C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Girl crushed under CTU bus
A student of Class XII, she was on her way to Parade Ground for Republic Day rehearsals
Tribune News Service

The mother of the girl falls unconscious after learning about the accident
The mother of the girl falls unconscious after learning about the accident. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, January 23
A 17-year-old girl was crushed to death under the front left wheel of a Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) bus near the Sector 17 bus stand this morning. The victim, Rajni, a Class XII student of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Dhanas, was crossing the road around 8.30 am when the bus ran over her.

DSP (Central) Ashish Kapoor said the girl was resident of Milk Colony in Dhanas.

The police have booked the bus driver, Vijay Kumar, under Sections 279 (rash driving), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life and personal property of others) and 304-A (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC.

She was on her way to Parade Ground for the Republic Day function rehearsals.

The victim was rushed to the PGI where she was declared brought dead. The autopsy was conducted at Government MultiSpeciality Hospital, Sector 16.

The accused was released on bail.

Driver suspended

The bus driver, Vijay Kumar, has been suspended. The low-floor non-AC bus was plying on Route No 7A. He had been reinstated a few days ago after his suspension in a separate case. The CTU authorities have also initiated an inquiry into the accident.

Accidents involving CTU buses

  • July 24, 2012: 16-year-old Anupama succumbed to her injuries after her leg was crushed under the rear wheel of a CTU bus. She contracted gas gangrene during her three-day stay in the preoperative ward of the PGIMER before she died.
  • August 17, 2012: A 17-year-old girl, Pooja, was injured after being hit by a CTU bus. She was on her way to school in Sector 35 on her bicycle. The girl suffered grievous head injury and remained in coma for a month.
  • May 7, 2013: 35-year old Sharmila Gupta was crushed under the wheels of a CTU bus in Sector 10. Sharmila, a resident of Nayagaon, was riding a scooter when the bus hit her on the slip road near Home Science College.

Security guard killed

  • A 34-year-old security guard was killed after a private bus hit the two-wheeler he was riding at the Sector 49-50 light point on Wednesday evening. The deceased was identified as Rohtash Singh, a resident of Burail. He was returning from Mohali when the accident took place. A case has been registered against the bus driver at the Sector 34 police station.
  • The police have registered a separate case against a car driver in an accident that took place a month ago. A car hit the scooter of Gurmeet Singh, a resident of Phase XI, Mohali, near the Sector 47 Community Centre. Singh was admitted to the GMCH-32, but he succumbed to his injuries.



‘Had she skipped rehearsals, she would’ve been alive’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
Since it was her last opportunity to perform in her school’s cultural activities, 17-year-old Rajni, a Class XII student, wanted to give it her best shot and did not want to miss rehearsals.

“But… had she skipped the rehearsals today, she would’ve been alive,” said her father, Jagdish, who got a shock this morning when he got the news of Rajni’s accident in Ambala.

Her grandfather's favourite, Rajni, had been staying with him and her grandmother alone in Dhanas, while her parents and siblings shifted to Ambala a few months ago.

“We had decided to marry her off in the next two years, but she said she wanted to pursue a career in Arts. She said ahead of her final exams she wanted to participate in the cultural programme on Republic Day. She wanted to collect the photographs of the performance as her schooldays were getting over,” Jagdish said, while taking Rajni’s body for a post-mortem examination.

Jagdish, a milkman, had started his own dairy in Ambala and gradually shifted his family too there. But Rajni wanted to complete her studies and preferred to stay with her grandfather.



Woman masterminded Pinki’s murder; arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
The Chandigarh Police today arrested two more accused, including a 30-year-old woman, for the murder of 11-year-old Pinki, a resident of Palsora. The accused have been identified as Suneeta, alias Billa, and Bhjagat Singh, alias Manga. Another accused in the case, who is an auto driver, is on the run.

A dispute between Pinki’s family and Suneeta is supposed to be the reason for the crime. However, the police are also investigating into the other aspects.

The police on January 20 arrested two drug addicts, Anirudh and Rajkumar, in the case. During interrogation, the duo disclosed that they were promised Rs 30,000 each by Bhagat Singh. Suneeta had asked Bhagat to kidnap Pinki.

Suneeta used to be Pinki’s neighbour and the latter often used to visit her house.

A team headed by DSP (Crime) Satbir Singh arrested Suneeta and Bhagat Singh while raids were on to nab the auto driver.

Investigations revealed that Bhagat hired two drug addicts, Anirudh and Nishan, and the auto driver to kidnap Pinki. She was taken to different places in an auto-rickshaw on November 27, the day when she was kidnapped. She was allegedly raped by Manga and Anirudh at night, the police said.

After keeping Pinki hostage for two days, Sangeeta asked them to kill Pinki, as the police had launched a hunt to trace her.

The accused took Pinki to Dasehra Ground in Mohali on the third night where they allegedly strangulated her before stuffing her in a sack. The body was dumped in the forest area in Sector 52. Her body was recovered on December 1.



