C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


MC gives free hand to rickshaw-pullers
Permits them to operate without licence on internal roads of city; allows permit to rehri operators
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
In a populist move aimed at appeasing a sizeable vote bank, the Congress-ruled Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has proposed to allow rickshaw-pullers to operate in the city without permission.

On the similar ground, the MC has also proposed to restore the policy of granting permit to rehri-pullers that had been discontinued in 1991.

The MC would table an agenda in this regard in Saturday’s General House meeting.

With an eye on the Lok Sabha elections, MP Pawan Kumar Bansal and Mayor Subhash Chawla announced this during a press conference today.

It was probably for the first time in the history of the MC that Bansal held a press conference in the MC office on putting an agenda item before the house.

Taking the credit of the move, Mayor Subhash Chawla said they were working on this proposal for the past many months.

MP Pawan Kumar Bansal said the Lok Sabha had recently cleared the Street Vendors’ (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill but its implementation would take some time. The MC has come up with the proposal to benefit rickshaw and rehri-pullers of the city.

15,000 illegal rickshaws
During the press conference, Mayor Subhash Chawla said: “There are around 1,500 rickshaw-pullers in the city who have obtained licences. However, around 15,000 rickshaws are operating in the city illegally. When so many rickshaws are operating without licence, there is no logic in harassing the legal rickshaw-pullers.”

DC rates for contractual employees
The MC has also proposed to increase the wages of the staff, who are working in the civic body through contractors or outsourcing agencies, from Rs 6,000 to Rs 10,500.

Bansal playing politics: SAD-BJP
Leader of the Opposition and BJP councillor Arun Sood said it was decided in the previous house meeting that only works related to emergencies would be discussed, but now the Congress was violating rules. He also flayed the Congress for using the Mayor’s room for the press conference. SAD councillor Malkiat Singh said the Congress knew that framing of bylaws for rickshaw and rehri-pullers would take six to eight months and till then the elections would be over. It was trying to fool the poor, he added.

Vendors will be allowed to ply rehris only on the internal roads and not on the main roads. They will not be allowed to carry merchandise more than 1.5 quintal.
— Subhash Chawla, Mayor

The move will benefit around 20,000 families of rickshaw and rehri-pullers in the city.
— Pawan Kumar Bansal, MP



IGP makes room for orderly
81 police personnel take up problems with top cop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
In a first of its kind initiative to cater to the grievances of the UT police force, UT IGP RP Upadhyaya today set up an orderly room wherein police personnel encompassing all ranks directly approached the IGP with their problems.

A total of 81 police personnel, including constables and Home Guards volunteers, met the IGP and air their grievances.

The IGP orderly room started at 11 am at his office at Police Headquarters and went on till 5.30 pm with a long queue of police personnel seen outside his office.

While some of the constables and head constables expressed displeasure over not getting timely promotions or had problems with their increments, many police officials complained of a long waiting list for getting a house.

A number of women police officials also met the IGP. While some of them wanted transfers to another police station or a police wing, a number of them complained of lack of buses from Sarangpur. Interestingly, a number of police officials also wanted their wards to get a job in the department. They were then told to apply as per the procedure during recruitments.

A senior police official said the concept was unique as a junior rank official could directly meet the senior-most officer without having to go through formalities.



Man dies in road accident
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 28
One person was killed and another suffered injured in separate accidents in Mohali today.

Twenty-seven-year-old Satish Verma, a resident of Mani Majra, was crushed under a tipper when he was on his way to Lakhnaur village from Mohali on his motorcycle. The incident took place near IDBI Bank on the Sohana-Landran road around 1.45 pm. The victim was an engineer in a private company.

According to the police, the motorcycle hit a stationary Alto car parked on the roadside. Satish fell on the road and was run over by the tipper. He died on the spot, the police said.

The body has been sent to the Phase VI Civil Hospital for post-mortem.

In another incident, Amandeep Singh, a resident of Sector 41, suffered injuries when his Alto car was hit by a Tata Safari, bearing a Chandigarh registration number, near Radha Soami Satsang Bhawan at Mohali. The impact was so intense that the Alto car overturned after hitting an electricity pole, while the Tata Safari rammed into a footpath. The driver of Tata Safari fled, the police said.

Amandeep Singh was shifted to a private hospital.



HIV cases decline in tricity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The prevalence of HIV cases has come down from 4.9 per cent in 2009 to 1.9 per cent till October this year in the Chandigarh region.

