C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


11-yr-old girl found murdered
Body dumped in sack; police suspect rape; irate residents hold protest
Tribune News Service

Pinki, the victim
Pinki, the victim

Chandigarh, December 1
An 11-year-old girl, a student of Class VI, was found strangled to death with her body put in a jute sack and thrown in the jungle area in Sector 52. The victim, Pinki, a resident of Palsora, was missing for the past four days and her family had lodged a missing complaint with the police.

The police suspect the minor girl was raped before being murdered. However, the exact picture will be clear only after the postmortem report.

A plastic rope was found tied around the girl’s neck suggesting that she was strangled. There was blood on her face, clothes and undergarments. There were minor injuries on other parts of the body.

Pinki, a student of a government school in Sector 54, had left home on November 27 evening after taking a Rs 20 currency note from her mother and did not return home after that. The family lodged a complaint with the police following which a kidnapping case was registered at the Sector 39 police station.

The sack containing the girl’s body was noticed by a boy who went to the jungle area adjoining the Sector 52 furniture market in the evening to answer nature’s call. He opened the sack and was shocked to find a body. He called the police.The boy was later identified by the girl’s father, Ram Kirpal Verma, a vegetable vendor in Palsora village.

A team of the CFSL reached the spot and collected samples. The girl’s body was shifted to the mortuary of Government Multi-Specialty Hospital in Sector 16 where her postmortem will be conducted tomorrow.

The police said the body seemed to be more than a day old and it was likely that the victim was alive for two days after she went missing. A case of murder has been registered.

The murder of the minor girl sparked angry protests in the area and residents blocked the Sector 52 road in the evening and threw stones at the police alleging inaction in the kidnapping case all these days. The traffic was brought to a halt on the road with angry residents raising slogans against the UT police.

Father breaks down

High drama was witnessed at Government Multi-Specialty Hospital in Sector 16 when the victim’s father, Ram Kirpal, identified the body of his daughter and broke down. “She was my eldest daughter and was so intelligent. What have they done to her,” he said. The family hails from Partapgarh in Bihar and has been staying in the city for the past 15 years. “I do not have enemies, why will anyone do such a thing to my daughter,” he cried. The victim was the eldest among four siblings, all girls.

SIT formed

Within an hour after the body was found, UT SSP Naunihal Singh formed a SIT, headed by DSP (South) Surjit Malik, to crack the case. The SSP also visited the Sector 16 hospital and consoled the victim’s father that they will solve the case soon. Later, the SSP also visited the spot where the body was found with the victim’s father.

Grim reminder of Khushpreet case

The incident is a grim reminder of the Khushpreet case, which took place in 2010 when the Burail boy was murdered. Incidentally, Inspector Narinder Singh Patial was the SHO of the Sector 34 police station at that time and was suspended for negligence in the case. This time too, Inspector Patial is the SHO of the Sector 39 police station in whose jurisdiction the incident was reported on Sunday.

Boy in neighbourhood missing

Police investigations reveal that a boy residing in the girl’s neighbourhood is also missing since November 27 and has failed to return home. The police are now on the lookout for the boy who also hails from the same village in Bihar as that of the girl.



23-year-old girl ends her life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
A 23-year-old girl allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan at the servant quarters in which she was staying in Sector 8. The victim, Laxmi, took the extreme step last night.

The police have ruled out foul play behind her death and have initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC.

Laxmi was staying along with her parents in the servant quarters of her parents’ employer and was working in a boutique in Sector 8.

The deceased was a native of UP and was staying in the city for the past 14 years. A suicide note was recovered in which she claimed to be in love with Pawan Kumar. She has, however, not blamed anyone for her action.

Last year, she got engaged to Pawan Kumar of Burail, who later broke the engagement and got engaged to another girl. The victim was a postgraduate.



3 killed in road accidents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
Three persons lost their lives in road accidents in the city in the past 24 hours. While a five-year-old boy was crushed to death under a vehicle in Hallo Majra, an 80-year-old man was killed in Sector 17 in an accident. In the third mishap, a woman cyclist was crushed to death.

In the first incident, Abhishek (5), a resident of Hallo Majra, was killed after being crushed under a car. The boy used to live in the nearby jhuggis and was playing on the road when the mishap took place. The child was noticed lying in a pool of blood by passersby. The mishap occurred in the afternoon and the boy was rushed to the Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32 where he succumbed to his injuries late in the night.

In the second mishap, a pedestrian (80) was killed after being hit by a scooter near the Sector 17/18 light point. Satpal Sharma of Sector 18 was hit by the scooter driven by a woman, who fled from the spot. The police took the victim to the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital in Sector 16 where he later died. A case has been registered against at the Sector 17 police station.

In another incident, a cyclist was killed after being hit by a rashly driven car near Sector 2. The victim, 35-year-old Bhawna Devi, a resident of Sector 10, was returning home on her bicycle when she was hit by a car (CH 01 AO 7249) driven by Auran Hunja, a resident of Mohali. The accused has been arrested.



Chaos flies at city airport
3 families miss flights; heated arguments over parking
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
It was a day of chaos and parking snarls at the departure and arrival gates of the Chandigarh airport with passengers facing a harrowing time while catching their flights.

Due to construction work on the runway by the Indian Air Force, the flight timings were rescheduled today which saw heated arguments between passengers and the traffic police with visitors being challanged for parking their vehicles in the no-parking zone.

Despite a proper advisory, a large number of passengers failed to check in on time for their flights. "Mismanagement" by the traffic police made the situation worse.

