSD Public School: PMLSD Public School, Sector 19, celebrated the occasion with fervour. The students dressed themselves in colourful costumes duly adored with frills of peacock feather, flute, etc., to commemorate the playful pranks of Lord Krishna's childhood.

Kendriya Vidyalaya: Janmashtami was celebrated with fervour at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 31. The students sang bhajans and presented a dance drama on Krishna Lila. They also performed a group dance depicting the theme “Krishna”.

Shishu Niketan Model School: Janmashtami was celebrated with fervour at Shishu Niketan Model School, Sector 22. Nursery students were dressed like Lord Krishna. Some students from classes I and II narrated stories related to Lord Krishna’s life.

AKSIPS-45: Janmashtami was celebrated at AKSIPS-45. Students of the school visited Krishna temple. A dramatic enactment of Krishna’s life mesmerised one and all.

DAV-15: Janmashtami was celebrated with fervour at DAV Model School, Sector 15. A skit was put up to depict the life and teachings of Lord Krishna. Krishna's childhood games and pranks were depicted in a playful manner.

PML SD Public School: The birthday of Lord Krishna was celebrated at PML SD Public School, Sector 32, with fervour. Children dressed in the attires of Lord Krishna and Radha. A skit related to Lord Krishna’s life was also presented by the tiny tots of the primary wing.

St Joseph’s Sr Sec School: Janmashtami was celebrated on the premises of St Joseph's Senior Secondary School, Sector 44-D. The students and staff members performed “Krishna puja” in the morning, which was followed by a cultural function.

Sky School: Panchkula: Students of Sky School celebrated Janmashtami with fervour. Kindergarten students dressed up as Krishna and Radha. Santosh Bhandari, principal of the school, threw light on the teachings of “Gita” spoken by Lord Krishna to lead a happy and ethical life.

Shishu Niketan Public School: Tiny tots were dressed up as Radha, Krishna, gopis and gwalas during the Janmashtami celebrations at Shishu Niketan Public School, MDC, Sector 5. They offered prayers and set the festive mood alive by scintillating folk dances.

Jainendra Public School: Jainendra Public School celebrated Janmashtami with religious fervour. The morning assembly commenced with jhankis depicting Lord Krishna’s various “lilas”. Religious plays based on Lord Krishna’s life and teachings were staged.

New India Smart School: The students of kindergarten were dressed up as Krishna, Radha, Gopi, Balram, Sudhama, Kans and Gwalas during the celebrations at the school. The students brought alive Lord Krishna’s life by a fancy dress competition.

Vijay Public Smart School: Students of Vijay Public Smart School, Sector 17, celebrated Janmashtami with fervour and joy. The students of the kindergarten section participated enthusiastically in the celebrations. They were dressed as Krishna, Radha, Gopi and Gwalas.

St Teresa Convent School: Janmashtami was celebrated at St Teresa Convent School, Sector 25. All Montessori students decorated “matki” with various colours and materials.

Blue Bird High School: The tiny tots of Blue Bird High School celebrated the occasion with enthusiasm. The students presented “jhankis” depicting various events in Lord Krishna’s life.

Satluj Public School: A special Janmashtami assembly was held at Satluj Public School, Sector 4. The celebrations began with speeches by students on the significance of Lord Krishna’s life. Students sang songs and performed group dances.

Hallmark Public School: Students of Hallmark Public School, Sector 15, dressed up in colourful attires of Lord Krishna, Radha, Matasya, Maa Durga and gopis as they commemorated the human incarnation of Lord Krishna on the school premises.

SMD Little Champ School: The tiny tots enacted the childhood scenes of Lord Krishna. Teachers, along with children, choired 'aarti' and bhajans to mark the respect for Lord Krishna.

Gem Public School: Mohali: The students clad in the attires of Radha and Krishna presented a spectacular sight here at Gem Public School. A swing was set up and decorated in the primary section of the school for Bal-Gopal.

St Joan’s Public School: Zirakpur: To mark this auspicious occasion, students of St Joan’s School presented dances and skits symbolising Lord Krishna and gopis. They also sang bhajans and songs praising Lord Krishna.

Century Public School: Naya Gaon: Century Public School celebrated Janmashtami on the school premises. The students were dressed like Radha, Krishna and gopis depicting the pictures of Lord Krishna. A fancy dress competition was held and sweets were distributed among students.

ATS Valley School: Dera Bassi: The children of ATS Valley School celebrated Janmashtami. Students chanted bhajans in praise of Lord Krishna. Principal Inderjeet Grewal performed “aarti” to mark the occasion. The students of classes III, IV & V sang a melodious song on Lord Krishna.

AKIPS-Mohali: The celebrations at the school sensitised the spiritual core of the tiny tots and took them closer to their roots. Dances on religious tunes were performed and bhajans and songs in the praise of Lord Krishna mesmerised all.

Ambala schools: Delhi Public School, Ambala City, organised a cultural function on Janmashtami.

St Joseph Public School organised a function on the occasion. Students presented a skit related to Lord Krishna’s childhood.

PKR Jain Public School organised a declamation contest on the occasion.

Cecil Convent School organised a colourful cultural function on Janmashtami.

Students of Murlidhar DAV Public School took a pledge to donate their eyes on Janmashtami festival, which was organised by the Bharat Vikas Parishad.

The kids of Bloom Bud Convent School organised a dance of Radha-Krishna.

The students of Lord Mahavir Jain Public School organised a function to celebrate Janmashtami. The programme commenced with a bhajan. — TNS



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