C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Kidnapped boy surfaces at Zirakpur
Says managed to escape the clutches of tormentors; police rubbishes his story
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 19
The 16-year-old boy who was allegedly kidnapped yesterday from outside his school called his parents this morning saying that he managed to give the kidnappers the slip.

The boy, Kshitij Goel, called his parents from outside a showroom in Zirakpur this morning saying that they can pick him up. His parents informed the police and he was taken to the Sector 14 police station, Panchkula.

The police is, however, not buying the kidnap theory. It suspects that the boy may have cooked-up the story.

“The boy said he was on his way to school and when he reached Sector 17, three men in a maxi cab asked if they could drop him to the school. When he refused, they forcibly pushed him into the cab,” said a police official.

The boy told the police that the kidnappers snatched his cellphone and asked him to make a call to his parents.

“The boy said he was unable to identify the place where the he was taken by the kidnappers. He said he was beaten up and a liquor bottle was also thrown on his face,” added a police official.

The police officials said the boy was unable to give a satisfactory reply to their queries.

The boy also said that three more men joined the kidnappers in the morning. “They then parked their vehicle near a mall in Zirakpur and when they were away, I managed escape and called my parents,” said the boy in his statement to the police.

The boy does not where his cellphone is which is switched off.

Sources in the Panchkula police said the victim was fabricating the story as doctors found no bruises or injury marks on his body during his medical examination.

Station house officer of the Sector 14 police station inspector Dalip Kumar said they were verifying the statements given by the boy.

Friend lands in trouble

Believing their son's kidnap theory, Kshitij Goel’s parents alleged that his friend planned to demand money from them. However, the police did not find any evidence against him. The boy, who was Kshitij’s classmate till Class X, was picked up by the police from his residence in Sector 20 after Kshitij’s parents said they suspected him. “He is not in a good company and I had asked my son not to talk to him, but still they remained in touch. I am sure that he kidnapped my son and it was his plan to demand ransom from us,” said Kshitij‘s father Bharat Bhushan Goel. Following the allegation, the police detained the boy and questioned him. He was later let off. Station house officer inspector Dalip Kumar said there was no evidence against Kshitij’s friend.



Punjab Police DSP commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 19
A Punjab Police DSP reportedly committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance at his residence in Guru Teg Bahadur Colony.

The deceased, Manwinder Singh, was posted at the Punjab Police headquarters in Chandigarh.

The police said in the voice message box of his cellphone, the DSP held nobody responsible for his death. “In a 12-page letter, the DSP indicated that he was being harassed by his wife, who was living separately at Jalandhar with their three children,” said a police officer.

After consuming the poison at around 1 am yesterday, Manwinder Singh called his friend Balwinder Singh, who took him to a private hospital at Morinda. Manwinder died around 12.30 pm today in the hospital.

The police said Manwinder’s wife Harjinder Kaur had also filed a criminal case against him following which he slipped into depression.

The deceased had written that the lock of his house should be opened in the presence of mediapersons after his death and the copy of the letter should also be dispatched to the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court.

In the letter, he mentioned that his car should be given to his father Avtar Singh and valuables and cash to his mother Seetal Kaur.

Station house officer Vijay Kumar said inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC had been initiated.



Punjab objects to master plan 2031
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
The Punjab Town and Country Planning Department has objected to the Chandigarh Administration’s master plan 2031 saying that it should link all three major roads in the city with New Chandigarh.

In an objection filed to the UT Administration, the department has recommended linking Madhya Marg, Dakshin Marg and Vikas Marg with the proposed roads of Mohali and New Chandigarh.

While the UT observed that connecting the roads in the GMADA regional plan with its major roads would increase the volume of traffic, Punjab has countered the argument saying that the traffic should be equally distributed for better inter-city connectivity.

The UT has only proposed linking of Madhya Marg with the Mullanpur road linking New Chandigarh in the master plan.

Road linkages apart, Punjab has also pointed out discrepancies in the demarcation of inter-state boundary with Mohali. Parts of Sectors 48, 49, 63 and 65 have been shown in the UT, indicating cartographical error in depiction of the boundary. It could affect the planning proposals.

