C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Audit report puts MC in dock
14 officials having government vehicles, mobile phones availing allowances
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
The audit report of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has raised objections over the allowances drawn by senior officials of the civic body.

The audit report revealed that officials of the MC, including the chief accounts officer, who have been allotted government vehicles, were also availing conveyance allowance.

On the basis of audit objections, the MC prepared a list of four officials who were availing dual benefits. The list includes the names of chief account officer Desh Raj Chaudhary, personal assistant to Municipal Commissioner Jatin Saini, computer programmer Mahesh Gandhi and superintendent of the enforcement wing Kashmira Singh.

Similarly, 10 officials of the civic body having official mobile phones were drawing cellphone allowance.

When contacted, MC Joint Commissioner Rajiv Gupta said they had prepared a list of officials and had sought report from the accounts department to make recoveries from the officials.

The audit report, a copy which is with Chandigarh Tribune, reads: “As per the instructions of the Punjab Government issued in December 2011, duly adopted by the Chandigarh Administration, cellphone allowance and conveyance allowance are granted to certain category of government employees. Those employees who have been allotted government vehicles are not entitled to conveyance allowance. During the course of checking of log books of government vehicles, it has been observed that Desh Raj, chief accounts officer, is using government vehicle and is also drawing conveyance allowance.”

“Similarly, employees who are already entitled to mobile phone facility may elect to retain the same. During the course of vetting of posts and salaries as per the budget estimates for the year 2013-14, it has been observed that 10 officials have retained the mobile phone facility and are simultaneously drawing cellphone allowance.”

The report further reads: “The MC was advised to instruct the officials accordingly and necessary recovery should be made immediately under intimation to the audit wing. No action taken report against the officials has been submitted to audit wing till now.”

Officials availing dual benefits 

Vehicle allowance

* Chief account officer Desh Raj Chaudhary

* PA to Municipal Commissioner Jatin Saini

* Computer programmer Mahesh Gandhi

* Superintendent (enforcement wing) Kashmira Singh

Cellphone allowance

* Assistant controller (F&A) Khagesh Bhandari

* Sub-divisional engineer Dharminder Singh

* Sub-divisional engineer Vinod Kumar Vyas

* Sub-divisional engineer Ajay Garg

* Section officer Prem Singh

* Section officer Balraj Chitkara

* Section officer Ankur Bansal

* Section officer Harjinder Singh

* Supervisor Ved Prakash

* Supervisor Mahesh Nain



Drunk driver’s licence suspended 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
As a deterrent to habitual offenders, a court today suspended the driver’s licence of a 25-year-old youth who has been challaned thrice for drunk driving by the UT traffic police.

The court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Rajnish Kumar Sharma suspended the license of Shobhit Gupta, a resident of Sector 32, for a month. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 3,000 on him, besided sending a copy of the order to the RLA. The court took the action after the UT traffic police initiated the practice of sending the past record of drunk drivers to the court along with the challan. The traffic police is making optimum use of its software which reveals the past history of the offender once he comes to get his challan released. This gives the court the background knowledge of the offender. The judge can raise the fine amount and suspend the licence as well.

The offender, Shobhit Gupta, was challaned third time this year on Tuesday evening for drunk driving. The police also impounded his car (CH01-AH-6031) when he was found drunk at a police barrier yesterday.

Besides, another six residents of the city were made to stand till the rising of the court for drunk driving. 

Violations galore

The UT traffic police has issued 3,693 challans for drunken driving to date this year as against 3,647 last year.

Efforts on to check drunk driving

DSP (traffic) Kamaldeep said: “We are trying our best to intensify the campaign against drunk drivers. The UT traffic police is sending the previous record of the offenders to the court along with the challan. The initiative aims to deter the drunk drivers from committing the same offence again. While suspension of the driver’s licence is a strong deterrent, the court has the discretion to imprison the driver as well.”



Mohali civic body turns Patiala ki Rao into dumping ground
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 16
The Mohali Municipal Corporation has been continuously dumping garbage into the seasonal rivulet Patiala ki Rao at Phase VIII-B, Industrial Area, for past few years.

The practice goes unchecked in contravention of the High Court orders and environment and pollution norms.

The non-segregated garbage, around 100 tonnes daily, is being dumped at the non-designated site, which is just a stone’s throw from the Industrial Area. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had issued an order in 2012 directing the authorities to dump garbage at the designated site, which is about four kilometres from the present site. The garbage is spread over 2.5 acres on the banks of the rivulet.

Nikhi Saraf, president of the Mohali Industry and Commerce Association, who has also filed a petition in the court in this regard, said the industrial workers were exposed to air pollution which could lead to serious health problems.

