C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Water tanker owners make a killing
Cash in on the water crisis in city, Mohali; thirsty residents pay through their nose
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
Private water tanker suppliers have cashed in on the ongoing water crisis in Chandigarh and Mohali. With officials of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation and the Punjab Government miserably failing to restore the full water supply to Chandigarh and Mohali, both towns are facing one of their worst-ever water crises. While residents are facing a tough time, private water tanker suppliers are making a killing and have increased the tanker prices.

A 4,000-litre tanker costs anything between Rs 800 and Rs 1,500 in the city. A few days ago, it ranged between Rs 300 and Rs 500, depending on the distance.

A private supplier in Attawa village admitted that the rates had been hiked as there was a water crisis in Chandigarh and Mohali. “Though residents are facing a problem, it is a question of our business as well,” he said.

Shiv Kumar, a bank employee, who resides in Sector 38, said initially a water tanker supplier was demanding around Rs 1,200, but finally settled for Rs 900. "As my relatives had come over, I had to call a water tanker," he said.

Maninder Singh, a resident of Phase XI, Mohali, said there was no back-up system with the authorities, which resulted in the water crisis. As there was a get-together of family members at his house today, he hired a water tanker for Rs 1,400. Though the amount was high, there was no other option, he said. Hotels and mall owners also faced a tough time.

Temples face a tough time on Janmashtami

Most temples in the city had a tough time arranging water on the occasion of Janmashtami. Temple management committees arranged water tankers from private suppliers and paid between ~800 and ~1,400 per tanker. Many temples had to arrange around five tankers to meet the water requirements.

Business module

Private water tankers buy water from nearby villages where villagers have dug borewells on their land, especially on agricultural land. A majority of the water tanker suppliers bring water from Maloya, Zirakpur, Mohali and Nayagaon. They pay around ~50 to the landowners for each water tanker and sell it further between ~300 and ~500.



Six reservoirs in city go dry
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The water crisis in the city for the past one week has resulted in the drying up of six water reservoirs, which used to come in handy during an emergency situation. Sources in the department said after distributing water in the city, which included 33.5 MGD received by the MC from the Kajauli waterworks (phase I and II), no water had been left in these reservoirs now.

At present, the water availability in the UT is 87 MGD. Of this, 67 MGD comes from the four phases of the Kajauli waterworks, which is about 27 km from Chandigarh, while the remaining 20 MGD is generated through tubewells.

An MC official said due to less supply of water from Kajauli, there was no scope for storing water in the reservoirs located in Sectors 12, 26, 32, 37, 39 and 52. Now, the MC is receiving water on a daily basis and supplying it to residents.

Besides, two water reservoirs are catering to Mani Majra separately, which have not dried up till now.

Records of the corporation reveal that on an average, after the distribution of the required water, the corporation managed to store around 48 MGD water in the main waterworks of Sector 39 and around 30 MGD in the six reservoirs to meet emergency demands in the city. At present, both storages have been exhausted due to the long repair work in Kajauli, phase III and IV, from where around 33.5 MGD of water was received on a daily basis.

Besides, there are around 200 tubewells from which around 20 MGD of water is pumped out and supplied to residents of the city.

Water distribution system in city

  • The city has been divided into six zones
  • Each zone is fed through an independent waterworks ( Sectors 52, 39, 37, 32, 26 and 12)
  • The waterworks are fed from the mother waterworks in Sector 39, which receives canal water from the Kajauli waterworks and around 80 tubewells spread all over the city
  • The canal water received from the Kajauli waterworks is treated at a treatment plant in Sector 39

Water agreement

In 1983, an agreement was signed and it was decided that water from Bhakra through the Kajauli waterworks would be supplied to Mohali, Chandigarh, Chandimandir and Panchkula. Under the agreement, the Kajauli waterworks was to have various phases. So far, work on only phases I, II, III and IV has been completed. According to the agreement, 20 MGD of water is to be made available from each phase. Of the 20 MGD, Chandigarh is receiving 14.5 MGD, Mohali 2.5 MGD, Chandimandir 1.5 MGD and Panchkula 1.5 MGD. Punjab is already taking its share from the Bhakra dam, but Haryana's portion is being used by Chandigarh since then.

