C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Deface city, get penalised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
Defacing the city by illegally displaying hoardings will cost defaulters dear as the municipal corporation (MC) will penalise the violators at the rate of Rs 100 per sq ft per day from next week.

The MC has decided to slap the fine for the past six months on agencies and others who have displayed their hoardings or boards.

MC Joint Commissioner Rajiv Gupta said it had been observed that some agencies and people were pasting posters and installing signboards at public places which was an offence under the West Bengal Defacement of Property Act, 1976.

“It is also a violation of the Chandigarh Advertisement Control Order (CACO), 1954,” he said.

To deter people from defacing the city, it has been decided that any poster or signboard erected in violation of CACO will be presumed to be erected for the past six months and the violators will be fined for six months.

The photography of hoardings in city markets and parking areas has already been done by the MC.

MC officials said rampant violations had been recorded in parking lots and market areas in the city.

“It has been witnessed that local coaching institutes and shopkeepers have been violating the rules by displaying boards in every nook and corner of the city,” the officials said.

The MC Joint Commissioner said a public notice had already been issued for informing the public to remove illegal boards or hoardings and in the coming week all violators will be served a notice following which they would be penalised.

"The violators have been given a period of seven days after which action will be taken against them," he said.

For displaying a signboard of 2x2 sq ft, a violator will have to pay a fine of Rs 400 per day and Rs 72,000 for six months.

What violators will have to pay

* The MC will penalise violators at the rate of Rs 100 per sq ft per day.

* Any poster or signboard erected in violation of the Chandigarh Advertisement Control Order will be presumed to be erected for the past six months and the defaulters will be fined for six months.

* For displaying a signboard of 2x2 sq ft, a violator will have to pay a fine of Rs 400 per day and Rs 72,000 for six months.



Ceiling for admitting poor students to private schools 25%, says HC 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today made it clear that the ceiling for admitting students from the deprived strata of society to private schools in Chandigarh was 25 per cent.

With this, the High Court has clarified that the total reservation, including 15 per cent for economically weaker sections of society and 25 per cent under the Right to Education Act, will not be 40 per cent.

The directions came on a petition filed in public interest by Hemant Goswami. Taking up the matter, the Bench also made it clear to the private schools that they would have to fulfil the contractual obligation arising out of allotment of land at concessional rates; and as a part of it reserve 15 per cent seats for EWS students in all classes.

The Bench also specified that the schools would not be entitled to claim compensation for these 15 per cent EWS students, but only for the residual students. In cases of disputes, the private schools would represent to the Chandigarh Administration. It, in turn, would decide the issues on a case-to-case basis.

Goswami had earlier sought the implementation of the EWS rules. He had argued that 15 per cent seats were required to be reserved for EWS students in all classes. The High Court had earlier asked the Chandigarh Administration to form a committee to look into the implementation of the RTE Act in city schools. The committee was to comprise experts from the Central Board of School Examination, the UT Education Department and renowned educationists from the city.

The Bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Augustine George Masih had also observed verbally that the quality of education in government schools was not as per the provisions of the RTE Act. The High Court had also directed all schools in Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana to get themselves registered with the state governments. The Act makes it mandatory for each school to get itself registered with the Education Department of the state. According to the procedure, the school has to make a self-declaration before the Education Department confirming the compliance of the specified conditions.

The Act also provides that the department can withdraw recognition after following the prescribed procedure in case a school does not comply with the condition. The High Court has already asked the Central Board of Secondary Education, the Punjab School Education Board and the ICSE to inform the Bench whether the provisions of the Right to Education Act were being complied with by the schools affiliated to it or not.



2 top MC engineers’ salary withheld
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
The municipal corporation (MC) has withheld the salary of SS Bidda, Chief Engineer, and Mukesh Anand, Superintending Engineer (Building and Roads), for November to recover Rs 4 lakh spent on a foreign tour, which ended before it could start.

The salary, which is transferred to the accounts of the officials by the month-end, has been withheld and it has been recommended that the amount can be recovered in instalments from the salary. The final decision has to be taken by the MC Commissioner.

Both officials, who are among the top functionaries of the MC, were all set to leave on a seven-day study tour to Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand on May 22 this year, but they had to return from the Delhi airport after the authorities organising the tour could not take permission for visiting the buildings which they were supposed to visit. The MC had paid the amount to the organisers for the tour.

Following an objection by the Audit Department, the UT Administration had asked the MC to recover the money from the officials.

