C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Outsider found dead at PU hostel
  Complained of chest pain; was staying illegally in his friend’s room
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
A youth staying illegally at his friend’s room at Panjab University’s boys hostel Number I, died under mysterious circumstances this morning. The outsider had just arrived at his friend’s room where he fell sick. He was rushed to Government Multi Specialty Hospital (GMSH)-16, where doctors declared him brought dead.

The deceased has been identified as Rajesh Kaushal, a former PU student, who was a native of Rampur district in Himachal Pradesh (HP). The deceased along with another outsider had come to stay for the night at Rahul Mehta’s hostel Room Number 10 in Block 4.

Jaskaran Singh, warden, boys hostel Number 1 said that he had received a call from the hostel at around 6 am about an outsider, who have fallen ill in the hostel. “We immediately called the university ambulance and rushed the youth to the hospital”, Singh stated.

The warden said that the Rahul, the hostel resident, claimed that Rajesh and his friend arrived at the hostel at around 2 am. “Rahul said that Rajesh reported of chest pain so he (Rahul) went to a chemist to buy medicine, however, the chemist asked for the doctor’s prescription following which he returned to the hostel”, the warden said.

At around 5.45 am, Rajesh’s condition deteriorated following which Rahul informed the hostel security. The university’s ambulance was then called. Sources stated that Rajesh died on the way to the hospital.

PU students hailing from HP thronged the hospital soon after they came to know about the death of the youth. The family members who arrived in the city this evening refused to get the autopsy of the deceased done.

Sachin Kanwar, a student leader, hailing from HP, stated that the family took the body and the belongings that were kept at the hostel.

Gurmukh Singh, SHO, Sector 11 police station stated, there were no injury marks on the body of the deceased.

Exposes chinks in PU hostel security

The incident of an outsider staying at the Panjab University (PU) hostels has once again exposed the lapses in the hostel security that fails to check the entry of outsiders on its premises. The presence of outsiders in the hostels makes the campus vulnerable to violence and theft incidents. Although there is a security guard at every hostel gate and CCTV cameras are installed at the gates, the university has not been able to keep the outsiders away from the hostels. There are seven boys hostels on the PU campus in Sector 14 and another hostel at the South Campus. 



64-yr-old accident victim dies at GMCH, family alleges negligence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
High drama prevailed at the emergency of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, when a 64-year-old accident victim died at the hospital this afternoon allegedly due to the negligence of the hospital staff.

Family members and son (extreme left) of Gurbachan Singh (inset), outside the GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigharh, on Friday.
Family members and son (extreme left) of Gurbachan Singh (inset), outside the GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigharh, on Friday. tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari 

The deceased, Gurbachan Singh, a Sector 20 resident, was brought to the emergency at 10.30 am after he sustained injuries on his head and face in an accident and died at 2.30pm.

While his family members alleged that he died due to mismanagement of the emergency staff in arranging oxygen cylinders and other equipment for stabilising him, it failed to file any complaint against the staff to the hospital authorities.

“They first installed an oxygen cylinder but realised that it was empty. Then the nurse on duty went inside to find the key to open the lock of the cylinder, but never returned. When we finally managed to find the keys, they took too long to find a new cylinder. All this while, no doctors turned up to see him,” said Gurinder Kaur, his daughter-in-law.

When contacted, Medical superintendent, Dr AK Janmeja said, “We haven’t received any complaint so far, but when we receive one, we will take action.”

Victim Gurbachan met with an accident when some stray dogs came in front of his motorcycle near Singhpura turn on the Zirakpur-Ambala highway this morning.

The police officials said Gurbachan Singh, a retired bank official, suffered head injuries, which led to excessive bleeding. A passerby immediately informed the highway police that took him to Dera Bassi Civil Hospital in the highway ambulance. He was then referred to GMCH-32.

Zirakpur SHO Tarlochan Singh stated that inquiry had been initiated in the case. The body will be handed over to his relatives after conducting postmortem examination on Saturday, he added. 



Worker’s death: Hind Motors in the dock
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 1
The police has registered a case against Hind Motors, an automobile company, here on a charge of causing death by negligence of a worker.

The police said, Nirmal Singh of Sector 45, Chandigarh, who worked as a salesman, had complained that he had received a phone call on October 30 around 5.30 pm informing him that Ajay Kumar, a resident of Chandigarh, had fallen from a lift. Ajay Kumar was working as an electrician at the company located in Industrial Area, Phase II, here.

Nirmal Singh further told the police that on getting the information about Kumar, he reached the spot and found that the latter had died. He took his body to the Phase VI Civil Hospital.

The complainant alleged that the lift door was faulty and could not be closed. Even then it had not been repaired by the company, he further said. A case has been registered under Section 304-A of the IPC in this regard. 



Dip in festival sale, rise in chaos on tricity roads this Dhanteras
Gold, cars no hot favourite with residents
  Sale of cars witnesses fall by 40%, yellow metal by 50% as compared to last year
Vivek Gupta/Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

A jewellery shop wears a deserted look in Sector 22, Chandigarh, on Friday
(Top) A jewellery shop wears a deserted look in Sector 22, Chandigarh, on Friday . tribune photo: Pradeep tewari 
(Below) A lit-up electronic market in Sector 18 and a customer receives keys of her new car at one of the showroom on the occasion of Dhanteras in Chandigarh on Friday.
Tribune photos: S Chandan

Chandigarh, November 1
Just like the yellow metal that lost its sheen this Dhanteras, the sales of cars also registered a dip this year as compared to last year. While the city markets witnessed footfall on Friday evening, gold and cars were not the hot favourites among residents this time.

Across the tricity, car deliveries on Dhanteras came down by 40 per cent this time against those reported on Dhanteras last year, while the sale of gold coins as well as ornaments turned out to be 50 per cent lesser than last year.

Following the Central Government's recent decision to ban the import of gold coins/bars in the country and ongoing liquidity crunch, the supply of this precious metal became a cause of concern at post offices, banks as well as the retail market in the city.

The Department of Post, which used to sell good quantity of gold coins and bars before Diwali in the city, had their counters closed for over a month now.

Vinod Talwar, president, Jewellers Association, Chandigarh, said that the sale of gold coins used to be the major highlight during Dhanteras. But the bulk buying of gold coins did not take place this festive season due to the Government of India’s recent ban on important of gold bars and coins.

Meanwhile as many as 400 car deliveries were reported at nearly 35 showrooms across the Tricity today. Though the deliveries/sales this Dhanteras were lesser than last year, the market has recovered from the slump witnessed fromthe beginning of the current year, said the dealers.

“The festive season has brought the momentum back into the market. Record sales have been reported in the past few weeks, while the sales were down for the past eight to nine months,” said Pardeep Sheoran, head (sales), Globe Toyota, Mohali,.

Four-seater cars were the choice of most of the buyers today. The bookings were made days in advance for taking deliveries on the auspicious day of Dhanteras.

Several customers came to buy gold coins today but they had to face disappointment due to non-availablity of the stock across the retail counters. Gold coins were available in a few banks today but not all denominations were available. An official of ICICI Bank said that the mounting current account deficit and fall in the value of rupee in comparison to dollar had forced the government to take strict measures this year. “What banks sold today was out of their old stock, lying with them. Following the ban imposed by the government, no fresh stock of gold bars and coins available this festival season, he said.

Last year, the State Bank of India sold over eight kg of gold coins last year in Chandigarh but their sale was very subdued this year. Anil Chadha, local in charge of SBI’s Gold Banking Division, said that the exact figures of the sale of gold coins and bars in Chandigarh would be known after Diwali, but overall sales had been since there was no sufficient supply this year.

Vigil at jewellery shops

A week after conducting surprise checks at sweetmeat shops that were evading value added tax (VAT) by not issuing bills, the UT Excise and Taxation Department today deputed officials at the shops of all the major jewellers to ensure that bills were issued against the sale proceeds. It being Dhanteras, the officials suspected that there could be evasion of VAT. RC Bhalla, Assistant Excise and Taxation Officer (AETC), said the VAT on the yellow metal was one per cent of the sale proceeds. 

Gold not sold beyond Rs 7 crore

Gold sale in Chandigarh has gone down by more than 50 per cent this Dhanteras. Sources in the industry informed that the average sale this Dhanteras did not go beyond ~7 crore. “Last year the average sale of gold in the city on the occasion of Dhanteras was above `20 crore, but this year, major slump was witnessed during the festival season because of non-availability of gold coins/bars and overall liquidity crunch in the market, said Vinod Talwar, president of the Jewellery Association, Chandigarh.



It was bumper-to-bumper
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
With the festive season round the corner, driving around the city has become a nightmare for commuters who witnessed traffic snarls on all major city roads today. The roads leading to the markets in Sector 17, 18, 19, 22, 34 and15 were almost choked due to heavy traffic.
Residents buy utensils on Dhanteras in Chandigarh on Friday.
Residents buy utensils on Dhanteras in Chandigarh on Friday. Tribune photo: Pradeep tewari

On Madhya Marg, Udyog Path and Dakhsin Marg traffic snarls inconvenienced the commuters. The 15-minute drive from Tribune Chowk to Sector 17 was stretched to 35-minute drive.

Similar situation was witnessed on the roads connecting Mohali and Panchkula to the prominent sectors in the city.

The traffic situation in the evening was worse as the traffic that was literally crawlling left the commuters exhausted in traffic jams.

Ashwarya Chauhan, one of the city residents, stated that it took him almost an hour to reach Sector 22 from Zirakpur. “On any given day, it takes me less then 30 minutes to reach these sectors, however, due to the festive season, it took double the time”, he stated.

Even the alternate routes to travel across the city failed to rescue the commuters from the traffic snarls.

The traffic police deployed in the city also proved to be of little help due to large number of people from neighboring cities visiting Chandigarh for shopping.

It took around 40 minutes for Manpreet Kaur, a resident of Sector 37, to travel to Sector 17 in the evening. “I thought of shopping at Sector 17 today, however, the traffic on the road left me fuming”, Kaur stated.



Small Flat Scheme: Slum dwellers of Colony No. 5 told to vacate land
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
By the end of this month, land worth crores of rupee will be free from the illegal occupation of slum dwellers in Colony No.5 here. Setting a deadline for the removal of the slum, the district administration has issued a 21-day notice to the slum dwellers, who have been allotted one-room tenement, under the Small Flat Scheme 2006 in Dhanas.

Deputy Commissioner Mohammed Shayin said public notices had been pasted in the colony giving time to the beneficiaries under the rehabilitation scheme to evict the government land. After the notice period, the Estate office would be carrying out a drive to evict the dwellers.

As many as 5,000 beneficiaries had been identified for rehabilitation on the basis of biometric survey carried out in 2006.

All “jhuggis” that had come up after 2006 would be pulled down after the notice period, said officials in the colony branch of the UT Estate office.

So far, 600 of the total 5,000 targeted beneficiaries are yet to take possession of the one-room tenaments inaugurated by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh at Dhanas in September. Over 8,000 one-room flats have been constructed at Dhanas.

One of the clauses in the rehabilitation scheme was the beneficiaries would have to vacate the land in colony within 30 days of taking possession of the one-room flat.

But on the other hand, the notice has come as surprise to the beneficiaries who were hoping to stay on till the general elections next year due to political reasons. While some of the slum dwellers are citing the academic year of their children to delay shifting, others have started shifting their household goods to the flats at Dhanas.

Sources in the Administration said the tentative cost of 60 acre of land under the colony was worth over Rs 200 crore. The colony was a serious roadblock in the growth of the third-phase Sectors and it affected the adjoining areas.


HUDA bends the rules
 Allows vendors to set up stalls in parking lots; charges Rs 1,000 each
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 1
The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has found a way to jack up its revenue. It has given a green signal to the setting up of stalls in parking lots and is charging vendors Rs 1,000 each.

It was learnt that HUDA had issued notices to those encroaching upon the parking lots in the past.

But now it seems that it does not care about the norms.

Commuters are facing a tough time parking vehicles outside houses in the narrow lanes of Sectors 7, 9 and 11.

The bill issued to the vendors does not bear a stamp or any official's name. There are 30 stalls in the Sector 7 market.

MLA DK Bansal said there was no such rule under which the authorities could charge the vendors.

"It is that time of the year when the vendors get a chance to set up stalls without paying a penny. But this time, they have been asked to pay Rs 1,000, which is unfair," said Bansal.

Earlier, they were asked to shell out Rs 6,000 per stall. It was after they requested the authorities that the amount was fixed at Rs 1,000. When asked why the vendors were being charged for setting up stalls in parking areas, HUDA estate officer Vandana Disodia said, "The vendors have been setting up stalls in the parking lots for long. When they can pay hefty sums to shopkeepers, who allow them to display goods outside their shops, why can't they pay us. We learnt that they have been paying Rs 6,000 to the shopkeepers and market associations."

"Such stalls can be set up on grounds. This way, commuters will not have to face a harrowing time while parking their vehicles. In the absence of space, people park cars haphazardly outside houses, said Vivek Bhandari, a resident of Sector 7, Panchkula. 



Chandigarh-Patliputra train runs jam-packed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
The inaugural run of the Chandigarh-Patliputra bi-weekly Express was a success. The city has got its 13th long-route train which connects it with prominent places of the country.

The train ran jam-packed. The special train departed from Chandigarh at 9.30 pm. It will arrive at Patliputra at 8.45 pm tomorrow.

After flagging off the train, MP Pawan Kumar Bansal said an inter-city Chandigarh-Amritsar train will be started from November 17. Keeping in view the rush of passengers, the service was launched, he said.The Chandigarh-Patliputra bi-weekly Express will depart from Patliputra on every Wednesday and Sunday from November 3 at 8.30 pm and reach Chandigarh at 5.55 pm the next day. On return, the train will depart from Chandigarh on every Monday and Thursday from November 4 at 9.30 pm and reach Patliputra at 8.45 pm the next day. The regular and inaugural run of the new train comprises two AC II Tiers, three AC III Tier, 10 sleeper class, six general class and two disabled friendly second class-cum-luggage van coaches. The train, on both the sides, will halt at Danapur, Ara, Buxar, Mughalsarai, Varanasi, Sultanpur, Lucknow, Hardoi, Bareilly, Moradabad, Roorkee, Saharanpur and Ambala Cantt stations.

Better connectivity

Chandigarh connected with Madurai, Mumbai, Dibrugarh, Kochiveli, Allahabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Goa, Lalkuan, Hazur Sahib, Sai Nagar Shirdi and Banaras

Trains yet to commence

* Chandigarh-Amritsar inter-city express via Mohali and Ludhiana (daily).
Indore-Chandigarh express via Dewas, Ujjain, Guna, Gwalior and Hazart Nizamuddin (weekly).
Kalka- Jammu-Udhampur to Katra Express via Chandigarh (two days).

Extension of trains

* Chandigarh-Lucknow express to Patna (two days).
Yesvantpur-Hazrat Nizamuddun Sampark Kranti Express to Chandigarh (two days).
Madgaon- Hazart Nizamuddin Express to Chandigarh (two days).

Increase in frequency of trains

* Kochuveli-Chandigarh Express (one to two days).
Madurai-Dehradun/Chandigarh Express (one to two days).



Tough-looking men to bust crime in style 
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
The Chandigarh police is planning to switch from Tata 207 crew cab to Tata Xenon crew cabin. The upgraded version of the vehicle is under trial. Presently, Tata 207 vehicles have been allotted to all police post in-charges in the city.

Tata Xenon crew cabin will replace Tata 207 crew cab in Chandigarh.
Tata Xenon crew cabin will replace Tata 207 crew cab in Chandigarh. A Tribune photograph

The upgraded version of Tata 207 has been brought to the city on a trial basis. Fitted with a hood at the rear, the vehicle can accommodate five passengers in the cabin and four passengers at the rear. The vehicle has an open cabin and can be used for transporting barricades and other material. Xenon crew cab has a new design and is better than Tata 207 crew cab. Sources said Xenon might replace Tata 207 crew cab.

“The demo vehicle designed as per the needs of the Chandigarh police is under trial," said a police officer.

The sources said the city police was mulling over replacing Maruti Gypsy with Maruti Ertiga diesel version.

The police has tried the vehicle. “Ertiga is comfortable and can accommodate seven passengers," they said.

It is learnt that Ertiga will replace PCR vehicles which are to be condemned. 



SI’s promotion stayed

Chandigarh, November 1
The Chandigarh Administrative Tribunal today stayed the promotion of a sub-inspector in the reserved category. Eight sub-inspectors had moved the tribunal challenging the promotion the SI. The tribunal stayed the promotion and stated in its order that it had already decided that there could not be any reservation in promotions.

Notice to Admn

The Chandigarh Administrative Tribunal today issued a notice to the UT Administration and Dr SK Bhalla, director, UT Health and Family Welfare.

In his petition, Dr Rajinder Sharma, Senior Medical Officer at Government Civil Block Hospital, Sector 22, Chandigarh, had stated that he was the senior most SMO in the UT and 11 years senior to Dr SK Bhalla, but still the UT gave Dr Bhalla the additional charge of the director, Health Services and Family Welfare, on October 4. The next hearing is scheduled for November 18.— TNS



Celebrating intelligence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
The 71st Intelligence Corps Day was celebrated at Chandimandir Military Station with solemnity, traditional verve and spirit today. It was on this day in 1942 that the then Governor General-in-Council sanctioned the formation of the Intelligence Corps (India). 

Since its inception, the Intelligence Corps has been providing real time and close intelligence support to the Army, both in peace and war. Contribution of these unsung heroes, who operate behind the scenes, in Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka, Operation Vijay in Kargil Operation Rakshak in Jammu and Kashmir as well as in counter insurgency operations in the north-east, has been lauded. 

The Intelligence Corps is an effective part of the National Intelligence Grid. With the complex intelligence challenges emerging in modern warfare and on internal security issues, the Corps has evolved over the years, both in human and technical intelligence fields as a potent force multiplier. Senior Army Commanders have extended their greetings to all personnel of the Western Command intelligence units and extolled them to continue working in the true spirit of the corps motto 'Sada Satark'.



Play on 1857 mutiny marks Haryana Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
As a part of the Haryana Day celebrations, the Department of Cultural Affairs, Haryana, in collaboration with CEVA Drama Repertory Company, Chandigarh, presented the play “1857 ki kahani Haryana ki zubani” at Haryana Raj Bhawan.

The play, produced and directed by GS Chani, went on to show that it was not a matter of coincidence that before the first shot of mutiny was fired by Mangal Pande in Meerut on May 10, 1857, soldiers at Ambala had already revolted against the British.

The uprising of the Indian soldiers at Ambala and Meerut on the same day confirmed the fact that the revolt had been meticulously planned by its leaders in advance and was kept a closely guarded secret.

The soldiers wanted to catch the Britons unawares while they attended the Sunday church services, the play showed.

The artistes integrated “swang”, a folk theatre of Haryana, with the contemporary theatre techniques to stage the play.



Consumers told about their rights

Chandigarh, November 1
The BSNL organised a consumer education workshop today. General manager, Telecom, Chandigarh, JS Sahota apprised consumers of the telecom consumer complaints redressal regulation, 2012, telecom consumers protection regulation, 2012, and the mechanism used for its implementation. The workshop was attended by 40 consumers.

President of the Citizens Awareness Group Surinder Verma also addressed the participants. He highlighted the importance of consumer rights and grievance redressal mechanisms. — TNS



The fast and the furious
 Youth Congress workers break speed limit on overbridge 
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
Speed has no limit and rules hold no meaning for the influential. The law enforcers are mute spectators when kin of a politician breaks the law. This was the scene at the newly inaugurated overbridge in Sector 17 where MP Pawan Kumar Bansal’s son and members of the Youth Congress allegedly broke the speed limit.

The MP’s son, Manish Bansal, and activists of the Youth Congress zipped past the MC officials and Pawan Kumar Bansal on their motorcycles several times. The MP’s son, who was riding pillion, was not wearing a helmet.

Activists of the Youth Congress also performed stunts on the bikes even as the police looked the other way.

All praise for MC

MP Pawan Kumar Bansal on Friday inaugurated the overbridge in Sector 17. Mayor Subhash Chawla was also present. Bansal appreciated the MC for improving the infrastructure in the sector. He said from the Chandigarh was fast turning into the city of opportunities.

Project details

Mayor Subhash Chawla said the overbridge was in the original plan of the city which was drafted by Le Corbusier. It has been constructed as per the conventional two-lane dual carriageway with centre median and pedestrian walkway on both sides. There are 40 booths beneath the bridge. There is a provision of two elevators and two public toilets. The cost of the project is Rs 16 crore.

All on MC’s expenditure

Even as the MC spent Rs 3 lakh on the function, it looked more of a Congress rally. Party workers were raising slogans in favour of Bansal.

Second inauguration

Leaders of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Salim Khan and Sanjeev Babbar inaugurated the overbridge in evening. They also distributed onions among shopkeepers. 



Nominated councillor takes a dig at MC 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
Targeting a former mayor and MC engineers, nominated councillor Surinder Bahga today stated that he played a major role in starting projects like multi-level parking lot in Sector 17, overbridge in Sector 17 and MC’s additional floors in Sector 17.

He said he put in efforts to open a primary school in Sector 49.

"The civic body has never appreciated my hard work. It has always ignored me," Bahga said.

He said Congress councillor Pardeep Chhabra did not do anything, but still his name figured on the invitation list.

He said the Chief Engineer and Superintendent Engineer, who had opposed the projects, had got their names written on the 
foundation stones and invitation cards.

Bahga said, “There is no policy to encourage councillors. The MC gives credit on stones and plaques without bothering about the contribution of anybody. Awards like best councillor and best ward should be incepted. We also tabled an agenda, but it was not discussed during house meetings. We need to review the policy."



Nurses leaving course midway to be penalised
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
After doctors, nurses are set to pay a penalty for deserting BSc and MSc nursing seats at the PGI. The institution has proposed to impose a fine of Rs 25,000 and Rs 50,000 on nurses leaving the courses midway.

Owing to the shortage of staff, the institute has been finding it hard to improve patient care.

Sources in the PGI administration said head of the National Institute of Nursing Education (NINE) had informed the authorities that students were frequently leaving the institute.

"To stop the practice, we should impose a penalty of Rs 25,000 on those students who leave BSc nursing and Rs 50,000 on those leaving MSc nursing.

The security amount may also be increased from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 for BSc nursing and Rs 10,000 for MSc nursing. In case a student leaves the course before its completion, the security money may be forfeited," states the proposal mooted by the PGIMER's Standing Academic Committee.

Earlier, the Standing Finance Committee of the PGI had approved to increase the penalty on junior residents leaving the course midway. The penalty was increased from Rs 50,000 to Rs 75,000.

The penalty for leaving after two years was increased from Rs 1,00,000 to Rs 2,25,000. The PGI has been grappling with staff shortage while the number of patients in the Emergency and the OPDs, has been rising.

A senior official of the PGI said the seats deserted by junior residents continued to remain vacant throughout the course. 



diwali celebrations
Panel to monitor pollution at 3 sites
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
Following the previous year’s trend, the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCC) will collect the data of air and noise pollution in the city during Diwali from only three locations.

Till 2011, data was collected from as many as seven sites. Since 2012, however, the UT administration is collecting data from only three locations: residential, commercial and silence zone.

The decision was taken on the directions of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

The CPCC chairman, PJS Dadwal, said the number of locations was reduced on the lines of other cities.

“Due to the difference in the number of locations, we were finding it difficult to compare the noise and air pollution with other cities,” said Dawal.

He said a similar sample size will help in comparing the figures with those from other cities.

The department will install its own equipment on three days, starting tomorrow. They will collect the data between 8 pm and 10 pm.

According to a recent report of the department, the air quality in the city has deteriorated in the past few years. The report was based on a survey conducted at five locations: IMTECH-39, Industrial Area Phase 1, Kaimbwala, PEC University of Technology and Sector 17. The level of respiratory suspended particulate matter (RSPM) and suspended particulate matter (SPM) were found more than the permissible limits.

Last Diwali was noisy, polluted

According to data collected by the UT Pollution Control Board in 2012, on Diwali the noise level had reached 76.7 decibels (db) in the residential zone against the permissible limit of 45 db. Similarly, in the silence zone, the noise level was 76.4 db against the permissible limit of 40 db. Likewise, in the commercial zone, the noise level was 67.8 db against the permissible limit of 55 db. In terms of air pollution, the city witnessed maximum pollution in the silence zone. Sector 29, which was declared a silence zone, had witnessed a respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) level of 349 micrograms per cubic metre against the permissible limit of 100.



p’kula market
Bouncers to keep miscreants at bay 
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 1
The Sector 7-market association has hired bouncers to keep a check on troublemakers, after some girls were harassed by youths late night on Karwa Chauth recently.

Three bouncers, including one woman, have been deployed to deal with eve-teasers. They will be staying at the market from the afternoon till the night. The bouncers will also keep a check on haphazard parking and intervene in case visitors quarrel with the security guards deployed there.

“During Karwa Chauth, when some girls were getting mehndi applied on their hands at night, a few youths troubled them. To deal with such situations, we have hired the bouncers,” said Bobbee Singh, who owns a shop at the Sector 7 market.

“Though the market association has hired 10 security guards, miscreants don’t listen to them and even misbehave with them. The bouncers will also deal with those who enter into a scuffle here,” said the president of the market association, BB Kochhar.

“A commuter, yesterday, had a heated argument with a police official when he was being told to park his vehicle at a proper place. People don’t listen at all. Presence of bouncers can at least check them,” said Kochhar.

The bouncers, reportedly, are being paid Rs 1,000 for a six-hour duty.

Police personnel have also been deployed at the market to check any untoward incident. They will keep vigil at the market throughout the day.



Bal Niketan sans funds for 3 yrs
 District judge promises to take up the matter with department
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 1
District and Sessions Judge-cum-chairman of the district legal services authority RK Sondhi today found that funds that were meant for the children of Bal Niketan at Sector 2 here have not reached them for past three years.

The Bal Niketan authorities told Sondhi that whenever they enquired about the funds from their higher-ups, they would get a “standard reply” that the government had not sent any funds.

Sondhi was visiting the Bal Niketan for an inspection with the Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-secretary of the district legal services authority, Sunil Chauhan.

Sources said each child was entitled to Rs 850 per month, and they had not received the amount for three years. There are 46 children in the home.

The Bal Niketan authorities told Sondhi that they had been surviving on donations.

Sondhi assured them that he would look into the matter. He said the district legal services authority would take up the matter with the department concerned.

Sondhi also asked about the well-being of the children and enquired if they were taken out for picnics. He inspected the kitchen and the surroundings, which were found hygienic. The district judge told the superintendent of the Bal Niketan to make identity cards for the children.



Second notice served on schools
 Education Dept bars giving clerical work to government schoolteachers
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
The UT Education Department has served another notice on all the government schools, asking them to immediately transfer the responsibility of monitoring the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) funds from schoolteachers to clerical staff.

This is the second notice sent by the department within a month and a half. The previous notice, issued on September 16, raised similar concerns.

Source said the failure of the schools to give heed to the previous order forced the department to resend the notice.

Nearly 100 government schoolteachers end up working as clerks in the UT government schools, while managing the SSA funds. Their responsibility includes keeping the attendance record of teachers recruited under the SSA society, making their salary cheques, and maintaining account heads, cash books, ledgers and stock registers besides other formalities.

The SSA, being the largest literacy programme of the Central Government, regularly releases grants to government schools under several academic heads, and the whole burden to keep a record of these grants lies on these teachers.

A school teacher, Ravinder Sharma, said that due to this responsibility, teachers did not get time to take their classes.

“It is also a big financial loss to the government. A clerk earns half of what a senior teacher gets. Making a teacher serve as a clerk can’t be justified,” he said.

Arvind Rana, president of the SSA Teachers’ Welfare Association, said making teachers perform clerical duties violated the Right to Education Act, 2009. He said as per the Section 27 of the Act, no teacher could be deployed for any non-educational purposes other than the decennial census, disaster relief or election duties.

“The earlier orders of the Education Department did not have any impact on the schools. The second order should be implemented strictly," he said.

Dr Vinod Sharma, president of the Government Teachers’ Union, however, said the problem could not be solved till the department deputed additional clerical staff in government schools.

“There is a severe shortage of clerical staff in the schools and this problem should be simultaneously addressed,” he said. 

No clerical post sanctioned under SSA, clarifies Dept

In the fresh notice, the UT Education Department has made it clear that no post of clerk has been sanctioned for schools under the SSA society. It is, hence, the duty of the existing clerks in the schools to manage the SSA funds along with their routine work, the notice states.



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