C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


City left counting hours without buses
300 CTU buses remain off-road from 10 am to 2 pm, auto drivers charge at will, commuters suffer 
Tribune News Service

Passengers wait for a bus at the PGI bus stop.
Passengers wait for a bus at the PGI bus stop. Tribune photo: S chandan

Chandigarh, September 20
The public transport system came to a halt in the city today following a strike by the CTU Workers' Union.

Thousands of commuters, including schoolchildren and patients, were put to inconvenience. Taking advantage of the situation, auto-rickshaw drivers charged commuters at will.

It was the second pen down strike by the CTU union in the past nine months. The union is demanding addition of new buses to the existing CTU fleet.

During the four-hour strike from 10 am to 2 pm, over 300 buses on the 275 local routes and suburban routes on city's periphery were off the road. The buses remained parked at the Sectors 17 and 43 ISBT.

Unmindful of the inconvenience faced by commuters, the CTU leaders addressed the workers at the Sector 17 ISBT as passengers waited helplessly for the strike to end.

An expectant woman, Kuljeet Kaur, who had to go to Dera Bassi, was seen waiting for a bust at the ISBT-17. A group of students of Government School, Sector 22, had to pay Rs 60 each to reach Mani Majra by an auto-rickshaw.

Auto drivers were seen charging Rs 70 each from patients and their attendants from the ISBT-17 to GMCH-32.

Unaware about the strike, a number of commuters kept on waiting for buses at bus stops.

"Not only the passengers were harassed, the CTU also suffered a loss. The Administration should have made alternative arrangements," said Amit Singla, a commuter.

Even at the ISBT-43, auto operators were seen charging five times the normal fare from commuters. Cashing in on the situation, a number of auto operators from Panchkula and Mohali shifted their operations to the city for the day.

The one-day strike was the outcome of the impasse between the the Chandigarh Administration and the CTU Workers' Union over the purchase of 98 buses, said CTU Workers' Union President, Bhupinder Singh.

A meeting between the union members and new transport secretary, Bhavna Garg, remained inconclusive. The officials have reportedly assured the union to end the impasse within 15 days. 

Schoolchildren suffer

A number of schoolchildren had to wait for hours before they could board a bus back home. The worst affected were the students who had to go to Panchkula, Mohali, Zirakpur, Baltana, Khuda Ali Sher and Dera Bassi. They had to wait till 2 pm for the strike to end. 



Defying age with determination 
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Dr Jagdish JaggiChandigarh, September 20
Age is no bar for this septuagenarian athlete. He finishes a three-kilometre walk without gasping for breath and performs bhangra after winning the event with flying colours.

Winning the three-km walk — Walk for Fun — has become 72-year-old Dr Jagdish Jaggi’s habit.

Jaggi says touching the finish line before anyone else makes him feel younger. Jaggi, a homoeopath and a resident of Sector 37, says optimism and strong willpower is his fitness mantra.

“On reaching close to the finish line during the fun walk, I start dancing as it makes me feel younger,” said Jaggi after finishing the walk.

For Jaggi, social work is another motivation that makes him feel healthy. “I go for a walk at 4.30 am and after returning from the walk, I exercise,” says Jaggi.

The septuagenarian, who is famous for his fitness among senior citizens, is an idol for many. “I give lectures on healthy living and healthy diet to senior citizens during meetings,” he says.

The ‘Walk for Fun’, which is organised in association with the Chandigarh Police, also saw the participation of senior citizens over the age of 90, including 94-year-old Hari Singh, 92-year-old KL Arora, 91-year-old Baldev Singh and 91-year-old Dr Prem Sagar.

President of the Senior Citizens’ Association Daljit Singh Grewal said till 2009, there was an element of competition in which men and women in different age groups had to cover different distances. However, this practice was discontinued. “Now, it is a non-competitive event with an underlying aim to get people out to enjoy the environment and breathe fresh air in the tranquil atmosphere of Sukhna Lake,” he said.



