C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rly exam aspirants left in lurch
Many carrying printouts of their roll numbers not allowed to take exam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Utter confusion prevailed once again at the centres for the railway recruitment examination when the candidates carrying printouts of their roll numbers were not allowed to appear for the examination. The ambiguity in the instructions left several students in the lurch as they lost the opportunity to take the exam.

The hardships of the students did not end even when they reached the railway station as a single train could not accommodate more than 20,000 candidates.

In fact, similar situation was witnessed during the railway exam held in the city on October 27. The candidates at different exam centres missed their chance for appearing for the exam, as they were not carrying original roll numbers.

One of the candidates at a school in Sector 20 stated that he was carrying his identity proof. However, he was not allowed to take the exam. “I was carrying my voters-ID card. Yet, I was not allowed to appear for the exam,” he said.

Meanwhile, railway officials said it was clearly mentioned in the directions to the candidates that they would have to carry their original identity cards to the examination centres.

Another candidate stated that they Railways should have the provision of allowing candidates to appear for the exam by showing the printouts of their roll numbers and identity proofs.

Chaos at railway station

Chaos did not come to an end even when the students rushed to the railway station for boarding the special train up to Ambala. Both at the platform and the ticket counters, there were more than 25,000 students who had come to appear for the railway recruitment cell's exam (Group D). The train, jam-packed with students, departed at 3.25 pm. Students' rush at the railway station inconvenienced other passengers also. “There should be more trains for us. When it is known in advance that such a huge number of applicants will be coming to the city, the arrangements should be made accordingly,” said one of the candidates. Divisional Manager Gulshan was not available for comments.



PU to open fourth gate
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Panjab University (PU) will soon have a fourth gate near the law department to regulate increasing traffic on the campus. The gate near the law department was closed due to security reasons about two decades ago.

The decision to reopen the gate was taken at a recent meeting. The gate will open on the road leading to Mullanpur.

Yograj Angrish, a Senate member and member of the traffic committee, stated with the opening of the fourth gate on the campus, the students of the law department, School of Communication Studies, sociology, pharmacy department, UILS and others would have an easy exit from the campus.

Officials stated that the objective behind having another gate on the campus is to restrict the movement of vehicles on the campus. "The students will not have to move across the campus to reach different departments," an official said.

The proposal to have the fourth gate was earlier mooted in 2011. However, the university didn't go ahead with it.

The university is reviewing all the decisions taken by various committees constituted in the last few years to chalk out a plan to control traffic on the campus.

Security guards will be deployed at the gate to check the entry of vehicles. "We are planning that the gate will be kept open during the working hours only when the flow of vehicles on the campus is more," a member of the committee said.

At present, there are three gates on the PU campus, one opposite the PGI and the other two opposite the Sector 15 light point and Sector 25. The university had recently decided to develop vacant spaces near the boys' hostels into parking lots. These parking lots would come up in front of Boys' hostel VI and VII. 

What PU students say

There should be no-vehicle zones on the campus to ensure a smooth flow of traffic. The hostel residents, PU teachers and employees residing on the campus should visit different blocks on foot as it will surely help in controlling the increasing traffic

— Gurminder Singh

I feel cycles should be encouraged on the campus. The PU authorities should make cycles available at all the gates for the visitors to move within the campus

— Shilpa Rawat

I think the entry of commuters, who use the campus roads for their convenience, should be controlled to check the increasing traffic. The entry of outsiders on the campus leads to traffic snarls

— Saurabh Mittal 



CBI denies receiving complaint from accused
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Even as a rape accused, who levelled allegations of bribe against an Additional District Judge, said he had submitted a separate complaint to the CBI, the investigating agency said today that no such complaint had been received by it so far.

Industrialist Manjit Singh Arora, an accused in a four-year-old rape case, has also filed an amended petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, alleging that two Panchkula residents had demanded a bribe of Rs 50 lakh from him on behalf of a district court judge for exonerating him from the charges.

While addressing a press conference yesterday, Manjit Arora stated that he had filed a complaint with the CBI in which he had mentioned the alleged demand of bribe. However, SP (CBI) Vineet Brijlal said they had not received any formal complaint in this regard so far.

“There is no complaint in writing against any judge given to us. We have not received anything in this regard,” said the SP.

The case of the accused is pending in the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Najar Singh and is slated for a hearing tomorrow. The industrialist has also filed a complaint with the District and Sessions Judge for transferring the case to another court.

Manjt Arora has demanded a stay on the proceedings of the case in Najar Singh’s court besides the transfer of his case to another court.

He claimed that he had already paid Rs 25 lakh as part of the bribe money to Dr Naresh Mittal, Rs 15 lakh on October 16 and Rs 10 lakh to his wife on October 29. He has also named Balbir Chaudhary in his petition.

In his petition, Manjit Arora stated that he had video and audio recordings of his conversation with Dr Naresh Mittal when he gave him the money. He said the case was adjourned by the district court to October 31 and then on November 7 and further to November 12, but even then he was continuously being threatened to pay the remaining amount. Under pressure, the petitioner moved the Punjab and Haryana Court on November 7. 