A similar objection has been raised regarding location of a sewerage treatment plant on the Mohali-UT boundary.

Punjab has also raised an objection over the non-depiction of Patiala Ki Rao in the master plan. While one of the tributaries of Patiala KI Rao flowing towards New Chandigarh has been shown, another stream flowing in Chandigarh has not been mentioned.

What the state wants

  • Better inter-city road connectivity between Chandigarh and New Chandigarh
  • Balanced regional development with shared responsibility between UT, Punjab and Haryana
  • Assures UT, Haryana and Himachal of better connectivity with the upcoming international airport
  • Suggests UT to remove discrepancy in demarcation of rivulets
  • Removing discrepancies in the demarcation of inter-state boundary between Punjab and UT



Eve-teaser thrashed by victim
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 19
Getting an instant punishment for eve-teasing, a 35-year-old man was thrashed by the victim with a helmet at the Sector 5 bus stand in Panchkula this evening.

The 19-year-old victim was coming to Panchkula on the bus and the accused was constantly teasing her.

The victim is a resident of Kalka and had come to Panchkula for some work. When she alighted from the bus, she saw that the accused was still stalking her and was passing lewd comments.

Unable to bear it, the victim picked a helmet kept by a visitor at the bus stand and thrashed the accused with it. The accused suffered injuries on his head and arm. The police was informed.

Additional station house officer of Sector 5 sub-inspector Rajesh Kumari reached the spot took the victim and the accused to the police station.

“The victim said even when she was in the bus, the accused kept on teasing her. When she alighted from the bus, he started following and she was forced to thrash him,” said a police official.



Wrong parking: Pay Rs 1,000, get back your car
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
If you are in a habit of parking your vehicle in a no-parking area, think twice, as you will end up paying Rs 1, 000 as towing charges.

The decision was taken during a meeting of the State Level Road Safety Council today.

Police officials said earlier the violators were fined Rs 300 for wrong parking. The towing charges were not imposed on the violators.

“The decision has been taken to deter residents from parking their vehicles in the no-parking areas,” said a police official.

Officials said warning boards would be fixed across the city along with no-parking boards.

Police sources said the towing charges would also be slapped on the violators whose vehicles would be impounded during traffic or drunk driving checkpoints.

The Chandigarh Traffic Police has challaned around 5,500 vehicles for wrong parking in eight months.



Sanitation bylaws
Two held guilty for littering streets
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
Taking a tough stand against persons who violate health and sanitation bylaws by littering streets and other such transgressions, a local court has convicted and fined two city residents under various sections of the IPC and the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976.

Following a complaint filed by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, the district court convicted two city residents — Pankaj of Mauli Complex and SN Bansal of Shivalik Enclave, Mani Majra, in separate cases.

The Municipal Corporation had filed the complaint under Section 65 to be read with Sections 66 and 67 (imprisonment for non-payment of fine up to six months) of the IPC and Section 400 of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, and its byelaws.

The court also ordered to impose fine of Rs 500 each on the violators.

MC Joint Commissioner Rajiv Gupta said the MC had initiated a drive against violators who litter on streets, waste water and also violate sanitation bylaws a few months ago. Initially, the MC launched an awareness drive to keep the city clean. It then started identifying habitual violators and even issued challans, he added.

The Joint Commissioner said the sanitation bylaws state that it was the responsibility of residents to ensure that the garbage generated from their houses was disposed of properly. “Even if a resident has employed someone to dispose the garbage or even debris (construction waste), it is his or her duty to ensure that it is dumped properly,” he added.

Arvind Moudgil, standing counsel for the MC, said the court had now started taking a serious note of such violations. In some cases, the court has also issued non-bailable warrants of violators who did not turn up in the court despite several notices, he added.

Seven penalised

The court has awarded punishment to seven residents for violating sanitation bylaws. In some cases, the convicts were sentenced to undergo imprisonment till the rising of the court.



Egg on UT Administration, vigilance department’s face
Four engineering department officials, contractor acquitted of charges in two-decade-old Sukhna de-silting scam
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
Nearly 15 years after four UT engineering department officials and a contractor were convicted in a two-decade-old Sukhna de-silting “scam”, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has reversed the orders.