Sources said a reply was sought from the officials concerned after withholding their salaries. The officials had said the organisers would pay the amount. However, it had been recommended that when the organisers pay the amount, the instalments deducted from their salary would be reimbursed.

MC Commissioner VP Singh could not be contacted for comments in the matter. The Engineers Development Council, a New Delhi-based autonomous body of engineers, had organised the tour. 



Police announce Rs 1 lakh reward
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
Failing to get any lead in the Pinki kidnapping and murder case, the UT police have now announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for anyone providing information about the girl’s killers. The name and identity of the informant will be kept a secret.

Meanwhile, the special investigating team (SIT) of the police checked over 200 houses in Palsora village and questioned six persons, who were reportedly missing earlier.

DSP (Crime) Satbir Singh said efforts were on to crack the case and they were hopeful of getting a lead soon.

Residents of the village took out a candlelight march in the evening, demanding justice for the victim and in protest against “police inaction” in the case.

The police said over 10 missing persons of Palsora village had been traced during the course of the investigation.

Eleven police teams checked over 200 houses in the village, but found no leads in the murder case of the Class VI student.

The teams, including the local police, crime branch sleuths and members of the operation cell, also verified over 110 tenants in Palsora in this regard.

The girl went missing on November 27. Her body was found in a jute sack on the evening of December 1. 


City emerging favourite place for shooting films
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
Better landscapes, single-window for shooting permits, favourable climate and better roads are some features of the City Beautiful, which have made the city one among the favourite shooting destinations for film directors and producers across India.

More than 28 films have been shot here this year so far. These include seven Bollywood and 21 Punjabi films, an increase from 17 last year (13 Punjabi and four Bollywood films).

The number was nine in 2011 with seven Punjabi and two Bollywood films.

Some popular Bollywood flicks shot in the city recently are "Special 26", "Mere Dad ki Maruti." Hollywood movie "Zero-Dark 30", based on the hunt for Osama Bin Laden.

The Chandigarh Administration runs a Bollywood facilitation cell to provide a “Single Window System” for the grant of all permissions as required for film shooting at beautiful locations in city.

The administration also provides security and other logistics support to the film crew coming across from the country and abroad. 

Online permission

The Chandigarh Administration on Thursday launched the facility for online registration for seeking permission for film shooting. This is the first such initiative in the country. The online facility has been linked with the Chandigarh tourism website for easier facilitation.

Films shot lately in city

Mere Dad ki Maruti, Dev D, Fashion, Special 26, Veer-Zara, Padosan, Zanjeer, Zero-Dark 30

Punjabi Bollywood

2011 7 2

2012 13 4

2013 2 7



Centre to introduce collective landing permits
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
The Union Ministry of Tourism plans to give the go-ahead to collective landing permits (CLP) giving visa on arrival (VOA) to four or more foreign tourists coming together. Usha Sharma, Additional Director General, Ministry of Tourism, who was here to inaugurate the three-day tourism fest today, said: "The tourism industry in the country can attain new heights if all stakeholders come on board with their problems and issues."

She said in 2012, the number of foreign tourists visiting India increased by 4 per cent and that of domestic tourists by 12 per cent, which showed a healthy growth rate of the tourism sector in India.

"Tourism is the industry of future, considering the lesser amount of investment needed and high returns expected, and the potential that this sector has in generating foreign exchange," said Shivraj V Patil, Governor, Punjab and UT Administrator, while addressing the inaugural session of the first CII Tourism Festival, which started at the Parade Ground here today,

He also released a CII-KPMG Report on "Travel & Tourism Sector: Potential, Opportunities and Enabling Framework for Sustainable Growth" and "Weekend Lifestyle Tourism" on the occasion.

Highlighting the importance of seamless travelling, Tourism Minister of Punjab S Sarwan Singh Phillaur said: "Seamless travel should be facilitated across integrated circuits through the introduction of integrated taxation regime, linkages between various public transportation modes and improvements in highway infrastructure such as petrol stations, potable water kiosks and sanitation facilities."

Chandigarh is the host while Punjab is the principal partner state for the festival. Haryana is participating as the focus state.

City offers weekend tourism

Chandigarh is soon going to emerge as India's first weekend tourism destination. The administration, hotels, shopping centres and travel agents have collaborated to offer packages for those wishing to spend weekends in the City Beautiful. The "Happening Weekends of Chandigarh" (logo launched on Thursday) will offer a wholesome package for tourists. The package also provides options of travelling to Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand via Chandigarh as the base centre. The prominent components of "Happening Weekends of Chandigarh" will be shopping, fun, entertainment and accommodation.



