C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Water facility at Deep Complex
BSP leader plays party pooper
Jannat Jahan lands at function meant for Cong leaders, takes credit for approval
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
A political drama was witnessed at Deep Complex, Hallo Majra, when BSP councilor of the area, Jannat Jahan-Ul-Haq, along with a battery of party workers, descended on the scene to take credit for yesterday’s decision of the Chandigarh Administration to lay water and sewer lines in the complex.

A function had been organised by residents of the complex to welcome the Congress leaders who were being credited for getting the nod for the basic amenities. But the BSP leader, on getting a whiff of things, landed on the scene to spoil the party of the Congress.

The BSP Councillor, Jannat Jahan, while addressing the gathering, said, “Congress MP Pawan Kumar Bansal wants to take credit for the work in which he has no contribution. For the last two-years after I got elected as a councillor from this ward, I have been running from pillar to post to get the approval for the sewer and water connection in Deep Complex. I even met UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil. Now, when my efforts have paid off Bansal wants to take the credit for it”, she said.

Moments before the Congress workers were scheduled to come to the spot, the area councillor along with her supporters reached there to stake claim to the credit for the decision that is going to benefit over 8,000 residents. Left with no alternative, the Congress MP called off his visit to the complex.

At the site, the residents of the area had put uup a tent to welcome Congress leaders. But the Congress campaign was disturbed when Jannat Jahan reached there with her husband BSP leader Hafiz Anwar-Ul-Haq and party workers there.

Contradicting the claim of the BSP, Congress Spokesperson Pardeep Chhabra said that it was not about claiming the credit for the decision taken by the Administration.

“The function was organised by the residents of the Deep Complex to which the MP had agreed to visit, however, as the BSP councillor reached there with her supporters, so the MP preferred to cancel his visit to ensure peace in the area”, Chhabra stated. He further said that the MP had been taking up the issue with the Administration and the Municipal Corporation (MC) for the last several years.

Old contentious issue

Residents of Deep Complex, an unauthorised urban sprawl on the outskirts of Hallo Majra village, with a population of 8,000, have been demanding basic amenities and regulaisation of houses. Due to the vote bank politics, political parties have been eying the area and want to take credit for any basic amenities being provided to the residents there.



Poor visibility:15 trains delayed, 2 flights cancelled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
A thick blanket of fog that covered most of the states in the Northern region, led to the delay of 15 trains arriving in the city today. The weather also affected the air operation as two Jet Airways flights were cancelled due to fog, leading to harassment of passengers, here at the Chandigarh Domestic Airport.

The morning and evening New Delhi-Kalka Shatabdi Express reached much behind their schedule.

As per officials, the trains running behind schedule were Kalka Mail late by one hour and 45 minutes, Una-New Delhi Jan Shatabdi delayed by 57 minutes, Unchahar Express late by two hours and 15 minutes, Barmer-Kalka Express late by 38 minutes, Himalayan Queen late by one hour and six minutes, Ekta Express delayed by one hour and four minutes, New Delhi-Kalka Shatabdi Express late by one hour and 18 minutes, Sai Nagar Shirdi-Kalka delayed by four hours and seven minutes, Dibrugarh-Chandigarh Express late by four hours and 45 minutes, Kalka-Ambala Passenger Express delayed by 26 minutes, Lucknow-Chandigarh Express late by one hour and 41 minutes, Lucknow-Chandigarh Sadbhavna Express delayed by one hour and 20 minutes, Ambala-Amb Anduara delayed by 22 minutes, Paschim Express late by one hour and 58 minutes, Hazur Sahib Nanded-Una delayed by one hour and 43 minutes, New Delhi-Una Jan Shatabdi late by 34 minutes, New Delhi-Kalka Shatabdi Express estimated to be delayed by around 44 minutes.

Meanwhile, two flights of the Jet Airways- Chandigarh-Delhi at 12.10 pm and Chandigarh-Mumbai at 12.40 pm were cancelled due to early morning fog and delay in depature from the Delhi airport, leading to harassment of the local passengers.

The travellers had a tough time in revising their flight schedule in wake up of the cancellation of two Jet Airways flights.

A Jet Airways official said that since the airport operated till 1 pm today due to renovation of the runway, we could not manage the two flights on schedule. We had to cancel them.

There was heavy rush of passengers today as six flights took off between 11 am to 1 pm.

Two SpiceJet flights operated

Chanidgarh-Delhi at 12 pm and Chandigarh-Mumbai at 12.40 pm. Besides Air India, IndiGo and GoAir had one flight each before 1 pm on Sunday. The third Sunday of the month will have a similar flight schedule.

No change in weather: Met department

The local Met department said that there would be no change in the current weather conditions in the next 48 hours. “Though the fog is less compared to last year, morning and evening hours will witness fog in the next two days. Thick fog was expected later this week”, said Surinder Pal, Regional Met Officer.

Heavy rush at airport

Since the airport operated only till 1 pm on Sunday due to the renovation of the runway, a heavy rush of passengers was seen during the morning hours. VIP vehicles were again seen parked in the tow away area. Six flights operated between 11 am and 1 pm.



