C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PM’s visit
Villagers bear the brunt
Told to stay indoors during Manmohan's visit; shops in Khuda Lahora closed forcibly
Tribune News Service

Motorists caught in a traffic jam on the road leading from the GMCH-32 to Tribune Chowk
Motorists caught in a traffic jam on the road leading from the GMCH-32 to Tribune Chowk. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Mohali, December 30
Despite clear instructions issued by the Prime Minister's Office not to cause inconvenience to the public by obstructing traffic during Manmohan Singh's visit to Mullanpur, the directives were given the go-by at Firozepur Bangar, Khuda Lahora and Mullanpur Garibdass villages here.

All shops on the main road in these villages were closed forcibly by the police in view of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit since these fell on the main alternative road route earmarked for the Prime Minister's cavalcade. Manmohan Singh used a chopper to reach the venue from the Chandigarh airport.

Inner roads in these areas were also closed by the police for traffic. Residents of these villages were directed not to bring their vehicles on the main road and requested to stay at home till the Prime Minister left the area.

Surjit Singh, a resident of Firozepur Bangar, said it was a curfew-like situation for them. “With a forced holiday, shopkeepers in the area suffered a huge loss,” he said.

“We were strictly asked to remain indoors throughout the day. This was ridiculous,” said Surjit Singh.

Sukhminder Pal Singh, who runs a cloth shop in the main bazar at Mullanpur Garibdass, said the Punjab Police had not only directed them to close their shops till the evening but also to stay indoors.

Complaining of inconvenience during the past three days, Rajesh Gupta of Khuda Lahora village said who would compensate them for the loss they suffered due to the closing of their shops unnecessarily. Gupta runs a grocery shop in the main bazar of the village.

Curfew-like situation

It was a curfew-like situation. With a forced holiday, shopkeepers in the area suffered a huge loss

— Surjit Singh, a resident of Firozepur Bangar



Elaborate security arrangements an exercise in futility
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
A week of preparation for the Prime Minister's visit, repeated round of rehearsals and the deployment of almost half of the city police force for security arrangements turned out to be an exercise in futility with the PM taking a chopper from the airport to Mullanpur today.

The Chandigarh Police had yesterday conducted exhaustive security drills for Manmohan's visit, causing traffic jams in the city which resulted in inconvenience to commuters.

As many as 3,000 UT policemen were on duty from 11 am to 6 pm on roads today with the city turning into a fortress. A heavy posse of police was seen all day long on the airport road, The Tribune roundabout, along Madhya Marg, Sector 11, Sector 16 and the road leading to the PGI.

UT SSP, Traffic and Security, Maneesh Chaudhery said though the PM was to go by a chopper to the venue, the police had to make all arrangements to meet any contingency. "It was a VVIP visit and the UT police had made elaborate security arrangements for it. Had the weather been bad, the PM would have travelled by road and it was for this reason that exhaustive rehearsals were done," he said.

Meanwhile, the city witnessed traffic jams in the afternoon at The Tribune roundabout and the Transport light point as a cavalcade of ministers and some senior officials, including the Punjab DGP and the UT Governor, passed through the city to the airport.



Police detain 51 protesting teachers ahead of PM’s visit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
The local police today arrested 51 computer teachers, including 32 female teachers, from Sector 24 under preventive measures ahead of Prime Minister’s visit. The computer teachers were protesting for the fulfilment of their pending demands for past many days in the city.

Today, they wanted to meet the PM at Mullanpur with their list of demands. The police, however, arrested them in Sector 24 at around 11.30 am, when they tried to move towards Mullanpur.

The local administration had also imposed Section 144 of the CrPC today, under which taking out rallies, holding protests, raising slogans and assembly of five or more persons were banned.

Station house officer of the Sector 17 police station Dilsher Singh Chandel said the teachers were later produced before the magistrate and bailed out after 6 pm.

The president of UT Cadre Educational Employee Union, Swarn Singh Kamboj, was among the computer teachers and data-entry operators arrested.

Teachers said their arrest was unjustified. President of Chandigarh Computer Teachers’ Union Poonam Taprian said they were being exploited. Taprian said they got lesser salaries. “Even our contracts are being revised every two months,” said the office-bearer.

She said the computer teachers wanted a hike in salary on a par with other contractual teachers and a written assurance for the regularisation of their services as per the Punjab Government Service Rules.