“Policemen should know how to talk politely. I have missed my flight, and the policemen are shouting at me. I will lodge a complaint regarding their misbehaviour tomorrow,” said Jatinder Singh, a resident of Sector 19.

Due to the parking chaos outside the arrival and departures gates, at least three families missed their flights. The traffic police challaned a number of vehicle parked in the no-parking zone, which resulted in heated arguments.

“We have never seen such a huge rush at the airport in the recent past. Passengers simply don't cooperate and are not ready to listen to anything,” said a constable. Interestingly, only two constables were deployed outside the airport premises to ease the traffic situation.

Special treatment for VIPs

While most passengers had a harrowing time as they had to walk a long distance after getting down from their vehicles, cars with red beacons were allowed right outside the arrival gate.

A police official said on condition of anonymity, “I cannot challan these government vehicles.”

“The rules should apply to everyone. Since we have been penalised for wrong parking, why have the VIPs been left out,” said Anjali Bhardwaj, a resident of Sector 47.

The worst affected were the passengers boarding the Chandigarh-Delhi and the Chandigarh-Mumbai flights, whose departure timings were between 11.15 am and 12.45 pm.



Boy falls into chamber at roundabout, dies
Our Correspondent

Vishnu, the victim
Vishnu, the victim

Mohali, December 1
A teenager was killed after he fell into an uncovered chamber at a roundabout near Madanpur village here today.

His body was removed and later taken to the Civil Hospital in Phase VI here. It is learnt that the boy was "brought dead" to the hospital. The postmortem examination will be conducted tomorrow.

DSP (City-I) Rajinder Singh Sohal said it was suspected that the boy, Vishnu, had been electrocuted in the chamber. The next course of action by the police would be taken only after family members gave a statement in this regard.

The uncovered control/ maintenance chamber inside the roundabout area is quite deep. Pipes, electric wires and water could be seen in the chamber. The metal lid of the chamber was lying close by.

The maintenance of the roundabout has been given by the municipal corporation to Fortis Hospital here.

People gather at the mishap site in Madanpur, Mohali, on Sunday.
People gather at the mishap site in Madanpur, Mohali, on Sunday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Pintu, father of the deceased, said Vishnu was 15 years old and worked as a domestic help. The family lived in Madanpur village. He said since it was a Sunday, his son had gone to play at the roundabout. He said he was told that when children were playing at the roundabout, his son fell into the uncovered control chamber.

Thakur Sahib, Pintu's friend, said he had got a phone call from his wife stating that Pintu's son had fallen into the chamber. He and Pintu both lived in Madanpur and worked as painters. He said he immediately rang up Pintu, who was working in Balongi village at that time. The incident is reported to have taken place between 2.30 pm and 3 pm. By the time he reached the spot, the body had been taken to the Civil Hospital, Thakur Sahib said.

A contractor, Tarlochan Singh, who is also known to the family of the deceased, said Vishnu was a hard-working boy and had managed to clear the family debts. He was rarely seen roaming. It was probably the first time in the recent past that he had gone to the roundabout to play and relax.

Tarlochan Singh said he also used to go to the roundabout with his friends at times to relax and the chamber used to be kept locked. However, it had been lying unlocked for the past one month or so.

BD Singla, Additional Commissioner (Technical), Municipal Corporation, said the roundabouts in the town had been handed over by the civic body to private parties for maintenance. The Madanpur roundabout was being taken care of by Fortis Hospital, he said. 


Open House response
Slums: UT Admn should nip the problem in the bud

The recent demolition of Colony No. 5 by the UT Administration to clear the area of slum-dwellings was undoubtedly a daunting task, albeit it came at the cost of studies of school-going children and left many without shelter. To overcome the problem of illegal occupation of government land by the encroachers, the Administration must prevent squatters from pitching up tents in the periphery of the city in the first place. It is a common knowledge that they would gradually convert their temporary lodgings into concrete dwelling units. The Administration should act beforehand rather than putting into use a huge posse of men and machinery at later stage.

Hardeep Singh Slaich, Mohali

Emulate the Dhanas model

It should be made mandatory for construction workers and those working in factories to live at the site of work. Area councillors should be held accountable if any illegal colony comes up in their respective areas. New and affordable housing units should be constructed in semi-urban and rural areas in the tricity's vicinity where migrant labour could live, just the way the government has constructed tenements at Dhanas. They should be provided with a cheap mode of transportation so that they could commute to and from their workplaces in the tricity easily.

Dr HS Walia, Chandigarh

Rehabilitation scheme, an invitation to slum dwellers

Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali are steadily inching towards becoming cities of squatters. Mushrooming of slums will continue as long as a 'juicy carrot' in the form of rehabilitation scheme, higher labour charges and an administration pledged to consider the interests of jhuggi dwellers exist. The migrants set up shanties in the city of their choice and turn the surrounding areas into open lavatories. Their unhygienic way of living and defecating in the open facilitate spread of diseases. Persons behind several crimes in the city are also traced to these slums. Slums have partially defaced the tricity and the further damage could be prevented only if a policy is formulated to check their growth. The rehabilitation policy has failed to serve its purpose and instead proved to be an incentive for slum-dwellers. For such policies, a migrant sets up a jhuggi at almost zero investment, gets a built-up residential unit, sells it and constructs another jhuggi at some other place. The vicious circle will continue until the UT Administration either scraps the rehabilitation policy or amend it to check its misuse.