AAP effect: Reluctant cops swing into action
Lodge FIR in a case of snatching after party workers intervene
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 5
The police that were allegedly reluctant to file an FIR in a case of snatching immediately registered a case after seeing the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers at the police post.

The victim, Neera, was dragged by the mobike-borne miscreants while snatching her purse yesterday at Sector 11 market. She said that her purse contained a cheque of Rs 10,000, Rs 2,500 cash and a mobile phone.

Seeing police inaction, by-standers called AAP workers on the spot.

AK Sharma, a resident of Sector 12, said that the PCR officials were reluctant to register a case. Sharma was in the market at that time and called up the local police. He said, “A police official came out of the PCR and told the victim to go to the police post at Sector 10 and report the matter. They were very casual in their approach and they then left the spot. At least they should have flashed a message.”

Some people known to Sharma called up the local AAP workers after of the police official did not take action. Mansa Ram Ahuja, AAP worker and a resident of Sector 9, reached the spot with his team.

“We decided to visit the Sector 10 police post immediately. We also asked the in-charge as to why they were harassing the victim and not registering a case,” said Ahuja.

Finding a number of party workers at the police post, the “reluctant” police officials immediately swung into action and sent a complaint to the Sector 5 police station for lodging of the FIR.

Victim was on her way to the bank

Victim Neera, a resident of Sector 26, was dropped by her son at Sector 11 as she wanted to go to a bank there. Two mobike-borne youths snatched her purse. As the victim tried to save her purse, they dragged her to a distance but managed to flee with the same. The victim has suffered injuries on her hand and back.



Action-packed day for police, excise officials
MLA conducts check at ‘5 Degrees’ for sale of liquor
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 5
A lot of action was witnessed at “Five Degrees”, when local Congress MLA DK Bansal along with residents, descended on the scene to verify a complaint of liquor being served at the restaurant.

To verify the complaint, the MLA first sent a teenaged boy who posed as a customer and asked for liquor to be served to him at the restaurant.

When the MLA tried to gain entry into the restaurant, the entry gate was locked. The MLA then had to call the area Station House Officer (SHO), Mukesh Kumar, to gain entry to the restaurant. “The restaurant employees shut the doors on seeing us and said that the restaurant was closed. After police intervention when we went inside, we saw the entire bar setup,” said Bansal.

The restaurant came into limelight after a gunman, Jaipal, accompanying Sehaj Sidhu, son of Punjab cadre IAS officer KBS Sidhu, suffered a gunshot. The police till now has not been able to establish how Jaipal was hit in the temple. Two more officials were accompanying Sehaj in the party. Jaipal is critical.

Though the MLA in a written statement claimed that liquor bottles were found inside, the excise officials, who also conducted a separate check of the restaurant premises, denied having found any liquor bottles there. The excise team reached two hours after the MLA left.

Ranjeeta Mehta, an eyewitness who had accompanied the MLA, said that the menu cards were removed from the café so that they might not get any proof about the liquor being served.

Inspector Amit from the Excise Department said that they did not find anything and had got the word ‘Bar’ removed from the signboard.



Missing 12-year-old girl traced
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
A day after a 12-year-old girl, a resident of Ambedkar Awas Colony in Sector 56, went missing has been traced to Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh.

The girl had gone missing under mysterious circumstances after her mother sent her to a nearby market to get a mobile recharge coupon.

UT SSP Sukhchain Singh Gill stated that the girl made a call on her father Sanjeev Kumar’s mobile phone to tell him that she was in Ghaziabad. The police stated that the girl made a call from the mobile phone of some passerby to inform her father about her whereabout.

“A police team has been dispatched to bring back the girl who is in safe custody there”, the police stated. Sources stated that the possibility of the girl eloping with a boy could not be ruled out.

The incident of the minor girl going missing under mysterious circumstances had led to panic in the area as it was the second incident of a minor going missing.

In the earlier incident, 11-year old Pinki had been kidnapped from near her house in Palsora village in Sector 56.

Later, her body was found dumped in a sack on December 2 in Sector 52.



Plumber’s murder
Two arrested, sent to 2-day police remand
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
A day after the body of the 27-year-old plumber was found near the dumping ground in Dhanas, the Chandigarh Police claimed to have arrested two residents of EWS Colony in Dhanas village. They allegedly had their eyes on the plumber’s wife to which he always objected.

The victim, Des Raj, who was a plumber, was found dead near the jungle on the way to the lake in Dhanas. His body had 35 injury marks.

UT SSP Sukhchain Singh Gill stated that the investigating team scrutinised the mobile records of the deceased’s and found that the last call to the victim was made by some Rajesh Kumar, who was then tracked down and questioned by the police. “Rajesh revealed that some unknown person had borrowed his mobile phone to make a call to Des Raj”, the SSP stated.

During the course of the investigation, the police came across Mohit Kumar, a taxi driver, also a resident of EWS Colony in Dhanas.

