C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rain delays repair work
Waterlogging, slush play spoilsport; normal water supply now likely to resume by Sunday
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 29
The water crisis in Mohali and Chanidgarh is likely to continue for two more days as overnight rain caused a delay in the repair work on the Kajauli pipelines at Gharuan village near here today.

Officials said normal water supply was likely to be resumed by Sunday, provided rain did not hamper the repair work further.

Earlier, a joint team of GMADA, the Department of Water Supply and Sanitation, Welspun Company and the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation had claimed that the water supply through the Phase III and Phase IV pipelines would be resumed by Friday morning.

“Yesterday's rain has played spoilsport. The rain caused waterlogging and slush all around, which affected work on welding of pipes”, said an official on the job, claiming that almost 70 per cent of the repair work had been completed.

He said the Phase III pipeline was almost ready and the welding work for joining the pipes of Phase IV was on.

“To avoid any such damage in the future, we have decided to construct thrust blocks under the pipes on the advice of an expert,” said the official.

Asked whether the construction of thrust blocks would further delay the work, the official said it would delay the work by 12 to 24 hours.

“Once the thrust blocks are in place, the chances of a similar problem arising again will be minimised,” he said.“We are trying hard to resume the water supply through the Phase III pipeline by Saturday evening and through the Phase IV pipeline by Sunday,” said an official.

Besides, the team members, about 15 councillors of the Chandigarh MC also visited the spot to take stock of the situation. 

BJP-SAD leaders, councillors visit Kajauli

A delegation of BJP-SAD leaders and councillors on Thursday visited the Kajauli area, where the water supply lines have been damaged, to take stock of the situation. The delegation was led by state BJP president Sanjay Tandon. Leader of the Opposition Arun Sood, councillors Satinder Singh, Malkiat Singh and Saurabh Joshi, and party spokesperson Gurpreet Singh were part of the delegation. Tandon said city Mayor Subhash Chawla was far from reality when he claimed that the situation would normalise by Friday. The delegation was of the opinion that it would take another four to five days.



Waterless, dispensaries send patients back
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

The dispensary at the Dhanas Milk Colony wears a deserted look.
The dispensary at the Dhanas Milk Colony wears a deserted look. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, August 29
The water crisis in the city that has wreaked a havoc on the lives of residents has also added to their inconvenience at some of the civic dispensaries. Without the water supply, the dispensaries have been facing difficulty in handling patients and have reportedly been sending them back.

While a number of dispensaries had earlier been managing the dental and general OPDs by fetching water from neighbouring houses, these are now lying defunct due to the severe water crisis.

For instance, the staff at the dispensary in the Dhanas Milk Colony, which is facing a water shortage for the past one year, have been carrying water from home for drinking. However, for washing hands, equipment or cleaning the dispensary, there is no water.

“It has become a routine for us to fetch water from houses in the area for cleaning purposes and other basic services. However, for the past one week, residents are reluctant to provide water since they are themselves running short of water. As a result, a few patients had to be sent back after the crisis hit the city a few days ago. The footfall here has decreased now,” said an official at the Dhanas dispensary on condition of anonymity.

Similar problems have been reported from the dispensaries at Daddu Majra and Hallo Majra where residents are not finding enough water to share. The perpetual crisis of water at the dispensary in Daddu Majra has reached such an extent that patients are being asked to fetch water from their homes.

While Chandigarh Tribune had, a few months ago, highlighted this practice at the dispensary, a staff member at the dispensary today conceded that they were being compelled to ask patients to bring water as a routine.

Meanwhile, a patient, Neelam, who visited the dispensary in Hallo Majra two days ago, said the dispensary staff fetched water from tankers sent by the MC.



Moderate quake hits city
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
An earthquake measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale shook the city this afternoon. Tremors were also felt in the tricity and nearby areas at 3.43 pm. According to the Met Department, the epicentre of the earthquake was in Hoshiarpur district in Punjab and the border region of Himachal Pradesh. No loss of life or damage to property has been reported from the city.

