C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Gas firms ignore SC orders
Demand Aadhaar number for giving subsidy on LPG cylinders
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 18
The assurance given by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry that the Aadhaar card is not mandatory for the citizens to avail themselves of the subsidy on the LPG cylinders under the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme till it gets the clearance from the Supreme Court is a mere eyewash.

While the gas agencies are claiming that they are not forcing anyone to deposit their Aadhaar number, the ground reality remains different.
A woman submits her Aadhaar number at the office of a gas agency in Chandigarh. Tribune Photo: manoj Mahajan
A woman submits her Aadhaar number at the office of a gas agency in Chandigarh. Tribune Photo: manoj Mahajan 

Seeking anonymity, a senior official of a gas company accepted that they had not discontinued the process of registering the Aadhaar cards which were linked with the DBT scheme. The official said till date they had not received any fresh instructions from the ministry to discontinue the DBT scheme for the LPG cylinders, though the case was pending in the Supreme Court.

This, despite the announcement made by Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Veerappa Moily last week that the authorities will not make it mandatory for the people to deposit their Aadhaar number, unless the apex court gave its nod.

In fact, those city residents who have registered their Aadhaar card have started receiving the subsidy in their account.

Similarly, on the toll-free number of the oil industry helpline, 18002333555, the attendant stated that it was mandatory for all the customers of Indane, HP and Bharat Gas to submit their Aadhaar card to the gas agency and link it with the bank to avail themselves of the subsidy. The attendant further said that as per the orders, the scheme has been implemented in the city from October 1, and if any customer failed to link their Aadhaar card for the balance entitlement in the next 90 days, they would not be eligible for the government subsidy on the LPG cylinder.

Chandigarh was covered by the petroleum ministry under the second phase of the DBT scheme for giving subsidy on the purchase of the LPG cylinders from the first of this month. Last month, the Supreme Court had ruled that the Aadhaar card could not be made mandatory for the citizens to use government services, and nobody could be deprived of any such facilities for want of the card. It also rejected the review petition filed by the government on this issue.



LPG subsidy not credited into account, officials pass the buck
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 18
Jagbir Singh Sarpal, a resident of Sector 49, has been running from pillar to post, for the past 11 days, to know time span in which he will get the LPG subsidy under the direct benefit transfer scheme into his bank account. This is not the story of Jagbir Singh only but a large number of customers are seen everyday queuing up at their respective gas agencies, clueless, as to why the subsidy has not been credited into their accounts. Adding to their woes is that the respective company officials are also unaware about it and gives a standard reply that it is the duty of the government to release the subsidy into their account.

Narrating his tale, Jagbir Singh stated that on October 7 he booked his domestic cylinder at M/s Sabharwal Gas Company, Sector 47.

Though the dealer and the bank confirmed that his Aadhaar letter record is available with them yet they are unaware why his subsidy amount has not been credited into his account till date.

He said when he visited the HP gas regional office the official informed him that it would be directly credited by the government in his account. But has no information till which date the process will be completed.

A city-based gas agency staff accepted that everyday a number of customers come to their office with a compliant that their subsidy has not been credited in their account and they refer them to their headquarter. The official said they had no information from any company about the releasing of the LPG subsidy into the account of the customer after the booking of the cylinder.

In fact, there are complaints from the customers that the banks are delaying in linking of their Aadhaar letter with their accounts due to which the subsidy is not being released on time.

Official further revealed that they are also facing problem in booking the cylinders online as most of the time servers are down due to which they fail to connect.

While a senior official on condition of anonymity said the companies were asked to implement the Aadhaar letter direct benefit transfer scheme.



Good news for nominated councillors
UT to bring their honorarium on a par with that of elected MC members
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 18
Finally, the UT Administration has decided to increase the honorarium paid to nominated councillors and bring it on a par with that for the elected councillors of the Municipal Corporation.

In the earlier notification, issued by the administration, only the honorarium of the elected councillors was increased to Rs 10,000. The nominated councillors were given a miss.

This led to resentment among the nominated councillors. They even threatened to resign if they did not get an honorarium on a par with the elected councillors.

They accused the political parties of using them to get their agendas passed in the House, while ignoring them at other times.

Thereafter, in a meeting attended by Mayor Subhash Chawla, MC Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh, nominated councillors and UT officials, it was decided that the MC will send a fresh proposal to increase the honorarium of nominated councillors as well.

Joint Secretary (Home) MM Sabharwal said the administration had decided to increase the honorarium of nominated councillors from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 per month. The file in this regard has been sent to UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil for the final approval.

“As soon as we get the Administrator’s approval, we will issue an amended notification,” said the Joint Secretary.

Previous notification

In the notification issued three months ago, the administration had increased the honorarium of the Mayor from Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 per month.

The Senior Deputy Mayor would get Rs 16,500, up from Rs 12,000, and the Deputy Mayor would receive Rs 12,500 instead of Rs 6,000 a month. The honorarium of elected councillors was increased from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000, which would come into effect retrospectively from October 2011.

