C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Aadhaar cards bare pension fraud
24% beneficiaries suspected to be fake; 10 persons found claiming pension fraudulently
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

No verification
Earlier, pensioners just had to produce their identity card for drawing the pension at e-Sampark centres. There was no verification by the department regarding the residential proof of the claimant. An official said cases had been reported where beneficiaries came to the city only at the time of the renewal of their pension.

Chandigarh, September 9
In a shocking development, as many as 24 per cent beneficiaries of the pension scheme in the UT are suspected to be fake while at least 10 persons have been found to be claiming pension fraudulently.

The fake beneficiaries came to light after the linking of Aadhaar cards with the pension scheme. As many as 4,038 pensioners of the 21,092 beneficiaries did not turn up after the Social Welfare Department made the Aadhaar card mandatory for pension. This has pointed a finger of suspicion towards them. The department has ordered an investigation into the case.

Sources in the department said soon after the process of linking Aadhaar was initiated and inquiries conducted, the department found at least 10 cases of fake beneficiaries.

"We are looking into the matter. It seems there were many who were claiming pension fraudulently," said a senior official.

The sources said there were 5 to 7 per cent claimants earlier who were suspected to be fake, but there was hardly any departmental check on them.

The department was losing Rs 1.20 crore annually by way of disbursing pension to beneficiaries suspected to be fake. Now, only 16,064 beneficiaries are being given pension.

UT Social Welfare Department official Rajesh Jogpal said the department had stopped the pension of those who had not turned up for the past six months after the Aadhaar card was made mandatory for availing of the pension. He said the department was conducting a physical verification in these cases before discontinuing the pension.

The department was also updating the record of these missing pensioners by finding out how many had died or left the city. It was also trying to find the data of the fake claimants. He said the department had already cancelled the pension of those who were found fake after the verification of their credentials.

Records of the department revealed that 10,456 persons were getting old-age pension, 5,706 persons the widow and destitute pension, 3,047 persons the disabled person pension, while 1,474 dependent children of widows were getting financial assistance. Earlier, the department used to disburse the pension on a quarterly basis. However, after the launch of the direct benefit transfer scheme, the beneficiaries are getting pension on a monthly basis.

IT Dept earned Rs 36 lakh

Records of the department revealed that after the DBT scheme for pensioners was launched, the UT Information Technology Department earned Rs 36 lakh on the transaction of pension. For each transaction of pension, a bank pays Rs 4 to the IT department. Earlier, the banks were charging Rs 8.75 for each transaction of pension from the Administration.



PM’s visit has ‘lax’ CHB employees on their toes
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
For the past few days, employees of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) appear to have undergone a complete transformation as far as promptness in public dealing is concerned.

Notorious for sitting on files in routine cases, be it the transfer of property, conversion of leasehold property to freehold or issuance of no-dues certificates, the staff these days are literally burning the midnight oil to meet the September 12 deadline to issue over 8,000 allotment letters to slum dwellers.

With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh scheduled to dedicate one-room tenements at Dhanas (constructed under the Small Flat Scheme, 2006) to the slum dwellers under the JNNRUM on September 14, UT officials are ensuring that the allotment letters are handed over before the Prime Minister’s visit to the city.

Though not officially, the employees have been strictly asked to work on weekends and avoid taking leave. Apparently not pleased with the instructions to work with alacrity to dispose of the allotment files, employees are complaining that they are being forced to work overtime.

"The Prime Minister's visit has hastened the allotment process. Handing over allotment letters to 8,000 beneficiaries in a few days is a challenging task," said a UT official.

“It is their duty to work. Those who are complaining do not want to work and are finding excuses,” said a senior official in the CHB.

“Thanks to the Prime Minister's visit, employees are being asked to meet the deadlines. Otherwise, it would have taken months to issue the allotment letters. The CHB top brass should ask the employees to clear the pendency of routine files with the same promptness,” said an allottee, who has been doing the rounds of the office to get the transfer case of his property cleared.

At the Sector 9 office of the CHB, tents have been pitched to handle the rush of the slum dwellers. Different counters have been set up specially for clearing the allotment of one-room tenements.

Sources said though the Prime Minister was to hand over the keys of flats to around 20 beneficiaries, UT officials were keen on issuing allotment letters to over 8,000 slum dwellers.



multi-level parking
Civic body to pay Rs 2.61 cr to agency
Arbitration Tribunal rejects its claims
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
In a major blow to the municipal corporation in a case related to the construction of the first multi-level parking lot in Sector 17, the Arbitration Tribunal rejected all claims of the civic body and directed it to pay Rs 2.61 crore to the agency shortlisted for the construction of the multi-level parking near Sahib Singh and Sons.

The pilot project, approved in 2007, never saw the light of day.

In September 2007, the MC had awarded the work of the multi-level parking lot to M/s Subhash Project Marketing Pvt Ltd. A formal contract was executed between the MC and the firm on November 15, 2007. According to the agreement, the MC was to hand over an encumbrance-free site and to appoint an independent engineer. Similarly, the agency was to get the architectural drawings approved from the competent authority and start the execution of work by the compliance date. However, neither the MC nor the agency could comply with all obligations and finally the matter went into arbitration.