Supply hours changed

From Wednesday, the MC has changed the water supply hours from 4 am to 8 am in all sectors. The evening water supply will be as per the schedule released by the MC earlier. Water was supplied on Tuesday between 2 am and 7 am in most sectors. 



Supply from Kajauli likely to resume by tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 28
The supply of water from Kajauli to Mohali is likely to be resumed by Friday morning, a senior GMADA official said this evening. Rain had delayed work at Kajauli. There was rainwater in trenches, which had to be removed. He said work on the phase III pipeline was almost complete and the final touches would be given tomorrow. Work was also in progress on phase IV.

Construction was also being undertaken on the “thirst block.” It would take two or three more days for the cement to set there, he said.

RP Gupta, Executive Engineer of the Department of Water Supply and Sanitation, said the UT Administration had fixed one pipe of phase III and another was still to be fixed, which would be done tomorrow. If phase III got functional by Friday morning, Mohali would be able to get 50 per cent of the water from that pipeline.

He said phase IV of the waterworks was being repaired by Punjab officials where three pipes and a bend had to be replaced. One pipe had been replaced and work on the second was in progress. He hoped that the work on phase IV would be completed by Friday evening so that the supply could be restored. Bad weather, however, could delay the ongoing repair work, said Gupta.



Residents cash in on stronger $
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
While the fall of the rupee against the US dollar and the pound is emerging as a major challenge for the economy, city residents, who had invested in these foreign currencies, are making the most of the situation.

As the value of the dollar and the pound has leaped during the past couple of days, residents have been pouring in at currency exchange outlets in large numbers to convert these to rupees.

Dealers said money transfer had also increased by 25 per cent in the past one month, benefiting families here who had members settled in the US and the UK.

"The exchange to rupees from dollars and pounds has picked up suddenly and has doubled in the past two weeks," said Paramjit Kang, owner of Param Enterprises in Sector 44.

"While the money transfer has increased significantly in the past one month, we are also being flooded with telephonic enquiries about the rate of the dollar and other currencies since there are quick leaps within a day," said Sanjeev Gagneja, owner of Raju Fashion House in Sector 32, who also deals in foreign exchange.

"It is a win-win situation for families here who have their members working in the US as the value of 2,500 dollars, which they commonly send, has leaped by thousands of rupees within a few days," he said.

The investment in US dollars has also gone down, said an official at a franchise of Western Union Money Transfer in Sector 22, who did not wish to be named.

Sliding rupee

The value of a US dollar has touched Rs 68.85 and the value of a British pound has reached Rs 106.8.

Residents keen on selling gold

As there has been a spurt in gold rates, touching a high of Rs 34,000 per 10 gm (for 24 carat) and Rs 31,100 (22 carat), residents are keen on selling gold. "People feel that this price is too high to buy. They are rather interested in selling and waiting for the rates to come down for investing," said Rakesh Talwar, regional chairman (north zone), Gems and Jewellery Foundation.



Pu polls
Parties contacting students’ families, friends for support
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
Desperate to win the Panjab University Campus Student Council elections, various student parties are contacting friends and family members of students, asking them to support their party. Party supporters have prepared a list of students hailing from various parts of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, who are being contacted through their family and friends.

NSUI member Harman Bajwa said the "brotherhood factor" worked in the PU student politics as students from the same village or district often supported the party of the leader from that particular area. “We have asked NSUI units in neighbouring states to approach family members of students studying at the PU and request them to support the party,” Bajwa said.

Sharing similar views, SOPU leader Vikramjit Singh Midukhera said they had prepared a district-wise list of students studying at the PU.

The SFI and the ABVP have also prepared a list of supporters who have joined the PU after gradating from universities in neighbouring states.

SFI leader Prabhpreet Singh said their party leaders in Himachal Pradesh University and state colleges had also provided a similar list of SFI supporters, who were now in the PU.

PUSU leader Simranjit Singh Dhillon said this was an "all-time mantra" to garner support for the student elections. “It’s like building a chain, larger the chain, more the supporters,” he said.