Fleeing Honda City driver drags cop up to 1 km
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
A youth driving a Honda City car critically injured a head constable of the UT Traffic Police as the former was trying to escape from the police at a barrier at the Hallomajra light point last evening. The head constable, Rajinder Kumar, was dragged on the bonnet of the car for more than a kilometre until the accused was nabbed by the police at The Tribune roundabout.

Rajinder Kumar, along with an ASI and a Home Guards volunteer, was on traffic duty at the Hallomajra light point. They signalled a Honda City car, the driver of which was talking on the mobile phone, to stop.

The driver of the car, 25-year-old Nitin Kumar, stopped the vehicle briefly when he was asked to show his documents. Suddenly, Nitin pressed the accelerator in an attempt to escape from the police. Rajinder, who was trying to stop him, fell on the bonnet.

The ASI and the Home Guards volunteer started chasing the car on their motorcycle. It was only after a distance of 1.5 km that Nitin stopped his car. The head constable fell down and suffered injuries on his hands and feet.

The police has arrested Nitin in a case of attempt to murder, rash and negligent driving and assault on a policeman. A case has been registered at the Sector 31 police station. He is employed with a telecommunication company as a distributor.

Previous incident

On September 30, a constable of the Chandigarh police, Vijay Kumar, was run over by a speeding SUV on the Dakshin Marg. Vijay Kumar was inspecting an accident spot when he was hit by the SUV driven by Girawar Singh.



Improved supply brings down veggie prices
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
In a big relief to city residents, the price of onion has come down to Rs 40 at Apni Mandi after remaining above Rs 70 for the past four months. The onion prices rose during the monsoon this year and had consistently remained high varying between Rs 70 a kg and Rs 100 a kg, both at Apni Mandi and in the retail market.

"In a family of four, at least 1 kg of onion is a must per day to prepare three meals. We had to cut down on onion consumption after we lost hope of the prices coming down. But given the increased cost of other vegetables and fruits over these months, we had to bear with a lot of variation in the monthly expenses," said Aruna Singh, a resident of Sector 33, who was buying vegetables at the Apni Mandi today.

As the supply of most winter vegetables has improved, the cost of peas and cauliflower, the most sought-after vegetables, has also come down significantly. While peas have come down to Rs 40 a kg from Rs 100 a kg, the cost of cauliflower is down from the last week's price of Rs 80 to Rs 30 now. 


Better Chandigarh
Stray dogs continue to haunt city residents
Even as the Municipal Corporation claims to have sterilised 5,000 stray dogs in the past five years, the menace of stray dogs continues to haunt the city residents.
 In the Part I of the series, The Tribune reporter Ritika Jha Palial and lensman
S Chandan take stock of the situation.

In a survey conducted in 2012, the UT Animal Husbandry Department pegged the number of stray dogs in the city at 7,847.

Whether the residents are walking up to markets or enjoying a walk in the green belts, they are not spared from the menace of stray dogs.

While last year, the civic dispensary in Sector 19 (dedicated dispensary for treating rabid bites) reported a total of 601 cases of stray dog bites, the number touched 4,689 till November 14 this year.

Of these, a majority of them were bitten on legs. Sample this: 38-year-old Gurcharan Kaur was walking up to the nearby market for purchasing grocery in Sector 20 when a bunch of stray dogs attacked her. She tried to shoo them away, but was bitten badly by one of the dogs. She has decided not to go by walk anywhere now.

The situation was no different for 5-year-old Tarun, who was attacked by a dog while he was going to a school. He fears going to the school alone now, said his mother Sona Devi, a Sector 49 resident. Thirty-three-year-old Mukesh, meanwhile, has not been able to overcome the nightmare of going for an evening walk when he was attacked by a bunch of stray dogs near his residence in Sector 30.

No other active measure than sterilisation

Animal Birth Control (ABC) rules define the sterilisation of animals, including stray dogs, as the best measure to control the population. The officials take the alibi that they cannot take any other measures as the rules do not provide any other solution for the purpose.

Sterilisation rate in dogs slower than growth in population

While the MC had designated three NGOs, two in Chandigarh and one from Panchkula, to take up the sterilisation process of dogs by earmarking their areas of operation, only two are currently active.

The Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (SPCA) and the People for Animal (PFA) have been carrying out the sterilisation of dogs, but given the resources and time taken in carrying out the procedures, the rate of sterilisation remains as low as 150 dogs a month by each NGO. The birth rate of stray dogs is higher than the sterilisation, as per MC officials.

Dog pound still on paper

The Municipal Corporation and the UT Administration are only exchanging letters regarding the setting up of a dog pound in the city. The proposal for the construction of a dog pound was made several years ago. Budgetary allocations are made every year in the Municipal Corporation. However, the project is yet to see the light of the day.


There are a couple of new measures taken up. We had recently directed the NGOs to intensify the sterilisation process and focus more on bitches for sterilisation. Besides, we are planning to introduce the laparoscopic procedure for sterilisation that not only consumes less time but also brings down the pain suffered by the dogs during the sterilisation. We are currently working over the modalities of this new technique. About dog pounds, we need to understand that a dog pound is different from a cattle pound. A dog pound is not a shelter for all dogs. It is meant only for taking care of sick dogs and they are to be relieved as soon as they recover.~

Rajiv Gupta, MC Joint Commissioner

What people say

Taking pet dogs out makes us more vulnerable to stray dog bites as they often attack the pet dogs when we take them for a walk. It gets difficult to save yourself and your pet from stray dog bites.