Recently, after 21 hearings of the arbitration tribunal, a three-member tribunal, comprising Justice NC Jain, Justice RS Mongia and Justice MR Agnihotri, announced the award of around Rs 2.61 crore in favour of the agency.

The agency then went into arbitration, the proceedings of which went on for two more years. While the company sought Rs 49 crore as damages from the MC, the civic body sought damages amounting to Rs 249 crore from the agency for causing a loss of face for it with the project failing to take off. The MC had also alleged that the money it had spent on consultation had gone waste.

The matter regarding handing over the amount to the agency was placed before a meeting of the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) today in which it was decided that they would study the detailed order and then take a call whether to challenge the order or not. The matter would now be discussed after 10 days.Agency had demanded claims for the following:

* Claims on account of refund of money deposited by it towards the project development fee

* Claims on account of bank guarantee, renewal charges and loss of interest on the margin money

* Claims on account of the amount paid to the architect for preparing drawings

* Claims on account of the amount paid to the structural consultant for preparing structural drawings

Paid parking lot

After the order of the tribunal, the F&CC on Monday accorded approval for the conversion of the free parking lot in Sector 17-E near Sahib Singh and Sons to a paid parking lot.



60-year-old protester dies in Panchkula
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 9
A 60-year-old man died under mysterious circumstances while taking part in an agitation on the road separating Sectors 6 and 7 here this afternoon. Though the exact cause of the death will be known only after a postmortem, to be conducted tomorrow, sources said cardiac arrest might have caused his death.

The victim, Krishan Kumar, a resident of Yamunanagar, was part of the Sarv Karamchari Sangh that was to gherao the Vidhan Sabha today. However, the protesters were stopped near Housing Board Chowk by the police.

While marching, Krishan Kumar, who retired from the roadways department, suddenly fainted. His fellow protesters and police officials informed Assistant Commissioner of Police (Headquarters) Krishan Hooda about it, who called an ambulance.

The victim was taken to the General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula, where he died after 15 minutes. The body has been kept in the mortuary for a postmortem.

“Krishan Kumar was absolutely normal while marching with us. Suddenly he fainted,” said Beer Singh, a protester.

Dr Sunil Gambhir, Head of the Department of Postmortem at the General Hospital, said, “The exact cause of the death will be known only after we conduct a postmortem tomorrow, but preliminary investigations reveal he may have died of cardiac arrest.”

Sources said Krishan Kumar might have got strained by walking a long distance. The victim's family was informed by fellow protesters. The family had not reached Panchkula till the filing of this report.



Six cases of dengue reported from city this monsoon season
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
The number of dengue cases reported from the city has reached six. The first case was reported last month. According to officials, the number may go up by the end of this month.

The UT Health Department claims to have prepared fogging schedules for the entire city. "So far, we have conducted fumigation drives at Mani Majra and Indra Colony," said an epidemiologist, Dr Mukhmohit Singh.

The deadly aedes mosquito, that causes dengue, begins to breed towards the end of the monsoon. It often breeds in water stored in households. More than 350 cases of dengue were reported at city hospitals last year, breaking the record of the previous five years.

"The aedes mosquito breeds easily in water stored in households. At most houses, we found water lying in coolers. As the coolers remain covered from three sides, the water usually remains out of sight," said an official.

"The aedes mosquito is in water in the form of an egg or larva for seven to 10 days. This is the most crucial time where we can stop the mosquito menace. Once it grows into an adult and flies, it will be all over the place," the official said.

How is dengue caused

The dengue virus, attributed as "day-biter", often breeds in an artificial setting of water, which may include water stored in vessels, buckets and excess water in flower pots. The mosquito can breed in 10 to 15 ml of water too. Water accumulated in empty tyres in the open is also a breeding ground for the dengue virus.

Symptoms includes high fever, severe headache, severe pain in the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, and mild bleeding.

Always keep overhead tanks properly covered
Drain out water from your coolers and scrub dry once a week
In case of fever get your blood examined at the nearest dispensary
Take full treatment if declared malaria positive

Do not allow water to stagnate in and around your house
Do not throw discarded containers, tyres, pitchers and pots on the rooftop

For any complaints or queries regarding water accumulation or a mosquito-genic situation, people can contact the malaria wing on phone number 0172-2740408.



Condemned buses may soon house libraries of government schools
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
Soon, government school students will get a chance to study in libraries set up on condemned CTU buses. In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the UT Education Department is eagerly working on a plan to convert off-the-road CTU buses into libraries for various government schools.

A proposal to this effect has already been submitted to higher officials by Government Smart School, Sector 50, for approval to transform a condemned bus into a modern library.

Officials said interiors of these buses would be modified and renovated before using these as libraries. A computer would also be installed in each library with the Internet facility to give it a modern look.

UT Administrator Shivraj Patil had suggested that condemned buses should be put to some use. A senior official of the department said earlier these buses were to be used as kitchens, but the plan did not work out. Therefore, a plan to convert these into libraries for schoolchildren was mooted by the Administration in collaboration with the Education Department.