Sharing the statistics collected from 11 Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres (ICTC) in the tricity, UT Health Secretary Anil Kumar said the level of awareness among residents in the city and periphery had increased resulting in a dip in HIV positive cases (See box).

In 2009, out of as many 22,253 persons, 1,099 were tested positive for HIV. In 2012, as many as 40,652 persons were tested out of which 877 were found positive.

The new case detection among pregnant women has also declined, said Dr Vineeta Gupta, coordinator, State Aids Control Society.

In 2009, a total of 20,160 pregnant women were tested and 68 (0.33%) were found positive. In 2012, as many as 22,147 pregnant women were tested and only 47 (0.21%) were found positive.

However, Chandigarh is vulnerable to the spread of HIV as the infection is present in one of the high risk groups of intravenous drug users, Dr Vineeta said.

AIDSCON, a conference for training of staff involved in AIDS control and prevention, will be conducted on November 29 and 30. A new project on determining the source of infection in HIV patients in the city will begin in January 2014

Voluntary blood donation up
Voluntary blood donation has increased to 88 per cent this year (till October) against 83 per cent in 2009. Of these, 0.07 per cent tested positive for HIV.


MC ‘overlooks’ rulebook
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The Municipal Corporation does not follow the rulebook when it comes to preparing minutes of the monthly house meetings.

While recording the minutes of the monthly house meeting on August 8, abusive language used by a BSP councillor was recorded in the minutes whereas in the minutes of the October 31 meeting, the statement that ex-officio member of the house Pawan Kumar Bansal made on women, was removed from the minutes.

On October 31, while replying to the BJP allegations on railgate, booth scam and on the development of the city, MP Pawan Kumar Bansal's made a statement that 'pichle 15 saalon se maine kisi aur ki aurat ki taraf nahi dekha' (I have not looked at someone else's wife in the past 15 years). BJP-SAD councillors had objected to Bansal's statement and had sought his reply.

In the minutes, which were circulated today, it was mentioned: "During the course of discussion, the members of the house had used some words which were not relevant to the discussion. The Mayor has expunged these words from the proceedings."

On August 8, while leaving the house, BSP councillor Jannat Jahan Ul Haq had used an expletive and had stated that comedy circus was going on in the house for the past one-and-a-half years. In the minutes, the expletive used by Jannat was highlighted with ****** and her entire statement was also recorded.

Opposing the MC's style of functioning, BSP councillor Jannat Jahan said the Mayor and the MC officials tampered with the minutes. Earlier, on a number of occasions, they had changed the minutes of the meetings. "The Mayor includes and deletes statements according to the Congress. I will take up the issue in the monthly house meeting, scheduled for tomorrow," she stated.

Strange are the ways of the civic body
BJP-SAD councillors had objected to Pawan Kumar Bansal's statement on women and had sought his reply. It was learnt that the remarks were removed from the minutes of the October 31 meeting.
BSP councillor Jannat Jahan alleged that the Mayor and the MC officials had tampered with the minutes



Where there’s space, there’s encroachment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The enforcement wing of the Municipal Corporation today removed encroachments from various parts of Sector 22.

The drive was carried out in Shastri Market opposite the Sector 17 bus stand and outer area of the sector. Fifty violators were challaned. Sunil Dutt, inspector, enforcement wing, said beds, chairs, generator sets, garments, shoes and cooking gas cylinders were seized. Though the MC carried out the drive in the afternoon, things were back to square one by 7 pm, with shopkeepers encroaching upon pavements.



A bridge too far for slum dwellers
Traffic scene goes haywire on Daddu Majra-Dhanas road as UT Administration fails to widen bridge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
In a classic example of putting the cart before the horse, the Chandigarh Administration has constructed a dual carriageway on the Daddu Majra-Dhanas road, but has forgotten to widen the bridge near the garbage processing plant.

Since the demolition of Colony No. 5, the road has been witnessing traffic bottlenecks. As the road leads to Dhanas, where 8,000 families are being shifted, things have gone upside down in the area.

Long queues of vehicles are seen on both sides of the bridge. Sources in the Administration said the case for approval had been pending with the higher authorities for the past one year. A high-level bridge has been proposed at the site.

More than 6,000 families have already shifted to Dhanas and the construction of two government schools is under way. Dhanas Colony can house a population of 40,000. The Dadu Majra-Dhanas road is one of the busiest roads connecting to the Dakshin Marg.