The payment for attending the meetings had been increased from Rs 200 to Rs 500, and telephone allowance went up to Rs 2,000 from Rs 700 a month. The nominated councillors found no mention.

Councillors who benefit

* Anoop Sunny Gill

* Aruna Goel

* Dr Amrit Tewari

* Babu Lal

*y Major DS Sandhu (retd)

* MP Kohli

* Sat Paul Bansal

* Shagufta Parveen

* Surinder Bahga



Discarded as junk by UT, heritage furniture fetches Rs 1 crore at US auction 
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 18
Heritage furniture designed by Le Corbusier’s cousin Pierre Jeanneret, which was discarded by the UT Administration and city residents in the 80s and 90s, has earned thousands of dollars for a Chicago-based auction house.

Sample this: A dining table from the cafeteria of the PGI, which had been sold as junk, fetched $50,000 (Rs 30.61 lakh) at the auction held yesterday. The auction house had estimated its price in the range of $20,000-30,000.

The firm auctioned seven lots of heritage items that included furniture from the PGI, Central State Library, MLA flats and College of Fine Art and earned $1,67,132 (Rs 1.02 crore). Only a pair of lounge chairs failed to get a bidder.

Le Corbusier’s cousin Pierre Jeanneret had designed chairs, tables, stools and racks for government offices in the late 50s. The furniture was replaced in the late 80s and early 90s.

After tossing these heritage items in their backyards or stores, most of the UT departments, unaware of their international worth, had auctioned these as a part of junk.

In the past six years, a large number of Pierre Jeanneret-designed heritage furniture items have been sold at auctions across the world.

UT Finance Secretary VK Singh said it was difficult to establish this as a case of theft. These items were sold as scrap in the 80s and 90s by the UT staff and city residents. The administration is not in a position to identify the persons responsible for selling these items as junk. In the past, the city administration had written letters to these auction houses, but to no avail. For the existing heritage furniture, an inventory has been compiled, he said.

Advocate Ajay Jagga, who had filed a public interest litigation in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, said the UT Administration never takes up this issue strongly with these auction houses or their national governments. It should get information about the sellers of these items from the auction house invoices and then, take action against them, he said. 

Auctions in the past 

2007: A manhole cover designed by Le Corbusier fetches $21,600 

December 15, 2011: New York-based auction house Phillips de Pury and Company auctions some furniture for more than Rs 25 lakh 

November 22, 2011: Paris-based auction house Artcurial sells a cane-and-teakwood dining table and a pair of easy armchairs for Rs 22 lakh 

November 3, 2011: Paris-based auction house Marseilles sells 30 different pieces for Rs 1.92 crore 

May 25, 2011: Artcurial sells four out of the seven lots of heritage furniture designed by Jeanneret for Rs 40.75 lakh 



Power shocker for residents
Panchkula residents get inflated electricity bills up to Rs 2.39 lakh 
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 18
Veena Kaul, a resident of Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 5, Panchkula, got a shock of her life when she received an electricity bill of Rs 2.39 lakh.

Raj Kumar, a resident of Sector 20, Panchkula, was also shocked when he was asked to pay Rs 70,200 as electricity charges.

Residents blame it on faulty metres issued by the electricity department.

“We were facing the same problem earlier too and had got our electricity meter changed. But even then we are getting inflated bills” said Veena’s husband Dalip Wali.

After making many rounds to the office of the electricity department, residents have now started purchasing their own metres. The electricity department has approved meters manufactured by a company.

A number of faulty metres can be seen dumped at the rear of the office of the electricity department office in the power colony.

Deepak Sharma, another resident of the MDC said he was out of the town still he received a bill of Rs 20,084.

Rajeev Goel, a dealer who sells electricity meters at Sector 16, said: “A three-phase meter that can take load up to 19 kW costs around Rs 3,800 while the local made costs around Rs 1,500 which are usually put up in rented accommodations. The meters are tested before being installed.”

Sub-divisional officer Anil said: “There muse be a few meters that are faulty. The department has recommended meters manufactured by some companies to residents who which to install their own meters.” 

The inflated bill received by one of the consumers in Panchkula. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan and parvesh chauhan



MC officials penalised for deficiency in service
Issued water bills on commercial rate 
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 18
The sub-divisional engineer, division no. 6, and the executive engineer, division no. 5, of the public health department of the Municipal Corporation have been penalised for issuing water bills on commercial rates to a resident.

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the SDE and the executive engineer to convert the account of the complainant from commercial to domestic. The forum also directed the officials to pay Rs 20,000 as compensation to the complainant for mental agony and harassment and Rs 5,000 as the litigation cost. The MC has also been directed to adjust the amount in the bills to be generated in the coming months.

The complainant, BD Banerjee of Sector 43, said the MC started raising water bills on commercial rate from May 2012 without any notice.