“We were in the office when all of a sudden the furniture started shaking. Realising that it wan an earthquake, we got the premises vacated in seven minutes though the quake lasted only a few seconds," said Sakshi, who works in the IT Park.

Residents living on upper floors rushed out of their houses immediately after the earthquake. Fearing aftershocks, many preferred to wait outside their houses for half an hour.



Pu polls
Election scene hots up, shifts to discotheques
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
In an attempt to woo voters, student parties in city colleges are organising parties in discotheques in the name of "freshers' parties". Students are being allowed free entry into discotheques by merely showing their college identity cards.

Giving the Lyngdoh guidelines on restricting the poll expenditure to Rs 5,000 per candidate the go-by, the student parties are distributing movie tickets, organising parties in discotheques and even taking them out on a one-day trip.

A student leader at SD College said seniors in every college organised freshers' parties for newcomes and student leaders just helped them in arranging these. “Within a college, different departments organise separate parties irrespective of the students' affiliation with any party. The leaders' role in extending help in organising these parties is to ensure a win in the elections,” the leader said.

Students in large numbers from various colleges can be seen in Sector 26 that houses most of the famous clubs and discotheques. “The discotheques are booked during the daytime so that girls can also enjoy the party,” said a leader of a prominent party at DAV College.

Sources said this weekend the student parties were taking the first-year students of the college for a trip to Kasauli. “It will be a single-day trip; buses will leave early in the morning and come back in the evening. We are paying the bus fare, while the students will have to spend for their meals,” a leader said.

Special meal coupons of various food joints are also being distributed among students in a bid to ensure they they cast their vote in favour of the party.

A list of the students taking benefit of the offerings is also being prepared by the parties to ensure these students turn up for voting on the polling day. “Special emphasis is being laid on hostel inmates as they can easily be asked to cast their votes on the election day by visiting their hostel rooms,” said a leader at Postgraduate Government College, Sector 11.



MC shifts 195 head of cattle to UP amid protest
Tribune News Service

Cattle being shifted in a truck to Barsana in UP from Chandigarh on Thursday.
Cattle being shifted in a truck to Barsana in UP from Chandigarh on Thursday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, August 29
Amid a protest, the municipal corporation shifted 195 head of cattle, including 80 bulls, from the city to a gaushala at Barsana in Uttar Pardesh this evening.

For the safety of the cattle, a team of veterinary doctors, 15 policemen and cattle catchers accompanied the 25 trucks in which the cattle were shifted. Proper fodder and first-aid facilities were arranged to ensure smooth transportation of the cattle. The cattle were shifted from two gaushalas in Sector 45 and Maloya.

A senior MC official said after a special drive to catch cattle, which started last week, it was the first lot of cattle which was shifted to the Barsana gaushala. With this shifting, the first phase of the special drive had come to an end, he said. The second phase of the drive would start in the first week of September.

He said 25 trucks were hired for the transportation of the cattle. While six head of cattle were loaded in small trucks, the large trucks carried nine head of cattle. One cattle catcher accompanied each truck while the chief sanitary inspector and a sanitary inspector supervised the shifting of the cattle. The MC is paying Rs 2,000 per head of cattle to those managing the cattle shed in Barsana.

Before being shifted, each head of cattle was checked by a veterinarian to certify that it was fit for travelling a long distance between Chandigarh and Barsana in Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh. A fitness certificate was also issued before the cattle were boarded on trucks.

To ensure a smooth ride for the cattle, the floor is first strewn with sand and on that a layer of cattle feed is spread. Besides, additional cattle feed is also carried.

Councillors, villagers up in arms

Earlier in the day, BJP-SAD councillors, along with villagers, staged a protest outside the cattle pond in the Industrial Area, Phase I. They were demanding that the MC should not shift cattle which were domesticated animals.


Pedestrians’ safety on Admn mind
Constructs special track for pedestrians, cyclists at roundabout under pilot project
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Pedestrians and cyclists have the right of way. With this on mind, the UT Engineering Department is constructing a raised track for pedestrian/cyclists/non-motor vehicles at the roundabout of Sector 29/30/31/32 under a a pilot project.