The Administration was quick to widen the bridge at Khuda Lahora, but failed to widen the bridge near the garbage processing plant on a priority basis. Officials said under the proposed master plan, the design of the bridge had to be cleared by the office of the Chief Architect. The clearance is awaited, it is learnt.



Objections to draft master plan submitted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The Joint Forum of Industries Associations and Chandigarh Film Exhibitors Association today submitted their objections regarding the draft master plan to the board of inquiry.

The panel was set up by the UT Administration for hearing the objections/suggestion of the public before finalising the plan.

The Chandigarh Film Exhibitors Association in their representation submitted that the Administration should allow single-screen theatres to start business of their own choice like hotels, exhibition areas, boutiques, beauty parlours, facilities such as spa, gym, shopping malls and office complexes on their premises.

The Joint Forum of Industries Association of Chandigarh (IAC) and Chamber of Chandigarh Industries (CCI) have raised objections to poor planning in the draft master plan 2031 for the implementation of the MSMED Act, 2006.

They submitted: "The industrial area was was a part of the city's heritage. Any attempt to retard the legitimate activities in the area as provided under the MSMED Act shall also mean playing with the heritage of the city."

The board headed by the Chandigarh Housing Board chairman, Satya Gopal, UT Chief Architect Sumit Kaur, UT Secretary, information technology, Prerna Puri, UT Chief Engineer SK Chadda, former mayor Ravinder Singh Pali, MC Commissioner Vivek Partap Singh and Chief Planner, Ministry of Urban Development .



2 ASPs to join UT police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Two Additional Superintendents of Police are set to join the UT police for the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB).

The race for the post of Additional Superintendent of Police is on among officers from Chandigarh, Haryana and Punjab cadre. Already the name of three officers from Haryana has been forwarded for the post. Besides, the name of an officer posted with the paramilitary at Punjab Raj Bhawan is also being considered along with Chandigarh DSP. The DSP has already got a no objection certificate from his parent state, Punjab, for the post of the ASP. The decision is expected to come within a couple of weeks as the representations have been forwarded to the UT Administration.



Nurses pledge to provide quality service
Tribune News Service

Probationary nurses take oath during the lamp-lighting ceremony in Chandimandir on Thursday.
Probationary nurses take oath during the lamp-lighting ceremony in Chandimandir on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, November 28
The lamp-lighting ceremony of the 48th batch of probationer nurses of the School of Nursing of Command Hospital, Western Command, was held on the premises of the hospital in Chandimandir today.

Maj Gen AK Sharma and other senior officers lighted the lamp. The lamp-lighting signifies the decision of students to take care of the sick and wounded soldiers of the armed forces. The probationers took the ‘Nurses Oath’ followed by the ‘showers of blessing’. 



biz news
Maruti Suzuki to recall 1,492 units of cars

Maruti Suzuki India Limited will be recalling as many as 1,492 units of different categories of cars to repair the possible problem of steering column. The cars to be recalled will also include those owned by the tricity residents as well. “We cannot disclose the exact number of cars to be recalled from the Chandigarh region, but there will be a few from the area. The purpose of such a communication is to raise awareness among our clients so that they can check their vehicles for any possible problem and report to us,” said Puneet Dhawan, spokesperson for Maruti.

The cars to be recalled from across the country include Ertiga-306 units, Swift-592 units, Dezire-581 units and A-star-13 units. Only the cars manufactured in the month of October this year will be recalled. A significant number of cars were sold in tricity in October this year during navratras and dhanteras.

WelcomHotel Bella Vista flagged off

The WelcomHotel Bella Vista, Panchkula-Chandigarh, was flagged off in Chandigarh by CDIL Group and ITC Hotels. The 49-room boutique hotel will be managed by ITC Hotel Group, under its WelcomHotel brand. The ITC Hotels has further expanded its bouquet of premium hotels with the opening of the new hotel.

200 pledge to combat menace of fake goods

The FICCI-CASCADE (Committee against smuggling and counterfeiting activities destroying the economy), with support of education department, Chandigarh, organised a youth festival on Thursday. The theme was ‘Freedom from fake and smuggled goods’ on the occasion. The festival was organised at Indira Holiday Home in Sector 24, to increase awareness among the youth to fight against the menace of counterfeiting products and smuggling goods. Around 200 students took a pledge to take proactive action against the nuisance. — TNS



New session Admissions
Parents shift focus from city to Mohali schools
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 28
In what could be termed as the reverse of the most commonly followed trend, several parents from Chandigarh are looking forward to get their wards admitted in schools at Mohali.