The elections are scheduled to be held on September 4.



Unsafe spots
No lessons learnt by Panchkula police
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 28
Locations like Shakti Mills Compound, Mumbai, where the gruesome gang rape of a 22-year-old took place are in Panchkula also which wear a deserted look and are unsafe even during the day time. However, not even a single PCR is seen at these places. It seems that the police has not learnt a lesson yet.

How 'safe' is Panchkula in the evening hours can be gauged from the fact when a stepfather raped and murdered his three-year-old daughter that too in broad daylight in Sector 1 recently.

Recently, rape and murder of a three-year-old took place at the back side of the Suraj Theatre Complex. Despite this incident too, no PCR can be spotted here.

Sectors 5, being a commercial area, and Sector 1, being the institutional area, get isolated in evening.

Inspector Mukesh Kumar, Station House Officer, Sector 5 police station, said: "We keep patrolling but the PCR can be stationed there permanently."

No efforts have been made to contact the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) to at least cut the wild plants in the area which is making it all the more crime prone. He said, "We will be writing to the authorities to cut the wild plants in this area."

Rishi (name changed), who works in the district courts said, "In the evening after completing work, I have to cross the isolated area of the Suraj Theatre to board a bus. It is very unsafe. Atleast during evening hours, a PCR can be stationed there."

Vishal Seth, a resident of Sector 6 said, "When the police is aware of what happened in Mumbai, still they haven't learnt any lessons. They have just witnessed the rape and murder of three-year-old and still no steps are being taken. Even the area near the Shalimar Mall is totally deserted and is unsafe."



Janmashtami rain no damper
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
Janmashtami was celebrated with a lot of religious fervour across the tricity. The devotees thronged the ISKCON temple in Sector 36 and other temples in the city to pay their obeisance to Lord Krishna. At the ISKCON temple, a golden darbar was specially prepared at a cost of Rs 2 lakh to mark the festival.

Co-president of ISKCON Nand Maharaj said the temple hired artisans from Vrindavan to prepare the darbar. The temple had organised a lot of activities through out the day, he said.

According to him, there has been a lot of advancement in the Janmashtami celebrations but "the real significance of the day is to follow Lord Krishna’s teachings and practise them in our lives".

At the Ram temple in Sector 6, Panchkula, tableaux depicting different phases of Lord Krishna's life were set up. At the Math temple in Sector 20, Chandigarh, a special "abhishek" ceremony was held.

People also joined the special "abhishek" ceremony at the ISKCON temple. There was a huge rush of devotees at Sanathan Dharam Mandir in Sector 23. Even the rain that started at about 8 pm could not dampen their spirit.



Restaurant fined for deficiency in service
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
A Sector 26-based restaurant has been penalised by the UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum for serving Diet Coke while the complainant had ordered Diet Pepsi. The forum found that the restaurant charged money for Diet Pepsi but the complainant had ordered Diet Coke.

AB's and RV Hot Millions has been directed to pay Rs 10,000 as compensation for unfair trade practice to the complainant. In his complaint, Kamaljeet Singh, had alleged that as he had placed an order for six cans of Diet Pepsi, the opposite party (AB's and RV Hot Millions) overcharged on the MRP and also served Diet Coke instead of Diet Pepsi.

In its reply to the contention of the complainant, the restaurant wrote: "The complainant has been charged more than the MRP because it includes the service availed by the complainant and other infrastructure charges. Moreover, there are a lot of differences in having a soft drink at a roadside stall and a hotel/restaurant, the service, the air-conditioning, the ambience, all has to be accounted for in the charges by the hotel industry".

"It has been further stated that the complainant had ordered Diet Pepsi and the same was served to him to his entire satisfaction. The complainant had consumed Diet Coke also, which might have been bought by him from outside the hotel," the reply read further.

After going through the annexure, the forum accepted the justification given by the restaurant for charging money over the MRP but held it liable for deficiency in service for serving Diet Coke in place of Diet Pepsi.

