C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Short recovery of lease money
CAG holds UT responsible
Says it caused delay in renewing lease deeds of Chandigarh Club, Golf Club
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has held the UT Finance Department and the UT Estate Office responsible for the delay in renewing the lease deeds of the Chandigarh Club and the Chandigarh Golf Club, resulting in short recovery of the lease money to the tune of around Rs 12 crore.

In the audit report for 2013-2013, it has been pointed out that there was a lapse of 33 months as the Finance Department intimated the revised lease rates to the Estate Office after the expiry of the lease agreement of the Chandigarh Club on July 19, 2010.

According to the agreement signed on August 8, 2005, between the Chandigarh Club and the Estate Office, the Sector 1 Community Centre was given on lease to Chandigarh Club Limited for five years at a monthly rent of Rs 1,08,208 with an increase of 5 per cent per annum.

Though the monthly rent for 2010-2011 was assessed at Rs 12.91 lakh with a 7 per cent increase per annum, the same could not be implemented as the Finance Department had proposed it for three years, whereas the lease was for five years.

Holding the Finance Department responsible for the delay, the CAG has pointed out that the rates of monthly rent for three years (from July 20, 2010, to July 19, 2013) as assessed by a special assessment committee were intimated to the Estate Office by the Finance Department on February 18, 2013.

However, since the lease period was of five years, the Estate Office referred back the matter to the Finance Department. The fresh assessment of monthly rent is still awaited, resulting in short recovery of the revenue.

Sandeep Sahni, president of the Chandigarh Club, said, “We have been regularly writing to the UT regarding the renewal of the lease money ever since the lease expired. We will pay as and when it is conveyed to us."

In case of the Golf Club, the UT, in its reply to the CAG, pointed out that the lease money of Rs 8.64 crore (as per the rates revised on November 11, 2012) could not be recovered as the matter was pending before the Punjab and Haryana High Court after the management of the club went to court against the increase in the lease money. The court had appointed a former Supreme Court Judge, Justice Kuldeep Singh, as a mediator to solve the matter.

Through a recent order, the UT had decided to charge Rs 1.20 crore per annum as the lease amount. The Administration will also charge Rs 10 lakh per month from the club with effect from March 16, 2008. Earlier, the Administration had offered a Rs 1.61 crore lease amount to the club.

The decision of the UT regarding the new lease amount had been communicated to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and Justice Kuldeep Singh, appointed mediator by the HC.

The Administration will also submit an affidavit in the HC to settle the dispute.



Councillors fail to utilise ward development fund
Of the Rs 40 lakh, five have spent less than Rs 10 lakh
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
While councillors of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation had proposed that the ward development fund should be increased from Rs 40 lakh to Rs 1 crore, this year till September-end, a majority of the councillors are way behind as far as utilisation of the fund is concerned.

According to the MC records, five councillors have spent less than Rs 10 lakh from their ward development fund, whereas eight councillors have utilised amounts ranging from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.

With these councillors having failed to utilise their funds, residents of their wards are awaiting basic amenities like streetlights, play equipment in parks and widening and recarpeting of roads.

Congress councillor and Deputy Mayor Satish Kainth has only spent Rs 2.84 lakh in his ward No. 20 comprising Sector 29 and the Industrial Area, Phase I. Leader of the Opposition and BJP councillor Arun Sood is also not far behind as he has spent only Rs 4.86 lakh in his ward No. 8 consisting of Sectors 37, 38 and 38 West.

Former Mayor and Congress councillor Raj Bala Malik is third in the list from the bottom as she only spent Rs 5.53 lakh in her ward No. 1, consisting of VIP Sectors 1 to 11.

Some councillors argued that they had submitted proposals for their ward, but officials were not clearing the projects, due to which they had failed to spend their ward development fund.

In the list there are some councillors who have spent a good amount in their ward from their ward development fund. Among the top five such councillors, three are from the BJP, one from the SAD and one Independent. They have spent more than Rs 38 lakh in their ward.

BJP councillor Des Raj Gupta has spent Rs 39.37 lakh in his ward No. 26, which includes some areas of Mani Majra and IT Park.

Similarly, Independent councillor Gurcharan Dass Kala, who had recently criticised Mayor Subhash Chawla for interfering in his ward, has spent Rs 39.35 lakh in his ward No. 25, consisting of Old Mani Majra and some other pockets of Mani Majra.

Likewise, Davesh Moudgil of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Harjinder Kaur of the Shiromani Akali Dal and Saurabh Joshi of the Bharatiya Janata Party have spent Rs 38.92 lakh, Rs 38.75 lakh and Rs 38.62 lakh,respectively, in their wards.