Some officials, from the management of few schools in Mohali, claimed that apart from admissions from the town, they have been getting admission calls from Chandigarh as well as Panchkula.

“Schools offering superior curriculum, good infrastructure, first-class facilities, a quality and advanced education is ought to fascinate parents. Parents want their wards to get the finest education after all, and schools in Mohali are offering the best of all. This is the reason that we have been getting so many admissions from the City Beautiful,”¯ said the director of The Millennium School, Sector 67, Robin Aggarwal.

“There are a few hand-picked schools in Chandigarh, which are among the favourites of most of the parents. As it is not possible for all the parents to get seats for their wards in these schools, they tend to look at the other options as well, which are best-suited for the bright future of their wards. Around three to four schools in Mohali fall under that category,”€¯ said principal of Gian Jyoti Public School, Ranjit Bedi. Gian Jyoti Public School is one of the oldest schools in the region.

Bedi further said several Chandigarh-based children come to their schools to study. “The number of students taking admission in the school is surely seeing a hike every year,” said the principal of Gian Jyoti Public School.

Echoing similar sentiments, Robin Aggarwal claimed that several students come from Chandigarh.

“We are getting several inquiries from those residing in Chandigarh and even from Panchkula on a daily basis. This is a good sign for sure, especially for schools like ours, that are just four to five years old,” said Aggarwal.

On the other hand, Anita Kashyap, vice-principal of Yadavindra Public School (YPS) at Phase-VIII said this was not a new thing for the school. “Several parents come to us to get their wards admitted here only. We have a good number of students, who come from Chandigarh,” said the vice-principal.

“Out of the total 3,600 students studying in our school, around 1,500 students come from Chandigarh,” said Sanjay Sardana, director of Manav Mangal Smart School at Phase X.

“Around 17 school buses go to Chandigarh on various routes to pick students daily. If you offer quality education, showcase top-class results and provide best infrastructure, people will come to you even from far-off locations,” said Sardana.



Only 750 seats for EWS students
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The total number of the seats reserved for the underprivileged and EWS students under the Right to Education (RTE) Act has been reduced further.

In 2011-12, the department had estimated about 1,180 reserved seats under the RTE Act at the 70 unaided private schools in city, which has now come down to approximately 750 in the upcoming 2014-15 session.

The increase in number of minority schools in city has led to decrease in the seats for the reserved categories.

Under Supreme Court’s order, the schools with minority status are exempted from 25 per cent reservation under RTE act for underprivileged and EWS students.

The city had 12 schools with minority status at the beginning of session last year. The overall number has gone to 14 schools earlier this year after two more schools- Saupin’s, Sector 32, and New Public School, Sector 18, managed to get the minority status from the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI), New Delhi.

Further the issue of minority status of Vivek High School, Sector 38, is yet not settled down. Even as the school claimed minority in its recent advertisement, the Education Department maintained that the school was yet not granted the minority status from NCMEI.

There are six more schools, which are also in the fray for getting minority status. Out of them, the case of St Kabir School is subjudice at NCMEI court in Delhi and the case of minority status is pending before the Internal House Committee of the UT Education Department, constituted on the guidelines of the NCMEI.

These five schools are AKISPS, Sector 41 and Sector 45, Kids R Kids, Sector 42, Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36, and Guru Harkrishan Model Public School in Sector 38.

RTE activist Pankaj Chandgothia said the decrease in reservation seats clearly reflected the lack of concerns of the private schools towards their social responsibility.

Although the minority schools are exempted from the RTE Act provisions, yet they will have to adhere to the 15 per cent EWS quota in lieu of the land allotted to them at concessional rates.

“None of the private schools has implemented these provisions so far. Even the Education Department is soft on this issue and has not summoned any of the minority schools for not adhering 15 per cent admission quota,” he said.

Proper compliance of RTE act is another problem. Due to the resistance of the private schools, the enrolment of seats reserved under the act has not gone beyond 50 per cent since the implementation of the act. DPI (s) Kamlesh Kumar said the department would put all efforts to fill the seats under reserved category in private schools.



syndicate meeting on december 5
Of 60, 3 items find way
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Panjab University Syndicate is going to take up only three routine issues out of over 60 at its meeting due December 5.

One of the routine issues to be taken up is the endorsement of the Vice-Chancellor's decision on the faculty selection of four senators. Another issue is to award a member an honour’s degree and the approval for PhD degrees of the students.