Dr Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh

Authorities need to be proactive

The demolition of a slum, Colony No 5, will not ensure that Chandigarh lives up to its tag, the City Beautiful. If the Administration managed to get rid of one slum, another would soon crop somewhere else. The authorities need to be proactive. So far, it has been seen that they woke up to the occasion only after a large number of people has encroached upon the public land. By then, agents had appeared on the scene and ensured legal or illegal provision of civic amenities like water and power connections, sanitation system etc in the colony. Vote bank politics too come into play. If the Chandigarh Administration is serious about making the city slum-free, it ought to keep an eagle's eye on encroachments in the city. Offenders should be nabbed at the onset only. Why wait till a slight trouble develops into a big problem?

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Monitoring better than bulldozing

People from densely-populated states of the country like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar find Chandigarh a lucrative and convenient option to settle down. They set up jhuggies on a vacant land without any fear of law. General public can play a major role in checking government land getting illegally occupied by such migrants. They should inform the Administration in case they suspect a slum-in-the-making on a vacant public land so that it could be stopped at the first stage. Better monitor than bulldoze. Yet another answer to the problem of slums and encroachment on government land is providing squatters with an alternative shed or shelter.

Priya Darsh Growar, Mohali

Demolition a temporary solution

Even as the Chandigarh Administration's demolition drive in the Colony No 5 is a laudable step, it would only provide a partial solution to the problem of illegal encroachment. Reason: the Administration rehabilitated a lesser number of families than those uprooted. While those who got keys of small flats in Dhanas now have an alternative place to live, others would certainly be pondering over erecting a temporary structure somewhere else, may be in Chandigarh only.

Shishu Paul, Chandigarh

Ensure optimum utilisation of vacant government land

It is commonly seen that the land belonging to the government, which remains vacant for a long period, is either encroached upon or turns into a garbage dump leading to spread of diseases and complaints from those living in its periphery. The vacant land can partly be used to make new parks and offices, of course with proper planning. The remaining land should be earmarked with fencing or barbed wire to prevent its illegal occupation.

Meenakshi Lamba, Chandigarh

Need to fence the vacant public land

The problem of migrants from UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and some states of the South India coming to Chandigarh for greener pastures and occupying vacant government land continues to haunt the city administration. The political parties encourage migrant workers to occupy the public land and repeatedly assure them that the government will not act against them. Politicians tell these migrants, who have over a period of time become residents of the city, that they will fight for them and in return, they (encroachers) must cast votes in their favour as and when elections come. To ensure that in future, no vacant government land is illegally occupied by migrants, all the pieces of government land lying vacant in the city should be appropriately fenced with barbed wire and a notice displayed prominently that encroachment of the land would draws strict penalty/punishment. Offenders should be prosecuted without discrimination.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

Give voting rights only to legal residents

To achieve a desired civic system for public convenience, the authorities concerned should be harsh towards offenders and override dubious political manoeuvres. Upholding ethics of serving citizens and not succumbing to dirty vote-bank politics hold the key. In my opinion, only the citizens residing in authorised houses/colonies need to be given the right to vote. Officials in the local government should show teeth if they come across an unauthorised colony emerging in their wards.

MPS Chadha, Mohali

Illegal colonies an outcome of Admn's laxity

The demolition of Colony No. 5 also brought to fore a glaring omission on the part of officials in the Chandigarh Administration, who had let the colony to come up by looking the other way. Illegal migrants took advantage of their laxity and occupied the available space. The Administration continued to be on the losing side as its precious land remained in illegal occupation. The squatters might have been shifted temporarily to other locations but one thing is certain, new such colonies will come up there too thereby posing problems for the Administration at a later date.

MS Ishar, Mohali

Ensure units allotted under rehabilitation scheme remain with beneficiaries

I would like to say that the problem of slums can be addressed not by removal of jhuggies but by their transformation. If shacks are converted into houses, slums would turn into suburbs. Once it is done, the challenge will be to ensure that dwelling units remain with the beneficiaries under the rehabilitation scheme for slum dwellers and do not sold to agents paving the way for more encroachments; this time at some other place. Strict and competent officers should be appointed to keep a track of and tackle such encroachments.

Isha Gupta, Chandigarh

Admn's bold step appreciable

A ruthless anti-encroachment drive has eventually retrieved some prime land even as some local politicians tried to publicise their protests for obvious reasons. This belated but full-throttle action is ultimately for the overall betterment of the City Beautiful and city residents have welcomed it. The step will eventually increase the occupancy of flats built by the Chandigarh Housing Board in Dhanas at a considerable cost. The squatters were hitherto showing reluctance to occupy them.

SC Luthra, MHC, Mani Majra

Bureaucrats should be upright, not politicians’ puppet

Most of the encroachments on the government land take place because of tacit “understanding” between politicians and the authorities concerned. It starts with a small shack and slowly grows into a house on a government property. Politicians turn a Nelson's eye to the unlawful activity lest they annoy the voters. Officials concerned toe the line of their political masters. In such a scenario, the answer to encroachments lies in being tough to offenders. The bureaucrats have to be upright and serve their organisation rather than politicians having vested interests. Encroachment must be removed as soon as it takes place or noticed. The recent razing of Colony No 5 in Chandigarh is a good example of a well-planned effort towards removal of encroachment. Now, the Administration should emulate the job in other places that are under illegal occupation.