The UT Chief Engineer, SK Chadha, said with this project, they were giving the right of way to pedestrians and cyclists. They will also link traffic signals installed at the roundabout with the movement of pedestrians and cyclists. Pedestrians and cyclists will cross the road when there will be red signal for motorists, he added.

Earlier they had constructed rumble strips on the roundabout of Sector 19/20/30/27. They have got some feedback on that project and would try to remove shortcomings in this project, he added.

The SP (Traffic), Maneesh Chaudhary, said pedestrians and cyclists have equal right to cross roads. They had installed traffic signals on the same roundabout with the help of the Engineering Department to regulate traffic, he added.

Study reveals city roads not safe for cyclists

Cyclists are not safe on the city roads. A recent study carried out by the Chandigarh traffic police on the road accidents reported in the city between January and March this year has revealed that of a total of 31 persons, who died in road accidents reported during this period, 12 were cyclists. Twenty of these deaths were caused by cars. With the increasing number of vehicles, the city roads have become dangerous for cyclists. In the last two years, 40 cyclists have lost their lives in accidents and more than 50 have been got injured.



Victims’ families back MC drive to catch stray cattle
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
While politicians, cattle owners and villagers are opposing the MC drive to catch stray cattle, family members of three victims, who died in accident involving stray cattle, now started backing MC?s special drive.

The family of 33-year-old Harpreet Singh Sodhi, a resident of Sector 45-C, who had died in an accident on April 6, feels that the MC should continue with its drive so that the lives of other residents can be saved.

Harpreet's wife Gurpreet Kaur said though she lost her husband in the accident involving a stray animal, the MC should take some strict steps to end the stray cattle menace so that others could live. Now, the MC is making some serious efforts to catch stray cattle and every city resident should support it, she added.

"Had the MC launched this drive last year, my husband would be alive now," she said.

Avinash of Sector 49, whose brother Avinash had been killed in a similar accident, said the MC officials should make Chandigarh a stray cattle-free city.

He also suggested that instead of catching domesticated animals of villagers, the MC should catch stray cattle only.

The MC Commissioner, Vivek Partap Singh, said they will also hire more trucks, staff to catch more stray cattle in the city, he added.

MP fails to provide financial help to victim's kin

At an MC house meeting, Mayor Subhash Chawla had made an announcement on behalf of former Union Railways Minister and local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal that the latter would provide a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to accident victim Harpeet Singh Sodhi's family. However, Bansal has failed to fulfil the promise. Similarly, nominated councillor Sat Paul Bansal, who had announced Rs 50,000 for Harpreet's family, has failed to keep his word.

Deaths in accidents involving stray cattle


Harpreet Singh Sodhi, a resident of Sector 45-C, was killed when the motorcycle he was riding hit a stray cattle on the road separating Sector 49 and 46. He is survived by his wife, two children and mother. He was the sole breadwinner of his family.


Avinash Kumar, who was riding a two-wheeler, rammed into a stray animal on August 16 near Sector 45. He succumbed to his injuries at the GMCH-32 on August 20. In his death, the family has lost the lone breadwinner.


Atma Ram of Sector 46-A, who worked as a cook at a mess, had met with an accident involving stray cattle at the Sector 31/32/46/47 roundabout on the night of August 17. He died at the GMCH-32 on August 22. He is survived by his wife and four children.



Water supply improves in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 29
Water supply many parts of the town has improved since yesterday, though till this evening, the residents were getting just about enough water to meet their bare needs.

The situation took a turn for the better after the number of water tankers was increased by the district administration. Canal water was also supplied to the affected sectors from the Phase VII water valve point.

The residents said the relief came after the administration intervened in the matter. However, they said the district authorities could have reacted much quicker after the crisis began.

Executive Engineer of the Department of Water Supply and Sanitation RP Gupta said repair work at the Kajauli waterworks had got delayed due to the rain. The plan was

to resume the supply to the town by Friday morning. However, right now, it was uncertain if it could be done by tomorrow evening.

The water shortage has been particularly acute in Phases IX, X , XI, Sectors 70 , 71 , Matour and Shahimajra villages and industrial Phases I to V. Of the two waterworks feeding different areas of Mohali, the Sector 57 waterworks has been lying totally dry as no supply has been received from Kajauli.