“In the absence of segregation, toxic, medical waste and e-waste is being dumped at the site. The situation worsens during rains when the rivulet overflows and the toxic waste is finds its way onto the streets,” said Saraf.

“We have urged the authorities concerned to check the dumping of garbage at the site a number of times, but to no avail. The MC is even not complying with the orders of the High Court,” said Saraf.

Naresh Nanda, who runs a company just in front of the dumping site, said: “We have to keep our nose covered to avoid stink,” he lamented.

Case pending in SC

Mohali MC Commissioner Uma Shankar Gupta said: “Fifty acres have been earmarked at Sangholi village in Dera Bassi for dumping garbage. The case is pending in the Supreme Court.” When questioned, the Commissioner said that he had already ordered the clearing of the riverbed. “The garbage will now be dumped at another site,” he added. 

Rules flouted

A senior official of Punjab State Pollution Control Board said the MC was dumping garbage into Patiala ki Rao by violating municipal solid waste rules. “We have prepared a report which will be forwarded to the authorities soon,” said the official. 


Parking vehicles at any of the paid parking sites across the city becomes a headache due to unregulated parking lots. Neither the MC nor contractors ensure that users find space to park their vehicles. What needs to be done to ensure that the users find proper space to park their vehicles. Send in your suggestions at Open House, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh, or mail to openhouse@tribunemail.com 


Better mohali
Town continues to grapple with parking problem
Mohali has witnessed a murder and at least three shooting incidents following tiff over parking of vehicles in the recent past. The problem continues to be one of the biggest challenges faced by Mohali. In the final part of the series, The Tribune 
reporters Akash Ghai and Kulwinder Sangha look for the reasons behind the menace and offer some solutions 

(Clockwise) A biker finds space on the divider for parking a two-wheeler;
Visitors to Fortis Hospital leave their cars on the road, a car and an auto-rickshaw block the entry to the parking lot of the Phase I market; vehicles parked haphazardly in the absence of markings at the Phase X market; and despite space earmarked for four-wheelers, two-wheelers parked wrongly at the Phase VII market in Mohali. Tribune 

Mohali: Like the City Beautiful, Mohali too has been grappling with the parking problem. The gravity of the problem in one of the most advanced towns of Punjab can be gauged by the fact that it has witnessed a murder this February besides at least three shooting incidents over the trivial issue of parking of vehicles in the recent past.

There are certain pockets in the town where getting 5 ft X 6 ft space for your vehicle is nothing less than waging a battle. These pockets include the District Administrative Complex (DAC) at Phase I that houses the offices of the Deputy Commissioner, Senior Superintendent of Police, District Transport Officer and the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, the District Courts Complex at Phase III-B1, the markets of Phases I, V, VII and X besides Fortis Hospital. Haphazard parking on roads is a common sight near these sites.

In the absence of any check by the police authorities, people park their four-wheelers and two-wheelers wherever they can find the space, constricting the flow of traffic and leading to traffic jams at various points. The Phase I road leading to the DAC and the roads in front of the District Courts Complex and Fortis Hospital witness traffic snarl-ups on a daily basis.

The story is no different in certain residential belts of the town, where the problem has in fact become even more serious. The situation is worst in certain pockets of Phases I, VI, VII, IX and X besides Sectors 70 and 71. In the absence of adequate space for parking vehicles, residents are forced to park their vehicles in front of other houses, which leads to frequent scuffles between neighbours.

On its part, the district administration has started taking steps to solve the problem. Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu, however, admits that there is more to be done in this direction as the problem is worsening day by day.

Problem takes an ugly turn

The parking problem took an ugly turn when a local advocate, Amarpreet Singh, was shot dead outside his residence by some neighbours following a tiff over the parking of a car at Phase III-A in February this year. Three other incidents of shooting at neighbours over the issue of parking—two at Phase VI and one at Phase V—were also reported last year. Amarpreet's uncle Manjit Sethi says, "These days, parking of vehicles has become the bone of contention between neighbours. Parking of a vehicle in front of a neighbour's house for two to three days in a row is enough of a reason to spoil the relationship. Those with more than one four-wheeler face a lot of problems in finding space to park their vehicles."