Rupinder Pal Kaur, Assistant Professor, Khalsa College, Sec 26

The dogs should be restricted from entering parks. They are often found sleeping on the grass and are not visible at night. Those taking a stroll during evenings tend to step over the dogs unintentionally.

PS Sandhu, a CITCO official

There is a dedicated dispensary in Sector 19 for handling rabid dog bites. But there is an inadequate arrangement for emergency services in the wee hours.

Alka Mahajan, a resident of Sector 22


* There should be dog pounds in the city and dogs should be shifted there.

n* More NGOs should take up the responsibility of sterilisation

* Emergencies in hospitals should be strengthened to deal with dog bites.

* Park entries should be redesigned to block the entry of dogs.

* People should stop feeding stray dogs.

* Dog lovers should come up with special shelters for dogs.

* The MC should fund the shelters.

* Sterilisation should be intensified.



Open House response

Encroachments at a market in Phase V, Mohali; in the parking area of Sadar Bazaar, Sector 19; and Shastri Market, Sector 22, in Chandigarh. file photographs

Public participation, vigilance committees the only answer

In the past one year, the Chandigarh MC has held 50 anti-encroachment drives and collected Rs 1.19 crore in penalty ranging from Rs 200 to Rs 3,500. Yet there seems to be no permanent cure. Encroachments remain rampant in the markets of Sectors 15, 19, 22, 27, 28 and Mani Majra and even in Sector 17, the heart of the city. The worst case scenario is the Shastri Market of Sector 22. The MC joint commissioner had stated his inability to curb this menace. The encroachers, after paying a fine, return to their old ways. The UT Administration and the police department must also step in to check this rot. At present, there is a staff strength of 49 officials to deal with the problem— two inspectors, 16 sub-inspectors, nine police personnel and 22 labourers. The enforcement wing has six vehicles and four drives are conducted every month. Considering the colossal size of the problem, the enforcement staff appears to be grossly inadequate. There is an urgent need to boost its strength. However, to make the anti-encroachment drive more meaningful, the MC should also ensure public participation by constituting vigilance committees of the NGOs/citizens who may volunteer to inform the municipal authorities, including the Enforcement and Monitoring Committee, regarding any fresh encroachments so that the desired action to remove it can be taken without any delay.

Col KD Pathak (retd), Chandigarh

No lessons learnt

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered the UT Administration that the enforcement wing of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation should carry out an anti-encroachment drive at the grain market and the Shastri market, Sector 22. There is a nexus between the Municipal Corporation, Estate Office and police officials. They get monthly “hafta”. The politicians are helping the encroachers. The rehri markets are a virtual firetraps. The rehri market of Sector 19 was gutted two times in 1982 and 1993 and the Sector 22 market also perished in fire. The UT Administration has not learnt any lessons yet.

Karan, Chandigarh

Authorities need to increase penalties

There is not even a single market in the city without encroachment on the corridors that impact shoppers in many ways. They find it extremely difficult to move in the congested and suffocating corridors stuffed with goods. We know it can be frustrating to deal with inconsiderate violators who have a junior high school mind frame which says you can bully people into submission. The authorities administering the building rules need to stiffen penalties for rule violators by imposing a fine of Rs 10,000 in place of Rs 500 provided under the rules to discourage encroachments as has been suggested by the High Court. The Municipal Corporation should have a toll- free telephone number so that people can inform them in case any encroachment in the market corridor comes to their notice.

Ajit Singh, Canada

Nexus rules the roost

The problem is alarming. It is not easy to shake it off as there is a big nexus of politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats who rule the roost everywhere. As soon as the anti-encroachment teams leave the place, the place returns to its previous self. In brief, unless this nexus is broken, the menace of encroachment will continue and the condition of Chandigarh will deteriorate and a day will come when this city will also become like the other cities. Presently, the need of the hour is to impose a heavy fine and confiscate the belongings of the violators, so as to deter them from making encroachments.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

We citizens can do it

First, all types of encroachments take place due to the laxity of the authorities concerned. Thereafter, these thrive with the support of the authorities and politicians. The removal of encroachments is often thwarted by the politicians, in conjunction with the MC officials, under different garbs. The way to ensure that encroachments do not take place in the markets and are removed if they take place is to expose the nexus of the politicians with the MC authorities. It is here that the honest and apolitical face of the bureaucrats is tested. An honest IAS/provincial service officer will ensure the implementation of rules and the court orders on the removal of encroachments despite all resistance whereas an official who has compromised will play to the tune of his political masters.

Col RD Singh (retd), Ambala Cantt

Police force is part of nexus

The re-appearance of removed encroachments in busy markets, particularly in the busy corridors, and the enforcement wing’s turning a blind eye to it is well understood by one and all. In this scheme of things, the local police that knows nook and corner of a particular area, also showers its blessing on the encroachers only after some arm twisting and at a price.

SC Luthra, MHC, Mani Majra

Action should be taken by govt against MC

Encroachers in the markets should be heavily fined and the MC staff, which is helping out the encroachers, should face a very strong action by the government. Rather, a law should be enacted to this effect. This may help in weakening and breaking the nexus between the offenders and the MC staff.

