C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Jyoti murder case
Another witness turns hostile
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 15
In yet another setback to the prosecution, another witness turned hostile today in the Jyoti murder case stating that he did not know anything about the case and the police never recovered the Altis car used in the crime from his residence.

Buti Ram, father of the victim, Jyoti
Buti Ram, father of the victim, Jyoti. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

According to the police, on the day of the crime, an Altis car was used by Gurmeet and Dharampal, nephews of the MLA, to reach Panchkula where Chaudhary had called them and was waiting in another car with Jyoti. He had called them to execute the crime.

According to the chargesheet, the witness, Narottam Jeet Singh, was working as a driver with Ram Kumar Chaudhary’s friend Randhir Singh in Baddi. During his hiding, the MLA had asked his friend to keep the car at his company in Baddi, who later asked his driver Narottam to keep it at his residence from where the police recovered the car. The police had recorded his statements in which he had spoken about the "entire link".

Defence counsel Aman Bindra and AS Sukhija said Narottam told the court that he never gave any such statements to the police. Narottam also stated that he was the driver of Randhir’s son and not that of Randhir. He said he did not know anything about the case and neither about the MLA.

Seven witnesses deposed before the court today, of whom one was Narottam. Three of them were bank managers — Hari Ram, manager of PNB, Nalagarh, VK Dass, manager of the State Bank of Patiala, Nalagarh, and Uma Shankar, senior manager of ICICI Bank, Panchkula, from where the police collected the records of Chaudhary's bank accounts. Jyoti had an account with ICICI Bank in Panchkula, from where the police claimed to have collected the records of the account and pay-in slips.

Col Prikshit Sharma, GM of the Chandimandir toll plaza, from where the police had sought CCTV footage of the truck on the night of the murder, Dr Sunil Gambhir, a forensic expert from the General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula, and ASI Narender Singh also deposed before the court as witnesses.

Earlier also, claims of the prosecution about two other vehicles having been used in the crime have fallen flat. Amarjit, the owner of the truck that was reportedly used to crush Jyoti after strangling her, said the vehicle was in his possession and was never sent outside Baddi. He said even on the night of the murder, the vehicle was with him and not with the accused, as claimed by the police. Amarjit is the brother of one of the accused, Paramjit. According to the police, Tilak Raj had brought the truck from Baddi on Chaudhary’s directions.

Lakhwinder, owner of an Alto car, which, according to the police, was used by another accused Paramjit to come to Panchkula, said he did not sell the car to Paramjit. Lakhwinder said the car was in his possession on the night when Jyoti was murdered.

The case

Doon MLA Ram Kumar Chaudhary and four others have been accused of killing Jyoti, who hailed from Hoshiarpur in Punjab. The victim was found murdered on a road in Sector 21, Panchkula. The chargesheet filed by the Panchkula Police stated that since Jyoti was coming in the way of Chaudhary’s political career and wanted him to continue relations with her, he eliminated her with the help of his aides. Jyoti was strangled to death and then crushed under a truck to show it as an accident case. 

Victim's father moves application

Buti Ram, victim's father, has moved an application in the court under Section 311 of the CrPC requesting that he wants to give evidence against Chaudhary again. Buti Ram had turned hostile during the last hearing. Later, he had informed the Commissioner of Police stating that he was threatened by the MLA’s men to say that he did not know Chaudhary. After Buti Ram’s application, the police had lodged a zero FIR in Panchkula and handed over the investigation to the Punjab Police.



  Water supply to be hit today, tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 15
The water supply in Chandigarh and Mohali will remain affected for two days from tomorrow due to repairs at the Kajauli Waterworks.

According to MC officials, there will be low water pressure during the evening hours in Chandigarh and in the afternoon hours in Mohali for the next two days. The MC, along with the Water Supply and Sanitation Division, Mohali, will undertake repair work on valves in the Phase I and II pipeline.

In Chandigarh, the water supply will be normal during the morning hours whereas in Mohali, the water supply will be normal during the morning and evening hours.

An MC official said there were five valves in the pipeline of which one was repaired on January 9 and 10. Now, the remaining valves would be repaired in the coming days, he said.

"It takes around 48 hours to repair a valve due to which the water supply will be affected," the official said.



  Innova owner shot at, vehicle taken away
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 15
Three unidentified miscreants took away a new Innova (PB 65 N 0007), a revolver, two mobile phones and cash after injuring its owner with a gunshot on the Kharar-Landran road this evening.

The incident occurred at around 7.45 pm today. Davinder Singh, a resident of Salamatpur village, sustained a gunshot injury on his right leg below the knee. His acquaintance Bawa Singh, who is also his partner in a petrol pump at Cholta village, sustained minor injuries in a scuffle with the miscreants while trying to resist the loot.

Davinder Singh has been admitted to Max Hospital at Phase VI, where doctors have declared him out of danger.