Upkar Singh, Director, Public Instructions (Schools), said the proposal of Government Smart School, Sector 50, had already been sent to the higher authorities for approval and it was expected to get the nod soon.

“If the experiment works out, condemned buses will be procured from the CTU and converted into libraries,” he said.

Officials said not much expenditure was involved in converting these buses into libraries. A condemned bus would be towed away to the selected school where it would be modified into a library.

Officials of the CTU said the department had 45 such buses, which were lying useless at its workshop in the Industrial Area. “Generally, these buses are auctioned at throwaway prices. Now, we hope these are put to some good use,” said a CTU official.


City airport gets two aerobridges
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
The Chandigarh domestic airport has got an international look as two aerobridges have become fully operational here. These new aerobridges are the part of the modified bay layout plan of the airport. These aerobridges will enable passengers to board and disembark from the aircraft without going outside the terminal building.

Earlier, the domestic airport had three bays - two for big aircraft and one for small aircraft. Under the upgraded bay expansion plan, the city airport now has a total of five bays, four of which are providing parking space to big aircraft and one for small aircraft. Two of these bays are connected through fully operational aerobridges, thereby raising the standards of aircraft parking facilities and passengers comfort.

In the aviation technical term, a bay, also called as apron area, is a specified area where aircraft are parked, unloaded or loaded, refuelled and boarded.

“With the new bays, the airport will be in a better position to handle air traffic and even meet the future demand,” said a senior official of the domestic airport.

He said a budget of Rs 10 crore had been spent on these latest modifications.

As per the information, another important modification in the apron area is that all these bays are using the “self-manoeuvring technique”, also called as “power in and push back” practice.

Under this system, when an aircraft prepares to take off from its bay, it is pushed back with the help of heavy tractors on the runway from where it can take off.

Officials at the airport said this facility was commonly used at the Delhi Airport and other international airports, but it was now available here at the Chandigarh airport. The facility aimed at utilising ground space optimally.

Passengers were excited on seeing the latest changes at the airport. Natasha, a resident of the city, said the domestic airport was really improving in terms of infrastructure. Since normal bays, which are not connected to aerobridges, were at some distance from the departure area, airlines should provide air taxis like in other airports in the country. On this, airport officials said they had written to the airline officials to arrange taxis for passengers.

What are aerobridges
An aerobridge, also called jet bridge or loading bridge, is an enclosed connector, which extends from an airport terminal gate to an air plane, allowing passengers to board and disembark without going outside.



Civic body transplants 27 trees in Sector 16
Tribune News Service

MC workers replant trees at Shanti Kunj, Sector 16.
MC workers replant trees at Shanti Kunj, Sector 16. Tribune Photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, September 9
The Municipal Corporation today transplanted 27 trees in Sector 16 that were pulled out from the site of a multi-level parking in Sector 17 on Sunday.

A senior official of the MC said these trees were not very big and were uprooted by using machinery from the Gurdev parking lot. Today these trees were transplanted in Shanti Kunj, Sector 16, and other green belts of the same sector, the official said.

The remaining trees, which were chopped off by the MC, were now stored in a Sector 23-based nursery. The MC would soon hold auction for these trees.

This was the second multi-level parking, which the MC proposed in Sector 17. The first parking lot proposed by the MC in Sector 17 near Sahib Singh Sons Store had run into litigation and finally arbitrators passed the orders in favour of the agency, which was given the contract to construct the multi-level parking.

After the wildlife clearance by the Ministry of Environment to construct the multi-level parking lot in Sector 17, the Engineering Wing of the Municipal Corporation on Sunday cut 134 trees.

The three-storeyed basement parking lot has been planned to have a capacity of 900 vehicles. The proposal was mooted in 2010 and a ceremony to initiate the construction was held just an hour before the code of conduct for the Municipal Corporation election was to come into force. Since then, the project had been facing hurdles. The building plans for the parking lot took almost two years to be approved.



Parking contractors to pay 12.36% service tax to MC
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
The Municipal Corporation today decided that the contractors of paid parking lots will have to pay 12.36 per cent service tax to the MC. It was also decided that those contractors, who are not willing to pay the tax, can surrender their parking lots.

Meanwhile, the MC also decided to reduce the 10 per cent reserve prices of those five parking lots, which recently did not find any bidders. The auction of five paid parking lots, organised by the MC recently, turned out to be a flop show as the contractors refused to participate.

These included a parking lot in Sector 22-B opposite the Bus Stand and another one adjoining Piccadilly in Sector 34. A parking lot in Sector 8 (Zone I), near Fun Republic, and MOH parking lot in Sector 17 were among the others that were to be auctioned. None of these found any takers.

Contractors were against the recent directions to impose 12.36 per cent service tax on them. They were demanding that the reserve price of parking lots be reduced in view of the service tax.

Recently, the Central Excise and Service Tax Department has slapped a notice on the MC to pay Rs 7.53 crore to the department.

In the notice issued to the MC, the department had asked it to pay service tax on leasehold commercial property (plots, buildings, eating joints and petrol pumps). Besides, the department had also asked the MC to pay service tax on festival stall charges, revenue from the craft centre, cable operators, parking lots, telephone towers, rent of taxi stands, car bazaar, ground rent, apni mandi, community centre and selling of space for advertisements.