Priya Darsh Growar, Mohali

Vendors be provided alternative space

The owners of shops, the front space of which has been encroached upon by vendors, should be penalised, In this way, they will take interest in not allowing vendors to put up their stalls in front of their shops. It also affects their business as customers find it hard to enter their showrooms due to lack of space. They should also not display their goods in corridors. Vendors can be provided space temporarily at some vacant place at a nominal fee just as is being done for the vegetable sellers.

IPS Anand, MHC, Mani Majra

Depute an area in-charge for constant check

Increasing encroachments in the markets have been causing problems for people in comfortably walking through the corridors. Any anti-encroachment drive will prove to be futile unless the authorities strictly confiscate the goods displayed by the vendors. Why has there to be a special drive? Why can’t we depute an area in- charge for constant check?

Meenakshi Lamba

Fixed hours for such trade activities

The anti-encroachment drives have not been successful yet with the number of vendors increasing and creating a nuisance all around. The commuters are not happy with the anti-encroachment drives but want some stern action as these lead to the blockade of roads, making it difficult for the commuters to commute and to stroll. More staff of the MC should be recruited and surprise checking by the senior officials is surely the way out as challans are always not helpful in eradicating the problem. The vendors feel it is best to encroach upon the government land, pay no taxes for carrying out commercial trade but just keep on earning till the officials find a way out. There must be fixed hours in which such trade activities should be carried out and not during the entire day. Helpline numbers should be issued in so that if the vendor or the encroacher misbehaves, the matter could be reported to the authorities.

Arshdeep Singh, Mohali

Encroachment can get risky in case of an unfortunate incident

Due to a large number of displayed items and various stalls in the corridors of shops, there is hardly any space left to pass by in the markets. Such congested corridors are extremely risky as in case of any unfortunate incident, the visitors cannot make an emergency exit. The authorities have miserably failed to check the menace of encroachments. Every time the MC officials conduct checks in the markets, the shopkeepers run away with their stuff only to come back when the officials leave. The MC now has to take the issue seriously. Officials should be deployed throughout the day so that the shopkeepers are not able to encroach upon the corridors, roads and other places. Those found violating the norms must be fined suitably.

Dr Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh 

Open house question

Even as the Municipal Corporation (MC) claims to have sterilised 5,000 stray dogs in the past five years, the menace continues to haunt the city residents. Whether the residents are walking up to markets or enjoying a walk in the green belts, they are not spared the menace of stray dogs. As per the survey of the UT animal husbandary department, in the year 2012, the total population of stray dogs in the city was 7,847. The dog bite cases are 4,689 this year compared to 601 last year. What needs to be done to control the menace? Write your suggestions along with a passport size picture to openhouse@tribunemail.com 

Kanchan Vasdev

Pragmatic approach can remove encroachments

Corridors in the city markets have virtually been taken over by the encroachers. They seem to be usurping every inch of space to display their merchandise even as the civic administration has failed to act and get the space cleared of encroachers.

Several drives of the Municipal Corporation to shoo away the violators notwithstanding, the menace continues as the residents jostle for space in the corridors.

In several markets, it becomes difficult for the pedestrians to make their way, some fumble over goods displayed in the narrow corridors and the enforcement agencies look the other way.

The anti-encroachment drives of the MC are nothing but a mere eye wash. The enforcers lack the will; encroachers have a very effective system of communication as before the MC squad sets off to remove the encroachers, they get a tip-off and remove their stuff only to return after some time.

The administration may have been insensitive to the menace. The High Court has come to the rescue of residents by asking the MC to undertake strict measures. The court even rapped the MC for taking too long to implement extreme measures to check the encroachers.

MC officials may leave it on the shortage of staff to enforce the rules. But all they need is a strong will and implement the law effectively.

For this, they need to find a solution to provide an alternative space to shopkeepers to sell their merchandise.

Since the shopkeepers selling their merchandise by the roadside and in the market corridors find enough customers, it is apparent that there is an adequate demand for them. Some suggest that perhaps the MC should earmark a spot in every sector, where such temporary stalls are allowed to be set up for a certain number of hours. This is like the "Flea Market" concept in some countries abroad. In some places, they call them, "jumble sales" or "car boot sales". Every evening, they should be made to pack up and the place swept clean.

Having done that, the UT Administration must ensure that the MC squad is provided with enough police force to deal with the encroachers. Once they are handled with an iron hand, they would not return.



Service tax ‘illegal’, says lawyer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
A city-based advocate has given a representation to the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, demanding prohibition of levying of service tax on restaurants and eating joints.

Advocate, Abhishake Mittal, has stated in the representation that levying of the service tax by the Central Government on restaurants and eating joints is totally against the express provisions of constitution.

The restaurants all over India are charging approximately 4.8 per cent tax on the total billed amount. Not only this, take away orders are also charging the service tax which is not only unconstitutional but an absurd tax implication.

The reality for the first time was revealed by the Kerala High Court in Kerala Classified Hotels vs the Union of India decided on July 3. In the decision, the court held that the service provided along with food, drink or any other article for human consumption is part of sale or purchase of such food and thus such service cannot be taxed separately. The same thing has been specifically and expressly enacted in Article 366 (29-A)(f) of the Indian Constitution, which was totally ignored by the Finance Act 1994 which empowered the Central Government to impose the Service tax on restaurants and eating joints.