What can be done 

* The market associations should hire private security guards to manage the parking of vehicles

* The administration should also deploy police personnel to help the private guards

* Shopkeepers should be directed to park their vehicles in the lots created behind the shops 

* No shopkeeper should be allowed to install any stall in the parking lots

* Paid parking system should be introduced in the busy markets of the town

* The police should take strict action against those who park haphazardly

Residents bear the brunt

People have no sense of parking, and this creates problems for others. The civic body should arrange private staff to help people in parking their vehicles properly. If the MC can not bear the cost, funds can be collected from shopkeepers
— Pankaj Singla, shopkeeper, Phase VII

By the evening, the parking problem reaches its peak at various markets. Once parked, it becomes difficult to take out the vehicle. The exit points, too, are often blocked by vehicles that are parked haphazardly. This also leads to heated arguments
— Amandeep Singh, student

Whenever I visit a market, I always hope that no one parks a vehicle behind my scooter. In a market with a heavy footfall, it is impossible to find the owner. With your vehicle blocked, you end up waiting for the person to come and make way for you
— Sarita Malhotra , homemaker

The number of vehicles in the parking lots is increasing every day. The absence of proper demarcation of space leads to haphazard parking. Heated arguments are a common sight, as people often park their vehicles behind other vehicles
— Mukesh, Class IV employee, HDFC

The parking problem worsens during the festive season. In case you do manage to find a parking slot, forget about taking it out easily. The authorities concerned should hire staff for managing the parking of vehicles at various lots across the town
— Sandeep Khanna, EMployee, HMT 



Multi-level parking could help: MC chief

Mohali: From earmarking of space for parking to creation of a multi-level parking facility besides the introduction of a city bus service are some of the solutions suggested by the Commissioner of the local civic body for addressing the parking woes in the town.

Commissioner Uma Shankar Gupta, who joined the Mohali Municipal Corporation recently, says when he took a round of the town on October 9, he found the condition of the parking areas was poor. There was no proper demarcation of space for vehicles that led to haphazard parking, which in turn limited the number of vehicles that could be accommodated. Gupta asked the superintending engineer to first repair the parking lots at markets, and then demarcate the space for parking of four-wheelers and two-wheelers.

The MC Commissioner says multi-level parking lots can help in solving the problem. As of now, the civic body is not financially self-sufficient, says Gupta. With the imposition of property tax, he is hopeful of bring in more revenue. Meanwhile, such parking lots can be built by taking a loan or through a public-private partnership, he says.

Gupta says a city bus service linking Mohali, Chandigarh, Kharar and Zirakpur can also help in reducing the load on the parking lots. Modalities in this regard are being worked out, and if things went well, the service could become functional in around six months, he says.

Parking behind shops of no use

To decongest the parking lots of the popular markets, including those at Phases III-B2 and VII, the administration has constructed lots behind the shops as well. The step, however, has failed to bear fruits, as visitors are not using them that frequently. “People try to park their vehicles in front of the shops that they intend to visit. No one is ready to take a few extra steps. At least the shopkeepers should park their vehicles in the parking lots behind their shops,” says Sarabjit Singh, president of the Phase V market welfare association. 

Mohali police least bothered

The Mohali police seems to be least bothered about the parking chaos in the town. At the most affected sites, i.e. the District Courts Complex, District Administrative Complex and Fortis Hospital, where traffic jams occur on a daily basis, hardly any police personnel can be seen managing the problem. Around six months back, the police had started a drive to remove vehicles parked along the road in front of Fortis Hospital. It just took a week for the drive and the zeal to end.

Green belts becoming parking lots

People residing in the LIG, HIG and MIG houses across the town are the worst affected. In the absence of enough space in front of their houses, they are forced to park their vehicles in the green belts. “The green belt in our area has nearly turned into a parking lot. The elderly and children face a lot of problems due to this nuisance. The administration should come up with effective solutions for this problem,” says Tajinder Pal Singh, a resident of Phase I. 

Laying of tiles brings some relief

“Making adequate space available for parking is certainly a big challenge. We have already started earmarking the area around parks for parking besides laying of tiles in front of houses for the purpose,” says Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu. The move has brought some relief to the residents. “The laying of tiles has helped in solving the problem to some extent. However, as the number of vehicles has been increasing rapidly, the problem will certainly magnify in the coming days,” says KS Bains, a resident of Phase VII. 

Deputy Commissioner roots for smart park system

To deal with the parking problem, Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu plans to introduce the smart park system (see pic). This makeshift system can be assembled at any site within two to three days and can accommodate four times the cars. The cars can be parked in the basement or on roofs without any ramp. The DC plans to take up the issue for discussion in the forthcoming meeting.



Railway reservation counters in name only
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Defunct tubelights at reservation counter; a dog inside the railway reservation counter at the Sector 17 ISBT in Chandigarh on Wednesday. Tribune photos: S Chandan

Chandigarh, October 16
Before making a visit to the railway reservation counter to book a ticket one has to gather information about the train number and fare at own level as the offices located both in Sector 17 and 43 are ill-equipped to provide this information. Adding to the woes of the commuters, the inquiry counters at both the reservation offices does not entertain any query nor does they display the helpline numbers to facilitate the passengers.