He told the police that on January 2, Ajay Kumar, a resident of the same colony, called him for hiring his taxi and asked him to reach near the Dhanas barrier.

“Ajay and his friend Mahesh reached there along with Des Raj, the trio went to Burail in a taxi where they consumed liquor.

On returning, Ajay asked the taxi driver to stop the car near the dumping ground in Dhanas from where all three (Ajay, Mahesh and Des Raj) went for a walk leaving behind the taxi”, the SSP stated.

The police official further stated that after 30 minutes Ajay and Mahesh returned with their hands and clothes soaked in blood.

“Both the accused told the taxi driver that they had murdered Des Raj and they would kill him too if he revealed the truth to anyone”, the SSP said.

The police said that both Ajay and Mahesh had their eyes on the victim’s wife to which he objected. This had led to enmity among them.

The police arrested Ajay Kumar and Mahesh from near the kerosene pump, of Bapu Dham Colony in Sector 26. Rajesh Kumar from whose mobile phone the accused had made a call also identified them.

The accused were produced in the court and sent on two-day police remand.

The police are yet to recover the weapon used in the crime and the victim’s mobile phone.



Bumpy, endless, tiring drive to Chappar Chhiri
Potholed roads speak volume of official apathy towards the historic village
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 5
One really has to go through a roller coaster ride to reach Chappar Chhiri, known for its Baba Banda Singh War Memorial. Being a historic place, the village needs a facelift. The potholed roads and poor civic amenities speak ample of the district administration’s apathy.

The village road, which leads to Baba Banda Singh War Memorial from Mohali side and is also as an alternative route to go to Kharar, is in a pitiable condition.

The deep potholed road virtually tests the durability of vehicles and driving skills of drivers.

“The two-wheeler riders are at great risk. The situation worsens during the night, as there are no streetlights on the entire stretch of the road”, said Zora Singh Bhullar, former sarpanch of the village.

He further said with traffic jams on the Mohali-Landran T-point every now and then, the village road was being used as an alternative route from Mohali to Kharar and vice versa. “The road has become one of the busiest, now. Even trucks and tractor-trailers have begun passing through the village, which has overburdened the road further. Pot holes and cracks have become a regular feature. The government has taken no step to repair it”, said Bhullar.

However, the residents of the village are still hopeful as the Punjab Government has selected this historic place to hold the three-day Progressive Punjab Agricultural Meet next month. “The state government had spent Rs 35 crore to construct the Baba Banda Singh War Memorial in our village. At that time we thought that our village would get a facelift, but nothing has been done so far”, said Bhullar. “We are hoping that streetlights will be installed and the roads will be repaired, since the agricultural meet is being held here.” said Rajinder Singh, another resident of the village.


Food joint owners in a tight spot
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
Hotels, restaurants and eateries that have failed to construct oil and grease traps will soon have to face the music, as the Municipal Corporation has decided to disconnect the water connections of all such establishments.

The MC has given 15 days' time to food joint owners to construct the trap, failing which action will be taken against them A grease trap is a device used for removing oil and grease from the wastewater. On entering the sewerage system, grease and oil choke pipelines. Grease deposits reduce the capacity of the pipes, resulting in sewage outflow and stink. RC Diwan, MC Superintending Engineer (Public Health), said notices were served on the owners of hotels, restaurants and eateries in the city. They were told to construct oil and grease traps.

"The oil and grease choke pipes," Diwan said. A number of complaints kept pouring in from sectors housing restaurants, hotels and dhabas.

Diwan stated that the MC had provided the drawings of the oil and grease traps to all food joints for assistance, still they had failed to construct the traps. "We are ready to assist the food joints and hotel owners by providing them information about the dimensions of the traps that need to be constructed," he said.

MC officials stated that as per the notification issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forest in 2009 ,it was mandatory for the hotels, restaurants and even service stations to have an oil and grease trap.

The MC has issued a public notice to inform the owners of the establishments after which it will disconnect the water connections. "We will choose a sector and start the checks. The water connections of violators will be disconnected," said theSuperintending Engineer.



Open House response
Publicise VVIP’s itinerary in advance to check traffic chaos

Vehicles caught in jam during the security drill ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit, on the road dividing Sector 31 and Industrial Area, Phase II, Chandigarh
Vehicles caught in jam during the security drill ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit, on the road dividing Sector 31 and Industrial Area, Phase II, Chandigarh. A file photograph

It did not come as a surprise when commuters were put to inconvenience during the security drill conducted ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to the city on December 30. The Chandigarh Administration is yet to show concern towards commuters who bear the brunt of a VVIP's visit. The Administration has consistently refused to learn from its past mistakes while managing such visits. One fails to understand why the Administration does not make arrangements for airlifting the VVIP and the essential security from the airport and dropping them at the venue of his visit. Once the date of visit of the VVIP is known, arrangements should be made to fly the VVIP to the venue. A makeshift helipad can be constructed at the venue. This will certainly help in avoiding harassment to the common man.