The officials justified their demand to levy commercial rate. “After perusing the record, we found that the officials were not clear whether the complainant comes under the commercial category,” the forum observed. 



Lights, sound, action
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 18
Expecting a full house, the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) has made all arrangements for the third One-Day International between India and Australia.

The match, which is likely to be a high-pitch affair, will start at the PCA stadium at 1.30 pm. While the tickets for the north pavilion, chairs block and students’ block have been sold out, tickets are still available for the VIP block and AC lounge and boxes. “We have received an overwhelming response,” said GS Walia, joint secretary, PCA.

He said: “The tickets for the VIP block (Rs 1,000) terrace block (Rs 4,000), AC lounge (Rs 5,000) and AC boxes (Rs 7,500) are still available. The tickets will be available at the Sector 70 branch of the Central Bank of India even tomorrow, he said. 


* Reach the venue an hour before the match starts

* Do not carry coins, pens, cameras, umbrellas and heavy bags

* Identity cards are a must

* Do not fold the tickets

* Park vehicles at designated places

* In case of emergency, contact the police

* Eatables are not allowed


P’kula police helpless in face of fake DLs
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 18
Violators continue to befool the traffic police by showing fake driving licences in Panchkula.

As many as 35 such cases have been reported in the town this year. Recently, a four-wheeler driver deceived the police at a checkpoint near Sector 21 by submitting a fake driving licence, on being challaned. When the details were fed into the system, the police realised its folly.
A fake driving licence submitted to the Panchkula police by a violator. A Tribune photograph
A fake driving licence submitted to the Panchkula police by a violator. A Tribune photograph

The police said most of the cases pertain to the drivers of heavy vehicles.

"Most of the drivers are from other cities, and at times we have even caught some carrying two to three driving licences issued from different places," said a police official.”

Inspector Tejinder Singh, in charge of the Panchkula traffic wing, said the officers had been directed to seize the registration certificate of the vehicle instead of the driving licence of the violator while challaning. 



Residents favour community celebrations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 18
Besides burning a massive hole in the residents’ pockets, the Diwali celebrations are leading to an increase in the air pollution year after year.

With Diwali just round the corner, many residents are advocating a ban on the bursting of crackers at individual homes and promoting the idea of community celebrations at the sector level.
Residents come together to celebrate Diwali in Chandigarh. A File photo
Residents come together to celebrate Diwali in Chandigarh. A File photo

BS Ghuman, professor, PU

Professor BS Ghuman says India is traditionally known for celebrating festivals in an eco-friendly manner. He says the traditional mode of celebrations has been gradually replaced by a demonstrative and hi-tech way of celebrations, leading to environmental pollution.

Prof Ghuman says it is a high time for India to reinvent the traditional style of celebrating the festivals including Diwali.

“The Government should ban the production and use of all the crackers that pollute the environment. It should also fix a time limit for the bursting of crackers on the Diwali night,”  says Ghuman.

He says people should be encouraged to celebrate a green Diwali, preferably at a common open place, which will reduce the air and noise pollution besides strengthening communal harmony.

Dr Bhavneet Goyal, Sector 15 resident

Bhavneet Goyal, a Sector 15 resident, favours a total ban on firecrackers, as these not only cause air and noise pollution, but also lead to serious injuries including the loss of eyesight and burns.

“As a doctor and a teacher, I feel only if the youth are motivated to enjoy this festival without crackers, some day we will have a safe Diwali in the real sense. Alternative methods of celebrating the festival can be sector-wise community music and laser show, in which the children can be told about the festival and the importance of celebrating it in this novel way,” says Dr Goyal.

She says the youth and children who celebrate a cracker-free Diwali can be given small tokens of appreciation such as stationery items by the senior members of the respective sector association.

The local administration with the help of the city residents can form a team comprising children and elders at the sector level to encourage people to take part in the community celebration.

Kavita Das, principal, St John’s High School

Kavita Das calls the community celebration during Diwali a wonderful idea. She says it is also the practical way as this is how the societies in the developed countries celebrate their festivals.

“This way, everyone gets an opportunity to celebrate Diwali, including those who can’t afford it,” says Das.

She says it requires will and vision on the part of society as well as the government. The initiative will gradually reduce the menace of crackers, says Kavita Das.

Sarita, homemaker

Sector 15-based Sarita wants the administration to arrange community fireworks at different sectors. This will not only save money but also protect the environment, says Sarita.

Such firework displays are conducted at many developed countries on Christmas and New Year.

“Schools and colleges should play an active role in promoting a cracker-free Diwali and there should a ban on the sale of these crackers. If there won’t be any crackers to buy in the market, we will not be pestered by our children who insist on buying these. Gradually, they will learn to celebrate the festival without crackers,” she says. 



Damaged facade poses risk
Despite several reminders, postal department fails to act
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 18
Ignoring the risk the broken blocks of concrete hanging precariously off the facade of the Sector 21 post office building pose to the staff, visitors and passers-by, the postal department has not bothered to get the facade repaired for the past fortnight.