The judgment acquitting then superintending engineer AK Gupta, then executive engineer KS Brar, then sub-divisional engineer Surjit Singh, then junior engineer Baljinder Singh and contractor Ved Parkash, comes as a major embarrassment for the Chandigarh Administration and its vigilance department.

Mincing no words, Justice Sabina asserted: “It appears that the case was registered against the appellants on account of publication in a newspaper. However, the prosecution has failed to prove its case beyond the shadow of reasonable doubt.”

The judgment is also significant as the name of then Adviser to UT Administrator-cum-Save Sukhna Lake Society chairman, Baleshwar Rai had surfaced in the statement of the accused. In his statement before the court, accused KS Brar had asserted that Rai “attracted a lot of adverse publicity in the press”.

Elaborating, he claimed: “There were references to irregularities with regard to collections made on behalf of Save Sukhna Society. The present case was registered in hot haste to divert public attention and I and my co-accused were made scapegoats.”

After the registration of a false case, a sham investigation was initiated. As the bona fide of the investigations carried out by DSP Assa Nand was questioned, the matter was entrusted by the Administration to the CBI. Similar statements were made before the court by the other accused officers.

Contractor Ved Parkash had added that Rai told him to de-silt one lakh cubic feet of earth voluntarily without payment for the Save Sukhna Lake Society. Reacting to his refusal in June 1992, Rai threatened him. “Baleshwar Rai told some volunteers belonging to the BJP and Save Sukhna Lake Society to teach me how to do a contractor’s job,” he alleged.

During the hearing, counsel for the Chandigarh Administration claimed that the accused, in connivance with each other, misappropriated government funds. The de-silting work was not carried out with the help of camel carts in tank one. The carts were used only for tank two.

The court was also told that the matter was sent to the CBI for investigation. But the premier investigating agency did not think it appropriate to even conduct preliminary investigation into the case.

Allowing the appeal filed by the accused, Justice Sabina asserted: “The counsel for the Administration has failed to point out anything from the record that the payment for the de-silting work was to be higher in a case where camel carts were used and was lesser where de-silting was done with a machine. Since the payment was to be made to the contractor for de-silting, apparently, it was not material as to whether it was done with a machine or with the help of camel carts.”

“The contractor was competent to deal with the work of de-silting of Sukhna Lake. It appears that due to this reason, the CBI had not interfered in the matter and had not registered any case against the appellant,” Justice Sabina asserted.

“The present appeals are allowed. The appellants are acquitted of the charges framed against them. Consequently, the judgment/ order of conviction and sentence dated February 28, 1998, passed by the Special Judge are set aside,” Justice Sabina asserted.


3rd Shatabdi to halt at Ambala Cantt
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
Good news for the third Shatabdi Express passengers, as the Northern Railways has today decided to halt it for two minutes at the Ambala cantt station for the convenience of commuters.

It has been decided that the train number 12045 and 12046 to New Delhi-Chandigarh-New Delhi Shatabdi Express train will have additional stoppage at Ambala Cantt station from September 25, 2013.

As per the schedule, the train number 12046 Chandigarh-New Delhi Shatabdi Express train will reach Ambala Cantt station at 12.38 noon, while on the return journey, the 12045 New Delhi-Chandigarh Shatabdi Express train will reach Ambala Cantt station at 09.53 pm with two minutes stoppage in both ways.

The spokesperson of the Northern Railways said that the commuters were demanding its halt at the Ambala Cantt station since the commencement of the train in January. Keeping in view the persistent demand, a decision was taken today, which would benefit passengers of adjoining towns of Ambala cantt, including Rajpura and Patiala.

Sources revealed that recently, the residents of Ambala had requested Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Kumari Selja to ensure that thethird Shatabdi halted at Ambala for the benefit of commuters.