SC Luthra, Chandigarh

Take lessons from AAP

The VVIP should have taken the aerial route. Choppers should have been pressed into service. Politicians should learn lessons from Delhi Chief Minister and the Aam Aadmi Party supremo Arvind Kejriwal.

Sanjay Kapila, Chandigarh

Spare a thought for patients needing urgent medical aid

It was disappointing that the City Police stopped traffic on various roads a day before the visit of Prime Minster Manmohan Singh. The worst sufferers were the serious patients, who needed urgent medical treatment and were caught in traffic jam. This when the Prime Minister, during his visit to the city a couple of years ago, had said there should be no road closures for a VIP's visit. The only solution to the problem is that there should be a separate lane on the extreme left side of the road with a divider exclusive meant for emergency services like the ambulances, fire brigades and the police.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

Proactive traffic police could have helped

The Chandigarh Administration should have ensured smooth and secure movement of traffic during the Prime Minister's visit causing minimal inconvenience to the general public. The Traffic Police should have been diligent enough to regulate traffic in such a manner that there were no traffic jams in the city. Temporary parking lots should have been set up and general public be informed in advance.

Priya Darsh Growar, Mohali

Reduce number of vehicles in VIP's cavalcade

The level of security drill was unwarranted. Immediate need is to reduce the security of VIPs by 70 per cent. During the visits of VIPs, the common man is ignored and harassed. The number of vehicles in the Prime Minister or a Chief Minister's cavalcade ought to be cut down drastically. If the wasteful expenditure and harassment to the common man goes unchecked, public should show such politicians the door by voting them out during elections. The Aam Aadmi Party has shown the way politicians need to follow.

KC Rana, Chandigarh

Emulate Kejriwal

Day in and day out, we watch certain VVIPs and Bollywood biggies visiting the City Beautiful after it emerged as the hub of all sorts of political and business activities. Thus, adding to the traffic woes in the city. Being the twin capital of the states of Haryana and Punjab, the roads here remain chock-a-block with vehicles catering to the inter-state transport pressure. Adding to the traffic snarls is a visit by a VVIP. It is time the VVIP culture is done away with. AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal has set an example.

Ramesh K Dhiman, Chandigarh

Chandigarh Administration lacks vision

Traffic chaos, stranded ambulances, honking of horns and hectic movement of sleuths is a usual scene on roads whenever a VVIP has to pass through the city. The situation remains out of control due to poor planning and lack of vision on the part of the think-tank in the Chandigarh Administration. The authorities concerned should ensure that while providing fool-proof security to VVIPs, the general public is not put to unnecessary and avoidable inconvenience. For the purpose, they have to think out of box and find a solution to the problem.

Ajay Jagga, Chandigarh

System unfavourable to common man

Security drills ahead of the Prime Minister's or other important dignitaries' visit, are indicative/acceptance of the fact by the authorities as to how hostile, unfavourable and insecure the system available to the common man is. We have read and heard of decent security systems available in different parts of the world where even Prime Ministers and Presidents move about without any visible security personnel around. Why can't such a system be adopted in our country as well?

MPS Chadha, Mohali

Shun practice of inviting VVIPs for inauguration

While thinking of the solutions to minimise the inconvenience caused by the menace of a VIP visit, the first thing which comes to the mind is diversion of the traffic. But the roads of Chandigarh and the adjoining areas are almost saturated with normal traffic and by diverting the traffic on the alternative routes are naturally going to cause traffic jams elsewhere too. The solution lies in airlifting the VVIP from the airport to the venue or straight from Delhi. Besides, the practice of inviting VVIPs for inauguration of projects has to end. It should be done by local personalities only.

Dr Gurdev Singh, Mohali

VIP visits beget chaos

The VIP visits to the city have become a nightmare for residents here. The recent visit by the Prime Minister caused a lot of inconvenience to people. In the name of preparations, traffic was diverted to alternate routes causing a chaotic situation. The worst sufferers are patients who need timely treatment. No VIP is more important than anybody's life and hence, no patient should be denied treatment because of such a visit. The police and the hospital authorities must make sure that no patient undergoes harassment of any kind by making prior alternative arrangement.

Dr Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh

AAP chief has set an example

It is not only the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Mullanpur that caused inconvenience to the residents of Chandigarh, but every VIP movement causes delays and harassment to the common man. The Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, and his ministers have already set a precedent, which is an answer to the problem that the common man goes through. They travel by public transport and if they have to travel by car, they do so like any other citizen and not as a VIP.

Colonel RD Singh (retd), Ambala Cantt

Modernise security system

Practically, all political parties shout aloud about India being a democratic country but seek 'Z' security for themselves. What are they afraid of? One of the solutions to the problem is to modernise the security system rather than continuing with the primitive blocking of roads.

Tarsem Bhardwaj, Chandigarh

Inform public in advance

The inconvenience faced by the residents ahead of the Prime Minister's visit could have been avoided if the authorities concerned had taken measures keeping in view the general public's convenience. It is not warranted that for one person' security, a large number of commuters is forced to get stuck in traffic jams. If such dummy drills are mandatory, then proper traffic diversion plans should be chalked out, the public informed in advance about the routes and the timings of the drill through the media, so that they could take the alternate routes.