City industrialists meet Governor Patil
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Taking their agitation against the UT Administration policies forward, the industrialists today met the Punjab Governor. They have demanded rollback in penalties and increased collector rates.

A seven-member delegation of the Joint Action Committee for the safeguard of the Chandigarh citizens met Shivraj Patil, UT Administrator and Punjab Governor.

Their key demands included rollback in increased collector rates, amendment to the building bylaws and withdrawal of Rs 500 per square feet penalty and transfer of lease hold rights to free hold.

The members told the Administrator that the city came into existence about 55 years back and since then the population of the city has increased manifold.

“The requirements of the individuals have subsequently increased. In most of the buildings, the need-based changes have been made as per their requirements from time to time. After the detailed discussion on this issue, the Administrator assured the delegation that the Administration will not charge any compounding fees and will regularise the need-bases changes in the buildings,” said one of the representatives.

On the collector rate of commercial showrooms on the Madhya Marg, the industrialists pointed out that the rate was double the existing rates of the properties.

“The Governor assured the delegation that he will get the market prices of the properties in Chandigarh re-surveyed,” the members said.

The delegation included MPS Chawla, president of the Chandigarh Industrial Association; Chander Verma , chairman of the Chandigarh Industrial Converted Plot Owners’ Association; Charanjiv Singh, president of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal; Jagdish Arora, president of the Chandigarh Business Council; Sandeep Sahni, president of the Chamber of Chandigarh Industries; Arvinder Pal Singh, president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association, Chandigarh; Rajesh Walia, chairman of the Property Consultants Association of Chandigarh.

“The Rs 500 penalty has become a big setback for the traders in the city. We have been in the lurch for a long time because of the undue penalties being imposed on us,” said Charanjiv Singh, president of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal. 



Beneficiaries told to get poll rolls with their names
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
As the Prime MInister, Dr Manmohan Singh, is scheduled to inaugurate the 8,448 small flats in Dhanas for jhuggi dwellers, the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has asked around 600 jhuggi dwellers in Sector 52 to produce the electoral rolls of 2013, mentioning their names.

In the first phase, the inhabitants of Sector 52 resettlement colony and Colony No. 5 are being shifted to Dhanas. Around 400 jhuggi dwellers of Sector 52 were called for verification at the Sector 9 office of the CHB today.

To their surprise, the jhuggi dwellers were asked to produce the 2013 electoral rolls carrying their names. "When all the verification has been done, is there any need to ask for more documents?" asked Ram Shankar, one of the beneficiaries.

Under the small flat scheme, the CHB is to hand over the possession of one-room tenements to 8,448 jhuggi dwellers at Dhanas. Initially, the flats are being allotted on a rent of Rs 850 per month. After 20 years, the same flats would be transferred in the name of the allottees after recovering the balance cost of the flat.

As per the shifting plan, jhuggi dwellers would be shifted in phases. As the one-room tenements constructed in 2011 were in a bad shape, the CHB had invited tenders for renovating the flats before being handed over to the beneficiaries.

Around Rs 1,040 crore is being spent on the scheme that envisages the construction of around 25,000 flats at different points in the city. The Dhanas settlement is expected to house around 40,000 persons.

Officials in the Chandigarh Administration said a temporary helipad was being constructed close to the settlement colony for the VVIP's landing. 



Functional English needs overhaul, say experts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
City-based academics today advocated expanding the methodological scope of functional English in a seminar at the Regional Institute of English, Sector 32.

The panelists were Dr Sharda Kaushik, the director of the institute, Prof Pushpinder Syal and Prof Deepti Gupta from Panjab University, and Prof Raghav Chari from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi.

All the panelists wanted a multi-disciplinary approach to reforming the functional English course, which currently is an add-on course at the undergraduate level at PU, and lacks the practical edge.

The panelists emphasised the applied aspect of the course, for which they called for language labs, professional seminars and field surveys for students.

Calling for the creation of a separate course, Prof Syal said the notion of functional English needed to be changed in the face of technological intervention and modern-day changes in every sphere of life.