No home-based deliveries in city this year: Survey
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
In a significant development, 100 per cent institutional deliveries were conducted both in the urban and the rural areas in the city in the first quarter of this year, as per a survey of the Department of Health and Family Welfare.

Even in villages, people were now avoiding home-based deliveries, said officials. In Behlana, for instance, home-based delivery has come down from 35 per cent in 2010-11 to zero this year.

In other rural areas as well, the number has come down from 4 per cent in Khuda Lahora, 12 per cent in Khuda Alisher, 26 per cent in Sarangpur, 27 per cent in Khuda Jassu, 6 per cent in Raipur Khurd in 2010-11 to zero this year.

The survey data for the second and third quarter is currently being gathered and compiled.



Councillors' honorarium
MC to send letter to UT Admn
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
After pressure mounted by nine nominated councillors, the Municipal Corporation will send a letter to the UT Administration to amend the notification for increase in honorarium for councillors.

In the notification issued by the Administration, it was mentioned that the “constituency allowance” of Rs 10,000 would be given to elected councillors, whereas nothing was mentioned about nominated councillors.

MC Commissioner Vivek Partap Singh said the UT only amended notification regarding elected councillors but had not issued notification for nominated councillors. The MC would send a letter to the UT Administration to issue separate notification for increase in honorarium of nominated councillors, he said.

Joint Secretary (Home), UT Administration, MM Sabharwal, said as and when they would receive written request from the MC, they would take up the issue with senior UT officials.

In the notification issued two months ago, the administration has increased the honorarium for mayor from Rs 15,000 per month to Rs 20,000. The senior deputy mayor would now get Rs 16,500, up from Rs 12,000, and deputy mayor would get Rs 12,500, up from Rs 6,000 a month. Honorarium for elected councillors has been increased from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000, which comes into effect retrospectively from October 2011. Payment for attending meetings has been increased from Rs 200 to Rs 500, and telephone allowance has been increased from Rs 700 to Rs 2,000 a month.

Nominated councillors had alleged that elected councillors always neglected them and today they submitted their resentment to Mayor Subhash Chawla as well. 



RWAs to get more funds for maintenance of parks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
The Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) today increased the amount, which was given to the RWAs for the maintenance of parks and green belts. The MC approved Rs 2.48 per sq m per month, which was earlier Rs 1.5.

Besides, the committee also passed various agendas, including purchase of hydraulic platform-cum-turn table ladder for the Fire Department, procurement of air conditioners for civil dispensaries working under the control of the Municipal Corporation, deputation of 35 policemen in the Municipal Corporation from the Police Department for enforcement and cattle-catching drives.

The committee also approved to hire 25 cattle catchers from the outsourcing agency and an elevator in Janj Ghar, Sector 47, at an estimated cost of Rs 21.41 lakh. The committee has also fixed the reserve price of Rs 15.64 lakh for the auction of the exhibition ground in front of the Furniture Market, Sector 34, for Diwali Mela.

To ensure that the owners released the vehicles impounded by the MC, after the expiry of seven days after the date of challans, the committee approved the agenda to impose additional charges. The committee has approved Rs 25 per day for two-wheelers, Rs 50 per day for three-wheelers, Rs 100 per day for cars and Rs 200 per day for trucks as storage charges from the owners of the vehicles seized by the Enforcement Wing.



GMCH-32 mulls regional drug abuse and rehabilitation centre

Chandigarh, September 9
Following the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, has proposed to set up a 40-bed regional drug abuse and rehabilitation centre on the campus. The proposal sent to the UT Administration is aimed at setting up a centre that will offer long-term care to the patients that may extend up to one year or six months. The centres currently available in the city offer acute care that lasts for nearly a week.

“We have proposed to set up a 40-bed centre wherein 20-25 beds will be allocated to patients requiring acute care. Another 10 beds will be reserved for patients requiring long-term counselling and treatment for rehabilitation. We also plan to reserve five beds for women and children suffering from drug addiction since they need specialised care and security,” said Dr Ajeet K Sidana, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, GMCH-32.

“We also wish to run a separate 24-hour emergency care service inside the centre for these patients,” Dr Sidana said. The proposal is currently being reviewed by the UT Administration and an approval is awaited. — TNS



Flats for slum dwellers
Harmohan Dhawan to court arrest on September 12
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
Former Union Minister and senior BJP leader Harmohan Dhawan today said as the UT Administration was not giving two-room flats to slum dwellers, he, along with his supporters, would court arrest on September 12.

He said earlier also he had demanded that under the slum rehabilitation scheme, the allottees should be given two-room flats instead of one room, as it was difficult for a family to stay in one room.

Addressing a press conference, Dhawan said recently Union Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja had also told the UT officials to provide two-room flats instead of one-room sets, but to no avail.

He also said if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would inaugurate one-room flats then they would show black flags to the Prime Minister. But if the UT would change the scheme to two-room flats then they would welcome the Prime Minister, he added.



2 special trains to clear festive rush
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
clear the extra rush of passengers of the region during the festivals from the next month, the railway authorities have decided to start two special trains from the Chandigarh Railway Station. Taking cognisance of the demand of tickets, the authorities have decided to commence weekly express to Dibrugarh and tri-weekly express to Varanasi from the Chandigarh Railway Station.