Rashi Srivastva, Chandigarh

VVIP visits avoidable

Security drills ahead of the Prime Minister visit do cause a lot of inconvenience to the residents of the tricity. The security agencies and others concerned with the movement of the PM are familiar with the outcome of such a drill but seldom work towards preventing inconvenience to the general public. Steps that can be effective to check the problem include use of information technology (IT). The Prime Minister can inaugurate a project or lay foundation of a building/office while sitting in his office.

Dr Rajeev Kumar, Chandigarh

VIP protocol needs to be changed

People always suffer due to visit by dignitaries. The situation became more troublesome as the Chandigarh Administration imposed Section 144 of the CrPC within the radius of 75 metres at the airport, the PGI, the GMCH, Sector 32, and the route that the Prime Minister was to follow. The protocol and security rules pertaining to VVIPs must be changed. They should curtail the frequency of their visits. The visit to the city by a person on the top democratic post just to lay the foundation stone of a hospital at Mullanpur was surely avoidable.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Cost of VIP visit could have been put to better use

What is the use of the octogenarian Prime Minister coming all the way from Delhi merely to lay a foundation stone. Even one of the foundation stones laid by former President Rajendra Prasad for Chandigarh has gone into oblivion. The foundation stone could have been laid without pomp and show and the money wasted could have been utilised for constructing roads for public use, opening schools for poor.

Rita Raina, Chandigarh

Avoid hospitals on the itinerary of visiting VVIPs

The visit to the city by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last week and the related mock drill carried out by security agencies caused inconvenience to the commuters. This proves that the Chandigarh Administration did not learn lessons from its experiences. The PGIMER and other hospitals should be strictly avoided while planning the itinerary of a VVIP as it may prove fatal for a critical patient for whom every minute is crucial.

Vivek Gulati, Chandigarh

Don't take the aam aadmi for granted

Inform the VVIP's route to the city residents in advance so as to avoid any on-the-spot inconvenience. Any emergency vehicle like ambulance, fire brigade, police van etc. should be given way and proper arrangements should be made ahead of the VIP's visit. The common man cannot be taken for granted when it comes to VVIP's visit. The lawmakers and the executive should realise that the scene on the political front is changing in the common man's favour.

Aishwarya, Mohali


Open house question

The recent incident where a Punjab Police gunman, who was accompanying a bureaucrat’s son, got injured due to a gunshot fired from his service revolver at a New Year party in Panchkula has raised questions about the ‘gunman culture’ catching the fancy of politicians, bureaucrats and other persons of influence. Gunmen are often seen accompanying families or children of the VIP they are attached with. The policemen are given to the VIPs at the cost of law and order. What needs to be done to discourage the ‘gunman culture’? Send your suggestions to openhouse@tribunemail.com



The dance of democracy

Anticipating its victory in the MC elections, the Congress activists hired 'dholis'. Eyeing all three seats (Mayor, Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor), the party broke into celebrations. But the tables turned and the BJP won two seats (Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor). The party hired the same 'dholis' and started celebrating its victory. Disappointed, the Congress activists went into a silent mode and watched the BJP activists dance to the beats of 'dhol'.

Patients put to inconvenience

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chose to take chopper from the airport to reach Mullanpur where he was to attend a function last week. The visit put a number of patients and their attendants to inconvenience. As the PM's convoy was to pass through the road opposite the main gate of the PGI, the police did not let vendors put up food stalls outside the hospital's gate. There was no need to remove the stalls. Patients and their attendants had to look for some alternative.

Money does not matter

On the New Year's Eve, residents enjoyed free soft and hard drinks. Entry passes were sold like hotcakes. For a five-hour party, one had to shell out Rs 7,000. As the city was submerged in celebrations, party goers did not mind splurging and gyrating on the dance floor.

Advocates resort to agitation

Advocates resorted to agitation when illegal chambers came up at the Sector 43 district courts complex overnight. The chambers were demolished by the protesting advocates. Last year, some advocates had deployed a person for illegally collecting parking fee. The strange thing is that the civic body did not deploy any such person.

Security cover

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s said a no to security cover but for the others it is not as easy as it seems. The New Year's night episode of a gunman accompanying the son of a senior IAS officer has become a talking point among residents. A policeman had also suffered injuries. Posting comments on their Facebook accounts, residents said such people should be under public scrutiny.

Contributed by Rajinder Nagarkoti, Ritika Jha Palial, Deepankar Sharda, Aneesha Sareen and Rajmeet Singh



Institute told to compensate complainant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the Shivalik Institute of Para-Medical Technology to refund fee and pay Rs 1 lakh as compensation to the complainant.

The complainant, Jagriti Devi, got enrolled in the nursing assistant course on September 12, 2009, and deposited Rs 45,000.