Mohali SSP Inder Mohan Singh said Davinder Singh, who also worked as a registry clerk at Kharar, was going along with his assistant Munish in his vehicle. He had stopped to purchase a water bottle from a confectionery shop on the Kharar-Landran road. “Three miscreants, who reportedly came on foot there, pushed Davinder aside and one of them sat on the side seat while another remained standing near the driver’s door. Munish was pushed our of the vehicle. Davinder tried to resist them. Bawa Singh, who was coming in his car with three friends, came to his partner’s rescue following which one miscreant shot at Davinder and pushed him out of the vehicle, before taking it away,” said the SSP. The revolver, mobile phones and cash were lying in a bag inside the vehicle.

The police are trying to ascertain whether the looters were chasing Davinder from Kharar in a vehicle.The police have registered a case.



Mobile Mammography Van
CAG slams GMCH over anomalies in purchase
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 15
Seven months after Chandigarh Tribune highlighted anomalies in the purchase and utility of a mobile mammography van at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has slammed the hospital for the anomalies that caused a financial loss.

In its report for 2012-13, the CAG has pointed out a loss of Rs 1.24 crore due to "lack of utility" of the van and loss of interest due to one-year advance payment of Rs 9.94 lakh for the purchase of the van.

The auditing body has also pointed out the failure of the hospital in imposing any penalty on the supplier for delaying the delivery of the van by one year. According to the agreement, the penalty amounted to Rs 12.43 lakh, which the hospital failed to obtain.

“A detailed scrutiny revealed that though 100 per cent payment of the basic cost was paid to the firm (Fuji Film India Pvt Ltd) on March 29, 2012, the vehicle was received on April 10, 2013, and was again sent back for rectification,” the report noted.

In June last year, Chandigarh Tribune had highlighted how the GMCH authorities failed to look into anomalies in the purchase of the van, when the tender was accepted despite two companies bidding for the machinery having quoted rates of the same model of the equipment, manufactured by the same firm. Also, the fact that the entire payment of the van was made a year in advance for the van’s purchase was also highlighted in these columns in the same report.

The van was made operational on July 24 last year after being inaugurated in April last year. However, some of the defects are yet to be rectified. The van is sent for mammography and dexa scan to different areas off and on but there is inadequate staff to run the mobile unit. 

What the CAG said

* “Experts from the GMCH were required to visit the site at the time of fabrication and deficiencies could have been noticed at the first glance,” the CAG noted in its audit report.

* Chandigarh Tribune had, on July 12 last year, highlighted that the van was inaugurated while having 20 defects enlisted by an inspection committee of the hospital.



  Thieves strike at trader’s house in Panchkula
 Decamp with Rs 2.75 lakh, jewellery worth Rs 12 lakh
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 15
In a theft that took place in broad daylight in Panchkula, thieves struck at the residence of a businessman in Sector 17 here and decamped with Rs 2.75 lakh and jewellery worth Rs 12 lakh.

The owners of the house, Megha and Rohit, were away to their workplace when the theft took place. When they returned home late last evening, they saw the lock of the front door broken. The thieves also took away deodorants, perfumes, expensive watches and other women accessories.

According to the police, the owner informed them that an amount of Rs 2.75 lakh and jewellery worth Rs 12 lakh had been stolen from his house.

“The owners had left the premises around 3 pm yesterday and returned in the evening. It is clear that the theft took place during these hours. A forensic team was called to examine the spot. It seems to be the handiwork of three or four miscreants,” said a police official.

No CCTV cameras were installed at the residence or in the locality. The house lies adjacent to Rajiv Colony.

Sub-Inspector Lakshmi Chand, in charge of the Sector 16 police post, said investigations were under way. Maids and other workers in the locality were also being questioned.

A similar theft had taken place at the residence of BJP leader Krishan Dhull when thieves decamped with cash and jewellery worth Rs 25 lakh in Sector 12 A Panchkula. The police have not been able to crack the case yet. 



  Is Shivraj Patil opting for active politics? 
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 15
After completing his four-year tenure as Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator, Shivraj V Patil may soon say goodbye to the City Beautiful. According to reports emanating from New Delhi and Mumbai, his name is doing the rounds as the Congress candidate from Nanded in Maharashtra for the coming parliamentary elections.

Though people close to Patil in Chandigarh deny any such development, they admit that in case the party decides to field him, he would go for it.

People close to him in Delhi are also pushing his name as the Congress candidate from the Nanded parliamentary seat in Maharashtra.

If sources in the Congress are to be believed, Patil is in touch with the Congress high command and members of screening committee, who will finalise the candidates' names for Maharashtra. Patil, who is in Delhi, may also meet Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, the sources said.

Patil has won seven parliamentary elections from the Latur constituency in Maharashtra. However, now the Election Commission has declared Latur as a reserved seat and, therefore, the party may field him from the Nanded seat. In 1980, he was elected to the seventh Lok Sabha from the Latur constituency. By 1999, he had won seven successive parliamentary elections in 1980, 1984, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1998 and 1999. In the 2004 parliamentary elections, he lost to BJP candidate Rupatai Patil.