MC changing rules at its own whims
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Subhash Chawla
Subhash Chawla, Mayor

Sat Parkash Aggarwal
Sat Parkash Aggarwal (Cong)

Jannat Jahan Ul Haq
Jannat Jahan Ul Haq (BSP)

Chandigarh, September 20
In the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, it seems that there are different rules for different people and it changes rules as per the convenience of the councillors and officials.

Sample This: While recording the minutes of the monthly House meeting on August 8, the abusive language used by a BSP councillor was recorded in the minutes, whereas, Congress councillor Sat Parkash Aggarwal’s allegations were reduced to only to one sentence when he had targeted the Mayor in the House and had questioned his style of functioning .

On August 8, while leaving the House meeting, BSP Councillor Jannat Jahan Ul Haq had used an expletive and had also said that a comedy circus was being played in the House for the past one and a half year.

In the minutes, which were distributed today the expletive used by Jannat was highlighted with ****** and her entire statement was also recorded. When contacted, BSP Councillor Jannat Jahan Ul Haq said that she was upset with the functioning of the Mayor and the MC officials, which were creating hurdles in the development of Deep Complex, which fell in her ward. She said, “I had left the House, therefore, I don’t want to comment on the issue further, she added.

But on the other hand, BJP Councillor Saurabh Joshi said that the Mayor and the MC officials recorded and deleted statements of councillors as per their convenience. There were different rules for the councillors of different parties, he added.

Leader of opposition Arun Sood said that every time minutes of the meetings were tampered with and the Mayor used the minute recordings to run politics. “Whatever suits them politically, they include in minutes and if something does not suit them they delete it. The decision of the Mayor and MC regarding inclusion of Jannat’s remarks is simply to defame her and to delete Aggarwal’s comments is only to save his skin, Sood added. 

Aggarwal’s statement casual: Mayor

Jannat’s comments were included as the discussion was related to development work, which was a serious issue, but Aggarwal’s statement was a casual one and did not relate to the MC therefore, it was not included. But if Aggarwal wants that his comments be included then the MC will do so 
— Subhash Chawla, Mayor, UT



Briton held guilty for carrying drugs 
Tribune News Service

Napper Ned O’ Conner Tandy
Napper Ned O’ Conner Tandy

Chandigarh, September 20
A local court today convicted a 20-year-old British national of carrying drugs. The crime branch of the Chandigarh Police had arrested Napper Ned O’ Conner Tandy two years ago on July 16, 2011, in Sector 38.

The quantum of sentence will be pronounced on September 24.

Tandy, a resident of London, was arrested from Sector 38 (West) during a drive in 2011. The police said the accused was riding a motorcycle without helmet. On being signalled to stop, Tandy tried to flee. During search, the police found 40 grams of charas and 190 grams of psychotropic tablets from his pocket.

Tandy, completed his high school in London and reached India on May 22, 2011.

The prosecution said Tandy reached Chandigarh on May 22, 2011. He had purchased a Bullet motorcycle and had gone to Leh, Ladakh and Manali. The police had registered a case under Sections 20 and 22 of the NDPS Act at the Sector 39 police station.

Contesting the allegation during trial, Tandy said that he was staying in a hotel at Dadu Majra with his girlfriend, Lucinda, and some miscreants teased her. Tandy said he picked up a fight with them and they framed him in the case.

Contesting Tandy’s claims, the public prosecutor said it could not be believed that a British national from a good family background would stay in a hotel in the slum area of Dadu Majra with his girlfriend.

Dadu Majra is famous for the availability of drugs and there was every probability that Tandy was returning after buying drugs when he was nabbed by the police, contended the prosecution counsel. 


dental college at PU
Patients’ patience put to test
Tribune News Service

A patient returns after power disruption at Dr HS Judge Dental College, Panjab University

A youth, who came all the way from Nayagaon, shows a note asking him to come on October 4.
A patient returns after power disruption at Dr HS Judge Dental College, Panjab University; and (below) a youth, who came all the way from Nayagaon, shows a note asking him to come on October 4. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan and Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, September 20
A two-hour power outage at Dr HS Judge Dental College, Panjab University, aggravated the woes of patients coming from far-off places.