In fact, a number of reminders have been sent by the shopkeepers and officials of the post office, but the authorities have failed to act.
Broken concrete blocks hang dangerously outside the Sector 21 post office in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan
Broken concrete blocks hang dangerously outside the Sector 21 post office in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

During a visit to the post office, this correspondent found that blocks of concrete had come off the facade and were just held in place by rods. The neighbouring shopkeepers said the damage was done to the old building by bad weather and heavy rainfall a fortnight ago.

They said a request had been sent to the General Post Office, Sector 17, for getting the facade repaired, as it could lead to a fatal accident.

They said the market saw a huge rush, and people often used the path in front of the post office building. Shopkeepers said during a wind, the blocks could fall on the passers-by.

A senior postal department official said they had received the complaint. He said the department would take the necessary action soon.



PGI: Finance panel tells accounts dept to settle audit observations on priority
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 18
The standing finance committee (SFC) of the PGI has directed the accounts department of the institute to settle the audit observations on top priority.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, in its audit report for 2011-12, had raised several objections over the functioning of the institute and sought a reply to the observations.

In its recently held meeting, the SFC directed, “...in future, replies to the audit observations may also be submitted along with the audit report, for information of the committee, and audit observations be settled on top priority.”

Major objections raised by the CAG in its 2011-12 auditing report were:

No internal audit since 2002

The CAG report revealed that the internal audit system of the PGI was non-functional since 2002, calling it “non-existent”. The auditory body had sought an explanation from the PGI as to “why officials of the internal audit cell have been deployed elsewhere by neglecting a very crucial function of an institute with a huge budgetary allocation and vast accounting receipts, payments and operational requirements”.

Excessive expenditure

The auditing body had slammed the PGI for failing to prescribe generic medicines to patients and staff. It pointed out an excessive expenditure of Rs 1.19 crore on branded medicines by the institute in 2011-12. “It is evident that either the doctors were not made aware of the prescription of generic medicines or doctors have given undue favour to the chemists by prescribing branded medicines,” the report noted.

Rooms reserved for VIPs

The CAG pointed out that the occupancy of the four VIP rooms during the year remained as low as 15 per cent, while there was a waiting list of 529 patients for 92 rooms at the Nehru hospital. There are a total of 126 private rooms at the hospital. “Had the VIP rooms been allotted to patients in the aforesaid waiting list, it would have helped the needy patients avail themselves of better facilities besides generating an additional revenue,” stated the CAG report. The institute could have utilised these rooms and earned a revenue of Rs 22.25 lakh, it noted.

Yet to recover bed cost

The governments of Punjab and Haryana owe a total amount of Rs 462.72 lakh to the PGI as the annual cost of 200 beds. The CAG report found that both the states were not paying the amount on a regular basis. Following the division of Punjab in 1966, the Ministry of Health and Family Planning had decided that both the states will pay the cost of 120 and 80 beds respectively to the PGI. The annual per bed cost was kept Rs 5,800. It was later revised to Rs 64,500 in 1990.



PGI to strengthen ethics committee 
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 18
The PGI is all set to strengthen its ethics committee that is currently having no office to maintain records. The standing finance committee of the institute has approved the creation of four posts for handling the office of the ethics committee.

The ethics committee that has to review at least 300 new proposals every year and ensure the quality of research had so far been operating on a part-time basis from the office of the convener.

All the plans of thesis to obtain various degrees from the institute besides the research proposals need clearance from the ethics committee. It scrutinises and suggests suitable modifications.

All clinical trials of new drugs, new actions of existing drugs and new invasive clinical procedures also come under the purview of this committee. For research on live animals, the committee considers the possible clinical potential or substantial advance in knowledge from the proposed experiments.

The move will add an additional financial burden of Rs 13.5 lakh on the PGI.



Advisory council in name only
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 18
The State Advisory Council, notified by the UT education department for the effective implementation of Right to Education (RTE) Act in Chandigarh, is as good as a defunct body. Since its inception in May this year, the council has not met even once.

The meeting of council, having 15 members, is important as it monitors the implementation of the provisions of the Act in an effective manner.

The RTE Act is yet not been fully implemented in Chandigarh. The student and classroom ratio is still high in government schools, showing shortage of classrooms and other required infrastructure. Another major issue is the implementation of the 25 per cent reservation in the private schools.

For the last three years, the private schools are continuously nagging admission to students of economically weaker section and disadvantaged group on reserved seats, citing confusion over the implementation of the act.

Since the admission process for the next academic session is set to begin by next month in the private schools, a lot of hue and cry is expected over admission to EWS students in private schools under RTE act.

“The council must convene its meeting at the earliest so that the very purpose with which the council was notified, could be achieved, says one of the nominated members of the council, JS Jayara, principal of Institute of Blinds, Sector 26.