Patil (78) had started his political innings as president of the Latur Municipal Corporation in Maharashtra in 1967. In May 2004, he become the Union Home Minister, a post he held till November 30, 2008. His exit from the coveted post came in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks. On January 22, 2010, he was appointed as the Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator. 


  Power staff hold protest
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 15
Employees of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) burnt
an effigy of the management here today due to their failure to implement the agreement reached with them.
Members of the Technical Services Union of Punjab Powercom burn an effigy of the management during a protest outside their office at Phase I, Industrial Area, in Mohali on Wednesday.
Members of the Technical Services Union of Punjab Powercom burn an effigy of the management during a protest outside their office at Phase I, Industrial Area, in Mohali on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

The protest was held by the members of the Technical Services Union (TSU) in accordance with the decision of the Employees Joint Forum (EJF), Punjab.

Brij Mohan Joshi, secretary, Technical Services Union, said an agreement in connection with the demands of the employees was reached on July 22 and September 4 last year between the management and the representatives of the joint forum.

The management had agreed to revise the pay scales of employees and bring these at par with those being given to the Punjab Government employees.

He said the management was now not fulfilling its promise which had created a lot of resentment among employees of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited.

Joshi further said a state-level dharna would be held at the head office of the corporation on January 22 in Patiala in support of their demands.



  YAD groups hold separate protests 
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 15
Senior leaders of the Youth Akali Dal (YAD) found themselves caught in a peculiar situation when their two groups burnt separate effigies of Congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa during a protest in front of Mohali deputy commissioner’s office at around 11.30 am.
Leaders and supporters of the Youth Akali Dal burn an effigy of Congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa in front of the Mohali Deputy Commissioner’s office on Wednesday
Leaders and supporters of the Youth Akali Dal burn an effigy of Congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa in front of the Mohali Deputy Commissioner’s office on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Senior Akali leaders, including NK Sharma, Punjab chief parliamentary secretary, Amanjot Kaur Ramoowalia, president of women wing (SAD), Ujjagar Singh Badali, Harmanpreet Singh Prince, president YAD (Mohali urban), and Jaspinder Singh Lalli, president of YAD (Mohali rural), along with their supporters burnt the effigies of Bajwa and drug lord Jagdish Singh Bhola for dragging Bikram Singh Majithia’s name in the drug scam.

All present were in for a surprise when they saw another Akali leader, Raja Kanwarjot Singh Mohali, coming along with his supporters, carrying their separate effigy of the Congress leader, at the venue after a few minutes.

Raja, who is vice-president (national) of YAD, burnt the effigy at 12 pm clearly indicating towards differences among the leaders of the party.

“I was asked by Lalli to bring the effigies to burn. I don’t know why they brought separate effigies and burnt it before the scheduled time,” said Raja Mohali.

“Our protest was against Bajwa and Bhola for unnecessary dragging the name of our senior leader in the drug scam. We are united on the issue,” said Prince and Raja Mohali.



  MC to hire contractor to remove debris 
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 15
The Municipal Corporation (MC) has now decided to hire a contractor for the removal of the debris left over from the construction work being carried on in various parts of the city.

Heaps of debris from construction and renovation activities can often be seen lying outside homes or other premises here marring the look of the area and turning it into a source of inconvenience and nuisance for residents. The ‘malba’ usually lies for long periods after the construction work is over obstructing footpaths, roads or even defacing parts of parks.

Gurpreet Kaur, a resident of Phase II, said the collection of debris near the house under renovation not only leads to parking problems but also gave an unwelcome look to the area. While some residents ensured that the malba was removed at the earliest, others did not bother to get it lifted for days, creating problems for others.

Commissioner of the corporation Uma Shankar Gupta said the civic body was hiring a contractor for the work as the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) had earmarked three sites for dumping malba. Boards would be displayed at these sites so that residents could also throw malba at the authorised sites.

He said the rates for getting the malba removed would be fixed. It would be up to the residents to decide whether they wanted to throw on their own or use the services of the contractor. Notices would be served to residents who failed to get the malba removed. If they failed to react they would have to pay a penalty of Rs 500 in addition to the payment of Rs 2,000 for getting the malba lifted.



New ‘SX’ variant of Honda Amaze introduced

Honda Cars India Limited (HCIL) introduced a new ‘SX’ variant of Honda Amaze with added safety features on Wednesday. The new variant will be positioned above the ‘S’ variant and will be available in both petrol and diesel with manual transmission.

The Honda Amaze SX will feature front dual airbags in addition to the features available in ‘S’ variant. Additionally, ABS (Anti Locking Braking System), which comes as standard equipment in all variants of diesel Amaze, will now be offered in newly introduced petrol ‘SX’ variant apart from the top-grade petrol ‘VX’.