"This contention of the restaurant that they served Diet Pepsi to the complainant and the complainant had consumed Diet Coke also, which might be brought by him from outside the hotel, cannot be accepted because in hotels and restaurants, the security guards do not allow any customer to enter with any food article purchased from outside. It is established that the opposite party supplied Diet Coke to the complainant, though the price was taken in respect of Diet Pepsi as per bill. This act on the part of the opposite party amounts to unfair trade practice as well as deficiency in service," the forum held.

The restaurant has also been directed to pay Rs 5,000 towards litigation costs to the complainant. 



Substandard ration being used for mid-day meal at Ramgarh govt school
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 28
Substandard ration is being served to students at a government school in Ramgarh. Despite several incidents of unhygienic mid-day meals, no efforts are being made to check the same. In about 10 government schools, mid-day meal lapses were found. Still the 44-member panel that was recently constituted by the Panchkula Deputy Commissioner has failed to take any action.

During a survey conducted by Chandigarh Tribune in the Government Primary School of Ramgarh it was found that the containers in which rice grains and wheat were stored were filled with insects. The staff at the school had no answer to the query that why such meals were being served.

Grains were not even stored at a proper place. With cracked walls, the grains were kept out in open and the meals were being cooked in the same place.

“The school is really in a bad state as compared to the schools in the main Panchkula. We just want to get shifted from here,” said a teacher.

“Few days back, one of my friends had pointed out an insect in the meal. But we were asked to keep mum,” said a student.

Previous incidents have failed to wake up the authorities. In a report sent by Chief Juduicial Magistrate Jaibir Hooda to the district administration, after he made checks in three schools and found fungus-laden grains, he was told that a committee has been constituted that would inspect the preparation.

Many incidents, no impact

  • Chief Judicial Magistrate Jaibir Hooda found fungus and insects infested grains that was being used for mid-day meal at three government schools in Panchkula.
  • Mid-day meal was being cooked in the toilet of Government Primary School, Sector 19 Panchkula. Anil Sharma, headmaster of the Government High School, Sector 19, tried to downplay the incident.
  • Water was being used from the toilets and utensils were being washed in the same toilet at Government Primary School, Mansa Devi Complex (MDC), Sector 4.
  • Insects infested wheat grains were being served in the mid-day meal at an Anganwadi School in Sector 12, Panchkula.



Fitness programme for expectant mothers launched
Tribune News Service

Expectant mothers participate in a workshop in Chandigarh on Wednesday. Tribune Photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, August 28
For expectant mothers in city, a pre-natal fitness programme, Natal Wise, was launched today that would offer counseling as well as fitness regimen during and after the pregnancy.

A workshop was organised today. During the launch, participation of various pregnant women from across the city was witnessed. Arguably, a first such initiative in the city, the Tiny Feet, Giant Leaps, a mom and child centre launched this pre and post natal guidance and fitness program for pregnant women. “It all started inside our mother-child playgroup sessions, where we noticed a lot of interest around interactive discussions on topics of interest for young moms - the doubts and queries associated with parenting.

We soon realized that a fully comprehensive pre and post natal program for mothers to be is what was truly required. Hence emerged the idea for Natal Wise, a knowledge and fitness based programme to not just guide pregnant women, but also take them through their journey of pregnancy and motherhood in a relaxed and friendly environment,” said Aman Patwalia, Founder and Director, Tiny Feet. “Labour and birth may seem overwhelming and daunting to young mothers to be, but around the world there is a growing opportunity for ante-natal support and education in a more accessible, user friendly and fun way. In view of this, Natal Wise has been conceived and developed in close consultation with Dr Pratibha Gulati, an experienced and certified child birth educator and physiotherapist,” she said.

‘Natal Wise’ will comprise of sessions facilitated by panel of experts that will include exercises and posture care, yoga and relaxation, nutrition and diet, lactation counseling importance of breast feeding, Lamaze, labor sessions, involving the partners to provide support during labour and tips on new born baby care.



Patients at PGI devoid of free life-saving drugs
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Patients in a section of the Emergency ward at the PGI in Chandigarh. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, August 28
The PGIMER stocks over 300 life-saving drugs and surgical items to be provided free of cost and quickly to patients in the first 24 hours of admission. But, the hospital has miserably failed to utilise these items, forcing patients to buy even these items from chemists.