According to him, RTE Act was enacted to make education a fundamental right and ensure education to people especially from poor background.

“Council has a vital role to play in this direction in the city, therefore it should function actively, he adds.

Other members of the council also want the council to wake up from its slumber and coordinate with the UT administration and private schools for the better implementation of the act in Chandigarh.

A member of the council, seeking anonymity, said delays marred the council from very beginning as it took the education department nearly one year to notify the council. “We feel that our nomination in the council is wasted, he said

As per the information, the state advisory council is notified under Section 34 of the Right to Education (RTE) Act. It has seven ex-officio members, including Adviser to the Chandigarh Administrator, Education Secretary, Director of State Institute of Education, DPI (schools), director, higher education, District Education Officer and chairman of the Right to Education Protection Authority.

Among persons nominated from the field of education include Amarjit Kaur, principal, GSSS, Sector-15, Sartul Singh, a retired JBT teacher, Father Sebestian Jose, president of NGO Don Bosco and Nav Jeevan Society, Vandana Singh, special officiating officer at the Government Institute of Mentally Retarded Children, Sector-32, JS Jayara, head, Institute for Blind, Sector 26, Chandigarh, Sudha Katyal, lecturer of Home Science College, Sector 10, Pritpal Kaur, retired deputy director, Adult Education Department, and Rakesh Sachdeva, principal of DAV Senior Secondary School-Sector 15.

President of Chandigarh Independent School Association, HS Mamik said there are several pending issues in the implementation of this act that the council must initiate at the earliest. “We would like to part of the council if any meeting takes place in future,” he said

Meanwhile, efforts were made to reach DPI(S) Kamlesh Kumar but he could not be contacted.



Govt should promote private sector: Experts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 18
A national conference on “A New Era of Industrial Development in Northern India - Role of Private Sector Educational Institutions” was organised at PHD House today. Inaugurating the conference, Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda appreciated the development of private self financing professional and vocational institutions in northern states over the past decade.

Speaking at the conference, leaders from the education sector and corporate sector highlighted the contribution of private sector institutions for the developments in industrial sector. They insisted that the government should encourage the private sector educational institutions autonomy and public private partnership. They requested to avoid the license raj and quality development in higher education. There were about 180 Institutions who participated in the conference.

Stressing on the need to create an economic environment that promotes the growth of enterprise and stimulate the economy, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, said, “Education alone does not lead to industrialisation or creation of employment opportunities or eradication of poverty. Government, industry and academia have to come together.”

Dr G Viswanathan, president, Education Promotion Society of India (EPSI) and founder of VIT University said, “While government dismantled the License & Permit Raj for the industry in 1991, the same continues in the education sector. The current laws that the MHRD is mooting are retrograde to the growth of education sector.”

In order to expand higher education government should encourage more private investment to be made in universities and colleges. He informed that private sector has contributed immensely towards increasing Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER).

However, to leap from the current rate of 12 per cent to a target of 25 per cent, a lot of private sector role is envisaged. Government must facilitate rather than obstruct the growth of private sector.

Offering the industry a perspective, V Ramaswamy, global head, small & medium business, Tata Consultancy Services, observed that Indian education system has seen a huge transformation from gurukul centric system in ancient India to modern day technology driven institutions. He said educational institutions traditionally have been knowledge centric and have nurtured talent in this direction, where as the industry has been skills centric and has its processes revolving around skill set of the work force. The time has come to plug this gap by more and more interaction at all levels.

Dr H Chaturvedi, alternate president, EPSI, emphasised, “Indian higher education sector has played an important role in developing demographic dividend of India. But, to move forward, we need to have a cooperative environment from the policy makers.” We need to ensure a positive climate for growth of education sector. Self regulation is also a power tool. He further said, “EPSI and private sector institutes have tried to reason out with the government, but the regulators have snubbed us repeatedly. He also requested that government should open up the education sector, rather than over regulate the sector with draconian laws. If education system has to flourish in India, increasing competition is the only answer.”



SI sent to police lines for slack approach
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 18
A day after a police commando was assaulted following a quarrel with two agents at the ISBT, Sector 43, senior police officers transferred the police post in charge to the police lines as he failed to deal with the situation. The in charge of police post, ISBT-43, sub-inspector (SI) Sucha Singh has been sent to the police lines in Sector 26 on administrative grounds as he failed to do the needful. The commando, Sarabjeet Singh, was attacked by two hotel agents, who were quarrelling over customers at the ISBT-43 on the night of October 16. The crime branch has been asked to conduct an inquiry into the case. The police said instead of taking prompt action after the attack on the policeman, SI Sucha Singh had lodged a DDR and an FIR was registered after the senior officers intervened. The police said taking the advantage of the leniency of the area police personnel, the accused, Suraj and Shiv Kumar, fled the spot. Hotel agents and auto drivers are not allowed to enter the bus terminal. In the absence of any check, they have been violating rules. A senior officer said they had transferred Sucha Singh to the police lines.