PU recommends extension for VC’s wife
Prof Neera Grover was present at meeting that discussed the issue
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
Panjab University, which had appointed Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover’s wife in the music department in 2012, has now recommended an extension of one year for Prof Neera Grover as vocal studies professor. Surprisingly, Prof Neera Grover was present at the meeting of the academic and administrative committee that recommended the extension.

Members of the committee held a meeting on July 19 and recommended her name for extension on a temporary basis.

The chairperson of the department, Neelam Paul, to a query raised by the Dean University Instructions (DUI) on whether Prof Neera Grover was present at the meeting when the issue was discussed, said she attended the meeting, but did not participate in the discussion over her extension.

The issue will now be tabled for discussion at a Syndicate meeting, scheduled for October 8, as a part of supplementary agenda.

Prof Neera Grover's appointment in 2012 had raised many an eyebrow as teaching posts in the department had already been advertised and some candidates had even been shortlisted. The university had termed it an "emergent appointment", while there were other vacant posts in the department on which no such appointments were made. The appointment was later challenged in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The petitioner has alleged that the prescribed procedure was not followed while appointing Prof Neera Grover. The matter is pending in the court.

Interestingly, the music department is short of faculty and the university has failed to fill the vacant posts during the past one year.



Dr JG Jolly dead
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Dr Jai Gopal JollyChandigarh, October 6
An internationally renowned expert in the field of blood transfusion at the PGI, Dr Jai Gopal Jolly, died at his residence in Sector 10, Chandigarh, last night. He was 87. He was keeping ill for over two years and had been lying unconscious for the past seven days.

Dr Jolly last spoke on October 1, his birthday, when his eldest daughter called him to offer her greetings. Brij, Dr Jolly's caretaker, who was with him since February 2012, was inconsolable.

Dr Jolly's children feel he belonged to the community. “My father had two families — one was ours and the other was of the common man. He was a born leader and will always remain alive in people's memories,” said Dr Neeraj Jolly, youngest son of the deceased who lives in Chicago. He said, “When he was admitted to the PGI for about six months, people whose parents or grandparents worked with my father took care of him as nurse or ward boy."

When Dr Jolly was admitted to the PGI, a nucleic acid testing laboratory was inaugurated and he visited the laboratory on a wheelchair.

Senior doctors, including heads of departments at the PGI, the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, and Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, visited Dr Jolly's house to pay their last respects.

“His name matched with his jolly behaviour. He would always keep smiling, even when he was tense, and would keep others in good spirits. He was well-connected to the common man,” said his eldest daughter, Dr Kiran Jolly.



The man who pioneered voluntary blood donation
Kanta Saroop Krishen

Chandigarh: The man who initiated the voluntary blood donation movement in India is no more. It began as a novel idea in Chandigarh when the PGI was in its early stage of construction. He took upon himself the assignment of head of the Blood Transfusion Department.

The pattern of blood connection in the country at that stage was of the labourer or a rickshaw-puller selling his blood for a pittance. The lure of money had these people giving blood far too frequently than what was safe for them or for patients.

With this new assignment, Dr Jolly took a decision to get the blood supply from voluntary donors only. That is when he created the Blood Bank Society, the role of the members of which was to create awareness about the safety and necessity of obtaining blood only from volunteers.

After the success of the initiative in Chandigarh, he convened an all-India conference and introduced this idea to blood bankers.

Thus was born the Indian Society of Blood Transfusion and Immunohaematology (ISBTI). Simultaneously, he cultivated contacts with international blood bankers. The members of the Blood Bank Society continued on the path carved out by him. The Blood Bank Society has now completed 49 years.

His dedication has ensured the provision of safe, tested and healthy blood.

The major role of the society was to get a Supreme Court judgment, banning professional selling and ensuring healthy and fully tested blood, which was achieved by the then director of common cause, Mr HD Shourie.

The man who achieved this is gone but his name will always be associated with the voluntary blood donation movement in India.

(The writer is president of the Blood Bank Society)



open house response
PGI should check prices of medicines

The PGI should check the ground realty while deciding the chemists. There is not only a need to control prices of the medicines but also the unethical practices of the chemists at the PGI, especially in the OPD. As a lot of uneducated patients and their attendants can be seen running around to enquire about the medicines and there is no help desk to assist them. They are at the mercy of the chemists.

JP Singh, Chandigarh

Move will benefit many patients

It is a good decision by the PGI to allot medicine shops to those who will give more discounts to patients. This will benefit many patients. If unused medicines are taken back by these shops, it will also be beneficial to them. It should be ensured that all the prescribed medicines are available with them.