Mukesh, a patient who came walking from Nayagaon, as he did not have bus fare, had to return without getting examined.

“They have asked me to come on October 4,” Mukesh said.

Another patient from Sector 40, Aman, who had severe toothache, said, “I consulted a private physician, but he failed to diagnose the problem. Then I thought of seeking treatment at dental college. The problem here is that patients are made to wait for long.”

The services remained disrupted for over two hours (from 9 am till 11.30 pm).

Officiating principal of the college Dr Ashish Jain said, “The power backup cannot handle the load of the entire hospital. We have written to the UT Administration to give us sufficient power backup.”

Ten patients visited dental college today. While some kept waiting, the others were forced to return. 



DC wants report from civic body officials within 15 days
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 20
Unhappy with the slow pace of work on sewerage projects in Kurali and Lalru, Mohali Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu today sought a report from the MC officials.

Setting a 15-day deadline, the Deputy Commissioner told the civic officials to form a special committee headed by Additional Deputy Commissioner Puneet Goel.

The SDMs and executive engineers, public health, will be on the panel.

Action would be taken against officials responsible for the tardy work.

Sidhu asked the officials to move out of their air-conditioned offices, go to the spot, inspect the ongoing projects, meet residents and solve their problems.

He said cleanliness should be given special attention. The DC said a special campaign should be launched to remove encroachments from government land.

He said such encroachments would not be tolerated by the administration. He said all development works should be completed on time. He asked GMADA and civic body officials to speed up the work pertaining to the laying of paver blocks in Mohali. He said entry points to the town from Chandigarh should be cleaned.

In another meeting related to the Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme and the RDF, the Deputy Commissioner said the utilisation certificates should be submitted within a month so that the next instalment of funds could be made available for various works.



Finance committee okays weekly carnival at Sector 17
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
The Finance and Contracts Committee (F&CC) today gave a green signal to the weekly carnival at the Sector 17 Plaza.

The event, with a seating arrangement of 50 persons, will be held every Saturday.

The committee members decided that only cultural programmes be held in the sector. The weekly carnival was discontinued in 2010. The committee also decided that the circus ground in Sector 17 be allotted for organising wedding functions. The MC will charge Rs 20,000 for single day.

Besides, the committee also passed a budget of Rs 32 lakh to make the birth, death registration and payment of property tax online.

The members also decided that the registered associations of senior citizens would be allowed to hold a monthly meeting in the community centres without paying any fee.

In order to provide uninterrupted water supply in case of power shutdown, the committee also decided that the arrangement of mobile generator sets should be made at various tubewells. It was decided that Aqua Guards would be installed in all 
community centres.



Home Secy reviews projects
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
UT Home Secretary Anil Kumar today reviewed the progress of tourism projects being undertaken by the UT engineering department.

The Ministry of Tourism had sanctioned a grant of over Rs 20 crore to develop the city as a tourist destination. The Home Secretary visited the regulatory end of Sukhna Lake where Nature Interpretation Centre is being set up.

An amount of Rs 65 lakh is being spent on the centre which will have special features to depict the flora, fauna and bio-diversity of Sukhna Lake environs.

He also visited Kalagram where infrastructure is being upgraded on the pattern of Delhi Haat.

The place will have state pavilions where traditional items and other things will be available through master craftsmen and other artisans. The Home Secretary also visited the Sector 42 lake where Chandigarh Administration is creating a hub of culture and tourism.



PGI spends over Rs 29 lakh on litigations
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
PGIMER has spent over Rs 29 lakh as lawyers’ fee on 273 litigations in the past 23 months. Since January 2012, till now, the institution has been responding to thee litigations, including cases of alleged medical negligence and alleged discrepancies in administrative issues.