Train number 05903 Dibrugarh-Chandigarh weekly express special train will depart from Dibruagarh from October 11 to November 29 on every Friday at 08.40 am to reach Chandigarh at 01.10 pm on the third day. In the return direction, 05904 Chandigarh-Dibrugarh special train will depart from Chandigarh on every Sunday from October 13 to 2 at 11.15 pm to reach Dibrugarh at 06.15 am on the fourth day.

Their will be 16 coaches, which include o­ne AC 2 Tier, o­ne AC 3 Tier, nine sleeper class, four general class and two disabled-friendly second class-cum-luggage van.

The train will halt will at New Tinsukia, Simalugarhi, Mariyani, Furkating, Dimapur, Diphu, Lumding, Guwahati, Rangiya, New Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, New Alipurduar, New Cooch Behar, New Jalpaiguri, Kishanganj, Katihar, Nauguchia, Khagaria, Barauni, Samastipur, Muzaffarpur, Hajipur, Sonepur, Chhapra, Siwan, Deoria Sadar, Gorakhpur, Gonda, Lucknow, Bareilly, Moradabad, Saharanpur, Ambala and Chandigarh en route in both the directions.

Another train number 04504 Chandigarh-Varanasi tri-weekly special train will depart from Chandigarh o­n every Monday, Thursday and Saturday from October 3 to November 28 at 11.15 pm to reach Varanasi at 05.30 pm on the next day.

In the return direction, 04503 Varanasi-Chandigarh tri-weekly will depart from Varanasi on every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday from October 4 to November 29 at 09.10 pm to reach Chandigarh at 02.30 pm the next day.

Their will be 14 coaches, which include six sleeper class, six general class and two second class-cum-luggage van. The halt will be at Ambala Cantonment, Jagadhari, Saharanpur, Moradabad, Bareilly, Lucknow and Sultanpur stations en route in both the directions. 



Protests leave commuters high and dry
Tribune News Service

Thousands of protesters march towards Chandigarh at a chowk near the Shalimar Mall in Panchkula.
Thousands of protesters march towards Chandigarh at a chowk near the Shalimar Mall in Panchkula.

Panchkula, September 9
Traffic in Panchkula came to a standstill for hours when around 18,000 persons staged a protest and tried to gherao the Vidhan Sabha today. Routes on the Panchkula-Chandigarh border, particularly from the Housing Board to sector 17/18 light point, were blocked from morning till evening causing inconvenience to the commuters.

It was a day of agitation with about four different groups, INLD, college students, Sarv Karamchari Sangh and guest teachers, protesting at different areas in Panchkula, the biggest being the protest by Sarv Karamchari Sangh with over 18,000 agitationists. The agitation by the Sangh went on till the evening. Demanding to make contractual officials regular, hike in the salary and several other reasons, the Sarv Karamchari Sang staged a protest. The local INLD workers protested against the ruling party on the CDs issue, the students of government college, Sector 1, protested against no bus service in the Barwala area. The guest teachers also protested in support of their demand to make them regular employees. Police force from across Haryana was present at various points in the city.

It was a tough day for the commuters in Panchkula as it was a working day. They faced a harrowing time from morning till evening. Due to blocked routes on the Chandigarh border, the traffic from Chandigarh to Panchkula was also affected in the evening with a two-hour-long jam being reported.

Bumper to bumper traffic was witnessed from the Kalagram light point till the Housing Board chowk since the route from sector 17/18 roundabout was blocked by the police. The agitators were stopped by the police force in the evening but they said they won't leave and would face arrests, following which hundreds of them were taken in a bus.

"I have been waiting for the traffic congestion to ease. Due to the gherao by the protestors, the routes have been blocked and vehicles are moving at a snail's pace," said Vishal Gaba, a resident of Sector 14, Panchkula.

"In the morning, while going to the office, I got late and now after coming from the office, the situation is he same," said Rishabh, a resident of Sector 19, Panchkula.

The protesters owing alegiance to the Sarv Karamchari Sangh, when stopped by the police force, refused to go back. Most of the commuters had to take the route from the IT park to avoid congestion.



Chief Minister’s Cancer Relief Fund
Rs 1.66 crore given to 111 patients in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 9
Financial aid totalling over Rs 1.66 crore has been given to 111 patients in Mohali district from the Chief Minister’s Cancer Relief Fund for their treatment, Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu said here.

He said there were 119 applicants who had requested financial aid from the government, of which 111 were given assistance. In the case of the remaining eight patients, aid of Rs 12 lakh would be provided soon.

The Deputy Commissioner said efforts were being made to provide better health facilities and spread health awareness among people. Medical check-up of children was being done under a school health plan. Under the National Rural Health Mission, children studying in government and recognised schools, who were suffering from cancer, coronary heart disease (CHD) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD), were being treated at the PGI, Chandigarh, free of cost.

He said under the Mata Kaushlya Scheme, financial help of Rs 1,000 each was being provided to parenting women after delivery in government hospitals. Besides, under the Janani Surksha Yojna, poor families were also being helped after delivery. More than Rs 17 lakh had been given to the needy persons in 155 cases.