Ranbaxy, EPIRUS sign agreement for a product

Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited (RANBAXY) and EPIRUS, Switzerland GmbH, announced the signing of a licensing agreement for BOW015, a biosimilar version of Infliximab. The product will be introduced in India and other emerging markets across the globe. Currently, there is no biosimilar of Infliximab approved in India. Under the terms of the agreement, EPIRUS will develop and supply the product, and upon regulatory approval Ranbaxy will market the same in India and other emerging markets. — TNS



Fog effect
All flights cancelled, trains delayed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 15
The dense fog took a toll on the air operations in the city as all flights were cancelled due to poor visibility at the Chandigarh domestic airport, thereby putting both the outbound and inbound passengers to inconvenience. More than 2,000 passengers were affected.

Seven trains reached late at the railway station due to the foggy conditions in the region. Right since the morning, the fog reduced visibility to 300-400 metres, making it impossible for the flights to land at the airport with the present navigational landing system.

Since the instrument landing system (ILS), also called navigational system, operates at the basic CAT-I level, an aircraft can’t land amid visibility below 1,200 metres. All airlines had to cancel their flights since visibility did not come up to the desired level throughout the day.

A senior official of an airline said: “The advanced ILS system could have saved the day for us but sadly it has not been put in place here.”

Today, 11 flights were cancelled. Certain passengers accused airlines of not cooperating with them.

All the four flights of the Jet Airways, including Chandigarh-Delhi at 11.40, Chandigarh-Mumbai at 12.40 pm, Chandigarh-Delhi at 5.15 pm and Chandigarh-Delhi-Bangalore 5.40 pm were cancelled.

Two flights of Spice Jet at 10.25 am (Chandigarh-Delhi) and 5.10 pm (Chandigarh-Delhi) also did not operate due to poor visibility.

Besides, Air India’s Chandigarh-Delhi-Mumbai at 11.25 was cancelled. Two flights each of Go Air and Indigo from Chandigarh-Mumabi were cancelled due to the bad weather

Airline officials said the Indian Air Force, responsible for maintaining the runway, must start upgrading the ground lighting system to fully utilise the present ILS system at the airport. They also demanded advanced met facilities.

“The upcoming Mohali international airport will use the same runway as used by the domestic airport. If the runway is not upgraded with the required facilities, it will definitely be a big hurdle in a smooth functioning of the international airport," said an official at the domestic airport.

Meanwhile, the Unchahar Express was delayed by more than 6 hours, Howrah Kalka and evening Janshatabdi was behind schedule by more than four hours. 

Fog hits life in city, to continue for next 48 hrs

Dense fog and chill paralysed the normal life in the city on Wednesday. The fog, which started developing late on Tuesday night, was at its peak on Wednesday morning. The weather showed some signs of improvement in the afternoon, but the fog again became dense by late evening. Surinder Pal, regional met officer, said there would be no improvement in the fog in the next 48 hours. However, light rain is expected in the city on January 17 or 18.

Trains Delayed

Unchahar Exp 6.30 hrs

Paschim Exp 1 hour

Howrah-Kalka 4.30 hrs

Delhi-Kalka 1.30 hrs

Shirdi-Kalka 2.30 hrs

Jan Shatabdi 4.30 hrs



  These arthritis patients can do bhangra now
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 15
Until a few years ago, while most of them were unable to even walk due to arthritis, 15 such persons today performed bhangra at a function here, manifesting their courage and belief in the treatment that enabled them to live a normal life after joint replacements.

For 69-year-old Kulbir Singh Gill, a retired Army officer, who remained exceptionally active throughout his services and was also involved in Parajumping, it became very difficult to accept his gradual inability to walk.

After he retired in 1997, his physical activities reduced and in 2012, his consultant told him that he needed to undergo a hip replacement. While others like him would be deterred from laying much weight on his limbs after a joint replacement, Singh’s positive attitude helped him regain confidence.

“My wife and I both developed joint problems. I underwent hip replacement in November 2012 while my wife had to undergo total knee replacement in October 2012. Life now seems as normal as it was in the 90s,” Singh said while performing Bhangra along with his wife during the ‘Friends of Fortis’ meet here.

Dressed in traditional attire, the performers, a majority of them in their mid 50s and 60s, had words of praise for the latest advancements in the medical sciences. MP Pawan Kumar Bansal and artiste Pammi Bai also joined in the revelry.

A play was also presented which showcased the agony of a girl who was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis when she was just 16. Dr Harsimran Singh, Director, Department of Orthopedics and Joint Replacement, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, performed a computer-navigated joint replacement surgery on her when she was 40 years old and she was able to walk.

Reema Vasundhra, the patient from Panchkula, was also present. Vasundhara stood up and recounted her story, her hopes and aspirations.

“Patients undergoing a knee-replacement surgery can lead a healthy life and perform their daily ardas, namaz, pooja while sitting cross-legged or squatting and could even perform bhangra and giddha but with extra care,” said Dr Harsimran.