Saksham Sharma, a resident of Chandigarh, expressed happiness, but demanded that the authorities should also consider running this shatabdi on Sundays, as the other two trains had long-passenger waiting lists. As per the existing schedule, the Shatabdi train will start at 12 noon from Chandigarh railway station and reach New Delhi at 3:20 pm and from New Delhi, the train will start at 7.15 pm and reach Chandigarh at 10.35 pm. This is a direct train without any stoppages and barring Sunday, the train will run on all six days of the week. Former Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal flagged off the third Shatabdi express on January 14, 2013, from the Chandigarh railway station.



pm’s dhanas visit
UT Home Dept seeks comments from DC’s office
Unofficial person accompanied flat beneficiaries to dias to accept allotment letters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 18
The UT Home Department has sought comments from the Deputy Commissioner’s office regarding the inclusion of a name of an unofficial person in the list of CHB officials who were to accompany the 10 identified flat beneficiaries to the dias to accept allotment letters from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a function in Dhanas on September 14.

The person in question, Niranjan Kaur, her name was mentioned in the personal staff list of the Secretary of the Board. On the basis of the list forwarded by the CHB, the office of the Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) had issued duty pass of the official concerned.

On the day of the PM’s visit to Dhanas, the woman was seen on the stage an hour before the VVIP was to address the gathering and handover keys to the beneficiaries of small flats. Before the PM arrived on the scene, the Special Protection Group (SPG) officials in the PM’s security had asked the women to move away.

Sources said as per the security arrangements, the list of the officials to be present in the close cordon of the PM had to be sent to those in charge of the VVIP security. It is learnt that the UT Police is also probing the matter and is seeking the list that contained the name of the officials put on the duty by the CHB.



misuse of green belts
Cong councillors ‘pressuring’ Dy Mayor not to pursue matter
Kainth had earlier written to MC Commissioner and sought a probe and physical survey
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
To renew the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the MC and hotel owners for the maintenance of open spaces, the ‘pressure tactics’ game is now on in the municipal corporation.

Recently, Deputy Mayor Satish Kainth had shot off a letter to the MC Commissioner asking him to stop all commercial activities being carried out by hotel owners in the Industrial Area Phase I and II. Kainth had mentioned that hotel owners were misusing the open spaces adjoining their hotels by renting them out for parties, marriages, functions etc.

Sources said that now, some Congress leaders and councillors were putting pressure on the Deputy Mayor to withdraw his complaint against the hotel owners.

When contacted, Kainth said that he had forwarded his complaint to the MC Commissioner and MC officials were doing their work. Regarding he being pressurised, he said that he did not want to comment on the issue.

But the sources added that in thepast one week, two senior Congress councillors have ‘advised’ the Deputy Mayor not to pursue the matter.

Earlier, Kainth had demanded an inquiry into the case and had asked for a physical survey to be conducted by the MC to restrict such violations by the hotel and plot owners.

Letter sent by the Deputy Mayor reads, “I will like to bring this to your notice that as per the MoUs, the open spaces handed over to allottees are being misused by them, as the same are being used for commercial use and high costs are being charged for parties, marriages, functions etc. and hence they are violating the terms and conditions of the MoUs”.



house tax rates
MC to get richer by Rs 25 cr
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
The revised house tax rates will swell the coffers of the Municipal Corporation.

If the tax is imposed, the civic body will generate a revenue of Rs 25 crore against the expected collection of Rs 2.70 crore with the existing rates.

A senior MC official, who is a member of the special committee that had proposed the 20 per cent hike in the rates, said their aim was to increase the revenue of the Municipal Corporation.

"The UT Administration and the Fourth Delhi Finance Commission have also asked the MC to generate more revenue by using the resources judiciously," he stated.

The councillors have resented the revision of rates.

On being asked about the revenue collection, Mukesh Bassi, Congress councillor and F&CC member, said the civic body's aim was not to earn money. "We are bound to serve residents and should work for their welfare. The rates should not be revised," Bassi said.

House Tax Committee member and councillor Gurbax Rawat said there were a number of other ways to generate funds. "The move will only burden the common man. We are against the revision of rates," she added.

The special committee of the MC officials had proposed to divide the city into four zones and calculate house tax on residential houses on the basis of rent in the area. Besides, the committee had also proposed to impose house tax on every house and even on less than five marla houses and on LIG and EWS houses, which were exempted in the earlier house tax notification.