During a visit to Sector 17 reservation counter today it was found that the timetable of the trains and fare displayed in the office have no information about new trains and revised fares. Interestingly, there are four time-table boards of trains and two boards about the fare but none of them carried the information about the latest trains or revised fares.

Even the railway reservation premise is in shamble as there is no proper light arrangement at the counters required to fill the forms for the booking. Stray dogs have a good time to rest near the benches provided in the office for the facility of the people.

When inquired, during a visit, as to why up-gradation of the new trains and revised fares has not been displayed, the officials stated that all the information was available at the railway station and it is not required at the reservation counters. One commuter remarked that this shows how irresponsible the officials managing the affairs of the reservation counters are.

Commuters standing there complained that the railway authorities don’t not even bother to provide the basic facility of drinking water or wash room at there reservation counters. They had also not taken little pain to update the information required to the passengers.

Sailing in the same boat is the Sector 43 reservation office where also the condition is same as there is no update of information neither about the new trains plying from city nor about its fare.

Official quote

Railway commercial manager Gulshan stated that as per the inspection report of the official, the reservation counter of Sector 17 has put up a notice on all the old timetable boards that the information is outdated. He said he will inquire from the head about the fare and timetable of trains displayed on it because it is their duty to change it on time. He said a request has been made to the department concerned about the renovation of the reservation premises of Sector 17 and action will be taken. soon.



Hike in fares of premium trains
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
The railway ministry has decided to raise the fares of premium trains. From tomorrow you have to shell out more while travelling in Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi trains as catering charges have been raised in these premier trains by about two to four per cent.

The revision in food tariff, which is included in the total fare of these trains, also comes with a revised menu.

This is the second hike for executive service passengers in the last 10 days as Indian Railways had hiked passenger fares by two per cent for all trains effective from October 7 by linking the fare structure with the fuel adjustment component.

Those who have purchased tickets earlier will have to pay the difference in the fare to TTEs in trains from October 17, a senior Railway Ministry official said.

The catering charge in Indian Railways' premier trains has been increased after 14 years, as it was last revised in 1999.

The revision in food tariff also comes with a revised menu like the introduction of fish fry in AC-1 and executive class and stuffed paratha, channa kulcha and packaged flavoured milk for breakfast in all classes of premier trains.

The menu also includes stuffed kathi roll for both vegetarian and non-vegetarian passengers. However, chocolates, toffees and fruit juice have been done away with in the new menu.

The rate of morning and evening tea has been reduced by nearly 30 to 40 per cent.



Adviser pays surprise visit to ISBT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
A surprise visit was made by the UT Adviser KK Sharma to the Sector 17 bus-stand to monitor the bus services and capacity of the premises. Sources revealed that the adviser reviewed the kind of buses plying in the city including AC, non-AC, long-route and mini buses and their condition.

Sources said adviser inspected the cleanliness and condition of the buses along with the CTU director TPS Phoolka. He directed the drivers that they should drive the vehicles safely and regulate the system of the fleet to streamline its functioning. He further inquired from the officers whether the fleet of buses being used by the department was suitable for the city roads or not.



Six months on, woman shuttles between hospitals for treatment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
A 38-year-old woman has been struggling to find proper treatment for her health problem for the past six months.

Exposing a complete lack of communication between the city hospitals, Kamlesh Devi has been shuttling between the PGIMER, ESI hospital and GMCH-32 and has spent over Rs 2 lakh, yet not relieved of her problem.

Kamlesh DeviShe visited ESI Hospital, Ramdarbar in April, this year with pain in abdomen; she was referred to the GMCH-32. After undergoing a surgery (hemicolectomy) at the GMCH-32 in April, this year, the patient was referred to the PGIMER.

She has been living with an external ileostomy pouch since then. She was diagnosed with PNH at the PGIMER and doctors provided her medication for the problem. “The PGIMER doctors cooperated for the treatment of PNH but refused to remove the pouch and sent us back to GMCH-32. When we revisited GMCH-32 we were told that the concerned doctor had resigned and shifted to Delhi and told us to go back to PGIMER,” said Prem Lal, Kamlesh’s husband.

We again requested the head of ESI Hospital to either refer our case to private hospital or the PGIMER for removal of the ileostomy pouch, but they kept putting off our case for three months, he said.

Today they sent us to a private hospital in Banur but the doctors of that hospital told us that they do not have the provision for removal of the pouch as it was a cancer hospital. The doctor mentioned that the case should be referred to the PGIMER (documents available with Chandigarh Tribune). Despite repeated attempts, Dr NK Taneja, Head ESI Hospital Ram Darbar, could not be contacted. 