Col RD Singh (retd), Ambala Cantt

Open house question

Encroachments in markets has been a cause of concern for city residents. Recently, the UT proposed to the Centre to increase the fine on encroachers from ~500 to ~10,000. Would the increase in the penalty deter encroachers or other measures are required to tackle the menace? Write your comments along with a passport size picture (in jpg format) to [email protected]



Reporters Diary
Numbers game at MC House meeting

Unlike the previous MC House meetings, in the recent House meeting, every Congress councillor was vocal and targeting the Opposition councillors. They were especially targeting Leader of Opposition Arun Sood. After seeing the Congress councillors in the attacking mode for the first time, Sood pointed out: “Lagta hai Pawan Kumar Bansal sahab ke samne har Congressi apne number banane ke liye minute-minute par apni seat se uchalta ja rha hai (It seems every Congress man is standing up to make a point in order to impress Pawan Kumar Bansal)”. Immediately after Sood's statement, the Congress councillors again started targeting him.

Demolition effect: Used bricks on sale

Truck loads of used bricks retrieved from the demolished Colony No. 5 have found their way into the open market. Against a price of Rs 5.30 per brick, the used bricks retrieved from the colony are selling at Rs 2 per piece. While some of the bricks are being used by evicted slum dwellers to raise new structures elsewhere, a major portion these has reached brick dealers.

Dogs have their day

Black Power, Sultan, Red-Shot, Brett Lee, Yankee, AK-47, Sultanpur’s Bolt, Pink-Jet, Jackie Kung-Fu, some interesting names of race dogs that left everyone amazed at the 15th Senior Sukhdev Singh Gill Rural Sports meet. As soon as these names were announced, everyone gathered near the race track to have a look at these local breed of dogs.

There is a lot in name

BSP Councillor Jannat Jahan-ul-Haq, on not finding “Smt” or “Mrs” written in front of her name in the minutes of the MC meetings, expressed her displeasure before Mayor Subhash Chawla. Jannat said she was a married woman and she had noticed “Mr” or “Mrs” written in front of everybody’s name. However, the same respect is not given to her. The Mayor innocently asked her that what should be written in front of her name and assured her that from now on, her name would also have “Mrs” or “Smt” written in front of it.

Craftsmen disappointed

As UT Administrator and Punjab Governor Shivraj V Patil decided to take a round of all the stalls at the National Crafts Mela ahead of formally inaugurating it at the Kalagram last week, artisans manning the stalls were in for a surprise. While all these craftsmen manning 130 stalls quickly set their stalls in order to welcome the Administrator, nearly half of them were disappointed after Patil took a short-cut to the main stage without visiting their stalls located at the other end of the stage.

Love is blind

During a post-mortem examination of bodies of the boy and the girl, who jumped before a train after they were spotted roaming around by their uncle, a railway policeman got emotional while making the papers and had a story to tell of his own. The post-mortem examination was conducted at the General Hospital, Panchkula.

The policeman, while narrating an incident relating to his son, said: “Once my son told us honestly that a girl wrote something on his school shirt. It was only then I told him that all these love theories do not exist. I made him understand what if the girl gets serious and takes a wrong step and mentions his name in the suicide note. I told him…pyaar k chakkar me to na hi padhe koi kabhi (one should not fall in love),” said the policeman. A lower-rank police official, who was sitting next to him, flared up and argued: “Aisa hai sir ji…pyaar ki koi aankhen nahi hoti (Sir, love is blind)”. After saying this, he moved out angrily.

Contributed by Amit Sharma, Ritika Jha Palial, Rajinder Nagarkoti, Rajmeet Singh, Hina Rohtaki and Deepankar



Need to think about future of HIV patients: Expert
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, December 1
As the city marked World AIDS day today, a number of events took place seeing a variety of activities.

Talk on future of AIDS patients

Moving a step ahead in spearheading the cause of the HIV-infected patients in the city, a volunteer in the network of these patients sensitised the students of Panjab University (PU) about the future of the HIV patients.

“A lot is being done in the area of raising awareness on preventing AIDS. But what about those who are already down with infection? It is high time our country starts thinking about their future in terms of their career. For that social acceptance is a must,” said the volunteer, Pooja Thakur while addressing the students of the University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology, PU.

Awareness talk at Bapu Dham Colony

“According to 2011 statistics, around 21% new women contract AIDS each year,” said Dr Ritambhra Bhalla, consultant, gynaecology, while speaking on “HIV Prevention and Protection”.

The awareness talk for residents of Bapu Dham Colony was organised by Fortis Hospital, Mohali. Dr Bhalla said: “Indian young women are most vulnerable to getting the HIV infection. The disease has reached the status of an epidemic and it becomes our moral duty to make efforts to curb it. Not only as part of the human rights, but also as part of their reproductive rights, women should understand the ways and means to prevent the infection”.

Free check-up camp

State AIDS control society organised a free health check-up and HIV screening camp for truck drivers in the city. More than 100 persons participated in the camp at Sector 26.



AIDS still a serious health concern in Punjab: Minister 
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 1
A state-level function was organised by the Punjab State AIDS Control Society (PSACS) at the State Institute of Health and Family Welfare to observe World AIDS Day, here today.

Minister for Health and Family Welfare Surjit Kumar Jyani, who was the chief guest, said HIV/AIDS was still a serious health concern in Punjab. He laid emphasis on the need for ensuring institutional deliveries to prevent parent-to-child transmission of HIV. Sewing machines were given to poor needy widows.