Prof Chari discussed the influence of media marketing on the editorial content and said the students must grasp the wider approach towards the subject.

Dr Kaushik, who coordinated the discussion, said efforts would be made to make the functional English course more dynamic and thought provoking.



200 turn up at special passport adalat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Around 200 applicants turned up at the special passport adalat held at the regional passport office today. The passport authorities had organised the adalat for the applicants of 2011 whose cases were lying pending due to various objections, including non-submission of document and failure to produce original documents.

The department had informed around 500 applicants, whose cases had been lying pending since 2011, about the adalat. An official said a number of applicants had sent them a request to allow them to attend the next adalat as they were not able to attend today's adalat due to prior preoccupations.

Regional passport officer Rakesh Aggarwal stated to lessen the burden on the staff, the authorities had decided to hold four special adalats for 2,000 pending cases of 2011, which would conclude on September 18. At each adalat, cases of 500 applicants will be taken up.

He said it had also been decided that on the next three consecutive Wednesdays, the passport authorities will hold a special adalat for the clearance of the pending applicants. He said no routine inquiries would be entertained by the staff on these days so as to avoid any inconvenience to the applicants.

Similarly, for the pending cases of 2012, the authorities will hold adalats in four phases to clear the cases of around 2,000 applicants. These will conclude pn October 23, he said. 



PGI spokesperson clarifies

Chandigarh, August 29
The PGIMER has claimed that the hospital stock of basic life-saving drugs is being used optimally by its doctors. “These drugs and surgical items are being used regularly.

We have our stocks maintained,” said PGIMER’s official spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar. Chandigarh Tribune had highlighted in these columns that the doctors have been asking patients to purchase the basic drugs, which the hospital is supposed to provide free of cost and one of the senior PGIMER doctors, on the condition of anonymity, said the reason for this is the inferior quality of drugs and surgical items purchased by the hospital that might pose a risk to patient. - TNS 



Govt depts told to check records
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 29
After finding illegal transfer of around 337.19 bigha forest land worth Rs 1,264 crore in Peer Muchalla , the Mohali Deputy Commissioner, Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu, issued directions to all the government departments to check the records of their property and send reports to the administration immediately.

“We want to confirm that there is no other case of a similar nature. Today, I have issued directions in this connection to all the departments. I have also directed that submitting of such reports should be made a regular feature," said Sidhu while talking to Chandigarh Tribune here today.

Apart from that, the DC has also ordered the tehsildar of the area to check the records of the entire land. “I have ordered him to check the records to find any other such case. Certainly, the documents of the land in question have been tampered with. So there is need to prevent such cases," said Sidhu. The administration has been on its toes following the incident of illegal transfer of the forest land in the name of a local resident Shivdayal in 2010. During an inquiry in the case, it was found that record of mutations was tampered with, which indicated towards the involvement of the then halqa patwaris and the kanungo. The then patwari Jagdish has gone on a leave.

Sidhu said the role of all the officials concerned would be verified. “Nobody would be spared, if found guilty. I have already asked the SDM to file an FIR against Shivdayal," said the DC.

FIR yet to be registered

The police is yet to register a case in this connection. The Station House Officer of the Zirakpur Police Station, Tarlochan Singh, said he was yet to receive any communiqué from the district authorities in this regard. “As soon as I get the communiqué, the case would be registered immediately," said Tarlochan Singh.

Shivdayal's identity remains a mystery

Though the land worth several crores has been transferred in the name of Shivdayal illegally, but the authorities are yet to identify the accused. According to sources, the administration did not know anything about Shivdayal except his and his father’s name. “We are yet to identify the person," said an official of the administration. 

Illegal transfer  of land 

The administration has been on its toes following the incident of illegal transfer of the forest land in the name of a local resident Shivdayal in 2010. During an inquiry in the case, it was found that record of mutations was tampered with, which indicated towards the involvement of the then halqa patwaris and the kanungo.