What is hemicolectomy?

It is the surgical resection of any extent of the large intestine (colon). 

What is PNH?

PNH is a rare, acquired, life-threatening disease of the blood. PNH is the only hemolytic anemia caused by an acquired intrinsic defect in the cell membrane.



Wheelchairs go missing at hospitals
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
Wheelchair thieves are on the prowl at city hospitals. Already when patients visiting city government hospitals have been facing severe shortage of wheelchairs and trolleys, a significant number of foldable wheelchairs have gone missing in the past few months both at the GMSH-16 and the GMCH-32.

While none of the hospitals complained to the police, they claimed to have enquired the matter at their own levels. While 12 wheelchairs have been found missing from the GMSH-16 in the past two months, an equivalent number of instances were reported at the GMCH-32.

Only foldable wheelchairs, which are easy to carry in a vehicle and also more expensive, are reported to be missing.

Suspecting thefts at the hands of labourers residing in hutments lying across one of the sidewalls of the hospital campus, the authorities at the3 GMSH-16 had removed the hutments and raised the broken wall a few days ago.

A security guard who was on night duty at the hospital had reportedly seen someone passing off a foldable wheelchair from the broken portion of the wall. However, he failed to catch hold of the person.

A senior official at the GMSH-16 said a probe was marked to look into the matter but there had been no headway.

The authorities at the GMCH-32, on the other hand, passed strict instructions not to purchase or use foldable wheelchairs any longer.

Director-Principal (DP), GMCH-32, Atul Sachdev, said: “We had alerted our security department and they have been keeping a close watch at patients and visitors who leave the hospital after treatment, especially in the late evening and wee hours. Narrowing down at anyone did not come that easy for us this time, but we are in the process of adding CCTV cameras on the campus to record such activities.”

The Chandigarh Tribune had recently highlighted the ordeal of patients at the GMSH-16 in the absence of enough wheelchairs. While the hospital has a footfall as high as 3,000 per day at the OPDs, the number of wheelchairs available is close to 150.

In addition to the shortage, the lack of any mechanism for restoring vacated wheelchairs at the entry points of the New OPD Block or the Emergency area was found to be a major issue.

Hospital attendants, designated for the task, were found loitering around in patient areas but rarely paid attention to the urgent need of wheeling patients inside at the Emergency entry.

Fact File

* The foldable wheelchairs turn out to be Rs 2,000 to 3,000 costlier than the regular wheelchairs. Also, the foldable wheelchairs are easy to carry.

* At the GMCH-32, there are nearly 200 wheelchairs available for nearly 2,000 patients visiting the OPDs in a day.

* At the GMSH-16 there are only 150 wheelchairs for nearly 3,000 patients visitng the OPDs per day.



Fearing reproach, student spends night away from home 
Had scored low marks in a school test, found weeping at a petrol station next morning
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 16
The fear of being beaten up by his father due to his scoring low marks in a school test led to a Class VIII student staying away from home in Panchkula late last night.

The student was found weeping near a petrol station in the Chandimandir area in the wee hours today.

When the boy, a resident of Ratpur colony in Pinjore, Panchkula, did not return home after his tuition classes last evening, his parents approached the police and the latter started a search operation to trace him.

The father of the child, Krishan Kumar, is a businessman and owns a clothing showroom in Pinjore. The boy is a student of a local school.

The boy said with the fear of being beaten up, he did not have the courage to return home.

“We were informed by his parents that their child is missing. The police team searched and found him sitting at the petrol station,” said Station House Officer of the Pinjore police station Inspector Pawan Kumar.

He said: “The child’s father had warned him not to score low marks else he would be beaten up. Thinking that his father would beat him up when he return from work at night, Manan preferred to stay away from home.”

After the boy was recovered, his parents consoled him and took him to home.

What mental trauma the child must have gone through was a serious situation, said a psychologist.

“It is a serious issue. The boy could have taken any extreme step. Parents should be given counselling. There should be a relation of openness between a child and his parents that even if he has committed a wrong thing, he may have the guts to go home and tell his parents about the same,” said Jitendra Mohan, Prof Ameritus of Pychology at Panjab University.

He added that “parents should have expectations from their children but they should not turn brutal.”



Senior citizen accuses Chandigarh Police of harassment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
A 67-year-old city resident, whose car was damaged in an accident in Sector 18 last evening, has alleged harassment and rude behaviour at the hands of the SHO of the Sector 19 police station.