Vini Mahajan, principal secretary (Health), Punjab, emphasised on the need for making a concerted effort to achieve the goal of getting to ‘zero new infection, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths’ in the state by 2015. She said in the past six months, no new infection was detected among the high-risk group population in five districts, including Fazilka, Muktsar, Bathinda, Mansa and Sangrur.

Hussan Lal, project director, PSACS, said over the years, the HIV epidemic had shifted from the urban to the rural population and from the high-risk group (HRG) to the general population, affecting women and youth.

He said although the main transmission route continued to be sexual in Punjab, like, the rest of India, HIV positivity among injecting drug users (IDUs) had emerged as a major concern for the state. HIV positivity among IDUs in the state was 21.02 per cent against the national average of 7.2 per cent. A rally was organised and a painting competition conducted in six schools to enhance the awareness about HIV/AIDS.



Police, Alcoholics Anonymous tie up
Representatives of the organisation will form part of drunken driving nakas in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
The Chandigarh Police and the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), a worldwide fellowship of recovering alcoholics, today decided to join hands against the deadly disease of alcoholism.

This was stated by Maneesh Choudhary, SP (Traffic), during a brief chat on the sidelines of an impressive function which was held to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Welcome Group of AA at Carmel Convent School, Sector 9, today.

Under the ambitious programme, the representatives of the AA will form part of the drunken driving nakas of the Chandigarh Police to pass on the message of recovery from alcohol to the problem drinkers. “Efforts will be made to send the problem drinkers to the AA meetings across the tricity to tackle the menace of alcoholism with the ultimate aim of reducing accident and crime rate,” Choudhary said.

Saying that alcoholism affected every strata of society, Savita Malhotra, Head of the Department of Psychiatry, PGI, asserted recovery from alcoholism was possible through the efforts of organizations such as the AA.

Earlier, the public information programme of the AA was a big draw with hundreds of persons from different walks of life evincing keen interest in the AA way of recovery. The AA’s recovery programme worked on simple 12 steps of which attending meetings, which were held every day in the tricity, formed an integral part, an AA representative said.

The AA is a worldwide fellowship of men and women who help each other to maintain sobriety by sharing their experiences, strengths and hopes. “The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There is no fee for membership,” the representative said.

About alcoholism and Alcoholics Anonymous

  • According to WHO estimates, there are about 240 million alcoholics in the world
  • Alcoholism is the third largest killer in the world
  • Alcoholics Anonymous is active in 184 countries with a membership of over 3 millions.
  • In India, there are about 1100 groups of Alcoholics Anonymous with a membership of 30,000


The problem drinkers who wish to recover from alcoholism can dial Alcoholics Anonymous’ helpline 94170-37358. Complete information about the Alcoholics Anonymous and its recovery programme is available on the www.aa.org and www.aagsoindia.org websites.



Physically challenged get tricycles 
Tribune News Service

A beneficiary with his tricycle in Chandigarh on Sunday.
A beneficiary with his tricycle in Chandigarh on Sunday. A tribune photograph

Chandigarh, December 1
The Cheshire Homes, Chandigarh, observed International Day for Persons with Disabilities here today. It presented 10 tricycles, three sewing machines and one each of bicycle, wheelchair and set of crutches to the persons with disabilities.

The UN International Day for Persons with Disabilities was observed with other partner organisations like the Rotary Club of Chandigarh Midtown, Inner Wheel Club of Chandigarh Midtown, Association of Physically Handicapped of Chandigarh and Punjab, and Punjab National Bank.

A team of 10 doctors also examined more than 100 physically challenged persons who were given medicines free of cost. On this occasion, 15 rail travel concessional passes were also presented to physically challenged persons.

Gurdip Singh Deep, president of the Cheshire Homes, said 10 per cent of Indian population were disabled (either physically or mentally) and more than 23 million were employable. In Chandigarh, nearly 10,000 physically challenged persons are there and we are trying to help them by not only providing them shelter, but also helping them develop special skills to get jobs.

Dr Raj Bahadur, Head, Orthopaedic Department, PGIMER, Rajesh Jogpal, Director, Social Welfare, UT Chandigarh, were present during the function at the Cheshire Homes.

The Cheshire Homes works to empower people with disabilities to help them live their lives the way they choose with the opportunity and support to live independently, contribute economically and participate fully in society. 



Tiny tots enthral audience at annual function
Tribune News Service

Students of The British School present a dance item on the annual function at Indradhanush Auditorium, Sector 5, Panchkula, on Sunday.
Students of The British School present a dance item on the annual function at Indradhanush Auditorium, Sector 5, Panchkula, on Sunday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Panchkula, December 1
The annual function, Tarang 2013, of The British School, Sector 8, was held at the Indradhanush Auditorium here today. Panchkula Deputy Commissioner Dr SS Phulia was the chief guest on the occasion.

The function involved participation from all students of the school. The function began with Ganesh Vandana. Anita Mehra, principal of the school, welcomed the guests and parents.

The inaugural ceremony commenced with the lighting of the ceremonial lamp by the dignitaries. Phulia felicitated the academic and sports achievers of the school. He also honoured the chairpersons of the school, TR Sethi and U Sethi, for their contribution in the field of education.

Director Geetika Sethi presented the annual report of the school and highlighted the achievements of the school in various curricular and co-curricular activities.

She said the school aimed at ensuring intellectual and physical development of students in a vibrant academic environment.

The tiny tots of the school attired in beautiful Indian traditional costumes danced to the tunes of numbers depicting unity in diversity not only in country but also in classrooms.