IPS Anand, Manimajra

Check by authorities must

There is a need for the doctors and authorities to counter check whether the patients are getting the medicines at the right discounted price and not overcharged. In fact the cost price to the patient of all the medicines should be displayed on a notice board at each counter. The junior and senior residents should also educate the patients about this. The authorities need to ensure that the patients do not suffer due to such overcharging or substitution

Dr Vikas Sharma, Panchkula

It is very heartening to know that the PGI authorities have now decided to allot medicine shops in the compound to only those chemists who will sell medicines to the patients and their relatives at a maximum discount. Earlier, patients and their relatives were given medicines at higher rates and people often complained to the authorities about this. It should be ensured that the chemists do mention the printed MRP on the medicine packing covers and the discount they offer, so that it becomes clear that the buyer gets the medicines at really much cheaper rates than the markets. Only then will the patients and their relatives who accompany them will be satisfied that the chemists in the PGI are not fleecing them. Only this system will enhance the sale of the medicines there and the chemists and the patients will definitely benefit from this system. There must be someone from the PGI to check if the chemists are really selling medicines to the patients at a maximum discount and are not charging higher prices.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

A wise step indeed

People go to the PGI in emergency, as it is considered the citadel of one of the best medical treatment, offered in the country. When they go to buy medicines, prescribed by the doctors, they are literally fleeced by them. Exorbitant prices are charged from them. But it is heartening to learn that the PGI authorities have come with a very humane, wise and judicious decision to alleviate the misery of the patients and at the same time not taxing the shopkeepers by auctioning the shops to the highest bidder. The alternate criteria they have fixed is the highest discount they can offer to the patients. A wise step indeed!

Priya Darsh Growar, Mohali

PGI rectifies its folly

Though rather late and after a lot of heart burning, It has dawned on the PGI Administration, that till now it was fleecing the patients and their harried attendants. The chemists doing their business on the PGI premises were forced to charge exorbitant cost of medicines just because of the astronomically high rentals charged from them. Being a government establishment for welfare, wisdom has now prevailed on the PGI authorities. Therefore, its decision to allot the shops, now on wards, to such chemists , who will offer maximum discount at the sale counters, so as to afford some relief to the customers .

SC Luthra, Manimajra

Open house question

The Punjab and Haryana HC recently mentioned about the poor condition of cycle tracks in the city. Despite the city being declared cycle-friendly, the UT Administration and the MC have failed to maintain the cycle tracks. This has resulted in potholes on the cycle tracks. At several places vehicles can be seen parked on these, while as some others garbage lies dumped on the tracks. Is there a need for making the cycle tracks more user-friendly by incorporating design changes as done at the rotary of Sectors 20 and 27 and formulate a mechanism to ensure regular maintenance and optimum utilisation.

Write your suggestions to openhouse@tribuenmail.com


Homecoming for ex-Chief Justice
To get the full possession of his house from his son before October 10
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
This Dussehra in Chandigarh, not son Rama but father Dasharatha will return back to his home. We are talking about former Chief Justice Shanti Swarup Dewan, who, after months of legal tussle, has finally hopes he will get the full possession of his house from his son before October 10 (three days before Dussehra), thanks to the recent directions of the Supreme Court.

All across the city, people are busy celebrating the life of a dutiful son, Lord Rama and other duty-bound mythological heroes, including Sharvan and Bharat. But realities of our modern times are in complete contrast to the era of mythological legends.

"What a great fall in our society that worships legendary Sharwan Kumar and Lord Rama everyday! This particular incident holds a mirror of what is happening in our society with particular reference of deterioration in our relationships," says Robin Gupta, a retired bureaucrat and writer.

He says the breaking down of joint families is responsible for shattering India's spiritual and cultural tradition, especially the code of conduct, known in Hindu Mythology as "Dharma".

Earlier in joint families, father's inheritance would automatically shift to his siblings out of love. Now, young ones either leave their aged and ailing parents for green pastures abroad or those who stay with them forcefully try to take their inheritance.

A former president of the Chandigarh Senior Citizen Association, Major-Gen ML Kundal (retd), is of the view that it is high time that people need to change their cultural mindset and accept the fact that they have tremendously changed as a society.

"I know many old people who lived in the garages in their own houses but did not go against their siblings, because of their cultural and social bindings. In such conditions, Justice Dewan's incident is exemplary because he could manage to come out and fight against his son. I am sure it must have been a tough decision for him," he says.