Kulbir Singh, a resident of Sector 18 here, alleged he was made to wait for over two hours at the police station as he had gone to lodge a complaint with his wife.

When he entered the SHO’s room after no one was lending an ear to him, the officer shouted at him and rudely asked him to move out, he alleged.

The SHO of Sector 19 police station, DSP Shweta Chauhan, has denied the allegations and said she never misbehaved with anyone.

Kulbir, while talking to The Tribune, said his Swift Desire car was damaged after hit by some youths in a Zen car in Sector 18 while he was going towards an e-sampark centre.

“The youths called three of their supporters and after a high drama, we were taken to the police station. I waited there for over two hours and as nothing was moving I went to the SHO’s room when she blatantly told me to get out and shouted as to how come I entered her office without permission. I was insulted and made to feel very low,” he said.

The police then tried to pursue a compromise when the opposite party told him that they will be paying for the damages.

Kulbir said he returned home and after a disturbed night went to the police station in the morning when he was shocked to find that a Daily Diary Report has been lodged and all allegations written in the report were against him. “The SHO told me to get out of the room and I felt so embarrassed and insulted at this age. Is this the way police behaves with senior citizens,” he said.

The DSP, when contacted, said she never spoke to anyone rudely and they have clicked pictures of the spot which shows that Kulbir was at fault in the accident. “Nothing of the sort was ever said, all allegations were baseless,” the DSP added.



Ex-Services League meet on Oct 27

Chandigarh, October 16
The annual general body meeting of the Indian Ex-Services League (IESL), Chandigarh, will be held at 11 am on October 27 at Giani Gurmukh Musafir Bhavan Auditorium in Sector 24, Chandigarh.

All registered life members of the league in Chandigarh, Mohali, Panchkula and surrounding villages are requested to attend the meeting, said general secretary of the IESL (UT), Sqn Ldr GS Deol. The agenda points, if any, must be submitted by October 22, he added. The progress on pension matters received from the Central League will be discussed during the meeting. — TNS



Eid-ul-Zuha celebrated with fervour
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
The festival fervour gripped the tricity as hundreds of Muslims offered special prayers at mosques in the city on the occasion of Eid-ul-Zuha, also called Bakr-Id. People exchanged warm embraces and also took part in sumptuous feats with family and friends.

Mosques in the city were well lit up and were overflowing with devotees since morning to celebrate Eid al-Zuha, also called the festival of sacrifice. Over 10,000 sheep and goats were sacrificed in the tricity today as people distributed the meat among neighbours and relatives on the pious occasion. As many as 5,000 goats were sold in Manimajra and the highest price went up to Rs 50,000 per goat this time.

Jama Masjid in Sector 20 wore a festive look as people thronged the place to pay their obeisance. Charity programmes for the poor and needy were held at many places.



Historical play ‘Sirhind di Deewar’ staged in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 16
A play, ‘Sirhind di Deewar’, was staged at the open-air theatre of the Baba Banda Singh Artistes enact a scene from the play ‘Sirhind di Deewar’in Chappar Chiri on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu Bahadar Jangi Yadgar at Chappar Chiri, near here, this evening. The staging of the much-acclaimed play, written by Harpal Tiwana, opened with the lighting of the lamp by Mohali Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu.
The historical play is dedicated to the martyrdom of Baba Zorawar Singh, Baba Fateh Singh and Mata Gujar Kaur.

The role of Wazir Khan, the then Sirhind Governor in the play, was performed by Manpal Tiwana. The other actors of the play included Tarshinder Soni (Zafar Beg), Rashpal Bharti (Dewan Sucha Nand) and Sukhwinder Sohi (Nawab of Malerkotla Sher Mohammed Khan). Director Manpal Tiwana said this was the first time the play had been staged at this historical place and on a historic Day, the birth anniversary of Baba Banda Singh Bahadar.

Artistes enact a scene from the play ‘Sirhind di Deewar’in Chappar Chiri on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu



NCERT to rectify errors soon
Mistakes in Classes XI and XII books of biology will be examined by experts
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
Finally, the NCERT has woken up to rectify the mistakes in its biology textbook for higher classes.

Replaying to RTI query, AK Wazalwar, head of Department of Education in Science and Mathematics said a list of errors (in class XI and class XII biology textbook) would be examined by a group of experts and necessary action will be taken to rectify those in the reprint edition and it will be updated on the NCERT website. “This will take approximately 2-3 months time, he stated in the reply.

The Chandigarh Tribune on February 25 highlighted the glaring mistakes in the biology textbook for both class XI and class XII.

Class XI Biology book has bloopers such as the stomach has only three major parts (cardiac, fundic and pyloric portion) … Duodenum is U-shaped… Our lungs remove 18 litres of carbon dioxide per day.