The complainant alleged that in the first year, the marksheet was issued by the Para-Medical Board of India on July 22, 2003, but in the second year, no marksheet was issued. She said she got the marksheet in November 2007 and it was issued by Doon University, Raipur, Chhattisgarh.

In 2008, a charitable institute in Himachal Pradesh advertised certain posts of nursing assistants.

The complainant intended to apply, but she was informed that one-year registration with the Nursing Council and Para-Medical Board of the Government of Himachal Pradesh was required before applying for any post in Himachal Pradesh.

However, the application form of the complainant was not accepted by the authorities. She was told that her certificates were fake.

The opposite party kept assuring the complainant that her certificates were genuine and it would make arrangements for her employment. In 2011, once again, the complainant had an opportunity to get a job in a private hospital at Chandigarh and she submitted her certificates to the said hospital.

The opposite party also issued a certificate re-affirming the fact that the institute was affiliated to the Para-Medical Board of India, which was duly recognised by the Government of India. The complainant contacted the opposite party (the institute), but to no avail.

She later learnt that no such statutory body was in existence. The Para-Medical Board of India was not recognised by the Government of India as claimed by the opposite party and that Doon University was also not in existence. Also, no such course of nursing assistant, as offered by the opposite party, was considered valid, she stated.

For failing to refund the fee and causing harassment to the complainant, the forum directed the institute to compensate Jagriti.



Tricity scan

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has nominated Dr Zora Singh, Chancellor, Desh Bhagat University, Chairman, Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes, and Desh Bhagat Radio 107.8 FM (Aap Ki Awaaz) as the member for its standing committee. The goal of the standing committee of the IMA is to bring holistic improvement in the village health scenario with the active involvement of the IMA, public sector health delivery system and the community.

Jain meets Modi

Satya Pal Jain, former MP of the city and national chairman of the Committee on Legal and Election Commission Issues of the BJP, met Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat and the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, in Gandhinagar on Saturday. He sought guidance from him about the working of the National Committee on Legal and Election Commission issues.

Training session

Markfed conducted a valedictory function and evaluation programme for the newly recruited batch of field officers at the Kisan Bhawan here on Sunday. This training session was conducted under the chairmanship of Karmjeet Singh Sra. BM Sharma, Executive Director, Markfed, conducted the proceedings.

Blood donation camp

St John Ambulance India, Indian Red Cross Society, UT Branch, Chandigarh, organised a blood donation camp in association with the PGIMER, Chandigarh. The camp was inaugurated by Balbir Singh Dhol, PCS, Secretary, Red Cross, Indian Red Cross Society, UT Branch, Chandigarh.


Dr Jasdeepak Singh has been appointed as the Convener of the RTI cell of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. He has been instrumental in conducting campaigns for the Indian Youth Congress regarding various welfare schemes in various states. — TNS



Show highlights gender issues
Tribune News Service

Artistes present a Punjabi folk dance at Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh on Sunday
Artistes present a Punjabi folk dance at Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, January 5
A cultural show, “ik loh parhayi dey divey layi", was held at the Tagore Theatre here. The aim of the show was to collect money for social cause.

Organised by an Amritsar-based NGO, Punjabi Samvad, the programme, said organisers, was aimed at supporting girl education. The cultural function comprised folk dances and theatre play that raised the issues of crime against women.

Crime against women was one of the major themes of the event. Artistes staged a dance drama on acid attack, showing life becoming disastrous after such incidents. It also referred to the recent incident in Ludhiana where an acid attack victim succumbed to injuries. It also showed that even after so much of efforts, crimes against women have not stopped. Superstition and unscrupulous saints was also the another focus area.

Punjabi culture was staged through various cultural activities. More than 50 artistes participated in the evening function. Another dance drama showed the old culture of Punjab and how it has changed over the years.



Geet-ghazal programme mesmerises elderly
Tribune News Service

Senior citizens during the geet-ghazal programme at the Kala Gram in Chandigarh on Sunday
Senior citizens during the geet-ghazal programme at the Kala Gram in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune Photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, January 5
A geet-ghazal programme held at the Kala Gram here today mesmerised the audience with poetry and ghazals. The North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC) under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, organised this event in collaboration with the Senior Citizens Welfare Association, Mani Majra.

Amrit Dhingra, president of the association, welcomed the audience and expressed his gratitude to DS Saroya, Director, NZCC, who graced the function. Dhingra welcomed Major General MS Kandal and DS Grewal IAS (retd) of the Chandigarh Senior Citizens Association and SK Monga IAS (retd).

Noted Urdu poetess Mehak Bharti commenced the programme with a Punjabi folk song “Meri rangli tand…” much to the surprise of the audience before the acclaimed singers RD Kailay and Dr Komal Chugh took the centre stage only to cast the scintillating spell.

The veteran maestro and NRI Gurdev Singh Seera won applause for his ghazals, especially “mein nazar se pee raha hun…”.

Musicians, including tabla maestro Debashish Dhar, Vijay Kumar on guitar and Shashank on Spanish guitar, embellished the geet-ghazal programme, while National Sangeet Natak Academi awardee Kamal Arora conducted the programme.