In the rural areas, financial help was also being provided through the village health sanitation committees. Under the Rashtriya Sehat Bima Yojna, 2,828 cards had been registered in the case of persons below poverty line. Financial help was also being provided to them for treatment.

The Deputy Commissioner said special wards had been set up for dengue patients in government hospitals where they were being treated free of cost. Malaria patients were also being treated free of cost.



Land acquisition
Cong leaders demand market price for farmers

Mohali, September 9
Local Congress leaders today asked the district administration to implement the Centre's new Bill on land acquisition and pay the farmers accordingly.

In a letter to the Mohali Deputy Commissioner, Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu, Kharar MLA Jagmohan Kang and Mohali MLA Balbir Sidhu have asked him to acquire the land of farmers in the area according to the new Bill.

"We have learnt that farmers (whose land is being acquired here) are being given very low rates. We have asked the administration either to set the rates as per prevailing market price of the land or give them the rates according to the newly passed Bill," said both the Congress MLAs. — TNS



Process for setting up residential urban estate in Mullanpur expedited
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 9
Punjab government has expedited the process for setting up a residential urban estate (Phase II) on more than 335 acres in the Mullanpur area by issuing a notification in this regard.

Disclosing this here today, an official spokesperson of the Department of Housing and Urban Development said a notification had been issued under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. The setting up of the residential estate had been approved by the state government in accordance with the notified Master Plan of Mullanpur (Kharar tehsil).

Giving details, he said a total of 335.3998 acres had to be acquired, out of which 329.456 acres would be acquired in Hoshiarpur village, 0.2375 acre in Majra and 5.7063 acres in Takipur village.

The spokesperson further said that the plan of the land could be inspected in the office of the Land Acquisition Collector, Urban Development, Punjab, PUDA Bhawan, Sector 62, Mohali.



Stress laid on eradication of gender inequality

Chandigarh, September 9
There is a need to change the mindset of people to eradicate gender inequality. This was emphasised during a panel discussion organised by the Public Relations Council of India, Chandigarh chapter, at Chandigarh Press Club yesterday. One of the panelists, Dr KK Rattu, station director, Doordarshan Kendra, Dehradun, said society was going through a cultural tsunami where values, morals and ethics were crashing.

“Gender discrimination can only be eradicated by bringing openness in our society,” he said. Bureaucrat-writer Vivek Atrey said many women had risen to powerful positions , still a lot was required to be done as gender inequality still existed in society. — TNS



Teachers, lawyers, students oppose attack on Syria
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
A number of peace loving individuals belonging to different parties and activist groups, teachers, lawyers, and students gathered in the Sector 17 Plaza at Chandigarh to raise their voice for peace against the proposed limited attack on Syria by the Obama government.

Already more than one lakh people have been killed in the ongoing war in Syria and USA, supported by France, Saudi Arabia, Canada and Turkey, are planning to make capital out of the troubled waters. More than six million people have been seriously affected by the devastation of War and many of them living a life of refugees.

Kamaljit Singh of CPI (ML) Liberation said, "Syrians need food and shelter and not missiles as America is planning for them." Rabinder Sharma, a peace activist, reminded the people about the lies of USA in the case of attack on Iraq and even now chemical weapons are supplied to Syria by UK.

Prof Manjit Singh from Panjab University, Chandigarh, while addressing the gathering, appealed to the US Congress not to give permission for the use of missiles. "The way international political blocks are divided on the unilateral decision of 'limited attack' by the USA, it may take a very dangerous turn," said Prof Singh.

PL Garg, Former Registrar of Baba Farid University, strongly opposed the war and said, "It is nothing but a tactic to prop up its sagging economy by looting resources and selling arms." RS Bains, a senior advocate of Punjab and Haryana High Court, quoting history said: "War is no solution to human problems."

"Dialogue and peace are the only enduring solutions to all the global conflicts," said Sardara Singh Cheema of Sahit Chintan, Chandigarh. Prof Inder Singh while vouching for peace said that America should learn from its own history of adventurism.



Law graduates get enrolment certificates

Chandigarh, September 9
The Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh, under the chairmanship of Randhir Singh Badhran organised a function to distribute enrolment certificates among law graduates interested to enter into the legal profession and applied for issuance of licence under the Advocates Act - 1961. The function was organised in the auditorium of the Law Bhawan, Chandigarh.

Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Sanjay Kishan Kaul was the chief guest on the occasion.

The oath was administered by the Chief Justice and the vote of thanks was given by Parupkar Singh Ghuman, vice-chairman. — TNS



Sub-inspector sent to Police Lines after brawl

Chandigarh, September 9
Sub-inspector of the Chandigarh police Harinder Singh Sekhon has been sent to the Police Lines, Sector 26, for allegedly indulging in a brawl outside a discotheque at Sector 35 on August 9.