President of the Chandigarh Senior Citizens' Association Daljit Singh Grewal says this incident might not change people's mindset immediately but it will certainly boost their morale. "We have several such examples in our society where siblings thrash their parents for their property. Such incidents must be reported and made public," he said.

Many in the city are also of the view that more awareness should be spread about the recent Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act-2007, which has already been implemented in the city.

"We also need a more sensitive approach from enforcement and legal agencies towards the cases of senior citizens," he says.

What the residents say

I wish the courts would be equally prompt in taking up cases of similarly placed ordinary senior citizens. We have been asking for setting up fast-track courts to handle senior citizens' cases. Unless this is done, most of them may never get justice in their lifetime. It is also important to spread awareness about the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007.

Brig Keshav Chandra, Former president, Chandigarh Senior Citizen Association

It is important to spread awareness about the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act-2007. This Act is well implemented in the city but there is still need to do a lot more. All sector welfare organisations, NGOs, print and electronic media and religious bodies need to join in this awareness campaign.

Major-Gen ML Kundal (retd), former president, Chandigarh Senior Citizen Association

Verdicts by both the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Supreme Court have endorsed that senior citizens can't be taken for granted by their siblings. But, similar cases involving senior citizens should be taken promptly.

Captain Ramesh Sood (retd), Panchkula

Chief Justice Dewan's case is shocking. Children can't forcefully take their parents' inheritance and harass them. But, both the parents and children should try to bridge the generation gap. Children should realise that the parents are very important for them and they should show concern for them. Parents, on the other hand, mould them a bit. However, disrespect and harassment to the parents is unacceptable

S Kumar, Retired Deputy Director, Haryana Education Department

What a great fall in our society that worships legendary Sharwan Kumar and Lord Rama everyday!

— Robin Gupta, ex-bureaucrat



City finally gets a direct train to Shirdi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
After a long wait, the city resident finally got a direct train from Chandigarh to Sai Nagar, Shirdi. MP Pawan Kumar Bansal flagged off Kalka-Shirdi train from the Chandigarh Railway station here today. The bi-weekly superfast train was approved in the last railway budget.

On its outward journey, it will depart every Thursday and Sunday at 7:40 pm and will reach Sai Nagar, Shirdi, on Friday and Monday at 10:15 pm having stoppages at Ambala Cantt, Panipat, New Delhi, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Mathura, Agra Cantt, Gwalior, Bhopal, Bhusawal and Manmad.

On its return journey from Sai Nagar Shirdi weekly train, it will depart every Tuesday and Saturday at 10 am from Shirdi and will reach Chandigarh on Wednesday and Sunday at about 12 noon having stoppages at Manmad, Bhuswal, Bhopal, Gwalior, Agra Cantt, Mathura, Hazrat Nizamuddin, New Delhi, Panipat and Ambala Cantt.

The president of Sirdi Sai Samaj, Chandigarh, Rajesh Kalia, welcomed the move but said that quota of seats from Chandigarh was not adequate. He said that Kalka-Shirdi train had just 85 seats for the Chandigarh station. Running twice a week, maximum 170 residents could travel every week. The quota however needs to be increased to at least 150 seats per train since at least 500-600 pilgrims travel to Shirdi from Chandigarh.

The train comprises of total 13 coaches having the composition of 2-Tier AC (01 coach), 3-Tier AC (01 coach), sleeper (03 coaches) and unreserved (06 coaches) and SLR's (02 coaches).



navratra fest
1.26 lakh devotees throng Mansa Devi temple
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 6
The Mansa Devi temple saw a whooping donation and huge crowd on the second Navratra today. As many as 1.26 lakh devotees thronged the temple premises. Rs 29.95 lakh, 15 gold 'nugs' and 181 silver 'nugs' were also received as donations today. Foreign currency was also received in which 25 Canadian dollars, 28 American dollars, 55 pounds, five Australian dollars and 130 Euros have been received.

Today, Justice SK Mittal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court presided over the hawan held today at the shrine. District Sessions Judge Ravi Kumar Sondhi was also present on the occasion.

Tomorrow, Haryana Governor Jagannath Pahadia will be holding the hawan at 9 am.

Mittal also visited the legal literacy camp set up at the shrine for the devotees. He said on November 23, a lok adalat at the national-level would be held. He said that he was sure that lakhs of cases would be settled in just one day.

Being a Sunday, devotees thronged in large numbers to pay obeisance at the shrine.