CBSE not to upload answer keys
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
The CBSE will not upload the answer keys for the next All-India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) as well. Last year’s undergraduate medical entrance exam had as many as seven ambiguous questions, following which students and teachers demanded uploading of the answer keys before the declaration of results to confirm their answers.

While the board uploaded the OMR sheets of the candidates, it did not upload the answer keys.

Apprehending some scope for ambiguity for the AIPMT to be held on May 4 this year, there has been a continuous demand of students and teachers to upload the answer keys before the results.

However, replying to an RTI query, the CBSE said the calculation sheet, along with the keys, would be provided to the candidates only after the declaration of results and that too under the Right to Information Act (RTI), 2005.

Local academician Dr Arvind Goyal, who filed the RTI, said many errors had crept in inadvertently in the CBSE PMT in recent years despite the best effort by the board. Last year’s National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET), now called AIPMT, had seven ambiguous questions, which led to major confusion among students and teachers.

“The CBSE, therefore, must evolve a system that can allow students and teachers to send objections to the board and corrections, if any, can be made in the answer keys before starting of evaluation of the OMR sheets,” he said.

Uploading of answer keys was the first step towards transparency and the CBSE must take some initiative in that direction rather than turning it down, he said.

Parkash Gupta, a PMT aspirant from the city, said the Chandigarh Pre-Medical Test had the provision of inviting objections from the public regarding the ambiguous questions or erroneous answers within a stipulated time period. Panjab University, Chandigarh, which used to conduct the Chandigarh PMT, also used to upload the answer keys before the declaration of results.

“The CBSE must have similar mechanism to address the ambiguous questions. In the absence of such a system, thousands of students suffer every year. They remain confused about the possible answers of the erroneous and ambiguous questions, which many a times has more than one option as correct answers,” he said.



They are special, yet they face obstacles
Govt schools fail to meet requirements of children with special needs: Study
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
Even as the policy makers and authorities are keen on integrating children with disabilities in the mainstream education system, the present set-up of government schools, at least in the city, is far from adequate in meeting basic requirements of the special children.

This was revealed in a study conducted by the Regional institute for Mentally Handicapped ( RIMH) in 20 city government schools where children with special needs (CWSN) are admitted.

While most of the participants (teachers, school heads and peers) expressed accommodating attitude towards the children, lack of disabled-friendly toilets, tactile flooring signages and ramps and adaptive aids were the key barrier found in the schools for the CWSN.

In 2009, RIMH referred 52 CWSN to the mainstream schools for admission, but a majority of them gradually dropped out. Subsequently, the RIMH started preparing the CWSN through the school readiness programme and the retention rate improved.

"While we conducted the present study to determine whether the students faced barriers in terms of acceptance by schoolteachers, peers and principals, the facts that a few children had lesser IQ levels cannot be ignored. Most of the participants, including school principals, are open to the idea of admitting the CWSN to their schools," said lead researcher Dr BS Chavan, who heads the RIMH.

The interview-based study was conducted on 230 persons, including 20 principals, 20 class teachers with the CWSN, 20 class teachers without the CWSN, 20 resource teachers, 50 CWSN, 50 peers of these children.


Most of the participants said extra teaching time was needed for children with special needs (CWSN). Class teachers said they faced problems in syllabus and behavioural fluctuations, difficulty in communication while teaching the CWSN. Resource teachers said high pupil teacher ratio was a challenge and also some teachers did not know much about disability.


Full-time special educators and resource teachers should be appointed. There is a need to reconsider policy of inclusive education for children with special needs (CWSN). Increased budget per child and better training camps for teachers and need-based supportive aids must be ensured. Daily availability of resource teachers is also an immediate requirement.

Vital findings

  • Principals: About 85 per centof the principals said they would immediately admit such children. They said there were no signages and tactile flooring in schools.
  • Teachers with CWSN: One-fourth of the teacher said classes were overcrowded and children needed extra time.
  • CWSN: About 44 per cent of the children said they interacted through conversation. Citing challenges, 30 per cent said they faced difficulty in communicating with people, 12 per cent said the other children beat them while 12 per cent stated that they sometimes did not understand what they were taught in classrooms.



Kharar institute gets AICTE recognition

Mohali, January 5
The Rayat Bahra Institute Skill Development Centre at Kharar has been recognised by the All-India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) for imparting academic and vocational training to help semi-skilled labour acquire formal degree in auto electrical and electronics.

Gurvinder Singh Bahra, chairman of the Rayat Bahra Group, said with getting the recognition, the centre would help those who gain skills in industry over a period of time to acquire formal degrees so that they could get higher jobs. “With having tie-ups with several top industries, including Volkswagen, Maruti, Volvo Eicher and Bosch, in its skill development centre, the students are being imparted training of the latest technology. People from the industry are also involved in the process of training to students,” said Bahra. — TNS



Seven-day NSS camp concludes at Panjab varsity
Tribune News Service

NSS volunteers of Panjab University enact a scene from a play, "Panda Baba", on the concluding day of the NSS camp on Sunday
NSS volunteers of Panjab University enact a scene from a play, "Panda Baba", on the concluding day of the NSS camp on Sunday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, January 5
The seven-day NSS camp organised on the theme “youth for healthy and clean India” concluded on the Panjab University campus today.