  Police Complaints Authority chief’s appointment under the scanner
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 15
The appointment of Pardeep Mehra as the Chandigarh Police Complaints Authority chairman has come under the judicial scanner. Taking up a petition filed in public interest, a Division Bench today issued notice for February 18 to the Chandigarh Administration, its Advisor, Home Secretary and former adviser to the UT administrator Mehra.

The petition in public interest in the matter has been jointly filed by advocate HC Arora and RTI activist RK Garg. They are seeking the quashing of a notification dated November 8, last year, issued by the Chandigarh Administration for appointing Mehra as the chairman of the authority.

Referring to the Supreme Court judgment in Parkash Singh’s case, the petitioners asserted that the chairperson of the state-level police complaints authority has to be a retired Supreme Court or High Court judge.

The petitioners asserted the Apex Court had also directed that the chairperson would be chosen by the State Government or Union Territory out of a panel forwarded by the Chief Justice of the High Court concerned.

But the Union of India issued a notification on March 23, 2010, asserting that the chairperson of such authority in the UTs, including Chandigarh, could be appointed from among the retired judges or secretary-level officers. As such, the petitioners have also sought the quashing of the notification on the ground of being in gross violation of directions of the Supreme Court.

The petitioners stated that the Administrator appointed Mehra though his name was not even included in the list of candidates shortlisted by the Home Secretary. Going into the background of the matter, the petitioners added the names were shortlisted earlier by the Deputy Commissioner and the Inspector-General of Police. It was then processed by the Home Secretary.

But the adviser or the administrator did not seek a panel of names of retired Judges from the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, in violation of the directions issued by the Supreme Court in Parkash Singh’s case. 



  PGI professor loses charge after inquiry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 15
Receiving the nod from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to initiate action, the PGIMER has withdrawn charge of Head of Department of Pharmacology from Dr Amitava Chakrabarti after an inquiry committee established “misconduct” on his part.

The inquiry was initiated by the PGIMER after the Director, Dr YK Chawla, received a complaint of harassment from a woman doctor against Dr Chakrabarti.

In 2012, Dr Nusrat Shafiq, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, had moved the complaint against Dr Chakrabarti, stating that the latter put her down publicly. 



Cop hurt in mishap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 15
A head constable of the UT Police, Mehar Singh, suffered a head injury after he was hit by a speeding car at the transport light point here today. The victim was on his cycle when the speeding Swift car hit him.

The suspects were traced to Mani Majra after a hunt by the police. A case has been registered at the Sector 26 police station in this regard. 



'Gunday' highlights plight of women
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 15
A street play, 'Gunday', staged at the Sector 17 Plaza today highlighted issues related to women. It depicted the darker side of law-enforcing agencies and loopholes in the overall system against women.

It showed how women were subjected to humiliation and harassment. In this biggest democracy of the world, it is the children and women, who sadly are the most vulnerable.

The first part of the play showed the hooliganism on the streets and second part showed the blind faith of people on modern day 'babas-turned-exploiters'. The play gave a message to the audience to give more respect to women in society.



  Now, parties to fight F&CC poll
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 15
As the BSP and nominated councillor Surinder Bahga have decided to file nominations for the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) of the MC, the elections to the five posts of the F&CC will now take place on January 22. It is the second most important body after the MC House.

After facing a defeat in the senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor elections, the Congress, in an attempt to woo nominated councillors, has decided to give two seats of the F&CC to nominated councillors. Earlier, there was only seat for nominated councillors.

From the nominated councillors, Anup Sunny Gill and MP Kohli are likely to file their nomination papers but sources said the candidates could be changed at the last moment as there was resentment among the councillors over their candidature.

As the Congress has given two seats to the nominated councillors, only one Congress councillor will file its nomination papers. In the Congress, councillor Pardeep Chhabra is likely to file his nomination.

The BJP-SAD combine has shortlisted the names of BJP councillor Saurabh Joshi and SAD councillor Malkiat Singh.

BSP convener Hafiz Anwar-ul-Haq said they would also contest the elections and BSP councillor Naresh Kumar would file his nomination papers.

Meanwhile, nominated councillor Surinder Bahga has also decided to contest the elections.

Nomination for F&CC will be filed on January 18 and election will be held on January 22. 



redressal of plaints
Haryana cooperative societies to start SMS facility
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 15
Adding another feather to their cap, the Haryana Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS) are planning to start the SMS facility for redressal of complaints by members of the societies. The facility would act as a grievance redressal move where residents can raise their issues.

Registrar of the cooperative societies CR Rana said: “To facilitate the members, we are planning to start the SMS facility. It will even help to bring pending issues to our notice.”

Starting soon, the facility would be a part of the website that is going to be launched by the RCS.

Rana said they had spoken to companies for the facility. Till now, no such facility was available in the RCS and this would be a first initiative by the authorities.