Meanwhile, their daylong hunger strike entered seventh day at Masjid Ground in Sector 20. Every day, five teachers sit on hunger strike from 9 am to 6 pm.



Cong MP has a dig at Badals, Akalis
Says didn’t amass wealth like ‘others’
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mullanpur, December 30
Congress Member of Parliament from Anandpur Ravneet Singh Bittu not only had a dig at the Badals and other Akali leaders on amassing wealth and constructing hotels but also presented his clean image before Dr Manmohan Singh during his around 10-minute speech today.

Taking advantage of the opportunity, Bittu, grandson of Punjab’s former Chief Minister Beant Singh and the first speaker among the three at the function, said he neither owned any hotel or other complexes, nor he had amassed any wealth in his bank accounts during his stint as an MP.

“Sir, you can check my bank accounts or conduct any inquiry to get details of my property. My bank account has the same amount of money, which was there at the time of my election to the Parliament,” said Bittu, while addressing the Prime Minister.

Apparently, taking a dig at Badals and some other senior Akali leaders, Bittu said he had not constructed any hotel or started other businesses like others.

Leaving no stone unturned for presenting his ‘clean’ image in front of Dr Singh, Bittu said he was preparing to fight the forthcoming General Elections with an amount of Rs 1.80 crore, which he got after selling a flat at Mani Majra, allotted to him by the government.

Bittu, who was instrumental in bringing the project to Punjab, also demanded the PM to approve a Trace Metal Detection Laboratory in the state.

“Due to the use of pesticides, the soil of the state has been polluted. There is drastic need to set up the laboratory in the area,” said Bittu.




  • Just five minutes before Dr Manmohan Singh’s arrival, a tiff ensued between the Akali-BJP and Congress workers over the issue of occupying seats in the ‘pandal’. “Two chairs, which were meant for Congress activists, were occupied by SAD-BJP activists, who refused to vacate these. This led to an altercation between them,” said a policeman. However, with the intervention of the police and Congress MP Ravneet Bittu, the matter was settled and the activists were shown the door

  • Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s chopper landed at the venue at exactly 3.20 pm

  • Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil, CM Parkash Singh Badal, Health Minister Surjeet Kumar Jiyani and Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu shared the dais with the PM

  • The programme began at 3.32 pm with the welcome address by Ravneet Singh Bittu

  • Only three speakers, Dr Manmohan Singh, Badal and Bittu, addressed the gathering

  • Badal, in his speech, sought financial assistance in the war against cancer and other diseases, but the Prime Minister did not make any such announcement during his 14-minute address

  • While Bittu, in his address, mentioned names of all the Congress leaders present at the venue, including Mohali and Kharar MLAs Balbir Singh Sidhu and Jagmohan Singh Kang, Badal did not address any Akali leader present on the occasion, during his speech. The Akali-BJP ministers present at the venue included Bikram Majithia, Madan Mohan Mittal and SS Rakhra.

  • The PM won the hearts of the gathering by delivering his speech in Punjabi.
  • Except cancer and other health issues, Dr Manmohan Singh did not touch on any other point during his speech.



Death in Morni
16-year-old schoolgirl was raped, reveals postmortem
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 30
A 16-year-old girl, a student of Class X who was found dead in a jungle in Morni after she went missing along with a boy, a student of Class XI in the same school, was raped, the postmortem has revealed. The police have now added Section 376 (rape) in the FIR.

Doctors, who conducted the postmortem today, informed the police that though they had had sent the viscera for testing, prima facie it appeared to be a case of poisoning.

Bruises were found on the girl's body. The police said the marks were of thorny bushes. The boy also had similar bruises.

According to sources, the boy told the police that both of them took celphos tablets. While the girl died, he vomited and survived. However, the police feel that the boy got "scared of death" and did not take poison. The boy was sent to a juvenile home today.

The police found a packet of celphos tablets from the spot and have also learnt that the boy had burnt his SIM card as his parents were calling him up time and again.

“After their school got over on December 27, Pooja and the boy discussed how to get married. As it grew dark, the girl requested the boy to take her to his home as she was scared of going home,” said a police official requesting anonymity.

The boy reportedly told the girl that he could not take her home because he would be beaten up by his family members. A teacher saw them together and stopped. They requested the teacher to drop them at a nearby village, the police said.

Fearing embarrassment, the two decided to die together. The boy purchased poison and a matchbox from a shop and both went to a jungle.