The nine-day fest was inaugurated by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda yesterday. Yesterday, till 6 pm, as many as 60,000 devotees had paid obeisance at the shrine. Rs 9, 83,806, 3 gold 'nugs' and 44 silver items were donated yesterday. Two American dollars, three Australian dollars, five England dollars and 15 Euros were received yesterday.



ramlila in city
Muslims, Christians play key roles
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
Ramlilas of Chandigarh have a unique feature of members of different communities including Muslims and Christians playing prominent roles in centuries old Ramlilas. For instance, Ram Lila in Manimajra has three Muslim artists, playing prominent roles.

“I think religion should not be criteria to judge people,” says 27 year old Nasir Ali Khan while preparing for his role of a Hindu Brahmin at Sector 28 Ramlila. A sales executive by profession, Nasir says that all religions preach similar things; therefore people should stay together irrespective of their religion.

One of the artists, Taj Ali, said he never hesitated to play the role of Hindu Gods since he has no different definitions of religion. It is due to narrow mindedness of few people that society is being divided.

Shoaib Zaidi, a professional theatre artist, plays 6 different roles in Ramlila, says that the participation has given him an opportunity to know more about Hindu religion and its culture. “I think we can bridge difference among different communities if we start learning more about each other’s culture and religion. There will be no scope for misconceptions,” he adds.

Sector 30 Ramlila, organised by Ashvani Bal Dramatic Club is a unique platform since it has members of all religions including Muslims, Christians and Sikhs, playing prominent roles. Two members of Muslim community- Zahir Khan and Sanjeev Khan are actively participating in the Ramlila.

Sanjeev Khan, general secretary of the club, said, “In our area, we celebrate all the festivals together- be it Diwali or Eid. We all are young people and have no hard feelings against any community. We in fact promote peace and harmony among people and Ramlila is one of the platforms that give a message of eradicating evils from the society.



Delay in repair work at park irks residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
Residents of the AG Audit Colony, Sector 41, are facing problems due to the pending repair works at a park in their area. According to the residents, the park was uprooted a week ago and no effort has been made to complete the pending work.

“The area was uprooted a week back and after that no repair work was carried out. The park serves regular walkers and children of the area but its present condition has left all of us in worry,” said Ravinder, a local resident. Another resident Ashok said: “Due to recent rains, the condition of this ground has become exacerbate. Authorities are not interested in the repair work. Moreover, foul smell mars the area.” An official said the work was stopped due to change in weather. “To level the surface, the belt was uprooted. The repair work was expected to start soon but recent rains and some holidays made the work pending. But it will start soon,” said the official.



FOSWAC urges RWAs to adopt parks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The Federation of Sector Welfare Association (FOSWAC) today held its monthly meeting at the Community Centre in Sector 18 during which the Resident Welfare Associations (RWA) were urged to adopt neighborhood parks for maintenance.

PC Sanghi, chairman, FOSWAC, said till now out of 1,566 neighborhood parks only 380 parks have been taken over by the RWAs for maintenance.

He impressed upon the members that as a public participation initiative, all the RWAs should take over the maintenance of remaining parks in their respective areas as the Municipal Corporation (MC) have raised the maintenance charges to Rs 2.48 per square meter.

During the meeting, the representatives of different RWAs demanded that the common and specific problems concerning to their areas should be addressed by the MC on priority by holding periodical interaction with them.

The FOSWAC members said the MC should take immediate steps to start next phases of the Kajauli Waterworks to meet the increasing demand of water in the city. Members said the proposal to install around 100 tube wells at a high cost to make up the deficiency would not be a technically and financially sound proposal as it may result in wastage of money and depletion of water table.



Punjab Regiment to hold reunion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The Punjab Regiment, one of the oldest and most illustrious infantry regiment of the Army, will be organising its 11 Reunion at its Regimental Centre at Ramgarh Cantonment in Jharkhand from October 25 to 27. A reunion is held once in four years and is attended by serving as well as retired officers, junior commissioned officers other ranks and war widows.

Stating this during the annual get-together of the Chandigarh chapter of the Punjab Regiment Officers Association, the Colonel of the regiment, Lt-Gen BS Sachar, said the reunion would also coincide with the regiment’s 25th biennial conference where the commanding officers of all its battalions and senior regimental officers would discuss various issues pertaining to the regiment.

General Sachar said the performance of battalions of the regiment deployed for anti-terrorist operations in Jammu and Kashmir had been commendable. The 22 Rashtriya Rifles battalion at Sopore, affiliated to the Punjab Regiment, has been adjudged the best battalion in that sector for two years in a row and had the highest number of awards that were announced on Independence Day this year.

He added that 16 Punjab was successful in countering attacks by Pakistan’s border action teams while 17 Punjab recently neutralised three militants who had infiltrated from across the LOC.