Recently, the UT Administration had shot off a letter to the MC for revising house tax. The letter stated: "The tax is not in conformity with the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, (amended in 1994 and extended to the Union Territory of Chandigarh) and is highly inadequate. The notified tax structure needs to be reconsidered by the MC and requires revision by the authority within three months to make it financially reasonable and economically viable."

If the House Tax Committee and the MC house reject the proposal, the UT Administration can exercise its special powers to impose the revised house tax rates.

Who will be affected?

As per the earlier notification, the number of houses to be affected was around 81,609, including 20,265 five marla and above as well as kanal houses, 7,979 houses in co-operative societies, 5,597 MIG houses, 10,675 HIG houses, 15,053 houses under the Administration and 22,040 under the Central Government. However, going by the new proposal, around 40,000 more houses will be affected.



Security guards at PGI allege harassment
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
Security guards working on a contractual basis at the PGI have alleged harassment at the hands of the contractors.

The said they were not paid well and were deprived of ESI and PF benefits.

This way the contractors are violating labour laws and the strange thing is that the PGI administration does not have a mechanism to check the practice.

There are around 65 security guards under one contractor. They work for over 12 hours everyday and are still not paid the minimum DC rates. As per the DC rates, a security guard should be paid Rs 9,500 for an eight-hour duty. For 12-hour duty, the security guards deputed at various parking lots are not being paid more than Rs 3,500 per month. This despite the fact that the PGI has appointed a labour officer to ensure that labour laws complied with. Besides, there is also a security department looking after the security concerns of the institute.

When Chandigarh Tribune sought details of the mechanism to check the alleged harassment, it failed to get a response even after 5 months.

The queries were posed on May 2 this year. Several reminders were sent but the authorities did not respond.

Queries put forth by Chandigarh Tribune

  • Whether the PGI administration and labour office keep a check on the pay rolls of the employees
  • How many licences have been issued and how many employees are working under the service providers
  • Revenue collected through these licences
  • Whether the PGI administration and labour office maintain any record of people being hired by the service providers
  • If yes, a copy of such records be provided
  • What measures are taken to ensure the implementation of labour laws
  • Which authority takes such measures and what is the routine of conducting such measures.



CIC encourages voluntary disclosure of information
Tribune News Service

The Chief Information Commissioner of India, Deepak Sandhu, at Panjab University on Thursday
The Chief Information Commissioner of India, Deepak Sandhu, at Panjab University on Thursday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, September 19
The Central Information Commission has no plans to go to court on the issue of treating political parties as public authorities to bring these under the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

Replying to media queries, Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Deepak Sandhu, made this disclosure after delivering a lecture on the RTI at Panjab University today. Sandhu, however, said the commission stood by its decision.

“We do not plan to go to court, but any citizen can approach the high courts as it’s a privilege enjoyed by them,” she said.

Sandhu said 20,000 cases were pending with the commission. In order to expedite the work, four or five new commission members would join soon, she said. She said the number of pending cases had been halved in recent times.

Addressing the gathering, Sandhu said the commission would start a campaign to promote suo motu disclosure of information from October 2013. She called upon all the public authorities to voluntarily disclose particulars of the organisation, its functions, duties and other matters, as provided under the Section 3 of the Act. She said this would help in reducing the number of RTI applications.

Referring to various court decisions on the RTI, Sandhu said Section 8(1)(j) of the Right to Information Act, 2005, did not override the right to privacy of citizens.



Sex education not a taboo: Experts
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
Referring to the rape of two toddlers, psychiatry experts at the PGI asserted that sex education must be imparted at an early age.

"Though sex education in schools is the need of the hour, it is the parents who need to start educating their children at an early age. A two-three year old child is too young to understand his vulnerability. But parents can at least make them identify the privacy of their body parts," said Dr Adarsh Kohli, professor, department of psychiatry, PGIMER.

"Children living in extremes of poverty and affluence are the prime victims. The children suffer due to lack of parental attention as in case of extremely rich families, parents remain dependant on domestic helps for raising their children and mostly remain away from the attention of the children while in poor families, the focus is on earning livelihood," Dr Kohli said.

"The poor are uneducated and are not concerned about the development and safety of their children," she said. Two children- one two-and-a-half-year-old and another three-year-old- have been brought to the PGI over the fortnight.