Mohali police, admn in a bind as Khalsa’s protest garners support
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 5
With the protest by Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa garnering support of various Sikh bodies, religious leaders and radicals who have been visiting the protest venue outside Gurdwara Amb Sahib here, the Mohali police and administration have become extra cautious.

Khalsa, who belongs to Kurukshetra in Haryana, is holding a fast unto death in front of Gurdwara Amb Sahib here till his demand for release of Sikh youths lodged in various jails across the country is met.

Khalsa's hunger strike entered its 22nd day today.

Senior functionaries of the district admitted that several persons, including Sikh leaders and other radicals, have started visiting the protest site to extend support to Khalsa. "We are monitoring the activities at the site and keeping a close watch on those visiting the protest venue," said Mohali SSP Inder Mohan Singh.

The SSP admitted that several fundamentalists had also been visiting Khalsa. However, there was nothing to worry about as long as the protest was peaceful, he added.

"Several religious leaders are also coming to the protest venue to convince Khalsa to discontinue the fast. Let's see what happens. Nonetheless, the law and order would be maintained, come what may," said the SSP.

Notably, Mohali Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu and the SSP had met Khalsa on Tuesday and urged him to end his protest. "We tried to persuade him to end the fast as it was not in our jurisdiction to release the Sikh youths in question. We can only take up the matter with the governments of the states where these youth are lodged," said the Deputy Commissioner.

A 'Bandi Rehai March' was also organised in support of Khalsa's demand. The march commenced from Amritsar and culminated at Gurdwara Amb Sahib.

Meanwhile, various Sikh leaders, representatives of Sant Samaj and Akal Takht Jathedar Bhai Gurbachan Singh held a meeting and mulled over the issue at Gurdwara Amb Sahib today. "This (release of Sikh youths) is certainly a serious issue and we should unite for furtherance of the cause. We should meet the Punjab Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister and urge them to resolve the issue," said Sikh leaders.

Sikh leaders also gave a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner which mentioned Khalsa's demand for release of six Sikh youths, namely Lakhwinder Singh, Gurmeet Singh, Shamsher Singh, Gurdip Singh Khera, Wariyam Singh and Lal Singh, on priority. 



Running Raipur Kalan panchayat a family affair
Ram Singh elected Sarpanch, wife and son panches
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
Fiftyeight-year-old Ram Singh will now handle the daily affairs of Raipur Kalan village panchayat along with his wife and son, as the three were today elected unopposed as Sarpanch and panches, respectively.

The Raipur Kalan panchayat comprised two villages namely Raipur Kalan and Makhan Majra. The post of Sarpanch was reserved for Schedule Castes (SCs). There were two candidates for the post of Sarpanch, Ram Singh and Anil Kumar, but, according to officials, Anil Kumar’s caste does not fall under the reserve category in the UT of Chandigarh. Therefore, his nomination was cancelled.

Ram Singh, who works as labourer, said he, along with his wife Khajani Devi, a housewife, and his son Sushil Kumar, who also works as labourer, would try to uplift the village with the support of other panches and villagers.

The UT Election Commission OSD, Tarsem Lal, said after the scrutiny of the nomination papers, only 73 candidates had been left in the fray for the 11 posts Sarpanch (one has been elected unopposed) and 335 for the 120 posts of panch (12 panches have been elected unopposed).

For the Khudda Jassu panchayat, the nomination of a candidate for the post of Sarpanch was cancelled on account of him being underage. With regards to the posts of panch, two nominations were cancelled in the Khudda Lahora and Dhanas panchayats, as the candidates were underage.

The residents of 12 gram panchayats will cast vote on December 15. Thirteen villages of the UT Administration fall under 12 gram panchayats. There are 12 posts of sarpanch and 132 of panch.

Villages going to the polls

Behlana, Rairpur Khurd, Rairpur Kalan, Makhan Majra, Daria, Mauli Jagran, Kishangarh, Kaimbwala, Khuda Ali Sher, Khuda Jassu, Khuda Lahora, Sarangpur and Dhanas



Sec 8 resident bags 15 prizes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
The results of various competitions held at the Chrysanthemum Show - 2013, organised by the Municipal Corporation at the Terraced Garden, Sector 33, in Chandigarh were declared today.

Mangal Parsad Mourya, a resident of Sector 8, Chandigarh, won around 15 prizes in different competitions. Mourya won the first prize in Class A - Artistic Arrangement of Chrysanthemum pots. He also won first prize in Reflexed Chrysanthemum competition in which four pots were to be displayed.