The institution that is already overburdened with an ever-rising patient rush and limited staff across different departments has consistently been spending money to resolve court cases.Between January to March 2012, the institute paid Rs 6, 47,870 to the advocates fighting its cases, including 11 payments to one advocate within three months. To pay its advocates, PGIMER spent nearly Rs 22, 35,187 since April 2012 till March 31 this year, (as per the information obtained under the RTI Act, 2005).Over these months, many cases were filed against the PGIMER, including Anupama Sarkar death case.

Anupama’s case

Parents of 15-year-old Anupama Sarkar who died on July 24, 2012, at PGIMER moved the UT Consumer Redressal Commission alleging medical negligence by PGIMER staff and CTU. In April this year, the Commission had directed the PGIMER to pay Rs 7 lakh as compensation for the medical negligence to Anupama’s distraught parents. Later, the family moved the National Commission for enhancing the compensation amount. The case is currently pending but the institution has paid some amount to the parents as a part of the legal procedure. 



Hit by SUV, 15-year-old boy slips into coma at GMCH-32
Financially weak father unable to pay for his treatment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
A 15-year-old boy, who was hit by a SUV in Mohali, last month, is battling for survival. Even a month after the accident, he continues to be in coma and his pulse rate is going down, said his father who has been struggling financially to ensure that his son’s treatment goes on smoothly.

Currently admitted to GMCH, Sector 32, Lakshaya Dhiman, who has also developed bedsores, since he has been lying on the bed for a month. “Despite undergoing a surgery four days ago, Lakshaya has not shown any improvement,” said his father Madan Lal, who runs a small electronics shop in Mohali.

Being the only breadwinner in a family of four, Madan Lal is struggling to bear with the cost of his son’s treatment. He has already spent over Rs 1 lakh for the surgery and medication. He is finding it difficult to get his son’s further treatment done.

“I don’t know how I will manage the expenses,” he said.

Lakshaya was on his bicycle when a SUV bearing the registration number of Patiala hit him on August 20.Lakshaya is a Class X student from Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 33. 



Senior citizens interact with UT Inspector General of Police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
The beautiful environs of Sukhna Lake buzzed with activity today as senior citizens began arriving in droves right from 5.30 am to take part in the “Walk For Fun” organised by the Senior Citizens’ Association and the Chandigarh Police. The walk was followed by an interaction of senior citizens with the UT Inspector General (IG), RP Upadhyaya, where issues like traffic on roads, non-functional lights were taken up.

The annual event, held in the run up to Senior Citizens’ Day for the 12th time, kept the spirits of the senior citizens alive. They demanded that stricter enforcement of traffic rules especially for two-wheelers and school rickshaws should be made, provision of community parking in sectors to relieve congestion in streets; enforcement of ban on loud music and there should be synchronisation of lights at the roundabouts. 



Displaced Kashmiri Pandits demand resettlement 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
Displaced Kashmiri Pandits under the banner of the Panun Kashmir today reiterated their demand for carving out a Union Territory under the Central Administration in Kashmir Valley for their resettlement.

Talking to the media, Panun Kashmir president Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo said that they wanted their rehabilitation to take place in Kashmir under the Constitution of India where all Indian laws were implemented and there was no hiccup of article 370.

Members of the Panun Kashmir are organising a two-day “Exhibition in Exile” at Pracheen Mandir in Sector 9, Panchkula tomorrow.



Application software developed for AGF
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
In order to streamline the process of redressing grievances received for the Administrator’s Grievance Forum (AGF), an application software has been developed.

The application is aimed at computerising the back-end workflows pertaining to the processing of the grievances received for the AGF.The application was demonstrated to UT adviser KK Sharma at a meeting held today and attended by senior officers of the Administration.Officials said that the Administrator’s Grievance Forum is a mode of redressal of grievances of the citizen at the apex level, over and above the existing dispensations for redressal of grievances at the departmental level under which the Secretary concerned and the heads of the department regularly hear the complaints/grievances/demands of the citizens.