The three-year-old girl from Hoshiarpur was raped by her maternal uncle while the two-and-half-year-old was abducted and raped by two persons in Ludhiana.

They had suffered serious injuries and had to undergo surgeries. At present, the children are at the Advanced Paediatric Centre.

Dr Savita Malhotra, head, department of psychiatry, PGIMER, said, "Sex education is still a taboo in schools as the term is often misinterpreted by most of the parents. We do not have a well-defined language which can be used by professionals to educate children about various abuses and vulnerabilities.”


The department of psychiatry, PGI, is celebrating its golden jubilee and the silver jubilee of the Drug De-addiction and Treatment Centre (DDTC). An international CME on 'The Journey from Madness to Mental Health: The Next Fifty Years of Psychiatry' will be held on September 22-23, 2013. The department is also hosting the Seventh Congress of Asian Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry & Allied Professions and 12th Biennial Conference of Indian Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health in New Delhi from September 25-28.



DC dismisses Election Department clerk
Was absent from duty since Aug 1
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
UT Deputy Commissioner-cum-Additional Chief Electoral Officer Mohammed Shayin today dismissed the Election Department clerk, Neha Saini, who was absent from duty since August 1, 2011.

She was appointed as a clerk in the office of the Election Department, Chandigarh, on May 4, 2011. She remained absent from duty since August 1, 2011, without informing the office.

Official spokesperson revealed that her explanation was sought by the department, but she neither submitted any reply within the stipulated period nor resumed her duties. A show-cause notice was also served to her and a chargesheet was issued under major penalty on February 14, 2013, by the Deputy Commissioner for being absent from duty.

The official further said that two opportunities of personal hearings were also given by the Deputy Commissioner, but neither she nor anyone on her behalf attended the personal hearings. Later, an inquiry was initiated and she was found guilty of the charges framed against her for being absent from duty. An official revealed that an opportunity of personnel hearing was also given by the Home Secretary-Cum- Chief Electoral Officer on July 29, 2013. But no response was received from her.



New DPI(S) takes charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
New Director Public Instructions (Schools) Kamlesh Kumar took charge of the office today. A 2002-batch Haryana Civil Services (HCS) officer, Kamlesh Kumar was earlier posted in Chandigarh in 2009, before returning to his parent state.

Last month his name was approved for a posting in Chandigarh. Following the administrative reshuffle, this morning outdoing DPI(S) Upkar Singh officially handed over the charge to Kamlesh Kumar. The incumbent also briefed him about the pending administrative work of the department before leaving the office.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Kamlesh Kumar said he would work with a development-oriented vision.

“Education is a vital part of nation building, and I will work with a restorative approach,” he said.

The new DPI(S) said it would take him some time to take stock of the administrative issues before pursuing quality changes in both the academic and non-academic fields.

Meanwhile, UT schoolteachers’ unions—Joint Action Committee (JAC) and Government Teachers’ Union (GTU)—officially welcomed Kamlesh Kumar to the department.

Vinod Sharma, president, GTU, said government teachers hoped the new DPI(S) would address their long-pending demands on a priority basis.

Sharma, however, questioned the frequent change of officers holding the post of DPI(S).

“Eight DPIs have changed since 2006. Administrative stability is very important for the consistent growth of the department,” he said.

Members of the JAC said they hoped the joining of a new DPI(S) would bring a remarkable change in the standard of education in schools.

“We’ll extend our cooperation to the DPI(S) for any kind of improvement in the department and schools,” said convener of the JAC Bhag Singh.

Challenges before the officer

  • Implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, both in government and private schools
  • Setting up of a strong permanent mechanism for regularising fee hike in private schools
  • Recruitment of new teachers and administrative staff. The issue of sanction of posts is pending with the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development
  • Promotion of junior basic teachers and regularisation of contract-based and SSA teachers’ services
  • Expediting infrastructural development of new schools



school uniforms
Dept, schools fail to act tough
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
The UT Education Department is still to take an action against Mumbai-based school uniforms supplier Alok Industries, which not only delayed the supply of uniforms to government schools, but also submitted a false undertaking at the time of procuring the supply order from the schools.