The syndicate is supposed to have acted on many issues pending for a couple of months.

Surprisingly, the university has not bothered to table the proposal of filing the post of the dean university instructor which will be vacated by November 30, after the retirement of the existing official. Due to which the authorities will have to give the additional charge for the DUI to the university official.

In fact, the fee hike issue which has the concern of the students is not being taken into consideration.

When the students called their protest they were assured that in the coming Syndicate their demand will be re-considered by the members.

A member of the Syndicate on the basis of anonymity revealed that the Vice-Chancellor might hold back the issues on the plea that these would be discussed with the fresh Syndicate panel which would be elected on December 10.

But if no meeting is organised after the selection and appointment of the new Syndicate more agendas will pile up and the pendency of issues will increase.

Sources revealed that no Syndicate meeting was held for the past two months and it was expected that all the pen ing issues relating to the different sections of teachers, students and non-teaching staff, held back since long, will be taken up in the last meeting of this panel of the Syndicate.

They said the reports of a number of committees which were constituted by the Syndicate were also on hold for a final decision by the Syndicate.

Issues to be taken up
Endorsement of Vice-Chancellor's decision on the faculty selection of four senators
To felicitate a member an honour’s degree
Approval for Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees.



Vivek High students to don hats of CEOs, politicians
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
As many as 170 students of a city school would witness the roles of CEOs of corporate and media houses, political leaders, entrepreneurs and lobbyists in a two-day conference to be held on November 30 and December 1.

The conference, to be organised at Vivek High School, Sector 38, by I Can will simulate the real world within the premises of the school and aim towards developing skills such as cooperation, team work, leadership, budgeting and time management.

The students will be divided into three verticals: corporate houses, media houses and government. They will then act as representatives of these verticals. For instance, some would become CEOs, leaders of political parties, members of news and advertising teams.

Four sessions will be held during the two-day schedule and students of every vertical will have their own set of activities to perform. The members of corporate houses will prepare radios, TV, newspaper advertisements and posters to market their product or brand which has been allotted to them.

The media houses would film CEO interviews, shoot news bulletins and mown all the advertising space.

The government would function like the Lok Sabha. They would prepare manifestos, give speeches, form the government by way of elections and pass bills.

“These skills are integral to the wholesome development of students who will need these when they appear for university or job interviews,” said Vansh Nathani, a member of the core team of I Can, the group that has conceptualised the conference.

I Can, a unique educational concept that aims to instill life and soft skills in students, takes its inspiration from Model United Nations (MUN) where students act as representatives of Nations. In an I Can Conference the students act as representatives of corporate and the government and learn more about the working of these verticals.

I Can is launching in Punjab after its launch in Uttarkhand and Madhya Pradesh. Four established entrepreneurs are being invited as mentors especially for the event, namely Akshit Batra and Vansh Nathani, who are Doon School alumnus, Priyamvada Lamba who had worked with Ernst & Young and JWT, and Deviyani Dixit, who had worked with Accenture Management Consulting.

Primarily students of Class IX to XII would be participating in the conference. The best performers would be awarded.



Excursion trip for students

Chandigarh, November 28
Under the Sarv Sikha Abhiyan (SSA), an excursion trip for students was organised by Special Training Centre (STC) of Mauli Colony, led by Joginder Kumar.

Kumar said as many as 154 students accompanied by STC teachers visited the Rock garden and Art Gallery, Sector 10. He said the main purpose of the trip was to enhance students’ learning by providing them opportunities to participate in curriculum-related activities besides the normal school routine. Students were provided adequate supervision. — TNS



Rally marks birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Desh Bhagat Ayurvedic College commemorated the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, an eminent educationist and the first Union Minister of Education of independent India.

IAS AR Talwar, principal secretary, Information and Technology, Technical Education and Industrial Training, Government of Punjab, presided over the function. He said the nation was quite advanced in the field of information technology compared to a few other countries. He also appreciated the steps taken by students belonging to Desh Bhagat Brigade for communal harmony.

Peace Gong, national-level social organisation of international repute and its Punjab chapter ‘Hara Punjab Khara Samaj’, under the guidance of National Foundation for Communal Harmony (NFCH) took out a procession in this regard.

Chancellor Dr Zora Singh and Tejinder Kaur, Pro-Chancellor, Desh Bhagat University, appreciated the venture of the Desh Bhagat Brigade for communal harmony.



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