“Because of recklessness on the part of the concerned authorities the service tax provisions are blindly implemented without any regard to their legality and even to the basic fundamentals of taxation,” said Mittal. 



381 die every day on Indian roads
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
City today observed World Day of Remembrance for the Road Traffic Victims (WDR) amidst a programme at the Sukhna Lake.

The WDR is observed globally on the third Sunday of November each year. The day is dedicated to remembering the many millions killed or injured in road crashes (accidents) and their families.

In this light, ArriveSAFE, an NGO on Road Safety, Chandigarh Traffic Police and Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation Limited (CITCO) organised an exhibition from 11 am to 5 pm at Sukhna Lake, Chandigarh.

A volunteer dressed as “Yamaraj”, God of Death, said he is pained to see so many precious lives being lost on the roads. As many as 381 people die on Indian roads every day. The figure with 381 faces representing the people who die daily was put on the giant board. Besides, 1,287 are injured daily putting extra burden on the overstretched medical system.

In 2012 alone, 1,39,065 lost their lives and nearly 4,70,000 were injured, many getting disabled for the rest of their lives. Over 59.9 per cent of these victims were in the most productive age group of 15 to 44 years. [Source-NCRB 2012 Report] These crashes are Predictable and Preventable. The Chandigarh Traffic Police officials of the Road Safety Cell distributed pamphlets on safe driving.

The theme of this year is: Let’s have roads that are safe for all. It reflects pillar two (improvement of/safer road infrastructure) of the Global Plan for the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.

Harman Singh Sidhu, president of the ArriveSAFE said, “Even if crashes and collisions cannot be wholly avoided, they wouldn't need to become tragedies if roads and streets were safely made and maintained. Forgiving roads and streets can save millions of lives. We know that to err is human. Daily mistakes and distractions in traffic lead to unthinkable number of injuries, deaths and suffering.” 



Protest against ‘Ram-Leela’ movie
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Yuva Shakti Foundation today held a protest against screening of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's recently released movie ‘Ram-Leela’ near press roundabout lights at Sector 9 here today.

The protest was attended by nearly 100 members of the foundation who asked for banning the movie. Vishal Bhardwaj, national president of the foundation, said the title of the movie was hurting the religious sentiments; therefore, the screening should be immediately banned all over the country. He also raised objections on some of the scenes.

General secretary, Naushad Ali, said they would take this agitation across the country. The filmmakers are using religious names only to gain hype.



Huge turnout at book fair

Chandigarh, November 17
Huge turnout of people on the fifth day of the Chandigarh Book Fair at the Parade Ground at Sector 17 proved that books have not lost importance. Families came in droves with children buying colouring and activity books, and being enticed to read the illustrated classics, available in many languages.

A workshop on creative writing and layout designing conducted by resource persons from the National Book Trust engaged a sizeable section of the young visitors to the Book Fair. Additionally, the author talk was a big hit with the public. Sessions with Sachin Garg and other budding writers generated a lot of interest. The day also saw the releases of books written by Anand Sharma Anant ‘Kavita Khatam Nahi Hoti’, Subash Sharma’s book ‘Parat Aao Parth’ and Pam Handa’s Book ‘Kismat and Karma’. — TNS



Erratic water supply irks residents
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 17
Residents of Phase IX, X and XI and Saneta village are irked due to erratic water supply in their areas.

Residents of these areas have alleged that they have not been getting proper water supply for the last six days.

The reason behind the crisis is said to be the recurrence of leakage problem in Phase III pipeline of the Kajauli water works. “The water supply in the pipeline had to be stopped for an entire day for repair work about six days back. The needful has already been done and the supply was resumed four days back,” said an official of the department concerned.

On the other hand, several residents of Phase IX, X and XI claimed that they were not getting proper water supply in the morning hours. “Sometimes we do not even get a single drop of water, often the pressure is too low to be efficient enough to carry out our daily chores,” said a former municipal councilor, Sukhminder Singh Barnala.

Sewa Singh from Phase XI alleged that the water was muddy. “Yesterday evening, the water was muddy. We could not use it for cooking or bathing. The matter needs to be looked upto,” said Sewa Singh.

A former sarpanch of Saneta village said, “We have approached the authorities concerned several times but to no avail.”

Notably, a major leakage problem had occurred at Gharuan village in mid-August, which had caused a big water crisis in Chandigarh and Mohali for around 15 days. “This time too, the problem occurred near the same spot (Gharuan village),” said an official.

The pipeline, whose maintenance is the responsibility of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, has about 10 points, from where the water is being leaked. The problem was also highlighted in these columns in August, but the authorities are yet to wake up from its deep slumber to start the repair works.

The Phase III pipeline carries 20 MGD water from the Kajauli water works to Chandigarh, out of which 2.5 MGD water is being provided to Mohali.



310 benefit from Shagun Scheme: DC 

Mohali, November 17
The district authorities have distributed an amount of Rs 46.50 lakh among the underprivileged, reserved categories families and widows, under the Punjab government’s ‘Shagun scheme’ during this financial year.

This was stated by Mohali Deputy Commissioner (DC) Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu, while adding that the balance amount of Rs 21.47 lakh would be given to the beneficiaries (Rs 15,000 to each beneficiary) within a month.