The boy received a call from his family members and he told them that he is on his way home after playing cricket. The boy then burnt his SIM card.

According to the sources, as it was cold, the two lit a fire by burning their books and also had intercourse. The girl again requested him to take her home, but the boy expressed his helplessness. They both then decided to swallow the tablets together without water. The sources said the girl swallowed the tablets, but the boy did not find the courage to do so.

The police said after realising that the girl had died, the boy did not have the courage to go home. He borrowed a blanket from a nearby ashram and spent the nights.

The victim's brother said Pooja was the eldest of three siblings and had never told them about the boy. The family feels the duo was given shelter by someone and more persons could be involved in the crime.

The police said had the teacher suspected foul play and informed the police, the girl would have been alive today.

The girl died on the night of December 27, the day both of them went missing.


City gets 24-hr rickshaw stand
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
The city has got its first 24-hour rickshaw stand at the ISBT, Sector 43. The rickshaw stand, that was inaugurated here today, will have over 200 designated rickshaws that have been refurbished along with night reflectors that have been installed at each of them to avoid accidents during the wee hours.

In continuation with the first phase launch of eco-cabs five months ago, these rickshaws will be available on phone call in sectors adjoining the ISBT-43. Also, within next 10 days, a pre-paid booth will also start functioning at the new ISBT stand.

Among these will be 25 newly developed Ecocabs sponsored by Go Global Consultants. “Transport Department, Chandigarh has provided Cycle Rickshaw Parking stand at ISBT and shall be made operational on 24-hour basis jointly by Ecocabs and New Kranti Rickshaw Worker Union,” said founder of Navdeep Asija, the founder of Ecocabs dial-a-rikshaw service.

Tariff for the day and night hours for the neighbourhood area shall be fixed for the convenience of passengers along with ‘Dial-a-Rickshaw’ facility. At present more than 200 cycles rickshaw operators are providing dial-a-cycle rickshaw facility in more than 30 sectors of Chandigarh.

In order to support cycle rickshaw operations in Chandigarh, Municipal Corporation, as a part of much needed backend reforms, have rehabilitated around 200 such cycle rickshaw parking stands and have made cycle rickshaw parking available in various sectors of the city along with scrapping of age old licensing system for rickshaw and simplified registration process, Navdeep said.

The new cycle rickshaws are developed with 9 square feet of reflective surface.



GMCH-32 reinforces home-based treatment for elderly
Takes cognisance of the incident in which an 85-year-old woman ended her life due to loneliness
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Taking cognisance of the suicide case of the 85-year-old woman, who was found hanging with a rope in a room in her Sector 16 residence on Sunday, the home-based treatment team of the GMCH-32 has reinforced its service of counselling for elderly and destitute persons.

As reported in the case, neighbours, despite being aware of the woman’s agonies remained clueless in finding help for her, to which the team suggested that anyone could ring up at their helpline and inform about the needy.

The victim, Shanti Devi, was residing all alone and had no children. Her husband, TC Ahluwalia, had died some time ago. She was noticed hanging with a rope in a room when her maid entered the house on Sunday.

The postmortem revealed death due to asphyxia. The police questioned the neighbours who said the woman was suffering from extreme depression. She often used to say that she does not want to live as there was no one to give her company.

Dr BS Chavan, Head, Department of Psychiatry, who conceptualised the home-based treatment said, “It is possible to reach to a number of such people who are suffering from major mental illness and do not have social support. If a friend or relative or a neighbour feels that a person has such illness he can contact us at our home-based treatment helpline. All such problems are curable and can save the patients from extreme steps.”

The police said Shanti Devi was so scared of loneliness that she used to spend four to five hours at a stretch at her neighbour’s place.

Procedure for seeking home-based treatment

  • Family members, relatives, friend or any resident of Chandigarh can make the request for home- based treatment (HBT) by writing an application to the HoD, psychiatry, GMCH-32.
  • The application should contain the details of the patient, indication for the HBT and consent for the treatment.
  • After receiving the application, the HBT team will visit the patient at the earliest to make brief assessment.
  • After the assessment, the HBT team will decide whether to initiate home-based treatment or make an arrangement for brief hospitalisation.