KG Class students performed on the song “Chand Taare” depicting childhood and its magic on the stage. It was a treat to watch the young ones perform so confidently on the stage.

The students of Class II thanked the parents and the teaching community through a dance. Another outstanding performance by the same class students took the parents to their good old college days.

Qawwali performance in fusion style had everyone tapping their feet and clapping their hands.

The dance of the fishermen from the coastal area was an incredible performance. The mythological play “Krishan Leela” left the audience spellbound. “Asian Flair” was the show stealer where girls swayed to Japanese music while performing a wonderful fan dance.

The mighty warriors overpowered everyone by their righteousness, courage and strength and ended the show ‘dabang’ style, which got a standing ovation.



Vegetable prices come down
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
In a breather for the city residents, the prices of vegetables have largely come down further. Onion has come down to Rs 35 per kg at the 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 the Apni Mandi and in the retail market.

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 35 a kg from Rs 80 a kg about a month ago and Rs 40 last week, the cost of cauliflower is down from the Rs 30 last week to Rs 20 now. 



Maintain internal infrastructure or charge less, societies tell civic body
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
Group housing cooperative societies have opposed the Municipal Corporation’s (MC) decision to levy property tax on the entire area of the societies even though the area inside the cooperative societies is maintained by the societies themselves. The residents of the society feel that either the UT Administration or the MC should maintain the area inside the societies or charge the tax on the covered area only.

The residents of the housing societies said they were given a step-motherly treatment by the Administration by imposing property tax on the entire land of the cooperative societies. The tax amount will have to be divided among the residents of the society. At present, the roads, parks, streetlights, water supply, etc, inside the societies are developed by the societies while these basic facilities in the entire city are maintained by the MC.

There are around 125 housing societies in the city, of which around 70 societies, comprising more than 10,000 flats, are in Sectors 48, 49, 50 and 51.

Satish Chandra Sharma, a resident of Progressive Society in Sector 50 and Chairman of the Group Housing Cooperative Societies Welfare Council, stated they were ready to pay the taxes but the MC should ensure that the maintenance of infrastructure inside the societies was done by it. “Of the total land allotted to a housing society, only 40% of the area is utilised for constructing flats and the remaining 60% is used for the provision of various facilities, including roads and parks, which are maintained by societies. In view of this fact, we demand that the property tax should be levied only on the permissible constructed area”.

The SAD councillor, Malkiat Singh, at a recent meeting of the House Tax Assessment Committee had raised the issue of charging tax on the covered area in the societies.

Kamal Gupta, president, Resident Sector Welfare Association of Sector 50, stated the move to charge property tax on the total area of a society was unjustified. “Tax should be charged only on the covered area and the area under one flat should be divided into three as the building in the societies are three-storied, which means the payable amount should be shared between the owners of all three storeys,” Gupta stated.



HUDA official flouts norms 
Installs mobile tower at his residence; health of residents at risk
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

A mobile tower at a residence in Sector 12, Panchkula.
A mobile tower at a residence in Sector 12, Panchkula. Tribune Photo: S Chandan

Panchkula, December 1
Under the nose of the Haryana Urban Development Authority, residents, including a senior official of HUDA itself, have got mobile towers installed at their residences, posing a risk to the health of the residents.

Estate officer of the HUDA department, Vandana Disodia, said, “I will send my team on Monday itself and we will send them notices. After sending warning notices, if the violators still don’t act on it, then our last action is to resume the property.”

Mobile towers have been put up at Sector 12, at the residence of a HUDA officer and Sector 6.

The HUDA authorities recently got a mobile tower removed that was installed on the premises of the society but, surprisingly, these mobile towers installed at the houses situated on the main road went unnoticed.

Sagar Sachdev, son of Harish Sachdev who has got a mobile tower installed at his residence in Sector 6, when asked as to whether any permission has been taken said he would revert in 15 minutes after speaking to his father but did not respond.

“Our complaints have fallen on deaf ears. We don’t allow our kids to play outside as the mobile tower emits harmful radiations,” said a resident of Sector 6 requesting anonymity.

SC Mehta, HUDA official, who has put up a mobile tower at his residence in Sector 12, was also contacted but he did not respond.

“It has been years since this mobile tower in Sector 12 has been put up. The tower being a health hazard, we have taken up the matter with the authorities several times but I don’t know why they don’t take any action,” said a resident of Sector 12, requesting anonymity.



Biz news
IndiaCan to partner with ‘Alternative Learning Systems’

IndiaCan, a test preparation education venture of Pearson Education, announced its strategic partnership with Alternative Learning Systems (ALS), learning institution in IAS training, on Saturday.

As part of the partnership, IndiaCan and ALS, will set-up ‘ETEN IAS centres’ to offer world-class training to aspiring IAS candidates across the country, including Chandigarh. The announcement ceremony witnessed the participation of key officials from both the companies, including Ritesh Handa, business head, IndiaCan and Jojo Mathews, ED, ALS among other officials.— TNS



61 students get placement
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 1
A placement drive was organised by Indo Global Colleges on its campus, near here, in which 14 companies selected 61 candidates.

Salaries and perquisites offered by the companies ranged from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3.5 lakh per annum.

The placements were mostly for the final year students of the BTech (mechanical and civil engineering) streams of the college. 