White coat ceremony held at Panjab varsity
Tribune News Service

BDS students take an oath during the white coat ceremony at Panjab University, Chandigarh, on Friday.
BDS students take an oath during the white coat ceremony at Panjab University, Chandigarh, on Friday. Tribune Photo: s Chandan

Chandigarh, September 20
Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital, Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh, conducted its second white coat ceremony and induction programme for the BDS students at the university auditorium today.

The ceremony marks students symbolic joining in the noble profession of dentistry.

PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Arun K Grover presided over the function. Director-Principal, Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Chandigarh, Dr Atul Sachdev was the guest of honour.

Grover welcomed the students at the PU and discussed the growing gap between the need of the medical professionals and the demand.

Principal of the institute Prof Ashish Jain in his inaugural address to the gathering, infused the sprit among the young minds to serve the society.



45-day fair kicks off at Sector 34 ground
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
Chandigarh Haat, a 45-day fair to mark the upcoming festive season, began at the Sector 34 exhibition ground today.

A grand replica of the Titanic—60-metre long and 200-metre wide—which doubles up as the entrance is the major highlight.

The fair will give the visitors a glimpse of various cultures besides a chance to shop and entertain their taste buds.

A total of 105 stalls will showcase a wide range of products including electronics, engineering and automobiles, home furnishing, home decor, apparel, handicraft, handlooms and textiles.

Besides exhibitors from Pakistan, who are displaying apparels and lifestyle products, artists from various Indian states are selling ethnic products.

The food plaza and amusement park are there to captivate people from all walks of life. During the Navratras, Gujarat-based dancers will entertain the visitors with the dandiya performance. A number of cultural evenings will also mark the festivities. Adhikari and Angel will conduct a show every evening.



Police submits evidence to PU
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
The Lyngdoh committee guidelines were violated by various student organisations during the recently held Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) elections. The Chandigarh Police has submitted a report along with compact discs (CDs) carrying photographs and videos of violations to Panjab University (PU).

The Deputy Superintendent of Police (Central), Ashish Kapoor, said the department had provided the evidence of violations made by the student parties, captured on camera, to the university.

“The video footage of vehicles with stickers of various parties pasted on them, rallies and class-to-class campaigning carried out by the student parties and printed material being used for canvassing, despite the ban imposed on these activities as per the Lyngdoh committee guidelines, has been provided to the university,” the DSP said.

The police report clearly points to the fact that the poll expenditure crossed the specified limit of Rs 5,000 per candidate.

The DSP said based on several inputs the police had compiled a record of up-hill trips organised by different student parties.

“Details have been sought from the travel agencies from where the buses were hired. It is being verified as to which all parties took the students on these fun rides,” he said.

As per sources, various student organisations provided lavish food, movie tickets and liquor to the PU students to garner support for the polls.

Dean Students Welfare Navdeep Goyal said he had received the CDs from the police. He was yet to examine them, he said.

Interestingly, Chandan Rana, the newly elected PUCSC president, had claimed that he spent only Rs 4,200 on the campaigning for the student council elections.



PU asks student to shell out Rs 2.1 lakh to obtain information under RTI Act
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
Panjab University (PU) has demanded over Rs 2 lakh for providing information sought by a PhD student under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

Varun Malik, a research scholar in the department of laws, had asked for details of occupancy of rooms in the main guest house, golden jubilee guest house and faculty house on the PU campus in the past ten years.

Malik was in for a shock when the PU authorities demanded Rs 2.1 lakh for providing the information, stating that it would require over 1,200 hours each for four employees and 700 hours for another employee to compile the information, for which they were to be compensated.

Responding to the RTI application, the university stated that compiling the information was not possible during the working hours, i.e. between 9 am to 5 pm, when the employees were busy with the regular work. The staff, therefore, had to work overtime to compile the information, the reply stated.