The order was issued by the Inspector General of Police after the issue came to his notice. Reportedly, on initial stage, a DDR was filled at the police station, Sector 36, but later the matter was hushed up. — TNS



Agitating PU students refuse to relent
Section 144 imposed around VC’s office and residence, to remain in force till tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
Though the District Magistrate imposed Section 144 CrPc around the office and the resident of the Panjab University Vice -Chancellor, the student leaders continued to demonstrate outside the VC's office. Of the nearly 50 student leaders protesting over alleged rigging in the PU student council elections , three landed in the hospital after their health deteriorated due to the fast. Over 100 policemen were deployed at the varsity to prevent prevent , speeches or any other kind of protest outside the office and the residence of the Vice-Chancellor. The order will be applicable from September 9 to 11 within 250 meters of the two locations. District Magistrate IM Shayin stated in his order," The decision has been taken in view of apprehension that such action may cause obstruction, annoyance or injuries to the persons lawfully employed and endanger human life and property, disturb public peace and tranquility and cause riots."
(Left) Amrinder Brar, a student of the Law Department, falls unconscious due to fasting; and students on an indefinite fast at the PU in Chandigarh on Monday.
(Left) Amrinder Brar, a student of the Law Department, falls unconscious due to fasting; and students on an indefinite fast at the PU in Chandigarh on Monday. Tribune Photos: S Chandan 

Accusing the authorities of showing haste in declaring election results to favour the NSUI, the students said on September 4, of the four department representatives elected from the University Institute of Engineering and Technology, the authorities declared an NSUI candidate winner besides two SOPU and one Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) candidates. However, on September 6, the university announced that the NSUI candidate did not win and it was another PUSU candidate who was the winner.

Student parties fail to provide evidence
Representatives of different parties who are alleging rigging in the elections sought more time to submit the evidence. Dean Student Welfare Navdeep Goyal said, "The grievances committee could not arrive at any decision as the students could not provide evidence in support of their allegations. They have sought time till Tuesday to provide the details.”

Three more hospitalised
Three SOPU leaders, including Amaninder Brar, Kuldeep Sheron and Sehajpal, were rushed to the GMSH-16 for medical care as they fainted after observing the fast for five days. They are currently under observation, said a doctor at the hospital.



11 students of city school to visit Germany under student exchange programme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 9
Eleven students of Vivek High School, Sector 38, have been selected for the Indo-German Student Exchange Programme, funded by the German Government under its programme “Schools: Partners for the Future (PASCH)”.

An announcement regarding this was made by Surinder Singh Maken, director, Goathe Institute, Chandigarh, along with school authorities, at Vivek High School in Sector 38 today. Goathe Institute, Chandigarh, a cultural institution run by the Federal Republic of Germany, is instrumental in implementing the PASCH programme in the tricity and currently has two schools as its members, including Vivek High School. In India, 40 schools are members of the PASCH programme.

Surinder Maken said there was no other way to understand any culture than to stay with the people belonging to that culture. The students will stay with some families in Germany for about two weeks. They will work on an academic project in partnership with a German school, which is precisely aimed at understanding each other’s culture.

According to Maken, the students would learn the German culture and experience the inter-cultural differences and 
similarities between the two nations. The students will stay in Darmstadt, Germany.

PK Singh, principal, Vivek High School, said through this programme their students would develop a better understanding of the two cultures and would be exposed to new ideas . Excited students said they would be working on the project, “Growing Up in India and Germany”.

Surinder Maken said the the programme would conclude when German students visit India in November and stay with the local families here. According to him, around 1,500 schools from all over the world are the part of the PASCH programme. The participant schools have been selected by the German Government’s central agency in cooperation with Goethe Institutes and local embassies. In 2013, the network will be extended from 1,530 schools to 1,800 schools.



PU/college notes
Capacity-building programme

A two-week training workshop on capacity building programme in social sciences started at the North-Western Regional Centre of the ICSSR Complex, Panjab University (PU), today. Young reserch scholars and teachers of the region participated in the workshop. Professor Surinder Kler Shukla, honorary director, ICSSR, North-Western Regional Centre, introduced and welcomed the distinguished guests and the participants.

In her keynote address, Prof Shukla highlighted the importance of such a capacity building training workshops and wished that scholars would be encouraged to participate actively in such kind of training programmes so that they could know all methodological skills to become a good researcher.

She also elaborated on qualitative and quantitative techniques and emphasised that scholars should be encouraged to use mixed methods. She further elaborated on the importance of a research plan, review of literature and plagiarism.

Panjab University Dean University Instruction Professor Madhu Raka highlighted the importance of training programmes for young scholars. Course Co-coordinator Dr Navjot proposed a formal vote of thanks. She said many of the research scholars could not produce a good quality research work because they were not in touch with the research tools and such kind of workshops would fill this gap.

Workshop on intellectual property rights

The Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Cell of the Centre for Industry Institute Partnership Programme (CIIPP), Panjab University(PU), in collaboration with the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST) organised a one-day workshop on IPR filing procedures, patentability search and patent drafting at the seminar hall

of the CIL building. The workshop was attended by 50 participants, including students and faculty members from various neighbouring institutes. Panjab University Vice-Chancellor Prof Arun Kumar Grover inaugurated the workshop. He made the participants aware about the importance of innovative research and highlighted various developments being made by PU to promote research. The Vice-Chancellor emphasised that universities and colleges need to mentor young researchers at the grassroots level and help them to take their inventions into the commercial market.