Tricity Scan
Blood donation camp held

Chandigarh: Dr Manish Rai, director of the Rotary Blood Bank Society, Chandigarh, and Sr Daswandha Singh Education and Cultural Foundation organised a voluntary blood donation camp. SS Boparai, Vice-Chancellor, Punjabi University, Patiala, and Randhir Singh Cheema, an SGPC member, graced the occasion. Remona Ghuman and Kanwarjit Singh Ghuman, office-bearers of the foundation conducted the camp, which was attended by as many as 150 donors from Fatehgarh Sahib, Dera Bassi, Kharar, SAS Nagar and Chandigarh.

Freshers welcomed

Mohali: It was a rich cultural feast at the fresher's party organised at the Gian Sagar Medical College and Hospital auditorium near here. Freshers rubbed shoulders with their seniors and held the audience spellbound with their captivating performances. The proceedings got off to a start with Dr Sukhwinder Singh, Vice-Chairman of the Gian Sagar Educational and Charitable Trust, lighting the ceremonial lamp.

Blankets distributed

The Vishvas Foundation, Panchkula, distributed over 200 blankets to poor and needy dwellers of cottages near the Vishvas Meditation Centre, Sector 66, Mohali. A grand community kitchen was also arranged for the poor.

South Asia conclave

A two-member delegation from the Aryans Group of Colleges, Chandigarh, led by Anshu Kataria, chairman of the Aryans Group, attended the South Asia Conclave held at Royal Palm Country Club, Lahore, Pakistan. The theme of the conclave was "The Power of Collaboration". Earlier, the delegation was given a warm welcome by Pakistani students at the Wagah border. — TNS



Thousands take exam amid high security
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
Over 8,000 students from across the country appeared for the PGIMER’s MD/MS entrance examination here today, witnessing several security checks before entering the examination hall.

Supposed to be one of toughest medical entrance examinations, the test conducted by the PGIMER is now also being perceived as the “most stringent” entrance test in view of the restrictions on carrying even water bottle inside the examination hall and three-layer security checks.

As the students were first examined through metal detectors, then frisking and again via bug detectors at all 10 centres across the city, one of them said there were more security checks at the exam centre than any airport.

A student from Orissa at a centre in St Soldier’s Public School, Sector 28, said: “We had heard from our seniors that this exam has suddenly adopted very strict security measures. But I had not imagined that the security here would be higher than that on any airport. It seemed more like entering any VIP area.”

The exam was held from 10 am to 1 pm at 10 centers, including DAV College, Sector 10, Shishu Niketan School, Sector 22, Saupins School, Sector 32, MCM DAV College, Sector 36, and a few others.

PGI Director visits a few centres

PGIMER Director YK Chawla visited some of the examination centres, including the one at Shishu Niketan School, Sector 22, to check the arrangements. Besides, security staff of the PGI was also deputed at all centres, in addition to flying squads of senior faculty members.

Reasons for high vigil

In November last year, CBI sleuths had unearthed a cheating scam in which numerous decoy candidates were caught red-handed passing off information to another few candidates in other centres using sophisticated bluetooth devices. The incident had forced the PGI to reschedule the exam. The case is pending in the CBI court.

Marking scheme provided with question paper

Flooded with numerous queries on marking scheme and calculation of final percentile/percentage after the exam last year and in May this year, the PGI provided an additional sheet enlisting marking scheme to 
the students at all centres this time.

Question paper relatively easier

The students who had second or third attempt of the exam said this time the question paper appeared relatively easier.

Exam centres turn advertising spots

With students from across the country visiting the city, representatives from various coaching institutes camped outside the exam centres to distribute their brochures. The exam centres turned out to be a platform for marketing for these institutes as they were not only able to reach out to the students but also the parents waiting outside.

Results today

The results for the exam will be declared on Monday at 9 pm on the PGI’s official website, www.pgimer.edu.in



Jammers inconvenience Chandigarh residents
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
The extended range of jammers installed at each of the 10 examination centres led to major inconvenience to residents of the respective areas throughout the first half of the day. The jammers were installed to ensure proper vigil at the exam centres. However, residents, especially those living next to the exam centres, had to bear with frequent call drops as well as poor connectivity of Internet devices till the exam continued.

The residents said the problem started after 8 am. Some of them suggested that respective institutes, where these exams are conducted, should take the responsibility to inform the residents well in advance about such happenings on their premises.



Tribal stalls attract visitors at Crafts Mela
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
During the ongoing 5th Chandigarh National Crafts Mela at Kala Gram, tribal designs in a variety of items are attracting the visitors. Nearly 50 tribal artists are participating in this annual Crafts Mela.

These tribal stalls have art and crafts, including textile, cane and bamboo handicraft, paintings, metal craft, jewellery, woollens, pottery, etc. The visitors are having a wholesome experience about the lifestyle in the tribal community. Today, being Sunday, huge crowd converged at the Kala Gram.

Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED) brought these artisans and artists to promote the tribal heritage. These artists, being the habitants of tribal areas, produce all products, handicrafts and artifacts from the natural resources within their region.

Being a pioneer federation, TRIFED, under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India, has set up around 30 stalls showcasing the art, heritage, and organic food products made by the tribals from natural resources.

Himachal Pradesh brought ‘Pahari Jewellery’, which includes neck ornaments like hansli, small pendants called toke and neck pieces called coin necklace, including silver and brass jewellery, semi-precious stones, beads and the manikar embellished jewellery. The designs are inspired from simple motifs like seeds, flowers and leaves and developed into exquisite patterns.

One of the special stalls from Jharkhand has pure silk dress material. Silk saris from Jharkhand are the main attraction here. The stall has a variety of statues made of brass.