A visit to the emergency unit of the PGIMER last week revealed that the doctors do not even use the basic items like gloves and urine catheters from the hospital supply. The chemist shops remain flooded with patients buying all the items which they deserved to get from the hospital supply.

A senior doctor at the institute said: "The surgical items available in the hospital supply are often found to be of inferior quality. This is one of the key reasons for not using the hospital stock. Why would a doctor, for instance, take the risk of a puncture in a urine catheter by relying on a poor quality catheter taken from the hospital stock."

Consider this: Son of a 47-year-old patient, Mangat Ram (name changed), rushed him to the PGIMER after his father fainted. As he entered the emergency medical OPD, the doctor issued him a slip prescribing injection Dopamine. None of the staff (including doctors) bothered to look at the hospital supply or tell the patient that he could get it for free. The patient went to the nearest chemist shop and purchased the injection

This is a common scene at the hospital while more than 300 drugs, injections and surgical items are included in the basic life-saving drugs that the PGIMER claims to be providing free of cost and purchase in large numbers.

Patients were seen buying other medicines like Streptokinase, Apropine, which are used for cardiac patients, and Streptokinase, used to prevent blood clotting. All these medicines are included in the PGI's list of emergency life saving drugs.



Kishangarh roads in poor shape
Tribune News Service

Potholed roads are giving a tough time to residents of Kishangarh village in Chandigarh.
Potholed roads are giving a tough time to residents of Kishangarh village in Chandigarh. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, August 28
Roads in Kishangarh village here have been crying for attention for the past one year. The UT Administration and the village Panchayat have failed to recarpet the roads with bitumen. Today’s rain aggravated the villagers' problems, as they find it difficult to move on the potholed roads.

Both internal and outer roads in Kishangarh are in a bad shape. The condition of the road connecting the IT Park roundabout to Government School in Kishangarh is pathetic. The residents find it very difficult to cross this stretch, especially in the rainy season.

Rampal Lubana, a resident of Kishangarh village, said it was unfortunate that despite repeated requests to the Administration and Panchayat, nothing had been done to improve the condition of the roads in the area. Though Kishangarh is part of Chandigarh, the authorities concerned never bothered to recarpet the roads, he added.

Gurpreet Singh, another resident, said it became very difficult for children and women to move on the potholes roads during rain.

Sunil Kumar, a villager, said the potholed roads take its toll on their vehicles. Recently, water lines were laid in the area but nobody bothered to level the filled trenches, he added.



MLA leads residents’ protest
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 28
A protest led by MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu was staged today over the water crisis being faced by the residents in various parts of the town. The protesters first gathered at the Phase VIII ground and later moved onto the Phase VII chowk where they staged a dharna. Slogans were raised against the government. Some of them were attired in black gowns.

The MLA said the government had been ignoring the problems of Mohali residents, who were facing a severe water crisis. During the acute shortage, water was allegedly being sold by the water tanker operators.

Sidhu said the government was not even aware of the poor condition of the Kajauli water supply line, which should have been repaired earlier. He sought a high- level inquiry into the matter.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu took a round of various affected areas. He said water was being supplied to the crisis areas.

The DC said, “The Kajauli water supply would be resumed by Thursday evening. As many as 100 tankers would provide water to the affected areas till the normal supply was resumed.” He said the control valve located in Phase VII had been opened to enable the supply of canal water to Phases IX, X and XI and Sectors 70 and 71.

The DC said water would be supplied to the affected areas daily from 6 am to 7.30 am and again from 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm.



Chandigarh SCAN

Chandigarh: Dr SPS Grewal, Director, Grewal Eye Institute, was awarded 'Indian Achiever's Award' and 'Bharat Vibhushan Samman Puraskar' for patient care. This award was presented during the 'Indian Achiever's Summit' held recently in New Delhi. The 'Bharat Vibhushan Samman Puraskar' was presented by the Economic and Human Resource Development Association (EHRDA), a non-governmental society.