However factually speaking, the stomach consists of a fourth part also - body - which is eventually the biggest part of the stomach. Besides, duodenum is C-shaped, not U-shaped as mentioned in this textbook. Lungs, on the other hand, remove 288 litres of carbon dioxide daily, a figure much larger that that stated in the NCERT book.

In another chapter Breathing and Exchange of Gases of Class XI biology book, it is mentioned that nasopharynx opens through the glottis, whereas experts clarify it is the laryngopharynx that opens into the glottis.

Similarly according to Class XII biology textbook, sunflower is an example of the albuminous seed. As per several books, including Angiosperms by GL Chopra and A Textbook of Botany (Angiosperms) by Singh, Pande and Jain, it has an exalbuminous seed.

A city based biology teacher, Dr Arvind Goyal, who submitted the list of errors to NCERT authorities about two months ago, says that class XI and class XII biology textbooks has 44 and 28 factual errors and many of the errors are too naïve that it shows casualness on the part of the NCERT authorities.

“We hope that the NCERT authorities take the cognizance of these mistakes and rectify it as per the time schedule mentioned in the RTI reply,” he said.

Experts and students also strongly demand rectifications of mistakes at the earliest. A student Aditya Bansal, said over 90 per cent of the biology syllabus in the PMT exam is based on the NCERT books.

“NCERT should not only update the errors at the earliest but should also inform about the changes to the CBSE,” he said.

“The NCERT biology book needs to be revised as soon as possible, as there are gross mistakes that can not be tolerated in the medical books,” said Dr Anjali Aggarwal, assistant professor, department of anatomy, PGI.



Schools charge hefty amount for annual functions: Parents
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
Behind the glittering ceremony of annual functions of the private schools lies the unethical and unfair practice of charging considerable money from the students and their parents. The annual functions are used by management of private schools as a major public branding opportunity. Many schools even hire the services of public relation companies to ensure a lot of media coverage.

But ironically it is the parents who end up paying charges to the tune of Rs.700-1000 per student for colourful costumes and other performance related expenses during the annual functions, which other wise should be the sole responsibility of the schools, feel many parents.

This practice is followed by many private schools in the city. Some of the city’s top private schools even charges Rs.1500-2000 per student for their annual functions.

Recently, a city based NGO forwarded the complaint to UT Education Department about Chitkara International School in Sector 25 charging Rs. 750 per student as part of costume, refreshment and hair and make-up expenditure for their annual function scheduled from October 29 to October 31.

Defending itself, Ashish Bhatnagar, Director of Office of Academic Support, Chitkara School said that school management was bearing most of the expenditure involved in organizing the annual function.

“The main purpose behind annual functions is give wide exposure to the students. Why the amount of Rs. 750 per student is being charged from student because we have to pay this amount to the dress vendor and other outside agency hired for students performance only. In case the school bears the expenses, it becomes a huge amount.”

Senior member of the Chandigarh Independent Schools Association, Gurpreet Bakshi said annual functions of the schools were organised to showcase talent of children. Most of the costs including tent arrangement, sitting arrangement, lights and sound system, set arrangements, hiring a auditorium or fee paid to professionals for performance were borne by school only costumes for children is the only cost taken from the parents. It is because it is a child specific and schools also ensure that the amount charged is reasonable too,” he said.

Principal of Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 27 Vineet Arora said, “I don’t see any harm in charging for costumes. But the schools should not charge hefty amount. In our school, we have a policy of not charging more than Rs 150 per student on the occasion of annual function and we ensure participation of all the students.”

But several parents in the city said these annual functions has become a major burden and become a major branding exercise for schools. 



City colleges to adopt old names
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
The nomenclature of four city Government Colleges that was changed few years back has now turned into a hurdle for the colleges in getting mandatory National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) grading. The colleges had earlier this year applied for NAAC grading; however, the NAAC has rejected the proposal of all the colleges following the no-clarity over the names of the colleges.

The nomenclature of Government College, Sector 11 was changed to Post Graduate Government College in 2009; similarly Post Graduate (PG) was added to the names of GCG-11, GCG-42 and GC-46 in 2010.

The Panjab University at its Senate meeting held in April 2010, recommended different nomenclature of the colleges, Government Post Graduate College as against Post Graduate Government College. However, both the UT Administration and PU failed to reach to any consensus.

The colleges had applied for the assessment earlier this year, however, the request applications of the colleges have been rejected and a clarification has been sought by the NAAC, as during the scrutinising of the documents it was observed that the name of the colleges were different in various documents.