Cholesterol-free cashew nuts

A special dry fruit counter has been put by TRIFED selling the organic food. The key feature of the stall is special cholesterol-free cashew nuts from Gujarat.



Junior RJ auditions held at P’kula school
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 1
Students of Hallmark Public School, Sector 15, Panchkula, got a chance to showcase their originality and spontaneity in speech and style during the auditions for the 'junior RJ' held on the school premises by a radio jockey from the tricity Anubhav Kalra. A total of 214 students participated in the event.

Principal Kavita Wadhwa said: “It was a tough, thrilling, educative and interactive competition. It opened a new career vista for the students.”

At the end of the event, Snehil Sharma, Sarang Kalsi, Kartikey Mehta, Devkaran Singh Dhillon, Harsha Namjoshi and Tanisha Khan were selected as junior RJs.

Director Jivtesh Garg said: “We at Hallmark keep exposing our students to new-age careers. The idea is to give them first-hand knowledge about these and to gauge interest levels of students towards particular fields. The RJ audition was one such step taken by our school in this direction.” 



Play depicts Haryana’s contribution to 1857 mutiny

Chandigarh, December 1
The contribution of Haryana to the 1857 mutiny was depicted through a play, “1857 Ki Kahani Haryana Ki Zubani” staged in the ongoing National Crafts Mela at Kala Gram here today.

Organised by CEVA Drama Repertory Company, Chandigarh, the play showed that it was not a matter of coincidence that before the first shot of mutiny was fired by Mangal Pande in Meerut on May 10, 1857, soldiers at Ambala had already revolted against the British.

The uprising of the Indian soldiers at Ambala and Meerut on the same day confirmed the fact that the revolt had been meticulously planned by its leaders in advance in Haryana.

The play also depicted that the common people of Haryana stood by the sepoys and made local rulers support them. For six months, Haryana was an independent state. But when Britishers landed, they crushed the revolution really bad; and people were hanged from trees. For the next 90 years, Haryana was neglected.

Common people trying to break free from the establishment was the overall theme of the play that had both the young artists as well as professional artists acting together. — TNS



From Schools
Gurpurb celebrated

Chandigarh: Students of Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36, celebrated Guru Nanak Dev’s Gurpurb. The three-day-long festivity had an ‘Akhand Path’, which featured shabad kirtan. Around 150 students participated in the kirtan and threw light on the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev through many poems and speeches. This was followed by ‘Guru Ka Langar’.

Inter-house quizomania

RIMT World School organised an Inter-House Quizomania for Classes VI to IX to help students discover the mysteries of science and develop an interest in scientific development. The four Houses - Courage, Endurance, Honour and Valour - participated zealously. A total of five rounds namely rapid fire, transfer, visual, solve the unsolved and the buzzer were organised.

Rally held

Students of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 31, organised a rally to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS. The students carrying banners and placards raised slogans to sensitise people to the ill-effects of HIV and to treat people suffering from this syndrome with love and care. In the morning assembly, a talk was also delivered where students vowed to treat HIV patients with love and care.

Annual sporting event

Kids ‘R’ Kids conducted its annual sporting event with fervour and enthusiasm on its campus field. The occasion was marked with a concoction of interesting events for the children. The principal gave away prizes to the winners and stressed the importance of developing the spirit of sportsmanship.

Annual function

The junior wing of Bhavan Vidyalaya in Sector 33, organised its pre-primary annual function “Splash of Colours”. The ceremony commenced with the lighting of the ceremonial lamp. The tiny tots of Pre-Nursery welcomed the guests with their song “Swagatham”.

Students exhibit talent

Mohali: Scintillating stars of Smart Wonders exhibited their talent and excellence at their annual show “Navras” held at the Tagore Theatre. The evening started on a religious note with an invocation to the almighty through a soulful rendition of a shabad “Koi Bole Ram Ram”. The abundant genius of these young individuals in the arena of arts was showcased through the magic and beauty of “Navras”.


Lawrence Public Senior Secondary School organised a carnival-cum-exhibition. More than 750 students participated in various activities. Students staged various fairy tales and fusion dance. Dance and dresses of different states like Maharashtra, West Bengal, Punjab and Rajasthan were also showcased. At the end, prizes were given to meritorious students.

Annual sports week

Panchkula: The junior wing of Satluj Public School, Sector 2, held its annual sports week from Saturday. In addition to sports, an impressive cultural programme was held before prizes were awarded to the winners. As many as 800 students participated in various parades and stage items.

‘Baby Day Out’ programme

Students of SMD Little Champ, Sector 2, under their “Baby Day Out” programme had a daylong excursion to historic Chandimandir and Pinjore Garden. A group of 25 children under the guidance of principal Nivedita Vig went for a picnic that was well enjoyed by all. The children spent some time at Chandimandir. — TNS



Over 60,000 appear for rly recruitment exam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 1
Over 60,000 students from all over the country thronged the city to appear for the railway recruitment cell examination for Group D or class IV railway employees, today.

The three-hour examination was conducted across 102 centres in and around the city, including Panchkula, Mohali, Zirakpur, Dera Bassi and Rajpura.

A team of around 25 officials from New Delhi was in the tricity to conduct the examination as well as to monitor the security arrangements made at the exam centres.

About six cases of impersonation, three cases of use of unfair means during the examination and one case of use of cellphone during the examination were reported.

Officials at the railway station said another examination would be held on December 8. Almost 50,000 candidates were likely to appear for the examination.



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