Orphanage inmate's birthday celebrated

The members of Rotaract Club of DAV College celebrated birthday of a ten-year old girl at Kartar Asra Orphanage and Old Age Home, near Sukhna Lake. Refreshments were served to the inmates along the birthday cake. The children celebrated the birthday by dancing and playing games.

Bakery shop opened

Panchkula: A venture of Singh Sons, 'Govindam', has opened its outlet in Sector 11, Panchkula. The outlet will offer over 300 types of sweets. The manager, Bobee Singh, said, "The best part is that everything is very pocket friendly. Since, 1978 we have been into this bakery business." MLA DK Bansal and several other councillors were also present during the opening of the outlet. — TNS



Kin suspect foul play in man’s death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
Traffic was disrupted at the Sector 49-50 light point when the members of a Sector 49 resident's family, reportedly died after consuming poison, staged a protest, alleging that his paramour poisoned the man at her house in Sector 49.

Deepak (28), a resident of the same sector, had allegedly consumed poison at her paramour's house on Tuesday. However, the members of the family alleged that he was administered poison. The protesters stated that the members of deceased Deepak's family were informed about the incident later and he was rushed to the GMCH-32 where doctors declared him dead on arrival.

The protesters stated that the Chandigarh police should investigate the case and book his paramour.

The commuters had to face inconvenience due to the protest that continued for over 45 minutes.

A police team reached the Sector 49-50 light point and pacified the agitating crowd by assured them that a fair probe into the case would be conducted.



Pu polls: Post of president
NSUI, HIMSU announce joint nominee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
With the declaration of the election date, the National Students Union of India (NSUI) and HIMSU today announced a PhD student as their joint presidential candidate for the Panjab University student elections.

A research scholar in Biophysics Department, the candidate, Chandan Rana, claims to have a deep knowledge of student problems in PU and aims at addressing them.

The announcement of the candidate was made in the presence of the party supporters from a party tent erected near boys' hostel number III.

Rana said if given a chance to serve the students, he would ensure that the fee of self-financed courses was reduced.

“Being a national party, we will also ensure that the university gets funding from the Central Government without any cap on it,” he said.

NSUI leader Bridner Dhillon said the candidates on the remaining three posts of vice-president, general secretary and joint secretary would be announced in the coming days.

The NSUI-HIMSU alliance is the first one to announce its presidential candidate, while other parties are yet to declare their candidates.

NSUI-HIMSU presidential candidate: Chandan Rana

Academic background: BSc (biophysics), MSc (nuclear medicine)

Native place: Hamirpur (Himachal Pradesh)



Student parties go door to door to garner support
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The campaigning for the Panjab University elections is not only restricted to the university campus, but also the student parties are visiting the houses of PU students in a bid to seek their support for the upcoming elections. With hardly six days left for the elections, the student parties are going from door-to-door to seek votes.

SOPU leader Rashpal Singh said: “Door-to-door campaigning helps the party in building a rapport with students and gives ample time to discuss the agenda individually”.

“Class campaigning does not give the leaders an opportunity to interact individually. It is only possible by meeting the students personally,” Rashpal said.

The student parties have constituted different teams that have been assigned the duty to visit the houses of students seeking their votes.

PUSU supporter Babalpreet Singh said: “Door-to-door campaigning helps the party in building its credibility. It even builds the trust of the party leader among the students”.

Student leaders believe that the exercise will also help them in identifying the voters and ensure that they reach the campus to cast their votes.

“We are even ready to pick students up on the day of the voting, if they ask,” said a senior leader of a student party.

On working days at PU, student parties campaign in the departments while on holidays, the teams visit the houses of students.



Panjab varsity declares August 31 teaching day
Tribune News Service

The police holds a flag march at Panjab University on Wednesday.
The police holds a flag march at Panjab University on Wednesday. Tribune photo: S. Chandan

Chandigarh, August 28
Panjab University has declared August 31 as the teaching day in the departments as the withdrawal and the final list of candidates has to be declared on that day. Navdeep Goyal, Dean Students Welfare (DSW), said Saturday was earlier a holiday. However, the final list of candidates had to be declared on that day, following which classes would be held on that day and teachers would have to remain present in the departments.