Mental Health Cell

Helpline: 9888876632



mc house meeting
Good news for city children
MC okays opening of school playgrounds for neighbouring children in evening
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
The Municipal Corporation today cleared the proposal for allowing children from neighbouring areas to enter playgrounds of government schools after the closing time. To start with, the House approved the terms and conditions set with the UT Administration for the first phase of the pilot project at the Sector 21 government school.

Under the project, children will be allowed to play in the grounds of the school in the evening.

Area councillor Mukesh Bassi said last year he had taken up the project and had written to the UT Administration to allow children of the vicinity to use the playground after school hours. The proposal was stuck because the guidelines were not finalised, he said.

As the MC House today finalised these guidelines, the project would start soon, said Bassi. He said they would try to start the project at Sector 19 as well.

Mayor Subhash Chawla said after Sector 21, on the basis of applications submitted by councillors, the MC would try to extend the project to other schools as well.

As per the guidelines, the MC will provide two persons for the maintenance of the ground and the school will provide a physical education teacher. A first-aid kit will be made available on the ground. There will be no activity on Sundays in these school grounds.


  • Independent councillor Gurcharan Kala said when the MC had exempted plots with an area below 125 square yards from property tax in the city, then why residents of Mani Majra were not exempted. MC Commissioner VP Singh said he would check the records before giving any reply.
  • BJP councillor Satinder Singh sought an explanation on the non- recovery of Rs 8-crore advertisement fee from a company that is managing public toilets in the city.
  • SAD councillor Malkiat Singh raised questions over the inefficiency of the Enforcement Staff of the MC in issuing challans to encroachers in the city.



MC to take stock of encroachments by dairy booths
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
The MC Commissioner today ordered the survey of encroachments made by the Verka and Vita booths on the Municipal Corporation land. The survey was ordered after Deputy Mayor Satish Kainth raised a question as to why the civic body was not collecting the rent amounting to Rs 3 crore from 104 Verka and Vita booths that have been operating in the city since 1996. The booths have been constructed on the MC land.

Kainth said the rent for each booth had been fixed at Rs 1,000 per month till 2010, which was revised to Rs 2,000 on August 23, 2010, by the F&CC committee. The MC officials, in their reply, submitted that despite repeated reminders and directions of the UT Administration, the authorities had not deposited any rent so far, he said.

Cutting across party lines, all MC councillors demanded strict action against the booth owners. Nominated councillor Sat Paul Bansal said these booth owners, who were supposed to sell only milk items, were selling all kinds of items. The situation was the same in every sector, he said.

BJP councillor and chairman of the MC’s Enforcement Committee Davesh Moudgil said the MC could easily deal with the matter and strict action should be taken against the violators.

Congress councillor Pardeep Chhabra said, in some cases, booth owners were also providing photostat and STD facilities. Moreover, the booths, which were operating in fully developed green belts should be relocated to other areas, he said.

MC Commissioner VP Singh said they had already written to Vita and Verka on the issue of rent. They were trying to get the allotment letters of these booths from various agencies, he said, adding that as soon as they got these letters, they would start collecting rent from them. On the encroachment issue, he said that they would plan their action after the survey report of these booths.

The 2012 audit report of the Accountant General, Chandigarh, had also raised questions on the issue. It stated: "Apart from selling Verka products, the allottees of 104 booths are selling items of daily use and most of the booths have been providing STD/PCO services.”

Illegal liquor vends opposed

SAD councillor Malkiat Singh said that illegal liquor shops and taverns were operating from the MC booths in Badheri village. MC Commissioner assured the councillor that appropriate action would be taken.



Hand over Sector 16 stadium to MC: Mayor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
On councillor Pardeep Chhabra’s demand for the construction of an international stadium in the city, Mayor Subhash Chawla said instead of a new stadium, the MC should ask for the Sector 16 cricket stadium to be handed over to it.

Justifying his demand, the Mayor said the administration had failed to conduct international matches at the stadium in past few years.

MC Commissioner VP Singh, however, said for making such a demand, a proposal should be brought before the House, and only then the final decision could be taken.



Artistes depict agony of women through plays
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
The play “Jeevit Ya Mrit” staged at Tagore theatre, Sector 18, highlighted the agony of the women in the society. It is a story of a widow ‘Kadamni’ who was considered dead but was actually alive.

When she came out and told that she was not dead, she was forced to die again simply to prove that she was dead. The play was based on a story written by Rabinder Nath Tagore.