Mourya also won third prize in Incurving Chrysanthemum. In the category of Anemone Chrysanthemum, Korean Chrysanthemum and Pompon Chrysanthemum, Mourya won all the three positions in the three categories.

The Gurukul School, Sector 20, Panchkula, also won second prize in Spider Chrysanthemum and Reflexed Chrysanthemum. The school also bagged the title of “Princes of the Show”.

Small Wonder School, Sector 71, Mohali, won the first and the second prizes in the category of Incurved Chrysanthemum (Section C-1) and first prize in Incurved Chrysanthemum (Section D-1). The school also won the title of “King of the Show”.

Hans Raj Public School, Panchkula, won second prize in Incurving Chrysanthemum (Section C-2) and first prize in Spider Chrysanthemum (Section C-4).

MCM College, Sector 36, won second and third prizes in Button Chrysanthemum (Section D-8). The college also won the title of “New Cultivar of the Show”.

The show is open for the general public till December 8.



Opportunities galore for travellers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
For those who wish to plan a vacation the tourism exhibition of the CII under way at the Parade Ground is a great opportunity to have in-depth information about several domestic and international destinations.

As many as eight countries, including China, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Ethiopia, have put up stalls at the exhibition. Attractive tour and travel packages are also available.

A stall by the Malaysia Tourism Board showcases its tourist potential beyond Kuala Lumpur. Its local representative, Vinod Sharma, said there were far more attractive places like Langkawi, legoland, Panag and other exotic destinations, which people must explore.

Girish Sadhnani of an Indonesia-based travel company said the lack of awareness among travel agents was the main problem why customers were unaware of several exotic tourist places other than the popular destinations. Bali is one of the 13,000 islands in Indonesia. There are other equally exotic places, which people must explore.

“This exhibition is a great opportunity for end users to dig deep into the countries they wish to travel for leisure and vacations. We have exciting offers too,” he said.

The stall put up by China National Tourist Office, New Delhi, has put maximum focus on selling China Silk Route as a major tourist destination. Li Qianguo, Deputy Director of the office, said Chinese tourism was not just about visiting Beijing or Shanghai.

We have developed 10 tourist zones and offer five itineraries to the north, south, east, west and central areas of the country. Places like Gansu, Shaanxi, Ningxia, Qinghai and Xinjiang are emerging tourist destination in China and each of them have unique features.

The Philippines is emerging as another popular destination among Indians and the Philippines Tourism Marketing Office, India, has been selling packages of several tourist destinations like Manila, Laoag, Subic, Cebu, Davao, etc. Komal Seth, general manager of the office, said the number of Indians going to the Philippines for tourism had increased tremendously in the recent past.

Among Indian states are offering attractive tour and travel packages.

An official of the CII said most packages varied in terms of cost but there were chances of good negotiation here. People will get to get authentic information about the country’s tourism prospects, which many a time is distorted by unaware travel agents.

International dance fest kicks off

The International Dance festival began at the Parade Ground as part of CII Tourism Fest 2013. More than 100 dancers, not only from India but also from Thailand and Indonesia, presented a variety of dances at the CII fair. Mala dance of Himachal Pradesh, ghoomar of Haryana, tari bajidor kahot of Thailand, Balinese folk dance of Indonesia besides bhangra of Punjab were the main highlights.

Today’s programme

On Friday at 2.30 pm, dancers from Indian states, including U’khand, Gujarat and HP, will perform.



New train to Indore from today

Chandigarh, December 5
A special train will be flagged off from the city to Indore at 7.10pm on Friday. The direct train has been introduced in view of passengers' rush in the season. The train will remain operational till December 27. 

It has 12 coaches. For the sleeper class, the fare is Rs 425 per head while it is Rs 1,145 and Rs 1,665 per head for AC 3-tier and 2 tier, respectively. — TNS



Residents protest outside HUDA office

Panchkula, December 5
Members of the House Owners Welfare Federation (HOWF), Panchkula, mainly residents of Sectors 16 and 17, staged a protest in front of the office of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) deploring the growing menace of stray animals besides garbage woes in the area. The protesters also raised slogans against the HUDA officials.

"The slum in the vicinity of our sectors is the source of the troubles we have been facing. Several complaints made to HUDA officials have failed to evoke response," alleged Pyare Lal, a resident of Sector 17.