Citing another reason for declaring Saturday a teaching day, the DSW said August 31 being the last day for admissions to different departments of the university, the teaching departments had to be made functional.

The teaching day, however, has turned out to be an additional day for class campaigning for the student parties at the PU.

PUSU leader Yadwinder Singh said they would get an additional day to canvas in classes to garner maximum support in elections.

Security beefed up

Security has been beefed up near the party tents on the campus, and barricades have been installed to control the crowd.

Cops hold flag march

The Chandigarh police on Wednesday held a flag march on the university campus. DSP (Central) Ashish Kapoor led the march, which started from boys’ hostel no 1 and concluded near the PU market.

Tents pitched

The student parties have pitched their tents on the PU campus. Party meetings were also held at the tents till late night.

Saturday was earlier a holiday. However, the final list of candidates has to be declared on that day, following which classes will be held on that day and teachers will have to remain present in the departments. — Navdeep Goyal, Dean Students Welfare



Malpractices in Education Dept: Panel

Chandigarh, August 28
Members of the Joint Action Committee highlighted alleged malpractices in the Education Department at a press conference today. One of the members, Swarn Singh Kamboj, raised malpractice in buying school uniform.

He said government schools recently placed uniform orders to a Mumbai-based supplier, Alok Industries, for Rs 300 (classes I-V) and Rs 375 (classes V-VIII) whereas the same supplier was given the uniform order by the Education Department for Rs 385 (classes I-V) and Rs 522 (classes V-VIII) in 2010-11.

“It has raised eyebrows over the department’s inflated purchase in that year,” said Kamboj. He alleged that as per the RTI reply, the department had replied that there were no posts of Deputy Director-I and Deputy Director-II, but even then two officers appointed against these posts enjoy all powers.

Other members present there said a principal, Anil, was repatriated to his parent state even as corruption charges against him were proved and the Education Department did not file any FIR against him.

They said the principal of GMSSS-18 made an expenditure of Rs 1.4 lakh in violation of the GFR rules, but no action had been taken so far. “Deputationists can avail the maximum of 6 months’ leave only whereas one of the teachers on deputation here was granted leave for more than one-and-half-year,” they said. — TNS



3-member committee to look into fee structure of private minority schools
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
Decks have been cleared for the three-member committee to look into the fee hike issue of city-based private minority schools following the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which clarified in its judgment dated August 26 that the fee charged by private minority schools could be regulated.

Six minority schools - Carmel Convent School, Sector 9; St Xavier’s, Sector 44; Mount Carmel, Sector 47; St John’s, Sector 26; St Anne’s, Sector 32; and St Mary’s School, Sector 46; - had objected to providing information to the said committee saying that they were minority-run institutions and could not be asked to provide such information.

Following the clarification on this matter, Justice (retd) RS Mongia, chairman of the committee, said they would soon dispatch letters to the city's minority schools asking them to coordinate with the committee and share their financial and academic details, which was vital to find out the reasonableness of increase in fees by the schools.

According to him, a few minority schools sent some information in response to the committee’s questionnaire, but it was not complete. Letters will be dispatched in a day or two to ask them to complete the information.

He said the committee would also visit minority schools in near future and inspect their accounts and other financial details, besides facilities being provided by them.

The committee, it is learnt, is looking into the fee hike issue for the sessions 2012-13 and 2013-14 for all private unaided schools. According to him, most of the schools had dispatched the information to the committee and it was currently assessing their details (school wise) and would start visiting the private schools in the first week of September.



from schools
Religious fervour marks Janmashtami

Gurukul Global School

Chandigarh: The little ones of Gurukul Global School, Mani Majra, celebrated Janmashtami with fervour. The celebrations began with a diya-lighting ceremony, followed by prayers of Lord Krishna. Students of kindergarten sang and danced in the god’s glory.

Banyan Tree School-48

The school campus was decorated with significant phases and acts from Lord Krishna’s life. The students dressed as Radha and Krishna participated in a fancy dress competition. It created an atmosphere of joy and happiness among the students.

St Soldier School

St Soldier School, Dhakoli, organised a small function on Janmashtami. The students manifested their skills, including singing and dancing. A quiz competition on Lord Krishna was also organised.