Upasana Ajmani, as main protagonist Kadamni, performed well and brought out the essence of the play. Mukesh Sharma and Abhishek Sharma were other main cast.

Besdies, Yaspal Kumar, Jaspreet Singh, Karan Gulazar, Varun Sharma and retired session judge KK Doda played their roles well. Ramesh Bhardwaj was on lights and Sameer Taneja composed music.

Anuj Chahal and Rohit Sharma were on backstage support. Kuldeep Sharma designed the set and directed it. The play was organised by department of culture, Haryana.

Another play “Chidi Di Ambar Wal Uddan” written by Dr Gurminder Kaur Sidhu was staged at Punjab Kala Bhawan, Sector 16, Chandigarh, today. Directed by Anita Shabeesh, the play was part of the programme on women empowerment organised by Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, in collaboration with Punjab Arts Council.

Subhash Chawla, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, was the chief guest. Various artistes performed songs and poetry during the function. Issues regarding women were addressed by Dr Parminder Singh, Vivek Trivedi, Harjinder Kaur, Chairperson, Women Empowerment Committee, MC, Chandigarh.

The session regarding women at workplace; issues and concerns was attended by a number of women employees of Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh.

The play highlighted the issues of the women in the modern society.

While addressing the gathering, Mayor said motive behind the function was to save the girl child and give respect to the women in society. Rajiv Gupta, Joint Commissioner and various councillors were present during the occasion.



Auction of vanity numbers
0007 fetches Rs 3.77 lakh
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 30
Registration number PB 65 X 0007 was sold for Rs 3.77 lakh against the reserve price of Rs 10,000 at an auction of vehicle registration numbers held here today. This number was purchased by Iqbal Singh Mann.

The office of the District Transport Authority earned a revenue of Rs 30.62 lakh against the reserve price of Rs 3.82 lakh at the auction of registration numbers of the PB 65 X series.

The number PB 65 X 0001 fetched Rs 1.02 lakh against the reserve price of Rs 50,000.

Number PB 65 X 0002 was sold for Rs 1.31 lakh, PB 65 X 0009 fetched Rs 1.01 lakh, PB 65 X 0005 was sold for Rs 1 lakh and PB 65 X 0006 for Rs 90,000. The reserve price of these numbers was Rs 10,000.

Registration numbers PB 65 X 0065 was sold for Rs 85,000, PB 65 X 0055 for Rs 77,000, PB 65 X 0018 for Rs 75,000, PB 65 X 0017 for Rs 60,000, PB65 X 0077 for Rs 60,000 and PB 65 X 0023 was sold for Rs 55,000. The reserve price of these numbers was Rs 3,000.



Hypertension common cause of kidney failure: Expert
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 30
A number of senior citizens attended a talk on ‘How to deal with hypertension and protect kidneys’ at the Max Super Speciality Hospital (MSSH) here. Dr Vinay Sakhuja, director, Nephrology and Transplant Medicine, MSSH, termed hypertension as the third commonest cause of kidney failure worldwide.

Hypertension affected about 22 per cent of the adult population in the country. In the age group of 65 years and above, around 60 per cent were suffering from this problem.

Dr Sakhuja said if uncontrolled, hypertension could cause kidney damage and even premature death.

In about 90 per cent cases of those suffering from hypertension, it was primary, indicating that the cause was unknown.

This kind of hypertension would often run in families. In the remaining 10 per cent, there was an underlying kidney or endocrine disease.

Dr Sakhuja added that one should keep the blood pressure in the target range.

Advising the seniors on how lifestyle change could control blood pressure, Dr Sakhuja said the health of the kidneys was directly dependant on optimum blood pressure in the body. So to maintain the BP level, one should take plenty of fruits and vegetables and the salt intake should be reduced to 5 mg per day.

Overweight persons should try to reduce it to an ideal level by a combination of calorie restriction and physical activity. Smoking should also be curbed and alcohol intake reduced.



Seminar on importance of vitamin D organised
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, December 30
In winters, Vitamin D level could fall into the deficiency zone thus increasing the risk of illness, cancer, and other health problems. It was an essential co-factor in the prevention of diseases from cancer to diabetes, dementia and cardiovascular disease.

This was stated by Dr Harinder Batth an Orthopedic Surgeon at the Dashmesh Orthopedic and Trauma Centre (DOTC), Zirakpur, during a seminar on ‘How to maintain the level of Vitamin D in winters’ organised at DOTC here today.

He said, “Vitamin D could also effectively shield us from the common cold and influenza during winter months.”

Dr Batth warned that self-medication of Vitamin D without medical advice could be dangerous. Vitamin D toxicity, also called ‘hypervitaminosis D’, was a rare but a potentially serious condition that occurs when you have excessive amounts of vitamin D in your body, he said.

Dr Harinder Batth further informed that Vitamin D toxicity was usually caused by megadoses of vitamin D supplements- not by diet or sun exposure. That’s because your body regulates the amount of vitamin D produced by sun exposure, and even fortified foods did not contain large amounts of vitamin D, pointed out Dr Batth.



Man holds protest outside Punjab Raj Bhawan to seek loan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Hallo Majra resident Om Parkash staged a protest outside Punjab Raj Bhawan today. Om Parkash said for past 15 years, he has been meeting the UT officials, but till date nobody has come forward to help him with getting a loan to run his factories.

Parkash alleged that politicians and officials have given him assurances earlier as well, but to no avail.

Today in the morning, when he reached outside Punjab Raj Bhawan to press his demands on the authorities concerned, the UT police took him to Sector 3 police station.

It was only after the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, returned that he was released. He was released later in the evening.

Parkash said if he does not get justice, he would continue to stage dharnas outside the residences of the other officials as well.



new year extravaganza
Punjabi singer enthrals audience
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
On Day 2 of the ongoing New Year Extravaganza by Chandigarh Tourism and CITCO, film actor and acclaimed Punjabi singer Roshan Prince regaled the large crowd with his singing talent at the Plaza Sector 17 here today.

Roshan was the winner of the first Voice of Punjab contest. And has also donned caps of various other positions in the industry.

A vocalist of high caliber, Roshan Prince took the centre stage and spelled magic with his popular numbers.

The gathering sang and danced to his famous numbers such as ‘rang pukka’ and ‘lal battiyan’. Romantic number ‘gaddi te likhata tera naa balliye’ took everyone to a dreamy lane.

Prince presented more numbers including ‘ajj nikli saronda full banke’.

On the concluding day of the New Year week’s celebrations tomorrow, Band Rudraksh will perform after 6.30 pm.



P’kula police issue advisory to hoteliers
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 30
On the eve of New Year celebrations, Panchkula police held a meeting with owners and managers of hotels, guest houses to maintain law and order and issued following advisory for compliance.

In view of New Year celebrations, to maintain Law and Order, the party organisers are directed to ensure compliance of the following:

  • To check the ID cards of visitors/ Customers attending parties.
  • No one should be allowed to stay in hotel without producing proper ID cards.
  • Proper barricading should be done to avoid jams near the hotel premises.
  • Proper frisking of visitors should be done to check illegal entry of arms and Narcotic drugs
  • Boards mentioning helpline numbers 100 and 1091 (women helpline) are to be displayed.

The advisory, including instructions to male bouncers and staff, to behave properly with women customers, women bouncers also to be deployed, CCTV cameras be kept in proper condition and recording of proceedings be ensured, serving of liquor should be as per rules, due co-operation to be extended to police and to make transportation arrangements and to keep vehicles ready for the use of female visitors, in case, they desire for transportation to their places of stay.



City experiences season’s coldest day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
The city recorded the coldest day of the season with the minimum temperature touching 3.4 degree Celsius. The maximum temperature touched 20.2 degree Celsius today. Near the airport, in fact, the mercury dropped to 2.8 degree Celsius.

Official from the weather department said the minimum temperature recorded in the city today is three notches below the normal.

With the forecast of light rain tomorrow, temperature is expected to drop further.

As per the weather records, this month the city received 11 mm of rainfall, which is around 10 mm less than the normal.



SMS alerts for rail passengers

Chandigarh, December 30
Those travelling on trains coming to or departing from the Ambala Cantt railway station will be able to get SMS alerts in case of any delay this foggy season. The SMS-based enquiry service was started by the Ambala division of the Northern Railways today.

Passengers, on messaging the five-digit train number to 9729539139, will receive the required information. Ambala divisional railway manager Anil Kumar Kathapal said the service was started on the directions of the higher authorities. — TNS




Facilities at community centres need upgrade

Nowadays, you need to think twice before planning a function at the recently renovated community centres of the city. Even after shelling out around 50 per cent more than what it used to be earlier, the facilities are below standard. The tall claims of the authorities regarding the increased charges due to the upgraded facilities fall flat. Only two community centres, of Sector 47 and Sector 48, have good facilities to offer to the public. But things are yet to be set in order. In fact, sub-standard materials used in renovation of the newly-built centres should come under vigilance enquiry. The municipal commissioner should monitor the elections of all governing bodies for its development and moreover, the names and contact numbers of all supervisors and caretakers should be available at every community centre.

Anshu Chawla

No special benefits for elderly patients at PGI

PGI is trying to make its functioning public-savvy. But the woes of the patients at the OPD are growing. They are forced to be on their toes to lend their ear to the call that emanates from the doctor’s compartment. Similarly, senior citizens have become a frustrated lot. They have to follow their turn just like the other patients without any priority, making indication on the card as ‘senior citizen’ totally irrelevant. The OPD cards remain with patients whereas the files gather on the table of the doctor. It is suggested that a token system should be started for all the patients to make the situation easy. The files pertaining to the senior citizens should bear separate covers or there should be some indication on the file.

Dr S Kumar

Readers can send their feedback at letters.ct@gmail.com



ayurvedic college
PU cancels admissions
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Panjab University decided to cancel the admission of all the 50 students of Sri Dhanwantary Ayurvedic College, Sector 46, for the session 2013-14 by sending back their admission forms to the college authorities.

The fee amount which the college management has deposited through the bank will also be returned by the PU authorities. The action is in sequence to the disaffiliation of the college with the Panjab University.

Sources in the university revealed that for the session 2013-14 the college had sent all the admission forms received under provisional category through speed post and fee through bank so that they have record of receipts of both. The college management has sent the admission forms of 50 students out of which about 12 seats were to be filled under NRI quota. But the authorities had not enrolled a single student for this session, till the status of the affiliation was cleared. The university will not conduct any exam of the students for this session.

When contacted PU registrar AK Bhandari confirmed that the process of returning back the admission forms and fee has already been started by the authorities so that the students may not think that they have been enrolled with the university. He said the matter will also be tabled in the coming syndicate meeting so as to take decision of the admissions from 2010 till date.

He further said an inspection report of the university team on the college has also been sent to AYUSH to take action against the college.

Sources in the university confirmed that the admission confirmation has not been sent to the examination department to prepare the list of students for conducting examinations. Sources said that the inspection report by the university has been sent to AYUSH with a request to take a prompt decision to clear the picture to the university.



Gurukul Vidyapeeth launches scholarship test for students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Gurukul Vidyapeeth Institute of Engineering, Banur, today launched “Sankalpa 2014”, a talent reward test, for 100 students of Class 12 (non-medical) worth Rs 7 crore. While launching the programme Sikander Singh Maluka, Education Minister, Punjab, stated that the talent reward program would go a long way in identifying the deserving candidates for higher studies.

Gurukul Vidyapeeth CEO Manmohan Garg, said under the reward programme 100 students will be selected and awarded scholarships. In Phase 1, the students will be provided a series of assignments prepared by a team of experts from Council for Education Standards of India (CESI). In phase II mock tests will be conducted on school campus and students will be selected for scholarships based on the results.



NSS camp begins at PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
A seven-day NSS camp started at Panjab University (PU) campus today. PU Dean Student Welfare Prof Navdeep Goyal inaugurated the camp. Around 250 student volunteers participated in the camp. The students participated in the cleanliness drive at Panjab University campus.

The theme of the NSS camp is “Youth for Healthy and Clean India.” Prof Goyal shared the history and evolution of NSS in India. He also traced the history of NSS on PU campus.

Prof Manjit Kaur, Chairperson, Department of Physics and Director NSS of Panjab University, Prof Yograj Angrish were the guests of honour. They motivated the students to work for the welfare of the society. Prof Angrish stressed the role of NSS as an extra-curricular activity which enhances the personality of youth. He also informed that participation in NSS programmes carries importance in academics as well as in the public service sector.

NSS campus coordinator Dr Jatinder Grover also addressed the students during the inaugural function.



AIDS awareness week observed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Desh Bhagat University School of Nursing observed AIDS awareness week. Students in large number from all classes took part in it with full zeal. To mark the event, the students displayed posters on AIDS awareness and performed a role-play on AIDS to make the public aware regarding the prevention of the disease.

Apart from this, the students also arranged a “Nukaar Natak” on myths related to AIDS. The students also participated in a rally. Colourful banners and placards with awareness messages were carried by the students to change the public perception about AIDS. Pro-Chancellor Tejinder Kaur appreciated the students for working to enhance this noble cause. She said that such programmes are very helpful for the people, especially for the rural area to make them aware against this dangerous disease.



Human rights

Chandigarh: A brain storming session on “Human Rights-A Perspective” was held at the NSS special camp today at KBDAV-7. The workshop was carried out in a phased manner and started with an interaction on Fundamental Rights. After learning of the 25 rights chartered by UN, the students worked in groups on real life cases, incidents and tried to identify the victims, culprits and the infringement of rights.

Akhand path

Saint Soldier International School, Sector- 28, Chandigarh, organised a three-day Akhand Path on the 40th anniversary of school. It was founded by Late S Gurdev Singh Hayer in 1973. He was a great educationist who spread the light of learning by founding the Saint Soldier International Education Society and established various institutions. Harjit Kaur Dhindsa, wife of Rajya Sabha MP Mr. Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa was the chief guest. The sacred Akhand Path culminated with Bhog.

NSS camp

A 7-day NSS camp began at PML SD Public School, Sector-32. Bikram Singh Rana, SLO, UT, inaugurated the camp. Rana delivered lecture on the importance and role of NSS in our society.

IS Dev Samaj School: A special NSS Camp was organised at IS Dev Samaj School, Sector 21, Chandigarh on the theme health, public sanitation & personal hygiene. Around hundred volunteers participated in the camp. Various lectures on stress management, traffic awareness, legal awareness, gender sensitization, child right, Juvenile Justice Act were organised. A Special self-defense training programme for girl volunteers was also organised.

GMSSS, Sector-38: Seven-day NSS Camp concluded here at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector-38. Different types of activities like campus cleanliness, community cleanliness, public awareness campaign, educational survey, rallies and academic sessions on environmental education, social health and hygiene were conducted for all round development of NSS volunteers.

MRA School: A number of social activities were conducted during the NSS camp. Dr Anju’s talk on good eating habits, nutritious food hygiene and cleanliness was very helpful for students. Desh Raj, head constable, gave a talk on traffic rules. NSS volunteers visited an adopted Mouli Jagron village, interacted with the people and shared their sufferings and miseries. A “Nukkad Play” “Save Girl Child” was enacted to emphasise the importance of girl in the family.

Art workshop

Sri Guru Harkrishan School, Sector 40, organised a workshop on art and craft, for the art club of classes IV to X. Prof Ravinder Sharma, a renowned art professor, Art College Sector 10, came as a resource person. He enlightened the students about the importance of art in life. He demonstrated various techniques in creative art and exhorted students to open up their minds in creating art. Students really enjoyed and learnt many techniques to explore and exploit their own creative skills.

Annual sports day

Mohali: Green Field Public School, Mohali, celebrated its annual sports day. The programme started with a welcome speech by Principal Dr Bhupinder Sharma in which she thanked and welcomed the guests and students. She threw light on the importance of sports in education.

Safety workshop

Lala Deep Chand Jain Public School, Mohali, organised a workshop on safety for students and staff members. They were told that how to use fire extinguishers besides education on other safety measures. They were also taught on disaster management.

Rally against social evils

To welcome the New Year and to eradicate the various social evils of the society, class X students of St Soldier’s International School organized a rally. Principal Vinender Tiwana flagged off the rally. Approximately 120 students accompanied by their class teachers went around the market area of Mohali holding the placards in their hands .

General awareness quiz

DAV School organised a social science and general awareness quiz to enhance the knowledge of its students. Students participated whole-heartedly with full enthusiasm and spirit. Three teams participated in this quiz after clearing the preliminary rounds of general knowledge questions from current affairs.

Adventure camp

An adventure camp was organised today by the Mind Tree School, Kharar, on the school campus. The children were introduced to different types of adventure activities during the camp, which included rope climbing, rappelling, rope walking, monkey crawling and little commandos.

Christmas celebrations

Panchkula: St Soldier’s School, Sector-16, Panchkula, celebrated Christmas on the school premises. The function started with a speech by Nikita Mishra of class X followed by Carol singing and dances by Class II students. Neeraj of class X-A dressed up as Santa Claus and distributed sweets and gifts to the students. — TNS



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