Man held with drugs

The police has arrested one Amarjit Singh, a resident of Hallo Majra, and recovered 6,000 tablets and 264 injections from his possession.

The accused was arrested during a naka near Hallo Majra with 6,000 tablets (spasmocip plus) and 264 injections (pheniramine maleate injection IP 10m).

A case under Section 22 of the NDPS Act has been registered.

Cyclist hit by car, dies

In a hit-and-run case, a 56-year-old cyclist died in a road accident in Sector 26 on Friday. The victim, Sewa Ram, a resident of Bapu Dham Colony, had retired as a Class IV employee. He was on his way home when a Wagon-R number CH01 AA 7923 hit him. The car has been impounded and it belongs to a Sector 33 resident. A case of causing death due to negligence under Section 304-A of the IPC has been registered against the driver of the car. The mishap occurred near Butterfly Park, Sector 26. The victim was rushed to the PGI where he succumbed to his injuries. 



Number of dengue cases reaches 42 in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 18
The number of dengue cases in the city has reached 42. Aedes aegypti breeds in water stored in vessels and flower pots. The mosquito is in the form eggs or larvae in water.

How is dengue caused?

Known as 'day-biter', aedes aegypti often breeds in artificial setting of water which may include water stored in vessels, buckets and flower pots. The mosquito can breed in 10-15 ml of water. The water accumulated in empty tyres also favours its breeding. When the mosquito bites a person infected with the virus, it spreads it to the others.


* High fever, severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash and mild bleeding.


* Always keep overhead tanks covered

* Drain out water from coolers and scrub dry these once a week

* In case of fever, get your blood test done


* Do not allow water to stagnate in and around your house

* Do not throw discarded containers, tyres, pitchers and pots on rooftops.

* The helpline (Chandigarh)

* For any complaints or queries, residents can contact the malaria wing at 0172-2740408. 



Infections go viral
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 18
The change in weather is resulting in viral infections. More than 75 per cent of patients at the GMSH-16 have complained of body ache, fever and infection.

Doctors said a majority of residents were still using air-conditioners at night. Elderly persons, diabetics and children need more attention.

"The effects of viral infections in the elderly, diabetics and children are likely to do more damage. Caregivers should ensure that the elderly and children are protected from cold in the morning," said Dr Gopal Bhardwaj, head, department of internal medicine.


* Switch off air-conditioners at night

* Wear full-sleeved shirts before venturing out in the morning and evening

* Avoid going to crowded places

* Don't let water accumulate in containers, tyres and rooftops

* Avoid self-medication in any type of medication

* Increase fluid intake

* Maintain hygiene



I-T survey at RLCR supermarket

Chandigarh, October 18
The Income Tax Department conducted a survey at the RLCR super market in Sector 7 today. 

Officials checked documents and products displayed at the shops. Sources said the survey started at 4 pm and was still on. The staff of the shops were not allowed to go out. — TNS



Shopkeepers allege harassment
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 18
Shopkeepers of Sector 7 have alleged harassment at the hands of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA). They said officials were not letting them set up stalls for Diwali.

Thirty-five shopkeepers have been issued notices. They approached the local MLA DK Bansal seeking help.

Bansal asked why the officials issued notices to the shopkeepers during festive season. “We pay crores for setting up stalls in the market. Even we should get relief," said Bobbee Singh, a shopkeeper.

President of the Market Association BB Kochhar said, “The authorities earn huge sums in terms of revenue from the market."

A HUDA official said they had allowed the shopkeepers to set up stalls till Diwali.

"Encroachments will not be tolerated post-festival," he stated. 



GMADA acts tough on encroacher
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 18
Acting tough, the enforcement wing of Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) demolished an encroachment at Phase I here.

Acting on a complaint, a GMADA team, headed by Sub-Divisional Oficer Sukhpal Singh, removed a metal fence and concrete work put up by a house owner. The team put into service a JCB vehicle and was provided security for the purpose.

The house owner reportedly expressed resentment and asked as to why GMADA did not take a similar action against other violators in the area. 



Chemists seek changes in policy

Mohali, October 18
Punjab Chemists Association has sought changes to the policy regarding the issuance of drug licences.

A delegation of the association, led by president Surjeet Mehta, met Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Surjit Kumar Jiyani to put forward their demands. The demands of the association include modification to the policy on the issuance of wholesale drug licences beyond five retail licences and allowing the renewal of wholesale licences at the district level.

The minister has directed the constitution of a committee to examine various aspects of the demands raised by the association and give its findings within 10 days, so that the matter could be presented to the Chief Minister. The committee will be headed by the Food and Drug Commissioner, Punjab. — OC



Satire throws light on corruption
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 18
A satire on corruption and unemployment, ‘Mera Bharat Mahan’, was staged at Kala Gram in Mani Majra. Directed by Jasveer Singh, it was a part of the weekly theatre shows being staged by the North Zone Cultural Centre.