We want to confirm that there is no other case of a similar nature. Today, I have issued directions in this connection to all the departments. I have also directed that submitting of such reports should be made a regular feature ~
— tejinder pal singh, deputy commissioner , Mohali



Colony No. 5 residents forced to use contaminated water
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
While the city is facing acute water crisis, residents of Colony No. 5 have 24-hour water supplies from the shallow water hand pumps installed in the colony. During a visit to the colony, it was found that the residents were pumping out shallow water for household works. They are using the water for drinking as well. Interestingly, instructions painted on the hand pumps declare the water unfit for drinking.

Savita Devi, a resident of the colony, said as there was no water supply for the past one week, the residents were being forced to use the water for drinking. Though tankers have been made available to the residents on demand, it is difficult to get enough water from tankers for household activities. She said as the hand pumps were installed outside every house, they did not need to wait in queues for hours for water.

Rakhi, another resident, said all her relatives residing in the Nehru and Kuldeep Colonies were visiting her to get water for their day-to-day activities. In fact, some of her relatives have shifted to her place till the water crisis in the city is over.

The residents said about two months ago, the Municipal Corporation officials had visited the area and declared the water unfit for human consumption. After this, the resident avoided using these hand pumps for consumption but the authorities failed to make alternative arrangement for the residents.

Recently, the Municipal Corporation had taken took samples of 21 shallow water tube wells out of 38, but all the samples failed the test as there was high ratio of ammonia in the water. Due to which the water is not fit for human consumption. 



Onion prices soar again
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Onion prices has once again increased by Rs 10 per kg. The per kg cost that had first shot up to Rs 60 per kg had came down by Rs 10 last week. The cost of the essential vegetable has been varying due to shortage in supply. Vegetable vendors indicated that the prices were expected to go up further.

"There is no assurance whether the prices would stabilise or not. The prices may go up as the rains are likely to be there in the coming days," said Ravinder Rana, a vegetable vendor in Sector 15.

In the wholesale market in Chandigarh, onion prices went up to Rs 50 per kg. According to vegetable sellers and wholesale dealers, heavy rainfall effects the cost considerably and destroyed a majority of crops, leading to shortage in supply.



Punjab Ratan for Dr Chopra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Dr JS Chopra has been awarded Punjab Ratan at the 32nd Celebrations of the All-India conference of Intellectuals, which was held in the auditorium of DAV College, Sector 10, on Sunday.

Dr Chopra was Head, Department of Neurology, PGIMER, and at present is Professor Emeritus. He was awarded Padma Bhushan by the President of India in 2008. He was also conferred Dr BC Roy National Award, besides many other Orations 
and Awards.

He has been the founder Director Principal of the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, and Secretary of the Medical Education and Research,UT Administration, on deputation from the PGIMER.



PGI gets breast biopsy system
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
In a significant development, the PGIMER today installed a prone table breast biopsy system in the OPD section of the department of radiodiagnosis and imaging.

This equipment is used for taking biopsy of non-palpable suspicious breast lesions seen on mammography and not visualised on ultrasound that in turn helps in detection of breast cancer early. These can then be treated with less invasive surgery with approximately 100 per cent survival rate.

This machine also provides greater patient comfort as compared to other methods of breast biopsies.

In addition, the department has also installed a new machine for the assessment of bone mineral density an d whole body dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan. It is a measure of an individual's bone strength and aids in detection of weak bone conditions likeosteoporosis.



Hopeful of making a comeback soon: RP Singh

Cricketer RP Singh and golfer Harmeet Kahlon water a plant at New Public School in Chandigarh on Thursday.Chandigarh, August 29
Like every other in-form cricketer, eager to find his place in the Indian cricket team bowling attack, left-arm medium pacer Rudra Pratap Singh is waiting for the upcoming domestic season. The bowler is hoping for a comeback. "I hope to make a comeback soon. The domestic season is approaching and I am looking forward to it," said RP Singh. The pacer was in the City Beautiful to spread awareness about the life saving vaccine offered as part of the Routine Immunisation (RI) programme at New Public School, Sector 18.