Tube well in poor condition

The condition of a tube well in Sector 44-A, from where residents of our area get drinking water, is in a deplorable condition. I have visited the tube well several times to raise the issue, but to no avail. I had even submitted an application under the RTI raising certain questions but there is no reply to it as yet. There is no record when the underground reservoir tank was cleaned. No security guard is posted at the tank. There is no chlorination facility. In the absence of power, water supply goes off as there is no generator at the tube well. The tank was built 20 years ago to feed a small segment of housing board flats. Now, the area is fully developed and it is unable to fulfil the needs of residents. Hence, supply lasts only for two hours. Its capacity needs to be increased. No official has visited the site to check its functioning.

CM Malhotra, Chandigarh

Need to check encroachments

Chandigarh Municipal Corporation officials have taken a right step by removing the temporary encroachment and imposing a fine for parking cars in a park in Sector 49. But there are hundreds of encroachments in parks, playgrounds and government land in Chandigarh, which escape the MC’s attention. Officials with a vested interest prevent the MC from removing such encroachments. A few years ago, the High Court had issued a directive to the Chandigarh Police to remove beggars from the traffic light points and market places, especially in front of food joints. But it was not implemented by the authorities. Small children spend the whole day in begging.

KC Rana, Chandigarh



Tricity Scan

Office-bearers elected

General elections of the Chamoli Parvatiya Vikas Parishad, Chandigarh, were held under the supervision of Rakesh Benjwal. During the election, Arun Vashishth was elected as president, Nand Kishore Bhatt senior vice-president, KS Rana vice-president, Sanjeev Benjwal general secretary, Sarveshwar Semwal secretary, Abhishek Nautiyal cashier, Shashi Prakash Semwal auditor, Deepak Bhatt cultural secretary, Vishwanath Bhatt assistant cultural secretary, Devinder Benjwal organising secretary and Manoj Bhatt, Gopal Bhatt and Mahesh Nautiyal as assistant organising secretary of the parishad unanimously. Besides, Prabhu Dutt Kimothi was nominated as patron of the parishad.

Residents to get ration cards, says Bansal

Chandigarh MP Pawan Kumar Bansal has assured residents of Hallomajra and other such areas that they would get their ration cards and any hindrance in the process would be looked into. He said this while addressing a gathering at a 'mahila sammelan' programme, organised by the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Colony Cell. Residents of the village had raised the issue that despite residing in the city for several years, they did not had any identity proofs. They were facing difficulties in getting ration from fair price shops due to the same. — TNS



Missionary schools
  357 students get lucky in draw of lots
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 15
The draw of lots for the entry-level classes at the city’s most sought-after four missionary schools today witnessed sea of emotions. Only a few lucky parents managed to get admission for their wards for the next session, while most of the parents left disappointed as their wards failed to make it in the draw of lots for these four schools. Many even had moist eyes and could not hide their emotions.

A child picks up a slip during the draw of lots at St Anne’s School in Sector 32, Chandigarh, on Wednesday.
A child picks up a slip during the draw of lots at St Anne’s School in Sector 32, Chandigarh, on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan
Parents greet each other after their wards got admission to missionary schools
Parents greet each other after their wards got admission to missionary schools.
Kiran got upset after her daughter failed to get admission to Sacred Heart School, Sector 26, through the draw of lots held in Chandigarh on Wednesday
Kiran got upset after her daughter failed to get admission to Sacred Heart School, Sector 26, through the draw of lots held in Chandigarh on Wednesday.

Even these schools gave more seats to the general category as compared to last year, the competition was still extremely tough as on an average over 11 children struggled for one seat in these reputed schools.

Out of approximately 4,000 applicants, only 357 lucky ones made it in the draw of lots in the four schools, St John’s High School, Sector 26; Sacred Heart School, Sector 26; St Anne’s School, Sector 32; and Carmel Convent, Sector 9; against their total 705 seats. The rest of the seats were given to various quotas in these schools.

This year Sacred Heart, Sector 26, allotted 80 seats through draw of lots as compared to 55 seats last year. Five applicants are still under the waiting list. School officials said the low response to the reserved quota, including the Christian minority, siblings, alumni and staff wards, helped the school to allot more seats to the general category students.

Even St Anne’s had allocated more seats to the general category students. Compared to 100 seats last year, draw of lots was conducted for 130 seats, of which 72 seats were allotted to girls and 48 to boys.

School officials said more seats were allotted to girls since their applications were more than those of boys.

The allotment of seats was same as last year at St John School, Sector 26, and Carmel Convent High School, Sector 9. St John gave 94 seats out of the total 160 to the general category, while Carmel convent gave 53 seats of the 120 seats to the wards of the general category. The rest of the seats in these schools were given to alumni, siblings, staff wards, Christian minority, etc.

Sacred Heart School also conducted draw of lots for the Hindi medium section for EWS students where 40 seats were allocated seas. In St John, 24 seats were allocated to the EWS category.