Meanwhile, the DC added that under various welfare schemes, free books were distributed to over 23,000 students belonging to the backward class. Besides subsidised/lower interest rate loan amounting to Rs 85.30 lakh has been distributed among 65 unemployed youths belonging to the SCs and OBCs. — TNS



Traffic jam tests patience of commuters
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 17
On the occasion of Gurpurb, a bumper-to-bumper traffic was witnessed on the routes leading to Nada Sahib Gurdwara in Panchkula today.

A traffic congestion, was seen from the Majri chowk to Nada Sahib and from Sector 21 towards Sector 25.

The president of Residents’ Welfare Association of Mansa Devi Complex (MDC), Sector 4, Panchkula, Davinder Mahajan, said, “We were stuck in the traffic jam near Sector 21 for over 45 minutes.” Over 1,500 vehicles, on an average, were passing from the Majri chowk to Nada Sahib in every one hour.

The in-charge of the traffic police, Panchkula, inspector Tejinder Singh, said, “We deployed our entire force at the Nada Sahib route. The station house officer, Chandimandir police station, was also present on the occasion.”

Vikramjeet, a resident of Sector 7, said, “We thought that there will be less traffic in the afternoon, but we were roved wrong as we were stuck in the traffic for over half-an- hour. “



A noble cause served on Gurpurb
Over 100 police officials collect articles of daily use for the needy 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 17
On the occasion of Gurpurb, the police officials of the Panchkula-Ambala Commissionerate assembled at the Sector 14 Police Community Hub to donate clothes and other articles to the needy.

The noble cause was carried out with the efforts of the Red Cross Society.

The campaign was led by the Commissioner of Police, Rajbir Deswal.

Residents of the Panchkula Police Lines and police families collected a dozen cartons of clothes, books, quilts and blankets. Later the officials handed over the articles at an old age home.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Krishan Kumar, ACP Purnima Singh, inspectors Dalip Kumar, Satish Kumar and Arvind Kumar, and as many as 100 officials from the police fraternityparticipated in the event.



Kathak fest concludes

Chandigarh, November 17
Dazzling ‘kathak’ performance of Bhopal-based Srishti Gupta of Raipur Gharana and a Delhi-based dancer Amit Khinchi concluded a three-day long Kathak Festival organised by the Pracheen Kala Kendra at the MS Randhawa Auditorium, Punjab Kala Bhawan, Sector 16, here today. 

Srishti Gupta commenced her recital with Lord Krishna’s ‘stuti’ in ‘Raag Mishar’ set to teen tal. After this, she moved on Shudh Nritya of Raipur Gharana and some very graceful traditional bandishs. — TNS



Reporters' diary

No complaints in English please!

Panchkula police seems to be finding it hard to deal with the complaints in English. In a recent incident, where an elderly woman was struck by women gang members who looted her gold bangle, the victim gave her complaint in writing in English at the Sector 5 police station. But she was told by a police official there that she had to give it in Hindi as it was difficult for them to translate it in Hindi language. After the victim showed her helplessness to give the complaint in the said language, the policemen tried translating the same, three times. After failing to do so, a person, who had accompanied the victim, decided to give the complaint in Hindi. Wonder if the Panchkula police could be given an English course...at east a basic one!

Feedback please

At a recent ‘Conference of Intellectual’ organised by a local unit of the BJP, a unit of the organising party distributed a feed back form among the participants to know about their response/comments to the event. The participants were asked to put their name, address and signatures on the form. A party leader confided that it was Narendra Modi’s effect who was using social media to reach to the masses in the run up to the 2014 elections.

All for sweets!

The maiden run of a new train between Chandigarh and the holy city of Amritsar was yet another testimony of the train flag off ceremonies at the Chandigarh Railway Station to be a feast time for the Congress party workers. Even before the new train could be flagged off on Friday, party workers swung into action to pocket small packets of sweets that were otherwise meant to be distributed after the train chugged off the platform. Ignoring the presence of their leaders, the workers tried to secure as many number of boxes of sweets as they could from the tray. In fact, the attendants had to hide the sweet packets from the workers so that they may remain present during the function.

When sweet turned sour

The PGIMER staff, including the official spokesperson and security officials, was in a fix as soon as they moved out of the committee room along with a bunch of reporters after a press conference last week. Hearing loud cries of a baby from an adjacent room (that was locked) as all the reporters stopped to enquire the matter, the staff was seen more concerned about what the reporters perceived of the incident than rescuing the baby. As all the reporters camped in the area for over 10 minutes to ensure that the baby was rescued from the room, the staff, including the spokesperson kept re-iterating that "it was not any anomaly but just some co-incidence".

Budding cricketers with the members of the UT Cricket Association celebrate Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement at the Cricket Stadium, Sector 16, in Chandigarh. Bookies bat for zero for Sachin

A fact to laugh! Sachin Tendulkar is probably the only batsman of the world, who is hot favorite among bookies, even for scoring ‘zero’. Reportedly, the cricketing buffs have indulged in Rs 350 crore betting on Sachin’s score in the last match of his cricket career.

Budding cricketers with the members of the UT Cricket Association celebrate Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement at the Cricket Stadium, Sector 16, in Chandigarh. 