The university said that a clerk, an assistant, a peon, a caretaker and a housekeeper would work for three hours—5 pm to 8 pm—on working days and for six hours on holidays to do the work of compilation, for which they would have to be paid on an hourly basis.

“The university has stated that each employee will take over 1,200 hours for compiling the information, for which they need to be paid the overtime charges. I have been asked to pay Rs 2.1 lakh for the same,” Malik said.

Malik accused the university authorities of discouraging him from seeking the information.

“If every employee works for 1,200 hours, putting in three hours daily, as stated by the university, it will take more than a year to get the required information,” he said. 

Not the first time

In 2009, Panjab University demanded Rs 12 lakh from the applicant, Varun Malik, for providing information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. For the 19 questions raised by Malik, the university had claimed that the reply would run into six lakh pages. Malik was asked to pay Rs 2 per page.



from schools & colleges
Blood donation

Chandigarh: The National Service Scheme unit of the PEC University of Technology organised a blood donation camp in collaboration with the PGIMER. A total of 352 units of blood were collected. Regular donors were felicitated.

Students of the Inter National Institute of Fashion Designing selected for the final round of  Ms Fresher at a hotel in Sector 35, Chandigarh, on Friday.
Students of the Inter National Institute of Fashion Designing selected for the final round of  Ms Fresher at a hotel in Sector 35, Chandigarh, on Friday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

National-level contest

The Indian School for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development has launched National Youth Ideas Challenge—iCUBE. The month-long contest running across 500 colleges of the country will encourage students to come up with ideas for making the common man’s life better, simpler and affordable. Winners will get cash prizes.

Health camp

A health check-up camp was organised for the staff of St John's High School, Sector 26. Blood tests and ECG were conducted.

Career tips

The Class XII students of Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36, got career tips from a Swiss delegation. The students were made aware of the academic, social and cultural system of Switzerland.

Daughters' Day

Students of Bhavan Vidyalaya Junior celebrated Daughters' Day. They were told to respect women. They came dressed in pink. — TNS



Do not burden schoolteachers with clerical work, says DEO
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20
Government schoolteachers will not be overburdened with any clerical work, courtesy the latest orders of the UT Education Department. In its directive issued on September 16, the District Education Office has asked all the government school heads to immediately shift any kind of clerical work to the clerical staff.

The move, reportedly, came following complaints by teachers, who alleged they were being burdened by work related to the management of funds under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, etc.

In all, there are around 10 to 11 funds being managed by two to three teachers in every government school. Managing the SSA grant entails maintenance of attendance records of teachers recruited under the scheme besides preparing their salary details and managing the use of the grant for academic and non-academic purposes.

Trained graduate teacher Ravinder Sharma, who was one of the complainants, said this practice was diverting the attention of the teachers from their primary duty of teaching the students.

“The latest order of the department should be implemented immediately,” he said.

Welcoming the order, Arvind Rana, president of SSA Teachers’ Welfare Association, said, “Those managing school funds can hardly take classes, which is a big loss to the education department.”

However, in the absence of an adequate number of clerical staff, many academicians are apprehensive about the proper implementation of the orders.

Vinod Sharma, president of Government Teachers’ Union, said in recent years, clerical work in schools had increased tremendously, but there was only one clerk in government high schools and one clerk and an accountant in the senior secondary schools.

A senior official of the department said the department had already sent a proposal for the sanction of 3,472 teaching and non-teaching posts to the Centre.

“The recruitment process will start soon after the proposal gets the nod,” said the department official.

ASSN welcomes move

Welcoming the orders, Arvind Rana, president of SSA Teachers’ Welfare Association, said, “Those managing school funds can hardly take classes, which is a big loss to the education department.” Trained graduate teacher Ravinder Sharma, who was one of the complainants, said this practice was diverting the attention of teachers from their primary duty.



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