Status upgraded

MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36, has been upgraded to the postgraduate level. A communication to this effect was received from the University Grant Commission, New Delhi and the institution will now be known as MCM DAV post- graduate college for Women, Chandigarh.— TNS



from schools
Career counselling

The school management of Gurukul Global School, Mani Majra invited Bruce Osborne, director of the international business at Universal College of Learning, New Zealand, to its campus to speak on studying abroad. Bruce gave an introductory speech and highlighted the objective of the seminar by informing about options of studying in New Zealand, which is turning out to be an hub in the field of technology.

Safety Week

The little olives from The Olive Kid Early Childhood Learning Centre at Stepping Stones Senior Secondary School, Sector 37D, Chandigarh, participated in the Safety Week at Elante Mall in the Industrial Area, Chandigarh. During the campaign the children carried banners and posters.

A visit to Pakistan

In an initiative to promote healthy bilateral relations across the border, a delegate from Saupin's, Sector 32, Chandigarh, visited Pakistan. Faculty members Mamta Arora, Seema Rani represented the school. Student members Ikjot Singh, Yuvnahar Singh, Lakshay Choudhary, Sarabjit Singh and Shourya Pratap Singh were part of the delegation . The teachers and the students looked forward to the trip as it was a great opportunity to visit the neighbouring country and to have a better understanding of their culture, values and the education system.

International Literacy Day

KBDAV-7 joined the Inner Wheel Club, Chandigarh, to celebrate the International Literacy Day. Amrita Sehgal, president, Inner Wheel Club, Chandigarh, along with 30 more members of the voluntary organisation, were among the prominent guests present on this day.


Students of Shemrock Senior Secondary School, Mohali, organised a rally and seminar to spread the message of saving the environment by saving the ozone. Various events were organised to make the students aware of the dangers of harming the ozone layer. Students of Class IX took out a rally from the school to Phase VII to spread awareness among people. Earlier, an inter-class poster making competition was held for Class IX students.

Teacher’s Day celebrated

Students of Genius Public School, Sector 69, Mohali, recited poems, danced and sang group songs in honour of their teachers. Some interesting games were also organised for the teachers. The celebrations concluded with a wonderful treat and gifts for the faculty.

St Soldier School

St Soldier School, Mohali, presented an array of performances during the Teacher’s Day celebrations. Mentors were greeted warmly with greeting cards made by the students. The celebrations for the day commenced with the Ganpati dance followed by other foot-tapping dances on the famous Bollywood numbers. A PowerPoint presentation made by the students stole the show.

Gem Public School

Students of Gem Public School put up a great show on the Teacher’s Day. A special morning assembly was organised on the occasion. The celebrations commenced with a welcome song followed by a beautiful skit on the theme "A Modern Classroom". Head girl Deepnain Kaur apprised everyone of the importance of the day. The senior students took hold of the junior classes and let the teachers have a day's off.

Club show

Visitors have a look at handmade models during a club show at Saupin’s School, Sector 70, Mohali.
Visitors have a look at handmade models during a club show at Saupin’s School, Sector 70, Mohali. A Tribune photograph

A club show was organised on the premises of Saupin’s School, Sector 70, Mohali, in which various clubs like Mechanics Club, Pottery Club, Needlework Club, Art and Craft Club participated. The children of the Mechanics Club showcased their creative talent by displaying a wide range of handmade models related to simple machines used in everyday life. The show stealer were working model of quad-bike, fan and the pulley. The children put up a grand show displaying their working and non-working models and charts.

Adult Literacy Programme

Gurukul World School initiated an adult literacy programme on account of the World Literacy Day. The programme started on a happy note by an introductory talk on the importance of education. The support staff of the school was taught how to read and write by the students of Classes VI to VIII.

Grandparents’ Day

Ashmah International School, Sector 70, Mohali, celebrated the Grandparents Day on the school campus with enthusiasm. Their children welcomed their grandparents. The children gave wonderful dance performances. The little girls were dressed up like fairies. The grandparents also participated in various games on the occasion.

Swimming competition

An inter-house swimming competition was organised for Classes IX and X at the swimming pool of Doon International School, Mohali. All the 4 houses actively participated and tried to prove their skills in the pool. The swimmers of DIS swam like fish and faced the current of water bravely. In 50 m freestyle Auan of Akbar House stood first followed by Garv of Teresa House and Joravar of Ranjit House.

Awareness programme

In an effort to emphasise the need and the importance of inculcating traditional values among people a yajya was organised by Hansraj Public School, Sector 6, Panchkula. The school launched a community awareness program “Outreach” to create to sensitise people about the environmental degradation. The drive has been launched with a view to encourage the students to preserve the earth.

Teachers' salary increased

The Women Welfare Organisation, Northern Railway, Ambala, president Naveen Kathpal has announced an increase of Rs 500 in the salary of all teachers and staff of Holy Angel School. The incentive has been announced to motivate the teachers for good work on the Teacher’s Day celebrations. The teaches were also honoured by the president of the organization during the function. All members of the organisation were present on the occasion. A cultural programme was presented by the teachers of the school. — TNS



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