Printed signature no more

The recent decision of the MC Commissioner that instead of printed signatures, Art and Culture Committee Chairperson will have to sign every single certificate, which was given to children at the MC’s Children Day function, ultimately proved rather hectic for Chairperson, Gurbax Rawat. Against the earlier practice of the printed signatures, she had put her signatures on around 200 certificates as her name was printed in the certificates.

Contributed by: Hina Rohtaki, Aarti Kapur, Ritika Jha Palial, Rajmeet Singh, Deepankar Sharda and Rajinder Nagarkoti.



Health notes

CME on liver diseases

Gastroenterology and Liver forum (GLF), Chandigarh, is organising an international CME on liver diseases on November 19 in Chandigarh. More than 100 delegates and experts in the field of hepatology and gastroenterology are expected to attend the meet. GLF has been instrumental in organising such CMEs in the past also. Dr Sandeep Dhavan, a city-based gastroenterologist and president of the forum, said three international experts in the field of liver disease shall be dwelling on various diseases which are relevant to the Indian scenario. Prof YK Chawla, Director PGI, Prof Atul Sachdev, Director, Principal, Government Medical College, Maj Gen AK Nagpal, and other distinguished faculty from the PGI and the GMCH-32 shall be chairing the academic sessions. Dr Richard Moreau who is a consultant in the Liver Unit at Clichy, France, will be discussing on acute on chronic liver failure. His main research interest includes the main complications of cirrhosis. He is also involved in basic research on the pathophysiology of acute-on-chronic liver failure.

Urology conference concludes at PGI

The ongoing 23rd annual conference of the north zone chapter of the urological society of India concluded today. The delegates were benefitted from the scientific deliberations and live operative workshop conducted during the conference. As per the version of Prof S K Singh, the organising secretary, for many delegates it was a homecoming for them as they were trained in the PGI only.


Department of Endocrinology, Punjab and Chandigarh chapter of the RSSDI and ADITI [Association of Diabetes (young) in the tricity] jointly organised a marathon on the occasion of World Diabetes Day. The programme was organised at the Sukhna Lake in which around 2,000 people participated. The event was jointly inaugurated by Rajpal Singh ex-Indian captain of hockey team, Gurmeet Singh, Director Sports, Panjab University, and Surinder Mahajan, a senior coach of the Sports Authority of India. During the event, free measurement of blood glucose, blood pressure, and body fat estimation was done. Volunteers of the dietetic department of the PGIMER, Chandigarh, educated the gathering about diet in diabetes.

Awareness campaign

The Emerging Antimicrobial Resistance Society (EARS), a non-profit organisation, which has established a vast network of healthcare institutions and research centres across India for the surveillance of bacterial strains resistant to antibiotics, kicked off its weeklong nationwide campaign to promote the rational use of antibiotics with awareness walk in the city on Saturday. Justice, NK Sanghi, Punjab and Haryana High Court, flagged off the walk from the PGI, Chandigarh, by lighting a torch. Chairperson of EARS, Dr Manu Chaudhary, honoured the High Court judge with a memento.



Biz briefs

Fashion show for kids

The day centred on kids at DLF City Centre Mall in IT Park. A vibrant and peppy fashion show was organised as a part of the mall’s ‘Free shopping and movies with unlimited fun’ bonanza. The fashion show enthralled the spectators present on the occasion. The offer will be on till November 30.

Razia wins contest

Children had a gala time participating in various fun-filled activities at Meena Bazaar in NAC, Mani Majra. A colourful clown and a man impersonating as Charlie Chaplin were the main attractions at the store on the occasion. Under various competitions organised on the premises of Meena Bazaar, Razia won a prize in tongue twister competition. Zeetika and Disha scripted victory in the general knowledge competition and Utkarsh and Seerat fetched prizes in various fun games organised especially for children. — TNS



Tricity scan

Stamp design contest

Chandigarh Postal Division organised a ‘design a stamp’ contest 2013 at the GPO, Sector 17. The participants were divided in to three groups. The winners were of Classes I to IV-Subalakshmi, Harleen Kaur and Bhavhunar Pannu; Classes V to VII-Asmita, Aleena and Tamanna and Classes IX to XII-Sumatt Kaur, Shruti Sharma and Reya Kundu.


The Chandigarh Administration organised an Information Security Quiz at various colleges in and around Chandigarh, with the finale being held at Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology (CCET), Sector 26. The quiz is a part of a series of events leading up to the mega IT conclave, Destination IT@North being held on 20-21 November 2013. Over a dozen colleges participated in the event with more than 300 students participating in the quiz.

Office-bearers elected

Following have been elected office-bearers of the Forest Employee Welfare Association. Chief patron Ramesh Gill, president Ved Parkash, vice-president Rajpal, general secretary Chuni Lal, joint secretaries Bhupinder Singh and Jatinder Singh, cashier Balwinder Singh.


The Chandigarh Management Association (CMA) organised a lecture on “Money Management” at University Business School (UBS), Panjab University (PU). Dr (Prof) A K Sehjpal, retired Vice-Chancellor, Baddi University, was the keynote speaker on the occasion. AK Gandhi, president, CMA, presided over the event. Col Karamjit Singh, former president, CMA, was the guest of honour. Madhulika Kak, vice-president, CMA, was the master of ceremony. — TNS



Students threaten to intensify protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The protest by students outside the Vice-Chancellor’s office against the fee hike entered its third day today. The students said they would not call off the stir until their demand was met.