Harmeet Kahlon, an Arjuna Awardee golfer, also joined the students in planting saplings. —TNS

Cricketer RP Singh and golfer Harmeet Kahlon water a plant at New Public School in Chandigarh on Thursday. Tribune photo:Parvesh Chauhan



Residents protest against hike in prices of plots

Residents protest outside the GMADA office in Phase VIII, Mohali, on Thursday.
Residents protest outside the GMADA office in Phase VIII, Mohali, on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, August 29
Residents of Sectors 76 to 80 staged a dharna outside the office of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority ( GMADA) today. They were protesting against the hike in the prices of plots in the sectors. The protesters raised slogans against the Punjab Government and the GMADA authorities.

The protesters said GMADA should first give possession of plots to all allottees, auction vacant commercial sites and settle dues with institutions, which had been allotted land in these sectors. Only after taking these steps GMADA should have taken a decision on raising the prices, the protesters said.

They said even after 13 years, GMADA had not given the possession of the plots to the allottees. The GMADA authorities had increased the rates of plots in Sectors 76 to 80 . According to the decision, the allottees of the plots measuring between 100 sq yard and 200 sq yard, will have to pay Rs 750 per sq yard as the enhanced amount while those with plots measuring between 200 sq yard and 500 sq yard will be charged an additional amount of Rs 850 per sq yard. Those having plots above 500 sq yard will have to pay Rs 950 per sq yard as the enhanced amount. —TNS 



Students get career tips

Mohali, August 29
A guest lecture on 'How to choose a career after
completing Engineering degree' was organised for the Engineering students of the Chandigarh University, Gharuan, under the Mahindra and Mahindra Career Igniters Programme.

“The students should take full advantage of the platform being provided to them as it develops their intellectual,” said Dr. R.S.Bawa, Vice-Chancellor of the university. — TNS



Tricity  Scan

Indicating that 65 per cent of the Indian population, which is young, is an asset for the nation, Vineet Joshi, assistant media adviser to the Government of Punjab said India was in a better position as compared to the US, Canada, Japan, China and many other nations. Joshi was speaking during a seminar on the topic, “Engaging Stakeholders: Youth and Inclusive Growth”, organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the PHD House on Thursday. Anshu Kataria, convener of the Education Committee, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry , said a bold programme of inclusive growth led by the youth was required.“We need to generate skilled workforce in the trades of plumbing, carpentry, electricians, welding, which are in demand all over the world. Taking serious note of the 88 per cent dropout rate at the school level, Sandeep Singh Kaura, joint managing director, Rayat Bahra Group of Institutions, said, “Out of the remaining 12 per cent, 84 per cent go for arts and commerce. Only 16 per cent go for technical streams. Out of those who graduate with technical education, 75 per cent are not employable by the industry, thus leading to a wide skill gap.”

Orientation programme

An orientation programme for the first year students of Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology, Sector 26, Chandigarh, was held on August 26. This interactive session apprise the students about the various departments and activities offered at the college.

Talk delivered

Dr SS Bhatti delivered a talk on architectural communication at University Institute of Architecture. He defined communication as the "Vishnu factor" which aids survival and sustains human advancement. He added that architectural communication encouraged psycho-social growth of gregariousness whereby the man is by nature a social animal as succinctly stated by Aristotle many centuries ago.—TNS 



Pu polls
Parties converge on depts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
With only five days left for the student council polls at Panjab University, parties held an aggressive campaign in departments, including class-to-class campaigning.

Supporters of various student organisations walked across the campus in groups, from one department to another, in a bid to reach out to the maximum number of students.

A supporter of Panjab University Students Union (PUSU), Babalpreet Singh, said parties formed groups of supporters to cover most of the departments over the day.

“We focused on the departments which were not frequently visited by the party leaders,” said Babalpreet.

PUSU members also held a show of strength at the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) on the south campus.

Supporters of Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU), too, went from class to class to address and woo students.

SOPU leader Robin Brar said they asked the students to support the party keeping in mind its commitment to serve the students for the past 15 years.

“We went to each class and asked the students to support the party they trust,” he said.

Leaders of Students Organisation of India (SOI), Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Indian National Students Organisation (INSO) and Hindustan Students Association (HSA) also visited various departments to drum up support.