The play was based on three short stories on the deep rooted corruption in our country. One of the stories, ‘Krishan Daroga’, took a pot shot at the bureaucracy and policing in the country.

‘Jado but Jagiyaa’ by eminent playwright Gurcharan Singh showed the awakening of people against official apathy.

The play was staged by Ludhiana-based Karkhal Art Production.



Residents for hassle free tax payment
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 18
Following the issuance of a fresh notification slashing property tax by over 90 per cent, residents have urged the MC Commissioner to make arrangements for the collection of tax
through banks.

"This way, taxpayers will not face any inconvenience and will be able to avail the rebate as per rules,"said Subash Papneja, general secretary of the Residents Welfare Federation, Sector 16, Panchkula.

A copy of the letter has been sent to Panchkula Mayor Upinder Ahluwalia and executive officer OP Sihag. The residents paying arrears from April 2010 to April 2013 within 45 days will be given 30 per cent discount while those paying the tax from April 2013 to April 2014 within 30 days will be offered 10 per cent discount.



PGI conducts workshop on child care

Chandigarh, October 18
Over the last one year, the PGI has organised various events to commemorate its Golden Jubilee. As a part of these celebrations and its welfare endeavours, the PGI authorities conducted a workshop for the child-care workers, aimed at providing quality care to the employees’ children. With an increase in the number of working parents and nuclear families, more and more parents are seeking full-time out-of-home care for their children, starting at an age of six months, till the time they start attending school; with part-time care thereafter.

The workshop was inaugurated by the Director, PGI, Dr Yogesh Chawla. He urged the workers to care for the children so that the parents are relieved of anxious moments.

The workshop sensitised the workers to various issues such as positive child discipline, child development and activity planning, safety issues and hygiene. — TNS



Chandigarh scan

MP pays tribute to Maharishi Valmiki

Chandigarh MP, Pawan Kumar Bansal, paid tributes to Maharishi Valmiki, who authored the timeless epic Ramayana, here on Friday. Pawan Kumar Bansal was the chief guest at a function to mark Maharishi Valmiki's birth anniversary at a Park near Community Centre, Sector 56. Bansal urged people to follow the teachings of Valmiki in letter and spirit. Felicitating the people at another function at Sector 24, he said Maharishi worked throughout his life for the uplift of the downtrodden and oppressed. He also remembered BR Ambedkar on the occasion while advocating the need of equality.

Centre for glaucoma inaugurated

Number of people with glaucoma in India is only going to increase and by 2020 India will have the second largest number of people in the world, afflicted by glaucoma. Till now, eye hospitals have been prioritising cataract services and there has been a felt need for a hospital catering to the needs of people with glaucoma. Eye Q Institute of Glaucoma will help provide increasing the awareness about glaucoma, prompt diagnosis and effective treatment under one roof,” said Dr Devindra Sood, director, Glaucoma Services, Eye Q, while announcing launch of two super-speciality centres for Glaucoma and Retina at a press briefing in Chandigarh. The institute launched in Shalimar Bagh, Delhi, will bring the latest technology. The institute will be led by Dr Devindra Sood, fellow of American College of Surgeons, who has been practicing glaucoma for the past 16 years.


General body meeting of the HMT Retired Employees Association was held under the presidentship of S Satnam Singh. About 50 members were present in the general body meeting of the association. It was informed that employees on rolls of company are going to be paid revised salaries with effect from April 2013.

Professionals honoured

Seven professionals from different fields were honoured by the First Friday Forum, at a special function at Chandigarh College of Architecture, for outstanding work in their respective fields. Founder of the forum, Dr SS Bhatti, conferred the awards on Professor GS Shergill, Kanwar Surjit Singh, Manmohan Khanna, and Sandeep Joshi. Rita Bhatti, a sociologist-educationist, presented Padma Bhushan Jaspal Bhatti Memorial Award to Dolly Ahluwalia Tiwari. Master Poet Rishi Patialvi Memorial Award instituted from this year was conferred by the guest of honour, Er AK Sharma, on Professor Prem Kumar Nazar. — TNS



Eco-clubs in schools an eye wash
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 18
Green Diwali and anti-cracker campaign has become a mere customary affair in the city. The fact that the city has 129 eco-clubs in both private and government schools, none of them had been able to spearhead the campaign against cracker menace, even as countdown to Diwali celebration has already begun.

Every year, rallies and competitions are conducted before the festival, which end up yielding little impact on children’s mindset.

This year, things are not different as the local administration and schools are in a rush of winding up all the activities in similar fashion.

Rallies are planned days ahead of Diwali and effort is more on accumulating students. For some private schools, it is an opportunity to cash upon the green Diwali campaign and become a part of media headlines.

Many in the city stress on various activities both at school and community level to spread the message against crackers.