The students from the past two days have been camping outside the main gate of the VC office.

“The fee hike in various self-financed courses is of more than Rs 20,000, which is unjustified. How can the university make such a huge increase in the fee?” said a student sitting on the protest.

Though the university called a meeting on Monday to address the demands of the students, the latter refused to call off the protest.

PU officials also visited the students to counsel them, but they turned down the offer.

The students have threatened to intensify the protest if the authorities failed to meet their demand.

“Presently, two students are sitting on an indefinite hunger strike in support of the demand for rollback. The number may increase if our demand to roll back the hike is not met,” the students said.



10-15% fee hike in private schools from next session
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Private schools in Chandigarh are revising their tuition fee from the next academic session, putting more financial burden on parents. The hike to the tune of 10 per cent to 15 per cent is expected across all private schools.

Some private schools are even mulling an increase in the admission fee, too. The admission process in private schools as well as in government schools is starting from November 25 with the display of information and issuance of forms.

HS Mamik, president of the Independent School Association, said all schools were going ahead with the revision of monthly fee.

“The hike, which varies between 10 per cent and 15 per cent, is strictly in consonance with the annual increase in our expenses like increment of staff, increase in electricity expenses and general inflation,” he said.

ABS Sidhu, principal of Saupin’s School, Sector 32, said: “The revision in the monthly fee is imminent due to hike in the overall expenditure on a yearly basis. Our school will have at least 10 per cent hike for the next academic session”.

Kavita Das, principal of St John’s High School, said: “Though the management of the school has not yet decided about any revision, the hike has become a necessity to bear the increased salary of the staff and other expenses related to the school administration."

Arvind Goyal, a parent, said inflation was already affecting the family budget. The over 10 per cent fee hike would hit his family's budget hard and force him to take steps to curtail expenses on other heads to cope with the rising expenses.

“Fee hike has become an annual feature before the beginning of each session. There has to be some mechanism in place to check the hike in fee,” said Manish Sharma, a parent.

“The Punjab and Haryana High Court in April directed the UT to constitute a permanent mechanism to check the annual increase in fee, but we don’t know about its status,” he said.



Panjab varsity justifies hike in tuition fee

Chandigarh, November 17
Panjab University has justified the hike in tuition fee implemented recently for the first-year students of various courses of the university. For the past six years, there has been no increase in the tuition fee and other charges for any course in the university and it had become necessary to cut down the deficit in the annual budget of the PU.

PU spokesperson said the fee was increased and duly announced after the June 29 Syndicate meeting. In this way, when the first-year students took admission to the University, they were quite aware of this fact.

The PU spokesperson said the fees of PU were still far less than other educational institutions of the region. The hike in tuition fee had been implemented for the first-year students only and it was in consonance with the increase in the cost of living due to inflation, so it was justified. The PU has urged the students to accept the hike in the interest of being necessary to upgrading additional infrastructure and other facilities in this prestigious university. The protest by a section of students of the PU about the increase in the tuition fee for the first-year students was unjustified.

While giving details, the PU spokesperson said the PU Board of Finance in February 2013 had asked the university that it was imperative to increase the tuition fee, gradually in a phased manner, for various courses and it was approved by the Syndicate and the Senate. — TNS



Mohali student brings laurels
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 17
Maninder Singh, a CSE student of the Quest Group of Institutions, brought laurels by winning top honours in the Inter-College Debate Competition of National Punjab Education Summit and Awards-2013, here.

The event was organised by the CM Association of India and Punjab Technical University and supported by AICTE, Chandigarh.

Maninder beat the 50-odd contestants from various colleges of PTU. His outlook on the topic “Is Alternate Energy Important for Education & Industry” was appreciated and made him won the first position in the event.

DS Sekhon, chairman of the group, congratulated Maninder Singh.



From schools

Children’s Day celebrated

On the occasion of Children’s Day, Government High School, Sector 30, Chandigarh, organised a cultural programme and prize distribution function on the school premises. Yogesh Kumar, General Manager, Canara Bank, was invited as the chief guest. He distributed prizes among the students. Shabad Gayan, Bharat Vandana, group song/dance and bhangra were performed during the cultural programme.

Chitkara International School

The birthday of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was celebrated at Chitkara International School, Sector 25, with full excitement. A special assembly and sessions were conducted for the students.

SD Public School

A talent-hunt competition was organised at SD Public School, Sector 32, Chandigarh, on Children’s Day. Children enthralled the audience with their performances. They were adjudged on their talent and confidence. Kumar Sambhav and Naina Bhardwaj bagged the first and second prizes, respectively.

GMSSS-Mani Majra

The Green Glory Eco Club (Junior Wing) of Government Model Senior Secondary School (GMSSS), (MHC) Mani Majra, (Primary Wing), celebrated Children’s Day with fervour and enthusiasm in the school. The programme included various indoor and outdoor cultural activities and games for primary classes of the school.

Bhavan Vidyalaya Junior

Children’s Day was celebrated at Bhavan Vidyalaya Junior, Sector 33, Chandigarh, with a special assembly being conducted in the morning. A brief talk was delivered on the relevance of the day. — TNS 



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