Sources stated that the UGC had also written to the colleges to explain the status of the change in nomenclature and has withheld all allocated grants.

A meeting regarding the issue was also held at UT administration recently that was also attended by the college principals during which it has now been decided that the colleges should retain their original names.

Mani Bedi, principal of Post Graduate Government College for Girls (PGGCG), Sector 42, stated that the college had applied for the NAAC accreditation which was rejected stating that the name PGGCG is not in the records of NAAC. “It was around ten-years back when we had applied for NAAC accreditation and at that time the college’s name was GCG-42, however, later the name was changed by the college, but the same name exists with the UGC and NAAC which has now created a problem for the colleges as they have rejected the application,” Bedi said.

Achila Dogra, principal, PGGCG-11 stated that the new name of the college has created a problem for the college in getting the NAAC accreditation. “We have unanimously decided to shift back to the original names of the colleges which anyway won’t affect the status of the colleges,” Dogra added.

Senate member Dr Dalip Kumar in the last senate meeting had raised the issue stating that the colleges will not be able to get the NAAC accreditation until the issue is resolved.



Former PU VC selected as member of INSA
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
Professor KN Pathak, professor emeritus and former vice-chancellor of Panjab University, has been elected as a member of the council of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) for a three year term, it was stated in a communication received from INSA president Dr Krishan Lal.

The new council will assume office on December 28, after the annual general meeting of the academy at the Sanjay Gandhi Post-graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow.

Prof Pathak is a distinguished Physicist and a senior scientist of INSA. A PhD from IIT-Kanpur , his field of specialization is condensed matter physics/solid state physics. He has published several research papers in international journals and received many awards.

Prof Pathak was vice-chancellor of Panjab University from July 2000 to July 2006.



From schools


Dasehra celebrations

Dasehra was celebrated on the premises of MDAV, 22-A. Students showed their feelings of joy in the form of colorful effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkarana and Meghnath. Lord Rama burnt all the effigies. Students participated in various activities. They showed their caliber by performing different characters of Ramayana. Students were told that how the truth won over falsehood. Sweets were distributed among the students.

World Habitat Day

Eco club of Government High School, Hallomajra, celebrated World Habitat day. Students discussed the importance of the habitat and expressed their views by means of painting and collage-making. Head of the school Sadhu Ram and eco club in-charge Ms Renu Sehrawat also made them aware of the safety and other needs provided by habitat which can be fulfilled only inside once own habitat. Winners of inter -house competitions were also awarded prizes.


Musical show

As many as 500 students from Nursery to Class XI of The British School (TBS) presented a colourful musical extravaganza “The Horizon” at Tagore Theatre today. The event came alive with an opening item based on Ganapati, at the end of the presentation children came dressed up as Ganesha and applauded by the audience. The guest of honour on the occasion was Sudhir Mohan, DG, Public Relations, Haryana Government. TR Sethi and Director Mrs Reena Sethi were also present.

Thanksgiving Day

The students of Millennium School, Mohali, in association with CII’s Young Students of The Millennium School, Mohali, thank a traffic policewoman for keeping the city roads safe on Thanksgiving Day in Chandigarh on Wednesday. Tribune photo: S Chandan Indians, Chandigarh chapter, today celebrated Thanksgiving Day as part of Joy of giving month with traffic police officials of Chandigarh and Mohali recognising their tireless efforts in keeping tricity safe for pedestrians and commuters alike. Acting as perfect wardens for a day, students made on goers conversant with the traffic rules and presented traffic policemen with thank you cards and roses, with a few handing over poems specially written for the unsung heroes.
Students of The Millennium School, Mohali, thank a traffic policewoman for keeping the city roads safe on Thanksgiving Day in Chandigarh on Wednesday. Tribune photo: S Chandan


Annual exhibition Panorama was held at St. Pauls International School, Mohali. Students showcased their talent in various fields like English, Hindi, Punjabi, science, SST, Maths and Art and Craft through various exhibits and acts. Students came to school in colorful attires and complimented the exhibits by presenting their innovative and creative acts. The best three entries from every section were awarded.

Eid celebrations

Panchkula: The students of the Sky World School celebrated Eid today. Students were made to realize the importance of celebrating festivals of all faiths with the same joy and dedication. Echoing the message of one God, the students participated in the celebrations and got to see the same message behind each religion through a power point presentation. Students hugged each other in the typical ceremonial way and wished “Eid Mubarak” to all.

School awarded

Satluj Public School, Panchkula, was awarded golden award by National Knowledge Olympiad for excellent performance. Most of the students of the school who participated exhibited sterling performance in the contest. There were 187 students who participated in this Olympiad and achieved success. — TNS



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |