C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Mohali advocate’s killing
Murder charges framed against 9
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 6
A local court today framed murder charges against the nine accused in the sensational shooting case of Mohali-based advocate Amarpreet Singh Sethi, aka Lucky, over a trivial issue of parking of vehicles.

The charges have been framed eight months after the incident, which took place on February 27.

The accused, who were staying as paying guests in Lucky’s neighbourhood, had allegedly shot Lucky and injured his cousin and a friend by opening indiscriminate fire over a trivial issue of parking of vehicles in front of the victim’s house.

Of the nine accused, Jaswinder Singh from Ludhiana is the son of SGPC member Ranjit Singh Mangali. The other accused are Sunil Bhanot, alias Chhoti, and Rajat Sharma, both residents of Burail village in Chandigarh, Vishal from Delhi, Dharminder Singh from Ludhaina, Onkar Singh and Sunbir Singh, both from Amritsar, Deepak Kaushal, alais Golu, from Phase 3A, Mohali, and Kevin Sushant, alias Richi, a resident of Kharar.

After framing various charges under Sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 506 (criminal intimidation), 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 427 (rioting), 336, 201, 148 and 149 of the IPC and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act against the accused, the court of Mohali Additional District and Sessions Judge Manjot Kaur has set December 4 as the next date of hearing. The court has framed two more charges under Sections 420 (cheating) and 467 against the accused, Dharminder.

As the accused have not presented any defence counsel, the court has offered them to seek free legal aid from the court. The court has directed the accused to present their counsel during the next hearing, otherwise the next proceedings will take place on the basis of statements of the witnesses and other evidence in the case.

The police had registered a case against the nine accused at the Mataur police station.

On February 27, Lucky was shot by the accused when he objected to the parking of vehicles in front of his house by the accused, who were staying as paying guests in his neighbourhood. In the firing, Lucky’s cousin Gaganjot and his friend Simarjeet Singh sustained bullet injuries. The accused had fled from the spot after opening fire. The police had recovered three vehicles -- a Ford Endeavour (PB 10 T 2504), a Skoda car (PB 16 B 0004) and a Bullet motorcycle -- belonging to the accused. The Endeavour belonged to SGPC member Ranjit Singh Mangli, while the Skoda car had a sticker of the Youth Akali Dal on its windscreen. Besides, the police had also recovered swords, a laptop, a hookah and other arms from the room of the accused.

The arms licence belonging of the accused, Dharminder, was found to be fake.



Girl saved from being raped
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 6
Alertness on the part of a woman professor of DAV College and some girls saved a young girl from being raped at Sector 67 here this evening. The police has arrested the accused, Jaswinder Singh, after registering a case under Sections 376 and 511 of the IPC against him at the Phase XI police station.

Giving details, Prof Iqbal Preet Kaur, who is also the president of the DAV College Teachers Union, said she was driving with her niece when she noticed that the accused was forcibly taking the victim into bushes alongside the road around 7 pm.

“Sensing something foul, I stopped my car. Meanwhile, four girls, who had also noticed the activity, reached there and we caught hold of the accused,” said Iqbal Preet Kaur. They informed the police, which reached after 20 minutes.

Area SHO Jarnail Singh said the victim, who was staying as a paying guest in Sector 66, was going to the market when the accused started chasing her. “We have arrested the accused after registering a case of rape against him. He will be produced before a court tomorrow,” the SHO said.

Police took more than 20 minutes to reach spot

Iqbal Preet Kaur claimed that the police took more than 20 minutes to reach the spot after being informed. “We made five calls on 100, but nobody turned up for over 20 minutes and we had to detain the accused for that period,” claimed Iqbal Preet Kaur. The Phase XI police station is just a stone's throw from the spot.



'Extortion expose' on FB
Police gives clean chit to ASI; complainant cries foul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Even as the UT police has given a clean chit to the ASI whose audio recording, in which he allegedly admitted that he had taken a bribe, was uploaded on the traffic police page on Facebook, the complainant today cried foul and demanded an independent inquiry into the case.

The complainant, Anil Grover, a CITCO employee, said the police had failed to take action against its own man and he would write to the Inspector General of Police regarding the case.

Yesterday, Anil Grover had provided the link of an audio clip on the Facebook page of the traffic police, containing an alleged conversation between him and ASI Ramesh Chander. The ASI, posted at the Sector 11 police station, is heard admitting that he had taken an amount of Rs 1,000 and then Rs 16,000 for pursuing a compromise in an accident case involving Grover’s minor son.

However, an inquiry conducted by the SHO of the Sector 11 police station, Inspector Gurmukh Singh, today gave a clean chit to the ASI. Police investigations revealed that the ASI had settled the accident case and Rs 8,000 each was handed over to the two affected parties towards damages and this fact with the amount was also mentioned in the DDR lodged at the Sector 11 police station. Thus no bribe was ever taken by anyone in the case, reveals the inquiry. Moreover, president of a welfare society in Sector 15 Surinder Sharma, who was a witness when the case was being settled, issued a statement that the money was paid by Grover as payment for the losses incurred without any involvement of the UT police.

“Investigations have not found the ASI at fault. The complaint has been found to be fabricated. The money was handed over to the affected party as payment for damages and the fact is also mentioned in the DDR. Moreover, the complainant called the ASI days after the compromise had been reached so as to falsely trap him,” said Inspector Gurmukh Singh, SHO of the Sector 11 police station.

However, the complainant said even if Rs 16,000 was received by the affected parties as damages, the ASI had also accepted in the conversation that he had received Rs 1,000 earlier. “What about Rs 1,000 which he accepted earlier? Moreover, the SHO of the same police station is conducting the inquiry? Is this way the police functions?” said the complainant.

The complaint

As per the Facebook complaint, Grover accused Chander of forcibly impounding his car, cheating, criminal breach of trust, threatening and of misusing official machinery. He alleged that on October 28, his minor son had hit two wrongly parked cars in the Sector 15 market and Chander had impounded all three cars.

"I reached the police station were Chander asked for "chai-panni" and demanded Rs 2,000 and said the case was settled," said Grover, who stays in Panchkula. "Later, Chander called my wife and asked her to reach the police station with my

son. He threatened her that he would register an FIR against my son and demanded Rs 8,000 to give to each of the owners of the two damaged cars," he said. On October 31, Grover again called Chander and recorded the conversation, wherein the official recognised him and admitted that he had taken a bribe.

Complainant’s sister gets threat calls

While Grover is a CITCO employee, his sister is employed with the Police Department in a clerical job. Sources said some officials of the Sector 11 police station threatened Grover’s sister asking her that her brother should take back the complaint against the ASI otherwise they would implicate him in the accident case and an FIR would be registered against them. Grover’s sister received more than 10 calls on her phone today, the sources said.



Post of Finance Secy
UT recommends Aggarwal’s name
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
The Chandigarh Administration has recommended the name of Anurag Aggarwal, a 1990-batch IAS officer of the Punjab cadre, to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for the post of Finance Secretary.

The Punjab Government had sent three names for the post of Finance Secretary to the Chandigarh Administration. Present Finance Secretary V K Singh's term will end in January 2014. Those whose names had been sent include Anurag Aggarwal, Sarvjit Singh and Hussan Lal.

Aggarwal is at present posted as the MD of the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board. Sarvjit Singh is a 1992-batch IAS officer posted as Secretary, Revenue. Hussan Lal, a 1995-batch officer, is the MD of the Punjab Systems Corporation.

Eight officers had shown interest in joining as the UT Finance Secretary when the Punjab Government had sought names for the post. Of them, the names of three were sent to the Chandigarh Administration for selection. 



Moderate quake jolts tricity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
An earthquake of moderate intensity shook the tricity and the nearby areas this evening. The tremor measured 4.9 on the Richter scale and was felt in the tricity at 8.23 pm.

According to the Met Department, the epicentre of the earthquake was in Hoshiarpur district in Punjab and the border region of Himachal Pradesh.

No loss of life or damage to property has been reported from the city.

“I was watching television at home and suddenly saw the ceiling fan shake. I immediately realised it was an earthquake,” said Sonia, a resident of Sector 50. She said residents of the society in which she lives immediately vacated their houses after the earthquake. 



INLD yatra spells traffic chaos on Panchkula roads
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 6
Several residents here faced inconvenience during the “yuva chetna yatra” organised by activists of the Indian National Lok Dal activists this morning. The activists were seen flouting traffic rules, resulting in traffic jams at several places.

A motorcade, comprising cars, jeeps and SUVs, was led by INLD leader Digvijay Chautala during the yatra, which reached the town at 10.30 am and after covering various sectors, headed for Kalka via Pinjore.

Cars of INLD activists were seen plying on the wrong side of the road at various points. Several activists were seen without wearing seat belts. Commuters were forced to use a single lane in two-way roads due to the yatra.

The cavalcade entered the premises of Government College at Sector 1, where Digvijay Chautala addressed youths.

According to the staff of the college, this was in sheer violation of the norms, which required prior permission to hold a political event in any educational institute.

Chautala and the activists of his party remained in the college for around 20 minutes. College Principal SP Singh said no permission was taken from him. “In fact, I came to know about the development only in the evening,” he said.

At the Chandimandir toll plaza, several people have to wait for around one hour when the cavalcade reached there and occupied all counters. 



MC auctions parking lots, nets Rs 3.31 cr
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
The municipal corporation today auctioned 15 parking lots and earned a revenue of Rs 3.31 crore. The highest bid at the auction was received for the paid parking lot at Sector 35-C. The parking lot was auctioned for Rs 67.05 lakh against the reserve price of Rs 43.23 lakh. In the last auction, the lot was auctioned for Rs 64.50 lakh.

In the auction held today, only one parking lot of Piccadilly Multiplex-II, Sector 34-A, failed to find any bidder. The auction held earlier in August for five parking lots had flopped after the civic body levied 12.36 per cent service tax.

The second highest bid was received for a truck parking lot in Sector 26, which was auctioned for Rs 61.10 lakh against the reserve price of Rs 36.86 lakh. Last time, this parking lot was auctioned for Rs 54.60 lakh.

The parking lot of Kiran Cinema, Sector 22, fetched the lowest amount of Rs 3 lakh against the reserve price of Rs 1.35 lakh. Last time, this lot was auctioned for Rs 2 lakh.

MC Additional Commissioner Sunil Bhatia said, "The aim of the civic body is not to earn revenue, but to provide facilities to the residents. The bid prices received are above the reserve price. The process of handing over the parking lots will be expedited."

Service tax controversy

After a protest by contractors over the service tax issue, the MC had reduced the reserve price by 10 pc. However, even after the auction today, contractors claimed there was no clarity on the service tax issue.

Bhatia said the terms and conditions were clear. The contractors will have to pay service tax on the bid amount. Besides, if they generate income which is more than the bid amount, they will have to pay service tax on the extra income directly to the Service Tax Department. 



PU hires 3 professionals to keep simians at bay
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
After trying various means to keep simians away from the campus with little success, Panjab University (PU) has now hired three monkey handlers who will shoo simians out of the campus by making different sounds.

The university will pay the monkey handlers Rs 10,000 each as the monthly salary for keeping the campus monkey-free.

The simians are a perennial problem on the PU campus, especially in hostels and residential areas. The problem is severe in boys' hostel numbers 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Monkeys jumping from one balcony to another in hostels and tearing students' clothes is a common sight. Known for their mischievous acts, the monkeys even turn dustbins upside down in the hostels.

Since there is a ban on using langurs to shoo monkeys, the university has hired professionals who are trained in shooing out monkeys by making strange sounds.

The simians move in groups from one part of the campus to another, troubling students and residents. The university hopes the residents will be able to heave a sigh of relief once the trained men get into action.

All three monkey catchers will be deputed in different parts of the campus and their mobile numbers will also be provided to the security guards posted in hostels and to campus residents, who can call them whenever their services are required. The duty hours fixed for the trained men are from 7 am to 6 pm in winters and 6 am to 8 pm in summers.

Officials of Panjab University said all hostels would contribute towards the salary of the monkey catchers.


Better mohali
Private buses, autos thrive on Admn apathy
The most advanced town of Punjab, Mohali, having a population of around 3 lakh, has no public transport system. People use their own vehicles or the most hazardous mode of transportation, auto-rickshaws. In the Part 3 of the series on commuting, The Tribune reporters Akash Ghai and Kulwinder Sangha, along with photographer Vicky Gharu, check the ground reality of the transportation scenario in the 35-year-old town. 

Residents here are largely dependant on a few public transport buses of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU), about 25 privately owned mini-buses, connecting only a few villages, and around 1,500 auto-rickshaws, which operate without any check by the authorities.

Auto-rickshaws move covering almost the entire one side of a road in Phase VI, Mohali
Auto-rickshaws move covering almost the entire one side of a road in Phase VI, Mohali.

The residents of developing and newly developed sectors, industrial area and peripheral villages are the worst sufferers. While about 25 CTU buses ply on just nine main routes in the town, most of the parts of Mohali district sans public transport. People residing in these parts of the district have been left with no option to use their own vehicles, including cycles, two-wheelers and four wheelers for commuting.

The district authorities admit that the town and its peripheral villages are in a drastic need of a public transport system.

“The traffic congestion on the roads and parking problems have become the issues of concern here. An efficient public transport system will be an appropriate answer to such issues,” said AK Sinha, Chief Administrator, Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA).

Sinha said steps had been taken in the direction by roping in a government agency, Urban Mass Transit Company Ltd (UMTC), for preparing a detailed project report (DPR) on the existing means of public transport in Mohali and its adjoining areas.

“The DPR will be readied within the next three months,” said Sinha, adding that a meeting was held in this connection on October 15.

“Another high-profile meeting will take place on November 15, during which the UMTC’s senior vice-president and other officials, senior officials of the Kharar MC, Zirakpur, Mohali district administration will take part,” said Sinha.

Auto-rickshaws popular mode of commuting

The most popular mode of transportation in and around the town is auto-rickshaws. According to Mohali district Transport Officer Karan Singh, the number of auto-rickshaws plying in the town is about 1,500. Not only in the town, auto-rickshaw is also the most popular mode of transportation among commuters traveling between Mohali and Chandigarh. While in the town, fare charged by auto-rickshaw operators is Rs 5, it is Rs 10 or Rs 15 for a ride between Mohali and Chandigarh.

“The main reason behind the popularity of auto-rickshaw is they are easily available. One can find an auto-rickshaw at any moment on any main road. As their charges are also nominal, just equal to the CTU bus fares, we all prefer auto-rickshaws over the CTU buses,” said Sapna and her three friends, who daily commute from Phase VII here to Sector 17 in Chandigarh.

Mini-buses plied by private transporters

To connect the town with some main villages of Zirakpur, Dera Bassi and Lalru, about 15 mini-buses are run by private transporters here. Karan Singh, Mohali DTO, said these mini-buses had permits. “These buses have been allotted specific routes,” said the DTO. The buses have proved to be a boon for the residents of those villages which have no public transport at all.

Private buses rule Mohali bus stand

As no local buses are being run here, the bus stand at Phase 8 has virtually been taken over by private bus operators, who run buses to various towns from here. During a random survey of the bus stand, it was found that only private buses were parked there. An official at the bus stand confirmed that the bus stand was being used mainly by private bus operators. “Only a few government buses used to come here to pick up passengers. The government should have its own local transport and use this bus stand for the same,” said Parveen Kumar, a local resident. 

Three-wheelers a big nuisance
While this mode of transportation is being used by more than 25,000 commuters daily in the town, the auto-rickshaws are certainly, a big nuisance on the roads. “Lacking traffic sense, auto-rickshaw drivers cause several accidents everyday,” admitted a senior traffic police officer. As there are no designated halts for these autos, they stop anywhere, even in the middle of the road to pick up or drop their passengers. “They often overload their autos and drive fast to make more money thus putting the lives of the passengers and other commuters to high risk,” said Sukhminder Singh, a motorcyclist.

When asked why doesn’t the police issue challans to them for violating the rules with impunity, a traffic policeman said it was not possible to track them everywhere. “Moreover, the staff shortage in the traffic wing here is another issue,” he added. 

"The Mohali Administration needs to get serious about public transport in the district if Mohali is to be developed as the ‘Crown Jewel’ of Punjab. At present, Mohali is totally dependent on the CTU\Chandigarh Administration to meet its transportation needs. Though Mohali started as a suburban centre to cater to the needs of Chandigarh, today, Mohali as a city, has taken life of its own. I don’t understand what is the need to develop a world-class bus station at Phase 6 without a bus service to cater to the needs of its citizens? The administration needs to involve citizens and develop a plan to meet the transportation needs of the city. If every citizen of Mohali were to buy his own private vehicle, then we will see the entire city get chocked with traffic" —
Robin Aggarwal, a private school owner in Mohali

"In the absence of a local bus service in Mohali, residents have to depend on auto-rickshaws, which have been causing a lot of pollution in the town. They also cause accidents as their drivers often stop wherever they feel like. As the first traffic marshal in Mohali, I had to challan a large number of auto-rickshaw drivers on charges of overloading, jumping the red light and causing pollution. In the absence of a local bus service, auto-rickshaw drivers charge fares according to their whims. Travelling by auto-rickshaws after 8 pm is also not safe for women and senior citizens. It is very important to have a local bus service or there will be total chaos on the roads in the near future. Low-floor buses with frequent service are required" — Swarn Chaudhry, retired college principal

"The Punjab Government has not provided any local bus service in Mohali for the convenience of the residents even though it has been making claims of developing the town into an ultra-modern city. Though more than 30 years have passed since the town was developed, only the CTU buses can be seen running in the town. People can not afford cabs for commuting daily in the town. As such the residents have to depend on auto-rickshaws. Most auto-rickshaw drivers allegedly fleece passengers. Mohali is in dire need of a local bus service" — Manjeet Singh, former municipal councillor

"Residents have become used to not having any public transport system in the town and look for alternative means of transport. In the absence of a proper cab system, most of them have no choice other than auto-rickshaws" — Inderjeet Kaur Sandhu, school principal

MC Commissioner’s take
Mohali Municipal Corporation Commissioner Uma Shankar Gupta admitted that a public transport system was required, keeping in view the congestion on the roads of the town. “The corporation has drawn up a plan to start its own city bus service with 50 buses, which will link the town with Kharar, Chandigarh and Zirakpur. We have written to the higher authorities and talks are on,” said Gupta. There were many stakeholders like the PRTC and the CTU. “We have requested the Chief Administrator of GMADA to hold a meeting of all stakeholders so that a decision in principle can be taken. GMADA will provide land for setting up a workshop and a bus stand. There is a plan to have 50 buses for Mohali. Each bus costs about ~35 lakh. Funds for the project have to be arranged,” said the Commissioner. 



tavera-audi accident
CFSL yet to submit its report
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
The infamous Tavera-Audi accident case today failed to make much headway as the report by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory report is yet to be received. The case will now come up for further hearing on December 10.

The Chandigarh Police has been finding itself at the receiving end once in the case, with the Punjab and Haryana High Court rapping it on its knuckles for ‘shoddy investigations’.

Even on the previous date of hearing, the High Court had once again questioned the police on the method of its investigations that left the task of gathering evidence on the victim’s kin.

In response to the queries by Justice Amol Rattan Singh, the police had made attempts to justify its actions by claiming that a special investigation team was constituted and the services of the erring cops was placed under suspension. The Central Forensic Science Laboratory too had been asked to step in.

Taking a note of the contentions, Justice Amol Rattan Singh had asked the Chandigarh Police to carryout the probe expeditiously. The assertion came after the victim’s family expressed apprehensions on delay in receiving the CFSL report.

The directions came on a petition filed by Yash Pal Juneja, father of 21-year-old victim. Two college students from Ghaziabad and a taxi driver had died on the spot when their Chevrolet Tavera was involved in a collision with Audi Q7 after the vehicle crossed over the divider. The accident occurred on July 24 around 1 am. Initially, the Chandigarh Police had registered a case against the taxi driver who died in the accident. It was only after a hue and cry was raised that a case was registered against the SUV driver.

Blaming the Chandigarh Police for carrying out ‘tainted’ investigation, the father of the victim has sought transfer of the probe to some independent investigating agency. He has alleged that the accused is close to politicians and high-ups and is influencing the investigation done by the Chandigarh Police.

Juneja also alleged the police was trying to protect the accused by not collecting evidence; and he and his daughter had found some ‘OCB sheets’ from the car of the accused at the police station. “He further submitted that a blood stained hanky and some broken pieces of beer bottles were found by the petitioners, allegedly from the spot of accident and all these articles were handed over to Ashish Kapoor, Deputy Superintendent of Police who, subsequently, possibly handed over the said articles to the Special Investigation Team, stated to have been constituted by the UT SSP,” the High Court observed in its previous order.



We were not in city when inspector was murdered, says accused couple
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Recording their statements in court today in the Inspector Sucha Singh murder case, the accused couple, Basant and Sarita, stated that they had been framed in the case and were not present in Chandigarh when the alleged murder took place.

Recording their statements under Section 313 CrPC, the accused told the court that the UT police, in connivance with Haryana police, had framed them in the case so as to boost their image. They said there was no evidence that they were present in Chandigarh on the night of the crime and even the inspector did not name them while recording his last statements.

The two told court that they were innocent in the case and accused the UT police of framing them so as to save their image as the murder of the inspector had tarnished the police’s image.

On June 8 this year, UT police Inspector, Sucha Singh, was brutally murdered and a home guard volunteer critically injured right opposite the Sector 17 police station near old district court building. Inspector Sucha Singh, posted with traffic police, was on night checking along with his driver, a home guard volunteer, Jatinder Singh, when they rounded up the accused couple who was on foot on suspicion. The youth stabbed both of them repeatedly and fled with his woman accomplice after snatching their gypsy which they later abandoned.

The police later booked constable, Basant, alias Bunty, and his girlfriend, Sarita, for murdering the inspector. Constable Basant had committed a double murder in his hometown, Sonepat, on April 18 and was still absconding with his girlfriend Sarita in that case. The Haryana police had announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for their arrest.



Dispute over holding religious discourse leaves MC in a fix
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
A dispute between two groups at Sector 52 residents over holding a seven-day long ‘Bhagwat Katha’ has left the Municipal Corporation (MC) in a fix. The permission given by the MC for holding the ‘katha’ at a park near the LIG flats has left one of the groups of residents fuming who have complained that it would lead to disturbance. Both the groups have locked their horns over organising the function.

The ‘katha’ will be organised from November 9 to 15 at the park in the middle of the housing society.

KL Banga, president of the Resident Welfare Society of the Chandigarh Housing Board flats at Sector 52, said the small park where the ‘katha’ is to be organised is surrounded by three-story flats which would lead to nuisance and mental agony due to high volume. “There are senior citizens and students residing in the houses who will have to suffer with the continuous noise due to the high pitch speakers to be installed by the organizers,” Banga stated. Banga further added that majority of the residents have been demanding shifting of the venue for which they have written to the MC Commissioner.

The residents also staged a protest at the MC office today for cancellation of the permission granted to the organisers.

GS Parmar, organiser and a resident of the same sector, when contacted, stated that all the residents and even the members of RWA had agreed to the ‘katha’ being organised at the park, however, later few of them started raising objections. “A large number of residents are supporting us and they don’t have any objection in organising the ‘katha’ which is held once in two years,” Parmar stated.

Parmar further stated that there was no other place where the function could be organised. The dispute has now left the MC in a fix, which is trying to settle down the issue. 



MC staff fail to clean Community Centre; residents fume
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Garbage lying in around the Community Centre at Sector 23 has left residents fuming who complain that the filth has led to foul smell in the area.

The leftover waste of a function organised at the Community Center on Monday has been lying there only with no one bothering to clean it-up. “Even a day after the function the MC staff failed to clear the leftover food, disposable glasses and other garbage which has been scattered on the back of the Community Centre,” said a resident of Sector 23.

Another resident stated that the MC should ensure that the premises of the community center are cleaned the very next day after any function. “The stink makes it tough for the residents of the nearby houses to stand outside,” resident stated. 



auction of vanity nos.
RLA to accept cash as reserve price of numbers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Taking into cognisance, the inconvenience caused to the applicants in the last open auction conducted by the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) the authority will now accept the cash for the reserve price of number to participate in auction. In last auction, the payment had to be paid through draft from any nationalised or scheduled bank in favour of the RLA to participate in the open auction.

As per fresh norms, the RLA will accept cash only of the reserve price from the applicants participating in the open auction of the vanity numbers. The auction of the left out numbers CH01-AR, CH01-AS, CH01-AT, CH01-AU and CH01-AV will held on November 9 at the office of the RLA.

The UT Administration has rejected the Registration and Licensing Authorities (RLA) proposal for calling the applications as and when the last series number finishes besides the open application of bidders on the day of auction. The RLA had mooted a proposal that for the auction the vanity number the department should start calling the applications after the ending of the number of last series. With this, the department will get an indication about the response of the applicants for the auctioning of the new series.

An official revealed that they had sent a proposal keeping in view the fact that it will help the department to get good response from the applicants for the auctioning of the new vanity numbers. They hoped that with this the applicants will bid for higher price and there would be healthy competition among them. Official added that earlier also, the department had called applications and released the number to the highest bidder.

A senior RLA official said the proposal had not been approved by the higher authorities stating that as the department had recently launched an open auction and it would take some time to get good response from the public. In fact, in the first open auction, which was conducted on October 19, the department had got good response considering that there will be no modification in the terms.



3 more test positive for dengue in city

Chandigarh, November 6
With the detection of three more dengue cases in the city today, the number of such patients has increased to 69. While the UT malaria department claimed that according to the field survey, conducted at various places in the city, today, it was found that there was a decrease in the mosquitoes breeding places which indicates control on dengue cases soon.

National Vector-Borne Disease Control (NVBDC) Programme Nodal Officer, Anil Garg, stated that during the study of dengue cases by the department it was found that there were similar numbers of cases in all parts of the city. He revealed special monitoring was being done by the field staff at the areas, including Modern Complex Mani Majra, Indra colony, Kisan Bhawan in Sector 35 and Burail, where residents used water-coolers. He said after monitoring the situation, plan will be chalked out for fogging in the city. — TNS



8 sustain injuries in minor clash
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Eight persons sustained minor injuries when a clash between residents of Colony number 4 and employees of a MC contractor, responsible for cleaning the sewerage line of the colony, ensued tonight.

The incident occurred around 8 pm, the time when residents of the colony use to return from their works daily.

Shashi Shankar Tiwari, a resident of the colony and chairman, Colony Cell (Congress), said, the contractor's employees blocked the main road of the colony at night for cleaning of sewerage purpose. "As they are doing the job for the past eight days during night hours, several residents face inconvenience due to blockade of the road at this time. When we went to talk to them (the employees), they started arguing with us which led to assaulting. Then both parties started throwing stones on each others," said Tiwari.

The residents alleged that the work should be carried during daytime. Meanwhile, the police reached at the spot and took members of both the parties to the police 



MC road panel’s nod for paver blocks
  Despite ban, the work will be carried out in areas where agendas have been passed
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Despite the directions by the UT administration to discourage the installation of paver blocks in the city, the Roads Committee of the municipal corporation has decided to carry out the installation of paver blocks in those areas where agendas have already been passed.

Recently, at a meeting of the coordination committee between the UT administration and the MC, the administration had issued directions to the MC to encourage the installation of green paver blocks instead of the normal paver blocks in the city. They were of the view that there was no policy of the MC regarding the installation of normal paver blocks.

But in the recent meeting of the MC’s Roads Committee, the minutes of which were made available today reads, “After a detailed discussion, the majority decided and recommended the work which have already been approved by the competent authority i.e. House/F&CC/Road Committee (especially the works whose tenders have been accepted and work allotted to contractors) must be executed and the new policy shouldn’t be applicable to them.

Councillor Mukesh Bassi, who is also a member of Roads Committee, said that in the meeting members asked the officials to present the copy of orders issued by the UT administration but the officials failed to do so. Thereafter, the committee members decided to carry out the installation of paver block work in those areas where works have been allotted to contractors otherwise contractors can drag MC in the court for violating the contract orders, he said.

Councillor and committee chairman Sat Parkash Aggarwal said the majority of members were in favour of allowing the installation of paver blocks where agendas had already been passed. The MC is committed for full-fledged policy for the installation of paver blocks and soon it will be finalised, he said.

The MC has spent more than Rs 20 crore on paver blocks. Defying its policy time and again, and tweaking it as per convenience, the civic body has installed the concrete structures in every nook and corner of the city. In fact, a majority of the agenda items that are approved every year pertain to paver blocks.

Paver blocks first installed in 2003

These were first installed in the city in 2003. For the purpose, money was allocated from the Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) funds. Gradually, as the budgetary allocation of the civic body increased, the concrete structures also witnessed a rise. At present, these are put on pavements, near market and around parks eating into the green spaces.



diwali night
Noise pollution exceeds limits in Mohali town
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 6
The noise level on the night of Diwali in the town exceeded the permissible limits creating additional pollution for the residents of Mohali.

According to data available with the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), even the sensitive Fortis Hospital zone was not spared of high levels of noise pollution.

The town was divided into three zones for the purpose of ambient noise monitoring. While one zone comprised the sensitive areas like hospitals, the second was a commercial zone and the third a residential zone.

A six hour monitoring was conducted starting at 6 pm till midnight. The noise levels were recorded every hour.

The levels of noise pollution near the Fortis Hospital was recorded at an average of 56.7 dB (A) against the permissible limit of 40 dB (A). The pollution levels remained high than the permissible limits through out the six hour duration. The lowest level recorded was 55.3 dB (A) between 6 pm and 7 pm and the highest level of noise  pollution was recorded at 57.8 dB (A)  between 10 pm and 11 pm.

In the residential area of Phase VII, too, the average level of noise pollution was high and recorded at an average of 68.8 dB (A) against the permissible limits of 55 dB (A). The lowest pollution was recorded at 61.8 dB (A) between 6 pm and 7 pm which went up to a maximum of 74.6 dB (A) between 11 pm and midnight.

However, in the commercial area of Phase VII the average noise pollution recorded was at 64.3 dB (A) which was lower than the permissible limits of 65 dB (A). The pollution remained lower than the permissible limits from 6 pm to 10 pm but was recorded as high as 70.2 dB (A) between 10 pm and 11 pm.



Bar council gives approval for more courses at UILS
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
The Bar Council of India (BCI) has accorded its approval for affiliation to BA, BCom and LLB five year integrated courses at the University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS), Panjab University (PU), with effect from the academic year 2011-12.

In a communication received at PU today, BCI has informed that two sections of 60 students in each course have been sanctioned for the courses.

It may be recalled that earlier three sections of five year integrated law course were sanctioned, which have been increased to four sections now.

UILS Director Prof Sangeeta Bhalla said UILS had applied for the said affiliations in December 2010 and the inspection of the same by the BCI was conducted in August 2013.



Driver flees with owner’s car
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
A PGI employee, Harwinder Singh, reported that his driver fled away with his Indigo car. A resident of Sector 24, Harwinder said that his driver, Kuldeep Singh, took away his car (number CH-01-AG-6086) without any intimation after dropping his parents. Harwinder added that he had recently hired Kuldeep.

A case under Section 406 of the IPC has been registered in this regard. The police said the accused is a resident of Hoshiarpur and raids are on to nab him.



UT officials inspect bus queue shelters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
For the face lifting of the bus queue shelters in the city, which are in a bad shape, an inspection was conducted under the supervision of UT secretary transport Bhawna Garg today along with the officials of UT including chief engineer, chief architect and CTU director.

Sources in the administration revealed that various bus queue shelters, which are located on Madhya Marg, Dadu Majra and internal sectors of the city were visited by the officials. The officials were asked to shortlist those bus queue shelters which are in a bad shape and to draft a design for their renovation.

Sources said the UT secretary transport had also called a special meeting to finalise the design of the bus queue shelters on Monday which would be followed by the renovation of bus queue shelters. A senior official revealed that in the next three months all the bus queue shelters will be renovated by the department concerned.

The sources also revealed that last year around 60 bus queue shelters were constructed but the Transport Department failed to maintain them.



Tricity Scan


Chandigarh: Dr SK Deveshwar, Professor at Punjabi Department, Panjab University, Chandigarh, has been awarded with senior fellowship on the project 'Resistance to Globalisation and making of Indianness in Contemporary Punjabi novel in the field of Punjabi literature'. He has been awarded this fellowship by the Union Ministry of Cultural Affairs. Among 177 persons chosen for the fellowship this year, Dr Deveshwar is the only one awarded this fellowship in Punjabi language. A Marxist Punjabi literature critic, he has written a dozen books and published 60 research papers.

Talk on creation of universe held

First Friday Forum organised a talk on 'Glimpses of creation of the universe'. Speaker, Manmohan Khanna, a spiritually-inclined practising architect, showed in his presentation how the scientific Big Bang Theory is akin to the Creationist Theory in which the Big Bang occurred within the Supreme Being who was then in a state of 'shunya smadhi' or self-absorption.


Pendyala Surya Prakasha Rao and Manoj Khattar took over as General Manager (Network-I) and General Manager (Network-II), SBI, Chandigarh Circle, respectively, here on Tuesday. Network-I comprises all branches in Punjab while Network-II consists of all branches in Haryana.

Delegation meets I-T Chief Commissioner

A delegation of the ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) led by CA Krishan Joshi, chairman, ICAI, Chandigarh Chapter, met Promila Bhardwaj, IRS, who has joined as the new Chief Commissioner of Income tax (North West Region) in Chandigarh. — TNS



2 found using mobiles during exam, flee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
The police has booked two Sonepat-based youths for allegedly cheating and copying through their cell phones during a railway job examination (Post group-D) at the Post Graduate College, Sector 46.

The accused have been identified as Manjeet Kumar and Manjit Kumar. The complaint against the two was lodged by Ravinder Kumar, joint in charge-cum-senior division railway officer, Ambala. In his complaint, Kumar said when the two boys were spotted using cell phones they escaped from the examination centre throwing their phones on the spot. The youths were also getting answers through messages. A team was dispatched to Sonepat for nabbing both of them.

The police said initially the railway authorities conducted a probe at its own level and later forwarded the complaint to the area police.

The mobile phones have been handed over to the police for investigation. The police have registered a case of cheating under Section 420 of the IPC at the Sector 34 police station.



PU to develop more parking areas 
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
In a bid to accommodate rising number of vehicles in the hostels, Panjab University (PU) has decided to develop more parking area near the boys’ hostels to accommodate the four-wheelers of the residents. The university plans to provide a parking space for over 150 vehicles at various locations on the campus.

Lack of parking space and rising number of vehicles on the campus has forced the university authorities to mull over new parking lots.

Earlier, the university had decided that the hostel residents won’t be allowed to bring a four-wheeler, however, the university later took a U-turn. The parking area of not more then 30 cars in each boy’s hostel has turned the roads opposite to the hostels into a parking area leading to clogging on the road.

Warden boys hostel Yograj Angrish said the vacant land in front of boys hostel number 6 and 7 would be developed into a parking lot to accommodate the vehicles of the students which were parked on the narrow road in front of hostels. “The parking would accommodate over 100 cars of students and the teaching department near hostel number 7,” he said.

PU has planned to develop another parking near the Indian Theater Department next to boys’ hostel number 1 that would accommodate around 50 vehicles.

To ease the traffic on the campus the university has also planned to develop the empty space behind the Arts block-I, close to the PU gate number 1 opposite PGI. The parking when developed will lessen the rush of the vehicles parked on the road leading to traffic snarls.

The proposal has been sent to the construction wing of the university to workout the estimate for developing the parking.



Community colleges critical to Canada, India’s future: Scholar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Community colleges are critical to the future of Canada, India and the world as a whole, said University of the Fraser Valley, British Columbia (Canada) Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mark Evered while addressing a
one-day Indo-Canadian Seminar on ‘Community Colleges and Faculty Development Programme’, which was organised by the PU Department of Public Administration in collaboration with the University of the Fraser Valley and Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), North-Western Regional Centre, Chandigarh at ICSSR Complex, PU Campus, today.

Prof Mark Evered said educated communities were healthier, wealthier, safer and more democratic. Institutions of higher learning, including community colleges could help to improve the access of communities to higher education and thus building richer communities, he said.

In his presidential address, UT Finance Secretary VK Singh acknowledged the critical role of education in the transforming societies and economies.

He opined that flexibility in admissions, multiple entries and exits, job oriented courses, cost-effectiveness and high employability were the hallmarks of the community colleges.

Seminar Coordinator Prof BS Ghuman said the seminar was being organised in the backdrop of a policy decision by the Government of India for the opening of 200 new community colleges in India with the purpose of developing skill-based trained manpower blended with academic inputs and generating high employability.

Professor Ghuman said in India around 500 community colleges already exist with 1,615 programmes having one-lakh students. The community colleges promote inclusive education as 91.22 per cent students in community colleges belong to economically backward groups. He said, “community colleges produce vocationally trained man power, promptly employable in small and medium size enterprises, and make education inclusive by preparing students for upward mobility to the universities.”



Institute celebrates successful launch of ‘Mangalyaan’ 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
The Gurukul Vidyapeeth Institute of Engineering and Technology celebrated the successful launch of ‘Mangalyaan’ in the Mars orbit, here today. The management, staff and 50 students of the Department of Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering of Gurukul Vidyapeeth organised a seminar on the occasion. Sandeep Sharma, lead trainer, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) congratulated all its fellow members, students and staff.

A cake cutting ceremony was also organised by the students of the institute to celebrate the great success in the field of science.



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