Meanwhile, sharp reactions were seen from the parents whose wards failed to get admission to these schools.

“My son is very talented but he failed to get admission to St John just because he has no sibling in the school and he was not a EWS candidate,” said one of the parents.

Another parent said more than 10 students struggling for one seat really showed the status of the quality education system in the city.

Meanwhile, the draw of lots went smoothly and in a disciplined manner. As mandated by the department, the proceedings were videographed.

Kavita Das, a spokesperson for these four missionary schools, said: “We wish we can accommodate more students but we have limited seats and we tried to accommodate the maximum number of students. I wish the city has more quality education and good number of options for parents and students.”



UG level
  PU to introduce online submission of re-evaluation forms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 15
Panjab University is mulling over introducing online submission of re-evaluation forms at the undergraduate level in all affiliated colleges from the next semester. This was decided by a sub-committee meeting held here today to finalise the draft for the semester system for colleges, which will be implemented on BA, BCom and BSc first-year students. The meeting was chaired by PU Controller of Examination Dr Parvinder Singh.

Sources said all proposals were made by the Controller of Examination after reviewing the semester system. The draft will be tabled in the Syndicate meeting, to be held in February, after the approval from Vice-Chancellor AK Grover.

The sub-committee proposed that the university should frame a policy under which a student can apply for the re-evaluation within 15 days on the basis of the result available on the Internet. Earlier the university had a policy that after receiving the detailed mark sheet, the student could apply for re-evaluation within 21 days. The members suggested that the online form submission would speed up the process and help in prompt disposal of requests of the applicants. It has also been proposed that the students have to submit single form for each semester.

Another recommendation which the sub-committee made was to accept online fee in one go for each semester. At present for post-graduation, where the semester system had been introduced, students had to deposit fee semester wise in their respective colleges. The sub-committee also suggested that the students should be allowed to give re-appear exam with the routine semester session and the authorities should not conduct any separate exam as was the practice earlier in the university.

The sub-committee has asked the Board of Studies to draft norms for conducting exams of the semester system. The sub-committee in its draft has also suggested that the college teachers should also be allowed to set papers for the semester examination.

The members said this would increase the choice of paper setters and also resolve the issue of shortage of paper setters, which the university faces at present.

It has also been recommended that an additional branch of assistant registrar for the semester system should be set up with 47 employees to manage the entire system.

The members said after introducing the semester system, the work of all administrative departments would increase.

The sources said the Controller of Examination would call a special meeting of the Punjab and UT Administration representatives next month before the Syndicate to discuss the draft. The university was planning to finalise the draft before the Syndicate meeting to get it approved by the committee.



panjab university
Interviews via video-conferencing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 15
Now, Panjab University will be at the doorstep of the best faculty of the country to induct them on the academic post through videoconferencing.

Soon, necessary amendments will be made to the university rules and regulations so that job interviews could be conducted through videoconferencing.

It was principally approved in a meeting that held under the chairmanship of Vice- Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover and attended by all chairpersons, directors, coordinators and senior professors today.

In the meeting, the VC said this would help in attracting and selecting better candidates from far-off places who could not make it to the interview. It has also been decided to introduce integrated MSc and Phd programmes in the university.

He urged members of the faculty to file their annual reports and update their bio-data regularly.

The meeting also resolved to put bio-data of the faculty members on the university website before March 2014.

The VC stressed the need for improvement at the faculty, students and infrastructure levels so that the PU could compete with the best universities in the world.

Dean, University Instructions, Prof AK Bhandari, suggested that the university should start honour schools in more departments, especially in social sciences, humanities and languages.

He recommended that the authorities should introduce new honours school programmes by collaborating two or more departments. He urged the Chairpersons to send their suggestions.

The meeting also discussed various issues, including administrative reforms, academic and research reforms, Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan and college reforms, examination reforms, benchmarking against the best universities in the world, placements and the basic scheme of choice-based credit system.



  Book on ‘prolapse uterus’ released at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 15
A book on “prolapse uterus” was released at the PGIMER today. The book stresses on non-conservative management of the problem of pelvic organ prolapse in women.

It highlights the lifestyle changes, behaviour modifications and Kegel exercises for prevention and treatment of initial stages of prolapse of pelvic organs.

In our country, a lot of efforts have been made by the government over the past two decades to improve women’s health. But, the main emphasis of various programmes and strategies has been on the reduction of maternal mortality rate, said Prof Amarjeet Singh, School of Public Health, PGIMER.

The common problems among women are ignored. Pelvic organ prolapse is one of the common gynaecological morbidities among women that compromise the quality of their lives.

Around 5 to 10 pert cent women suffer from prolapsed uterus. It is not necessary that surgery is done in every case of prolapse.

The book is based on MD thesis of Dr Rashmi Kashyap, who proved the efficacy of these exercises in preventing pelvic organ prolapse through her thesis results, which were published in International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 2013.