Amrinder Singh Raja Warring was the chief guest on the occasion. The valedictory function was presided over by DSW Professor Navdeep Goyal and DSW (Women) Professor Nandita Singh and NSS UT Liaison Officer Bikram Rana.

A cultural programme was also organised on the occasion. Yak Dance, a Ladakhi folk dance, was presented by the students of Government Smart School, Sector 53. Girl volunteers performed giddha and a street play directed and coordinated by Himanshu Dwivedi and Karan Gulzar from the Department of Indian Theatre.

Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, an alumnus of Panjab University and the youngest MLA in the Punjab Legislative Assembly, addressed the NSS volunteers. He motivated the students to contribute to the progress of the community.

Bikram Rana stressed on the role of NSS as an extra-curricular activity, which enhances the personality of the youth. NSS activities extend beyond the Panjab University reaching out to the community as part of extension activity. He also requested the youth to take up the cause of social service as India is going to the country of youth in this decade.

Professor Navdeep Goyal and Professor Nandita Singh lauded the efforts and dedication of the NSS volunteers during the seven-day camp.

Neeru Chaudhary, NSS programme officer, presented the report of the activities carried out during the camp.



from Schools and colleges
Annual day celebrations

The annual day celebrations of Sherwood Convent School, Mohali, were organised at the Baba Makhan Shalobhana Bhawan, Sector 30, Chandigarh. The highlight of the day was the cultural programme presented by the students. The cultural fiesta comprised “Rajasthani, Gujarati and Arabian” dances. Colourfully attired toddlers of the Kindergarten mesmerised the audience. Tiny tots enthralled the audience by beautiful Bollywood dance style on remix songs. The grand finale of the culture evening was the fusion of “bhangra”, which was applauded by the audience.

NSS camp

The seven-day NSS camp concluded at PMLSD School in Sector 32. Bikram Singh Rana, State Liaison Officer, NSS, UT, addressed the students and inspired them to become better citizens.

Awareness programme

The Aryans Group of Colleges, Chandigarh, on Sunday completed the first stage of “Government-sponsored Scholarship Schemes Awareness Programme”. The programme has been launched by the Aryans Group in December 2013 to make the village students aware of various Central and state scholarship schemes available to them. Under this pilot project, there is the proposal to cover 60 villages and 3,000 students of Patiala district. Out of this, 20 villages and more than 800 students have already been covered.

Lecture delivered

In the international conference in Malta, “Annual Businet Conference”, Dr SPS Bedi, Executive Director, Chandigarh Group of Colleges, Mohali, delivered a lecture on "Prospects of Foreign Collaboration in the Field of Higher Education". This was the 27th Annual Businet Conference in which business management experts from all across the globe took part. Sharing his experiences and his study on the subject, he said education today must had global openings so that the professionals in every field could experience the best available in their field of interest. He said large numbers of students of Indian origin were pursuing higher education abroad. In 2006, 1,23,000 such students were studying outside India. The US received more Indian students than any other country in the world overtaking China in 2001. — TNS



Computer teachers meet Pawan Bansal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
Computer teachers today called on Chandigarh MP Pawan Kumar Bansal to discuss their demands.

The teachers said the MP assured them of taking up their matter for increment in salary as well as regularisation of their services according to the Punjab Policy. He also told the teachers that no one could expel them from their current job.

Swarn Singh Kamboj, president of the UT Cadre Education Employees Union, was also present along with the computer teachers.

The teachers said they would hold a rally on January 8, along with the UT Subordinate Services Federation, UT Cadre Education Employees Union, Safai Karamchari Union, Chandigarh, and the CTU Employees Union.

More than 70 computer teachers and data entry operators gathered at the Masjid Ground, Sector 20, today. Five of them also sat for day-long hunger strike.

They said low wages forced them to take such extremes steps. A teacher said: “We gave several representations to the department, but it failed to solve our issues. We will sit for dharna till the time we are not paid on the basis of equal work and equal pay.”



Engineering students make use of waste plastic bottles

Mohali, January 5
The Quest Group of Institutions, Mohali, has found a unique solution to get rid of unwanted empty plastic bottles. Engineering students under the guidance of teachers have used empty bottles instead of bricks in construction.

They have created seats on the campus using waste plastic bottles where no bricks are used at all in this structure. It was a sample testing to see the strength and cost effectiveness of the waste plastic bottles in the construction and the results are encouraging.

Er Himanshu Sharma and Er Varun Awasthi, faculty members, said 5 bag of cement, 1,521 kg sand, gravel 2 kg, chicken mesh, 310 m nylon rope, 1,170 plastic bottle filled with dry sand, waste tiles, 4 kg white cement and 150 ml stainer were used to make the complete project. — TNS



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