Kharga Corps celebrates 42nd anniversary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The Army’s premier strike formation, Kharga Corps, celebrated its 42nd Raising Day at Ambala cantonment today. The corps was raised at Krishnanagar in West Bengal in 1971 under Lt-Gen TN Raina, who later became the Chief of the Army Staff. Under his command, the corps successfully accomplished tasks assigned in East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, during the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

In a solemn ceremony organised to commemorate the occasion, the General Officer Commanding, Kharga Corps, Lt-Gen RP Shahi, laid a wreath at the Vijay Smarak to pay homage to the martyrs. He also conveyed his greetings and best wishes to all ranks, civilian personnel and their families on the occasion, a statement issued here said.

A 200-year-old silver sword, ‘Kharga’, presented by the Raja of Krishnanagar, had been adopted by the corps as its formation sign. The Kharga, the main weapon of Goddess Durga, with which she used to slay demons, is a symbol of valour and strength.

In its present location since 1985, the formation has participated in the key operational roles and rendered yeoman's service in aid to the civil authorities during disaster management and nation building efforts.



reporter’s diary
Councillors on shopping spree for study tour

These days MC councillors are busy in shopping. But wait --- this shopping is not for the festive season but it is for a study tour. Though they are hardly aware of the problems of the city and what solution they will get in states like Gujarat and Hyderabad, where they are leaving for the study tour this month, they are mainly concerned about their clothes.

A councillor says they are buying new clothes, as they should look good because they are representing the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. But, a big question here is that will these study tours be fruitful for the city or will these tours remain ‘leisure and pleasure’ tours. Seeing the records of the previous study tours, the city residents have very less hope from these study tours as well.

Singing their way to grab attention

Politicians are best at grabbing attention. At a gathering of the Congress workers in Chandigarh, some of the local leaders created unpleasant moments for the AICC General Secretary, Dr Shakeel Ahmed, when they literally grabbed the mike to sing in the praise of MP Pawan Kumar Bansal.

Number game

At a recently held Senate meeting at Panjab University (PU), one of the Senate members, after getting the information that a college Principal from Punjab, who is also a Senate member, would arrive at the meeting after lunch to defend a college issue, literally started holding the Senate members back for post-lunch session to outnumber the supporters of the Principal. The Senator in the middle of the meeting was also found preventing the Senate members from moving out of the hall, and asking them to wait till the issue was discussed.

Accused official faces awkward situation

Visitors to the Mohali District Courts on October 3 were in for a surprise when they saw an accused reprimanding the police personnel, who had brought him to the courts for a hearing. The accused was none other than Punjab Police Superintendent of Police Mohan Lal, who has been facing trial in a criminal case following his 23-year-old friend, Lovepreet, allegedly committed suicide by jumping off the sixth floor of his flat at Zirakpur. Mohan Lal lost his cool when he was asked to sit in ‘Bakshikhana’ with the other accused. “You used to salute me, now you want me to sit in this room,” said the SP while scolding the policemen. Then he was provided a chair in another room near the court.

Scramble for VVIP passes

Come Navratras and there is a scramble for VIP passes for the Navratra fest held in the Mansa Devi temple complex. Many servants of senior officials and local politicians were seen with their applications for VVIP passes at the office of the shrine board on Thursday. A local politician demanded 1,800 passes. But, all had to return disappointed as this time in order to streamline the system of passes, they did not even get half the number they demanded. Good job done by the Panchkula administration!

Better late than never

The adage, "Better late than never", goes well in the case of the Nangal-dam-Hazur Saheb (Nanded) new super-fast express train, which was flagged off last week amid great fanfare at Nangal, and welcomed in Chandigarh by former Railway Minister and MP Pawan Kumar Bansal. The press note about the train schedule was issued the next day. Interestingly, the press note was issued by the Northern Railway after the train had covered more than half of its journey.

New footballs

Finally, the draught of ‘new footballs’ at the Football Stadium of Sector 17 is over, thanks to the recently concluded all-India football tournament. The UT Sports Department always allots a special quota of ‘new footballs’ for this tournament and after the tournament gets over, some of these new balls are taken by the members of the stadium. Interestingly, this is the only time, in a year, for the stadium to receive new and few footballs.

Contributed by: Rajmeet Singh, Rajinder Nagarkoti, Akash Ghai, Amit Sharma, Aarti Kapur, Deepankar Sharda and Hina Rohtaki



Power cuts in city

Chandigarh, October 6
Ahead of maintenance work at the Nalagarh Grid Substation, certain sectors faced short power cuts here today. The department suspended power supply to some sectors of the city due to the maintenance work at the 400/200 KV Nalagarh Grid Sub-station.