The firm had wrongly mentioned in the affidavit, submitted to the government schools at the time of bidding, that it was never blacklisted or penalised on account of any delay in the delivery of school uniforms.

Later, during the inspection of records, it came to the light that the department had imposed a fine of Rs 10.60 lakh on the firm for a delay in supplying uniforms during the academic session 2010-11.

Following the revelation last month, the department had put up a case for action against the firm under the general finance rules, but nothing has happened since.

District Education Officer Ram Kumar Sharma said his office had sent the file to the directorate office, recommending action against the firm as per the rules. The matter was still under consideration, said the DEO.

Action is also awaited on the part of the government schools. Alok Industries, which was selected for supplying school uniforms by nearly 80 schools, failed to supply the uniforms on time to most of these schools. Several government schools, however, are still to issue a penalty notice to the firm.

“The Education Department should have stepped in on behalf of the schools to take a strong action against the defaulting firm,” said a government school head.

Meanwhile, issues pertaining to the quality of the uniform supplied by the firm are also emerging. Principal of Goveernment Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, Renu Puri said the uniforms did not have proper fiber blending and colour pattern. The school would put up this issue before the management committee soon, she said.

The quality test report of uniforms supplied to other schools is still awaited.



Community radio enters records’ book
Tribune News Service

The Chancellor of Desh Bhagat University, Dr Zora Singh (left), releases balloons at the end of a 100-hour radio campaign against drug abuse in Chandigarh on Thursday
The Chancellor of Desh Bhagat University, Dr Zora Singh (left), releases balloons at the end of a 100-hour radio campaign against drug abuse in Chandigarh on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, September 19
Desh Bhagat Community Radio today completed its 100-hour on-air live marathon against drug menace. Officials said with this five-day endeavour, Desh Bhagat Community Radio would enter the Limca Book of Records.

The closing of the programme was announced by UT Home Secretary Anil Kumar at 1 pm from the radio studio in Sector 9. Kumar said spreading awareness on the issue was the need of the hour. He exhorted the youth to stay away from drugs and lead a healthy life.

The Chancellor of Desh Bhagat University and chairman of the community radio, Dr Zora Singh, said drug menace had spread throughout the nation.

“We will continue to fight against this menace,” he said.

Ritu Ghai, programming head of the community radio, said thousands of people participated in the campaign. She said eight highly motivated volunteers worked round-the-clock to ensure the live radio did not go off air.



Students, teachers return from Pakistan with fond memories
Tribune News Service

Students of Saupin’s School, Sector 32, on their return from Pakistan in Chandigarh on Thursday
Students of Saupin’s School, Sector 32, on their return from Pakistan in Chandigarh on Thursday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, September 19
Five students of Saupin’s School, Sector 32, returned to the city with fond memories of Pakistan. The students, accompanied by three staff members of the school, were a part of a 40-member team on a cultural exchange tour to the neighbouring country. The tour was organised by “Routes 2 Roots”, under the aegis of the Citizens Archive of Pakistan.

Sharing his experience with Chandigarh Tribune, physics teacher Anurag Vashisht said, “I knew about Pakistan through media reports only. The personal visit removed many of the misconceptions I had about such a hospitable country.”

Student Shourya Pratap Singh said, “If given a chance, I will definitely visit Pakistan again. I have a better understanding of their culture, values and education system after this visit.”

Hindi teacher Mamta Arora talked about various places visited by the team, including Lahore.

She said such programmes fostered the spirit of friendship between the two countries.

Other team members included teacher Mamta Arora and students Ikjot Singh, Yuvnahar Singh, Lakshay Choudhary and Sarabjit Singh.



Students pledge to save trees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 19
The National Service Scheme unit of Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26, organised a plantation drive to sensitise students to the need to protect the environment.

Over 100 volunteers and faculty members pledged to save trees. Around thirty saplings were planted.

While planting a sapling, principal Dr Charanjeet Kaur Sohi encouraged the students to keep the environment clean and green. Poster-making and slogan-writing competitions were also held.



from colleges
Meet the author

Chandigarh: The English department of MCM DAV College hosted an interactive session with Sid Bahri, writer of “The Homing Pigeons”, a novel with the 2008 recession as its backdrop. Sid traced his journey from a corporate executive to a “happy writer”. He dwelt on the complexities of editing and publishing business, especially for new writers.