Xavier’s Sr Sec School

Xavier’s Senior Secondary School, Sector 44, conducted a special assembly to celebrate Janmashtami. The celebrations began with a daily prayer. Students of the junior section gave a speech on the importance of this day. A group dance was also performed.

Blooming Buds School

Janmashtami was celebrated at Blooming Buds School, Sector 12. Children dressed as Krishna and Radha performed dances. A “matki fod” ritual was also performed.

Shastri Model School

Mohali: Shastri Model School celebrated the festival with fervour. The school was decorated to mark the occasion. Kindergarten students were dressed up as Radha and Krishna.

Sant Isher Model Sr Sec School

Students of pre-primary classes of Sant Isher Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 70, came to the school in colourful dresses. They presented songs and group dances depicting various aspects of Lord Krishna’s life.

Anee’s School

Janmashtami was celebrated with utmost zeal and enthusiasm at Anee’s School. Tiny tots enacted Lord Krishna, Radha and Gopis. The school was decorated with tableau depicting scenes of Krishna’s birth and his childhood pranks.

Doon International School

The tiny tots enacted Krishna, Radha, Gopis, Gwalas during the celebrations at Doon International School, Sector 69. They offered prayers and set the festive mood alive by scintillating folk dances, followed by "dahi handi" celebration.

DAV School

Students from Nursery to class III of DAV School participated in the Janmashtami celebrations. The students of Nursery and UKG presented a dance item.

Saupin’s School

Kindergarten of Saupin’s School, Sector 70, celebrated Janmashtami with great zeal and enthusiasm. Children came dressed up as Krishna and Radha for the occasion. The cradle of Lord Krishna was decorated beautifully with flowers.

Shishu Niketan

The junior wing of Shishu Niketan, Sector 66, reverberated with hymns sung in the memory of Lord Krishna whose birthday was celebrated with a lot of reverence here. The tiny tots looked beautiful as they attired themselves as Krishna and Radha.

Green Field Public School

The birth anniversary of Lord Krishna was celebrated in an extravagant and colourful manner at Green Field Public School, Phase V. Devotional songs and dances by students marked the celebrations.

Golden Bells Public School

Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77, celebrated Janmashtami with religious fervour. Students of classes play-Nursery to VIII presented several spiritual items.

Chandigarh Public School

Janmashtami was celebrated with fervour at Chandigarh Public school, Baltana. A skit was performed to familiarise the students with the teaching of Lord Krishna.

Bachpan School

Students of Bachpan School, Naya Gaon, dressed up as Radha and Krishna. They danced to the tune of songs on Radha and Krishna. — TNS



Fee hike issue
Panel proposes strong mechanism
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The internal committee of the UT Education Department has proposed a strong mechanism to look into the issue of fee hike in private schools on a permanent basis in the UT. The committee, comprising five members, has stated in its report that though there can’t be any rigid or uniform fee structure in respect of all private schools as they may have different sets of infrastructure, facilities, investment and future plans for the expansion and betterment of schools, there is a need to set up a permanent regulatory body here to look into the issue of fee hike.

The body should consist of members from academics, finance, legal, directorate of education and district education office to oversee the fee structure of all private schools and increase in their fee structure.

The committee discussed the issue at the broader level and stated in its report that the regulatory body should have the power to summon the academic and financial details of private schools.

It has also mentioned in its report that the regulatory body would also follow the criteria/norms fixed by the committee headed by Justice RS Mongia, which is currently looking into the issue of fee hike in private schools in the UT for the sessions 2012-13 and 2013-14.

As per information, this five-member panel was formed following the direction of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which directed Punjab, Haryana and UT to set up a permanent regulatory body, for which six month’s time was given to study its feasibility. It stated in its judgement on April 9 that there was currently no mechanism in place in these states and the UT to look whether the hike in fee by private schools in their jurisdiction was justified or not.

A senior official said even as the committee had submitted its report, a further meeting would be held to discuss in detail the recommendations of the said committee. The amendments could be made with a view to further empowering the regulatory body so that it had enough powers to look into the fee structure of private schools every year.



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