The substation was closed for almost 10 hours. The cuts, however, did not affect the main sectors of the city. Sector 38 (West), Industrial Area, Phase-I, Sectors 52 and 53 were affected by power cuts. — TNS



Musical events, rock show mark Day 2
Bollywood stars Minissha Lamba, Arya Babbar attract huge audience at Apratim’13
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The second day of Apratim’13, the fest at the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology, Sector 26, witnessed a series of musical events, including the rock show. The evening attracted a huge audience as Bollywood stars Minissha Lamba and Arya Babbar paid a visit to the fest.

The Day 2 got an early start with the junkyard wars where students came up with various innovative ideas of making the best out of broken spares. The head turner of the day was the rock band performances by distinct colleges across the city, which not only rocked the stage but also brought a wave of zeal in the students. Dramatics events like ad mad, mime and movie making further explored the theatrical talent among the youth. Tattoo making and face painting were the colourful fine arts events. “Robo war” was the major technical attraction. Students of various colleges participated in the event and brought up robots installed with highly advanced weaponry.

The thumping of the heartbeats could be heard aloud when the coolest rock band, The Local Train, performed live for the crowd. The awesome guitar show swept the floor under the feet.

The day got more glitzy and glamorous as Minissha Lamba, Gurpreet Ghuggi, Arya Babbar and Gurpreet Bhullar, the star cast of "Heer and Hero", stepped on the stage.



10,738 students take part in abacus contest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The eighth national-level abacus competition was held at the Lajpat Rai Bhavan, Sector 15, Chandigarh. As many as 10,738 students of 429 various centres of Challengers from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Jammu & Kashmir participated in the competition.

During the competition, the participants performed live demonstration of their mental calculation skills before parents and guests to realise them that how their brain works faster than any calculator or computer.

Students easily solved 100 problems of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, decimals, etc. using abacus as well as mentally in just 8-12 minutes, well within the allotted time of 20 minutes.

The winners will be declared on October 19, 2013. They will be awarded by Sikander Singh Maluka, Education Minister, Punjab.

Sanjeev Kumar, director, Challengers group, said such types of competitions would create a great motivation to the participants and it would increase the awareness of abacus education in society.



263 schools to lose associate status
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 6
For not fulfilling the required conditions being laid under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) has decided to cancel the associate status of 263 schools from the next session across the state.

Giving details, the secretary of the board, GS Batth, said during the inspection, the condition of these 263 schools was not found up to the mark.

“Out of the total, as many as 146 schools were found being run on less than 200 sq yd space. As many as 29 schools were found closed, while 88 schools, which have near about 200 sq yd space, were having less than 100 students,” said the secretary.

A total of 713 schools, having less than 500 sq yd space, were inspected, said Batth.

“From April 1, 2014, these schools will not be allowed to give new admissions. The decision on the schools, which have space between 200 sq yd and 500 sq yd, but are equipped with proper facilities, will be taken soon in a meeting with the Punjab Education Minister,” said Batth.



Rayat-Bahra students excel
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 6
Gurleen Kaur brought laurels to the Rayat-Bahra Institute of Engineering and Biotechnology (RBIEBT) by securing first position in BTech. In the postgraduate engineering course, Amit Rana got second position in MTech.

Rayat-Bahra students brought laurels to the Rayat-Bahra Institute of Engineering & Biotechnology (RBIEBT), Mohali campus, by winning meritorious positions at the graduate and the postgraduate-level engineering courses in the Punjab Technical University (PTU) merit list in session 2013.

Congratulating the students on their feat, Gurvinder Singh Bahra, chairman of the institute, said: “The students who outshine in the merit list of the PTU are a source of motivation for the existing students, and their outstanding performance will direct them towards the better prospects”.



Modelling competition held
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 6
Students of the Aryans Group of Colleges had fun when a modelling competition was organised on the Nepra village (Banur) campus here. The students of BTech, MBA, BBA, BCA, BEd, BA, BCom, Polytechnic and Nursing participated in the competition.

Dr Anshu Kataria, chairman, Aryans Group, presided over the function.

Students walking on ramp were looking like professional models. After the ramp walk round, three rounds related with personality tests were conducted. In the end, suitable titles and gifts were distributed.

Dr Kataria said such events help in refreshing the students and develop harmonious environment on the campus.