Mohali: Students of the Indian School of Business are organising two workshops on the campus on Friday and Saturday. The management workshop “Diffusion” and the social entrepreneurship workshop “Unconventional” aim at imparting essential management skills to the staff of non-profits as well as social entrepreneurs. Members of the Net Impact, the social responsibility club at the ISB, will provide creative and solution-oriented strategies to the attendees for taking effective actions. — TNS



from schools
Essay writing

Chandigarh: An inter-school essay writing competition was organised by Sri Aurobindo School of Integral Education, Sector 27, to mark the birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo. Around 15 schools from the tricity participated in the event. The topics included ‘Independence redefined in the 21st Century’ and ‘Lives of great men’.

World Ozone Day

World Ozone Day was observed at AKSIPS, Sector 45. Students were made aware of the danger posed to the ozone layer through a PowerPoint presentation. Students wrote slogans and delivered speeches on the theme.


An inter-section declamation contest was held at Saupin's School, Sector 32, make students aware about the burning issues of the country. Students of Class V presented their views on topics, including sixty-seventh year of independence, gender inequality and ecological imbalance.

Visit to railway station

Students of Ryan International School paid a visit to the railway station. They visited the reception area, waiting area, ticket counter and platform. They were apprised of the working of the departments, and also how a train moved on the tracks.

Hindi recitation

A Hindi recitation competition was organised for the pre-nursery and nursery students at Bhavan Vidyalaya Junior, Sector 33. Judges had a tough time selecting the winners.

GMSSS-19 eves shine

The girls’ team of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 19-C, won the Chandigarh Handball Championship held at DAV School, Sector 8. School principal congratulated the winners.


Panchkula: It was a day full of co-curricular activities at St Teresa Convent School, Sector 25. It commenced with a debate on the topic ‘My country in 2023’. Students of Classes II and III shared their thoughts on the topic ‘Peace: My Dream’. The Class IV students gave a salute to the Indian Army and emphasised on its role in maintaining peace.

Green Week

Students visit a garden during the Green Week celebrations at Golden Bells Public School in Sector 77, MohaliMohali: The pre-primary wing of Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77, celebrated Green Week with a lot of fun and frolic. The tiny tots were made familiar with the green colour and its importance in our daily lives. The kindergarten students planted tree saplings to make the environment green and pollution free.

Students visit a garden during the Green Week celebrations at Golden Bells Public School in Sector 77, Mohali. A Tribune photograph

Founder’s Day

St. Xavier’s School culminated the week-long Founder’s Day celebrations with various activities including designing birthday cards, caps and handbags. The chairman was welcomed with a bouquet and handmade cards. An inter-house folk and tribal dance competition was the highlight of the function.

Dental camp

A dental check-up camp was organised at DAV Public School. Dr Manpreet Reen Garwara discussed dental problems such as malocclusion, cavities and tartar with the students and staff, and apprised them of proper brushing techniques. After inspecting their teeth, she also prescribed treatment to them.

Puppet show

A puppet show was organised for the kindergarten wing at Doon International School. The puppets depicted the culture of Rajasthan. Children were captivated by the puppets dancing to the tune of various songs.

Visit to space centre

Students of St Soldier School visited Kennedy Space Centre (KSC) in the USA. The trip to the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) establishment included a space pass and behind the scenes bus tour of the NASA launch facilities. The children were taken to the KSC Industrial Area, where many of the central support facilities are located.

Hindi Diwas

Hindi Diwas was celebrated at Col VR Mohan DAV Public School, Dera Bassi. Students and teachers delivered inspirational speeches. Students also took part in poetry recitation, poster-making and slogan-writing competitions to highlight the impact of Hindi on our day-to-day lives. Principal Sarita Yadav talked on the importance of Hindi.

Preserving ozone layer

Students of the primary wing at DAV School, Phase X, took part in various activities on World Ozone day. They recited poems and made posters carrying messages and slogans. The students of the pre-primary wing were told about the importance of plants and trees. They were motivated to use eco-friendly products. — TNS



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