Another resident Rohit Kumar claimed that slum dwellers scatter garbage near their houses. "Since HUDA officials had been indifferent to our problems, we were forced to hold a protest," said the residents. — TNS



Ayurveda students left in lurch
Result not declared for past five months; affiliation of college questioned
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
With ambiguity shrouding the recognition of Dhanwantry College, Sector 46, over 100 students enrolled in the Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) are spending sleepless nights. The five-month delay in the declaration of result of final-year students and the disputed affiliation of the college has put the career of the students at stake.

As the disaffiliation of the college is being attributed as the cause for Panjab University withholding the result, the students are fearing that their degrees, whenever issued, will not be recognised anywhere.

This batch of about 50 students, which is being majorly affected due to the ambiguity, was admitted in 2010 and objections were raised by a PU Senator over “inadequate” infrastructure in the college. The college authorities later moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court and provisional affiliation was granted to the college.

Admissions to the subsequent batches at Shri Dhanwantry Ayurvedic College and Hospital, Sector 46, were also made on a temporary basis. Early this year, the situation recurred and the affiliation of the college was questioned.

For the delay in the result, while the principal of the college, Dr PS Thakur, blamed the university authorities for “troubling the students and the college authorities”, PU officials said the college was to submit a letter undersigned by the PU Registrar of the Law Officer, which it never provided in the past five months.

“We are seeing more than 200 patients in our OPD everyday, in addition to conducting ample number of deliveries. We have sent several reminders to the PU authorities to provide the result of the students and also allow affiliation. But the ambiguity continues. We do not know which way we are moving?” said Dr PS Thakur.

Dr Parvinder Singh, Controller of Examination, PU, said: “We had prepared the result of the students well in time and it is with us. The students must not suffer. But due to some legal issues, we were directed to withhold the result. We had suggested Dr Thakur to provide a letter undersigned by the Registrar, but he never turned up. In fact, we sent a reminded to the PU Law Officer for clearing the matter as the students are suffering.”

The students are left in the lurch. They are not able to apply for jobs or higher studies anywhere as their certificates are not being provided.

“It seems we ended up wasting our time here. Three years is a long period. What will we do if the result will never be declared. We have been retaliating in the form of protests. Even that does not seem working,” said a student. 



DLitt recommended for Prof Gurdial Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
Panjab University (PU) Syndicate has recommended to honour eminent writer Prof Gurdial Singh with a Degree of DLitt (Honoris Causa). The decision was taken at a Syndicate meeting today.

Syndidate also approved to award Degree of Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D) to 29 students.

In a two-hour long meeting, one of syndics sought details on the steps taken by university to avoid suicide incidents, as a BDS student committed suicide last week. Vice-Chancellor Grover informed the syndics that a committee has been formed to look into such matters and possible measures that can be taken to avoid any such incidents in the future. He also informed that a proposal has been mooted to appoint counsellors for students in colleges and university.

Syndicate also ratified the assignment of faculties to six PU Senate Fellows including Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul (Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court), Prof Navdeep Goyal (DSW), GS Ghuman (DPI College, Punjab), Prof Devinder Singh (PUTA President), Sardar Kuljit Singh Nagra (MLA) and Sandeep Hans (Director, higher education, UT).

Syndicate also approved naming of new girls’ hostel number 9 after noted Punjabi writer and poet, Amrita Pritam.

Syndicate also paid homage to Prof SP Vij, former Chairperson, Department of Botany, PU, and BDS student Ms Aunkurita Tripati.

Earlier, addressing the meeting, VC Prof Grover said the high energy physics group consisting of Prof JB Singh, Dr Vipin Bhatnagar, Dr Ashok Kumar and Dr JS Shahi of Physics Department has been awarded the Department of Science and Technology (DST) Project entitled “R&D Efforts by Universities Group for INO project.”

The total sanctioned grant is Rs 1.47 crore and tenure of the project is up to March 31, 2018. The aim of the project is to actively participate in the “Indigenous Neutrino Observatory (INO)” Project in Theni district (Tamil Nadu).

Prof Grover informed about that PU has been placed at the 13th position in the first ever rankings for Universities in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) plus the 17 other emerging economies of the World by the Times Higher Education magazine.



From schools

First-aid camp

Tribune Model School, Sector 29, Chandigarh, in association with Red Cross Society, organised an eight-day first-aid camp for the students on the school premises. The students were enthusiastic about the camp and learnt life-saving first-aid techniques. Balbir Singh Dhol (PCS), Secretary, Red Cross Society, was the chief guest on the occasion. He interacted with the students and was delighted to watch practical demonstrations by them. He said such activities were being organised for children on a regular basis to create awareness among the students to help the sick and injured during any disaster. — TNS



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