City resident SS Kaushal, former director, primary education, Haryana, says every Diwali there are several injuries and death in few cases. We need to create sensitivity around this issue and this can’t be achieved with just few rallies or competitions before Diwali. We need a concentrated planning at schools weeks before the festival. Everyday, there can be debate, declamations, and other creative activities for students. Even formative assessment tools can be used to highlight the issue of crackers in an interesting manner. ?We need to understand how sensitive the issue is and that will help changing the mindset of people and the students, he adds.

BS Ghuman, a senior professor at Panjab University is of view that parents can also be engaged through Parent Teachers Association for these campaigns. Most of the schools in the city have their eco-clubs now. The education department should ensure that all schools are ready with their anti-cracker awareness chart at least two week before the festival. Each day even for one hour, there can be some activity or other in the school concentrated towards Diwali menace propaganda. This way, the issue will gain momentum at ground level and results will be more effective, he adds.

NK Jhingan, Secretary, Environment society of India, also thinks that the present system of conducting rallies has become monotonous affair and we need some creative activities. He informs that the NGO will begin their Go Green campaign from October 22 and it will run for at least 10 days.

Nodal officer of eco-clubs in Chandigarh, Om Parkash asserts that the anti-crackers campaigns need to take to the next level with planned activities ahead of the festival

He however says Chandigarh is one of the few cities to hold anti-cracker campaign in India and it has definitely helped bringing awareness on this issue. “We have so many students in government schools that have stopped busting crackers after the campaign, he says.

Many residents are of view that the administration can also engage resident welfare association to promote the concept of community Diwali.



New girls’ hostel to open in Dec
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 18
There is something to cheer for the girl students at Panjab University (PU) who could not get a hostel accommodation on the campus, as with the completion of a new hostel at the South campus in December around 350 students will get the hostel facility. Presently, there is a waiting of over 550 students who have applied for the hostel facility at the university.

With number of girls studying on the university campus relatively larger than the number of boys, getting a hostel has always been an uphill task for the girls due to limited hostel facility available at the campus. While there was a waiting list of 500 students in 2012 and Dean, Student Welfare (DSW), Navdeep Goyal stated the new hostel is at the completion stage and by December the students in the waiting list will be made to shift. Two floors of the hostel are ready, however, we are waiting for the completion of building following which the students will be allocated hostel seats,” DSW said.

DSW further added the new hostel would help in adjusting around 350 students from the waiting list. “We are continuously monitoring the construction work of the hostel to ensure that the hostel gets ready at the earliest.”

There are around 3,300 hostel seats in eight hostels for girls on the campus.

PU officials said they are also trying that the canteen and mess contractors are also hired before the students shift in the hostels. The process to install the elevator in the hostel has also been started and it is expected to be installed in another six-months.



From schools


Annual cultural festival: RIMT World School, Manimajra, celebrated its annual cultural festival ‘Rhapsody’. Parents and guests were present in huge numbers to encourage the children. The students enthralled the audience with Ganesh Vandana and presented captivating array of music and dance performances. A science exhibition with models made by the students was on display that attracted a lot of attention.


Exhibition: Annual exhibition “Panorama” was held at St. Paul’s International School, Mohali. Students showcased their talent in various fields like English, Hindi, Punjabi, science, math and art and craft through various exhibits and acts. The children came to school in colorful attires and complimented the exhibits by presenting their innovative and creative acts. Alka Mahajan, principal of the school, appreciated the efforts put in by the students and teachers and emphasised on the need to explore the latent talent of students. The best three entries from every section were awarded.

Eid celebrations

Children of Golden Bells Public School, Sector-77, Mohali, visited a mosque in Mohali on the occasion of Id-Ul-Zuha (Bakr-Id). Head of the mosque explained children about the history and the relevance of Bakr-Id.

Dasehra celebrated

The festival of Dasehra was celebrated at Gem Public School, Phase III-B2 with great pomp and show on the premises of the school. A huge effigy of Ravana, symbol of evil, was consigned to flames in the ground of the school. Students came to school attired as little Rama, Laxmana and Sita. The children were acquainted with the importance of the day.

Athletic meet

Students of St. Anee’s School, Sector-69, Mohali, shined in District Athletic Championship organised by District Athletic Association, Mohali. Jaskirat of Class-8th won silver medal and Arshdeep Kaur of class 7th won bronze Medal. In under-14 boys’ category, Harpreet Singh of class 8th got silver medal in high jump. In U-16 boys, Gurpreet Singh of class-10th won bronze medal in shot-put. — TNS



PU prof dead 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 18
Dr Dharamvir, former professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, PU, passed away today. He was 83. He was the first PhD degree recipient from IIT Kharagpur. He was cremated at Sector-25 electric crematorium without any rituals today.

His friends, students and admirers including MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, and Professor RP Bambah were present at his cremation. A memorial meeting will be held on Monday, October 21 at 11:30 am in the Auditorium of SS Bhatnagar University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology.



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 |