Founder member of HSA Narinder Gujjar said supporters led by party leaders walked across the campus to meet students and inform them about their agenda for the elections.

Supporters of a student organisation campaign outside the University Institute of Engineering and Technology the police disperses the crowd after supporters of two parties entered into an altercation at Panjab University in Chandigarh on Thursday
Supporters of a student organisation campaign outside the University Institute of Engineering and Technology; and (left) the police disperses the crowd after supporters of two parties entered into an altercation at Panjab University in Chandigarh on Thursday. High drama was also witnessed at the tent pitched by the National Students Union of India after two of its supporters entered into a scuffle. The police had to intervene there as well. Tribune Photos: Manoj Mahajan



ABVP fields girl candidate for president
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has fielded a girl candidate for the post of president in the upcoming Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) elections.

Arunika Mishra, a student of the University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS), will be in the fray for the most coveted post.

ABVP leader Dinesh Chauhan, in the presence of party supporters, announced the name of candidates for the four posts of office-bearers in the student council.

Speaking about the importance of fielding a girl candidate, Chauhan said girls comprised 70 per cent of the total strength of university students.

For the post of vice-president, ABVP fielded Disha Arora of the English department. Sahil Batra of University Business School will contest the elections for the post of general secretary and Sanjay Sharma of the Sanskrit department will be in the fray for the post of joint secretary.

Indian National Students Organisation (INSO) also declared its panel for the elections. For the post of president, the party has fielded Amit Sihmar, an LLM student. Dr Abha who is pursuing the masters of public healthwill contest for the post of vice-president, Mohhamad Iqbal of the economics department will try his luck for the post of general secretary and Aditi of the English department will be in the fray for post of joint secretary. 

Independent candidates join hands

A group of independent candidates is in the fray for the four posts of the Panjab University Campus Student Council. For the post of president, Priya Ranjan from the University Institute of Engineering and Technology will be trying his luck. Khushboo of the University Institute of Legal Studies is contesting for the post of vice-president, Ashutosh Tiwari of the University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Techonology for the post of general secretary and Gautam of the UCIM for the post of joint secretary.



Panjab University bans class-to-class campaigning
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Taking their cue from the Lyngdoh committee recommendations for conducting student council elections, the Panjab University (PU) authorities today imposed a ban on the class-to-class campaigning on the campus.

The university has also put a ban on group campaigning in hostels, leaving the student organisations with the option of drumming up support through only one-to-one campaign.

The PU authorities in a meeting held today with student leaders, in the presence of police officials, announced that the student parties would not be allowed to campaign in departments.

Dean Student Welfare (DSW) Navdeep Goyal said the Lyngdoh committee guidelines did not permit class-to-class campaigning.

“Keeping these guidelines in mind, students will not be allowed to enter departments and classrooms for delivering speeches and seeking support for elections,” Goyal said.

The Students Federation of India (SFI) leader Prabhpreet Singh opposed the decision of the university in the meeting. Singh said as the final list of candidates would be declared on the afternoon of August 31, the new restriction on campaigning would not give the parties enough time to inform students about the candidates and their serial numbers on the ballot paper.

During the meeting, the DSW also informed the gathering that vehicles not bearing the hostel-parking sticker would not be allowed outside hostels after 10 pm.

“The Chandigarh Police will tow away such vehicles from outside the hostels,” he said.

The PU authorities have also decided that expense incurred on the use of vehicles during the election campaign will add to the expense of each candidate.

In a bid to ensure peace on the campus, the authorities have also asked the parties to remove their tents 48 hours before the elections. Earlier, the tents were removed after the elections were held. 

Directions to student bodies

  • Campaigning to stop 48 hours before elections
  • Tents pitched by parties on the campus to be removed when the campaigning ends
  • Outsiders nabbed on the campus will not be let off after verification; they will be arrested under preventive measures
  • Use of vehicles bearing the party sticker will add to the expenses of the candidate. The expenses of hiring a similar vehicle will be added to the total expenditure.
  • Student parties violating the directions may face strict action, including the cancellation of candidature
  • Vehicles of outsiders to be towed away from outside the hostels after 10 pm



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