‘Parsai Ki Duniya’ highlights common man’s life

Chandigarh, October 6
The play “Parsai Ki Duniya” staged at Punjab Kala Bhawan, Sector 16, presented a collage of stories touching common man’s life. Directed by Sumit Kalia and Rajesh Kumar, the play was a combination of three stories written by Harishankar Parsai.

The greed to make more money at the cost of moral values was the theme of story “Vaishnav Ki Fislan”. It told the story of Vaishnav, a Brahmin, who in a bid to earn profit started serving non-vegetarian food and alcohol in his restaurant, besides prostitution. The “common man” was a silent observer of happenings in other stories, including “Pitne Pitne Mein Fark” and “Chuha Aur Main”. The cast included Sumit Kalia, Rajesh Kumar, Khushboo Sharma, Abhishek Punia, Nitin and Madhusudan. — TNS



DJ party

A DJ party was organised at the auditorium of the Evening Department on the Panjab University campus by HIMSU, a students’ front of Himachal Pradesh, to celebrate the party’s recent win in the Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) elections. HIMSU had given their unconditional support to NSUI candidate Chandan Rana, who won the elections for the presidential post. Party chairman Abhishek Sharma said more than 450 students participated in the party.

NSS camp

The seven-day NSS camp concluded at the Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36. The occasion was marked with great fervour and enthusiasm. Programme officer Dr Anuradha Agnihotri highlighted the activities that were conducted during the camp. The celebrations began with a prayer by volunteers, followed by feedback from all NSS volunteers. The highlight of the function was a performance by the children of Kajehri village. The NSS volunteers presented a cultural programme. A skit emphasising the importance of values presented by the volunteers was immensely enjoyed by one and all. Dr Jyoti Khanna, principal of the college, highlighted the importance of the NSS camp for the students. She also shared the experience of the students and how they enjoyed the camp.

Heritage fest

Post Graduate Government College, Sector 46, organised various items like mime, mimicry, skit, histrionics and drama at the PU Zonal Youth and Heritage Festival (Chandigarh Zone A). The collge premises was decorated with flowers. Principal of the college Dr Gurjeet Kaur addressed the audience and welcomed the judges of the events. Audiences were spellbound by the lovely performances by the students of various colleges of Chandigarh. They won a lot of applause from the audience. All items were held in the college auditorium. — TNS



Spell bee contest

Oakridge International School, Mohali, organised a grand spell bee contest for the children of Mohali under the title “are you a word wizard” to find out the champion of spellings. The Oakridge campus was abuzz with elated children from almost all renowned schools of the tricity. Children aged between 7 and 10 years competed for the junior spell bee title, while those between the age group of 11 to 14 competed for the senior spell bee title. In the preliminary round of the champion of the spelling contest, children took a dictation test with questions on jumbled words and missing vowels. Of the total participants, 30 from both categories made it to the semifinal round. From the semifinalists, 20 students cracked the second round and entered the final round. Kush Alam from Rayan International School won the contest in the senior category, while Aanandita kapoor from Strawberry Fields bagged the spell bee champion award in the junior category.

World Peace Day

World Peace Day was celebrated at Anee’s School, Mohali. Slogan-writing and poster-making competitions were organised on the occasion. A rally was also organised. Students of classes VI-VIII participated in the rally with great enthusiasm and zeal. Principal Harpreet Kaur Grewal conveyed the message to the students to live happy and peaceful life.

Eye check-up camp

A free eye check-up camp was organised at St Paul’s International School, Phase VI, Mohali, in collaboration with JP Eye Hospital. Dr Abha and her team from the hospital examined more than 300 students. Principal Alka Mahajan appreciated the efforts, and said the camp was an integrated part of the ongoing celebration of healthy body healthy mind spirit.

Grandparents’ Day

Shemrock Senior Secondary School, Sector 69, Mohali, celebrated Grandparents’ Day on its campus. Students and their maternal and paternal parents made their presence felt by mixing up with students. The special guests (grandparents) were presented with flowers by the students. Cultural programmes like plays, dances, songs, action songs, etc., were organised to entertain grandparents.

Blood donation camp

A blood donation camp was organised by Hallmark Public School, Panchkula, at its premises in Sector 15 on Sunday. The camp was the third in the series organised by the school as part of its commitment towards social responsibility. As many as 147 units of blood were collected on the occasion. Sunil Talwar, Deputy Mayor, MC, Panchkula, was the chief guest, while Davinder Kumar Neetu, president, City Club of Blood Donors & Social Welfare, Kotkapura, was the guest of honour. Davinder Kumar Neetu has donated blood 70 times and has been a regular State Awardee from Punjab since 2006 for his services. — TNS



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