It contains 32 pages, costs Rs 65 and is published by New Era International Imprints, Chandigarh, through a project grant of contributors of the book, including Dr Ruchi Sharma, Dr Purnima Kaushal and faculty from Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department (OBG) Dr Vanita Jain and faculty from School of Public Health Dr Amarjeet Singh.

A pilot project

As a pilot project, health promotion orientation package of services through a multipurpose counselling room (manned by trained counsellors) was implemented in OBG OPD/wards of the PGIMER. Earlier, a PhD thesis done in the PGIMER, Chandigarh, in 2005 proved the efficacy of Kegel exercises in providing relief to urinary incontinence case. Based on this idea, a DBT project on “Hospital-Based Behaviour Therapy of Urinary Incontinence Among Women: A Feasibility Study” was successfully completed during 2010- 2012. Of the 360 women registered, 67 per cent reported relief. An expanded version of this project - ‘Setting up of a multi-purpose behaviour therapy room”- sanctioned by the DBT is being run in the OBG OPD since November 2012.

Preventiona Early stage prolapse can be reversed and corrected by Kegel exercises. Pelvic floor exercises (Kegel exercises) and other behaviour modifications, if routinely done by women, help to maintain their pelvic floor muscle strength. These exercises are simple and easy to understand.



296 students felicitated

Chandigarh, January 15
The annual sports function was organised at MRA Modern Public School, Chandigarh, with a lot of fanfare. An impressive march past, salute and the torch-bearing ceremony was held amidst cheers and applause. Young athletes also took part in track and field events.

As many as 296 students were felicitated for their achievements in academics, co-scholastic activities and sports. Rhythmic treats, dances from different land and drills of various types kept the audience captivated. — TNS



Students’ grievances
  Panjab varsity to appoint 2 professional counsellors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 15
Panjab University is going to appoint two professional counsellors to deal with the grievances of students, which they face during academic sessions in their respective departments.

The proposal was approved at a committee meeting held here today under the chairmanship of Dean Student Welfare (DSW) (Women) Nandita Singh.

The committee recommended that for both boys and girls, two part-time counsellors would be appointed that would counsel the students at the DSW office as and when required. Besides, the students of the Guidance and Counselling Department would also do their internship by counselling the students of the campus.

The committee has also made recommendations on the qualification and experience of the counsellors.

The committee is yet to draft the model of the mentoring system for each department, under which the students will have routine interaction with their seniors to share their problems. The Dean University Instructions will hold a meeting to draft the mentoring system.

Nandita said the proposal had been approved by the committee and it would be sent to PU Vice-Chancellor AK Grover for approval so that the budget was sanctioned for the appointment of counsellors.



Friendship delegation returns from week-long educational visit

Members of the Chandigarh friendship delegation in Singapore.
Members of the Chandigarh friendship delegation in Singapore.

Chandigarh, January 15
Today, a 17-member friendship delegation from Chandigarh returned from a week-long educational visit to Malaysia and Singapore. The group comprised students and teachers of several private schools and universities in Chandigarh.

Pramod Sharma, coordinator of the trip, said in Malaysia, the Chandigarh’s friendship delegation got special privilege to visit the Prime Minister’s Department of National Unity and Integration.

“The people of Indian origin constitute a sizable proportion of population both in Malaysia and Singapore. Moreover, our relation with these countries dates back to centuries. The visit further strengthened the relationship,” he said.

One of the delegates, Aruna Bhardwaj, principal, Gurukul Global School, said: “We are now looking forward to host a reciprocal visit of young students from Malaysia and Singapore to Chandigarh”. — TNS



Students get tips on international cuisines
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 15
Students of the University Institute of Hotel Management (UIHM) at Chandigarh University, Gharuan, witnessed a special workshop on international cuisines and culinary skills - 2014.

Brad Hannay, Executive Chef, Department for Education & Child Development, Adelaide, Government of Australia, introduced the concept of fusion food to the students of hotel management and became participating chef to prepare popular international cuisines.

While addressing the students, Brad said Indian cuisines and traditional way to cook food were fast becoming popular among western countries and were considered as a status symbol among them.

Brad said Indian restaurants in Australia were having great rush and Indian chefs were in great demand by the Australian restaurants and hotel chains. Amritsari kulcha with channa, tandoori chicken and Indian roti were among the most sought-after Indian foods in Australia. Having rich experience in international cuisines and fusion food, Brad was among the few celebrity chefs from Australia who had worked with top notch restaurants and hotels like Red Ochre and Windy Point.

Tossing up live international cuisines like chicken roulade with ceaser salad, pan-fried salmon with bok choy and mushrooms and passion fruit ice cream, Brad taught innovative ways to cook cuisines and encouraged the students to develop their own recipes that can be offered to guests.

Visiting India for the first time, Brad got impressed with the high standards of the teaching-learning pedagogy that was being followed in Chandigarh University and offered all support in the form of student and faculty exchange programmes so that students from both the countries could understand best features of the hospitality industry from each other.



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