Audi-Tavera accident
Court dismisses accused’s plea
Says no to release of passport; police support demand
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
After receiving flak from the Punjab and Haryana High Court for shoddy investigations in the Audi-Tavera accident case, the UT police were again viewed as being too soft on an accused today.

The police supported one of the accused’s demand of releasing his passport in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Rajnish Kumar Sharma. The court dismissed the application stating that the prayer for releasing the passport of accused at this stage was unwarranted and not tangible. Three persons were killed in the accident.

Trivikram Singh, who is one of the five accused in the case, pleaded for the release of his passport in the court stating that he was planning to go on a honeymoon to the USA. He got married on January 19. Trivikram said since the chargesheet had been filed in the case, he should be allowed to go abroad for a month as he had already got a visa. Interestingly, the police submitted that the accused’s passport be released as he wanted to go abroad. The police prayed to the court that the passport of the accused be released with the direction that he should deposit the passport on his return from the USA.

Finding no merit in the application, the court stated: “The prayer is not tangible. The case is at the initial stage and if the passport is released, he may flee.”

“The fact that the accused is a man of means and his parents are millionaire is not a ground to release his passport as all are equal before law,” the court observed.

The case

The accident took place on July 23, 2013, on the road separating Sectors 18 and 17 when an Audi car rammed into a Tavera after hitting a road divider. The police have chargesheeted the owner of the Audi, Rajat Kapoor, his brother -in-law Trivikram Singh, friends Gurpreet Singh, Harsimranjit Singh and Prabhjit Singh. Initially, the police had registered a case against the taxi driver, who died in the accident. Later, a case was registered against the Audi driver. The High Court had expressed dismay at police investigations in the case.



Transfer of rights
CHB to revoke decision
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) is all set to revoke its year-old decision to link building violations with transfer cases of its dwelling units. Allottees will now be asked to give an undertaking while applying for the transfer of rights of their dwelling units.

Under the existing policy, the field officials are asked to give a status report of building violations before allowing transfer of ownership or giving no objection certificate, resulting in pendency of cases.

Of the total 45,000 dwelling units, the CHB has found building violations in 80 per cent of the buildings. As a result, hundreds of transfer cases were not cleared.

Sources said due to building violations, the CHB was not able to do much and hundreds of demolition orders against dwelling units in rehabilitation colonies and CHB flats were still pending. The officials have been citing shortage of staff as the reason for this. The proposed waiver would not be applicable to the cases pending for conversion from leasehold to freehold, as the case for deciding the revised charges of the conversion were pending with the UT Administration.

The case of allowing need-based changes for the CHB dwelling units is pending with the UT Administration.


City’s connectivity gets a boost
Chandigarh-Yesvantpur Express chugs off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
The Chandigarh-Yesvantpur Express has connected the city with Bengaluru. MP Pawan Kumar Bansal flagged off the train at 10.35 am today. It will reach Yesvantpur at 5.30 pm on January 25.

Bansal stated that in the last Railway Budget, he had announced to extend the New-Delhi-Yesvantpur train to Chandigarh, but the authorities had introduced a new train in its place.

He stated that the trial run of the Katra-Chandigarh train was successful. The train will start in the first week of February.

The schedule of the Indore-Chandigarh Express has been finalised by the railway authorities. Every Saturday and Tuesday, the train (22686) will depart from the city at 3.15 am and will reach Yesvantpur at 6.20 (every Monday and Thursday).

It will halt at Ambala Cantonment, Panipat, New Delhi, H Nizamuddin, Jhansi, Bhopal, Pune, Miraj, Belgaum, Dharwar, Hubli, Davanagere and Tumkur. On its return journey, the train (22685) will depart on Wednesdays and Saturdays from Yesvantpur at 1.50 pm and will reach Chandigarh at 5.20 pm. It will halt at Tumkur, Davanagere, Hubli, Dharwar, Belgaum, Miraj, Pune, Bhopal, Jhansi, H Nizamuddin, New Delhi, Panipat and Ambala Cantonment. MP Pawan kumar Bansal said the protest by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had disappointed residents of Delhi and that the Aam Aadmi Party was not a threat to the Congress.



poor sanitation
GMCH-32 too lazy to monitor contractors
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

The littered premises of Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32, Chandigarh
The littered premises of Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, January 23
After outsourcing housekeeping and sanitation services last year, Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, went into inactive mode. The authorities never made any attempt to monitor contractors. Despite spending Rs 3.33 crore in 2012-13, sanitation remains a casualty to date.

Visits to the hospital presents a picture of neglect. The state of affairs were highlighted in these columns seven months ago.

Sanitation workers were never seen in the hospital and one could see garbage strewn in patient areas. A team of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) checked the ground reality eight months ago and had stated that cleanliness was not up to the mark.

“During 2012-13, an amount of Rs 3.33 crore was paid to the contractor concerned. Ten permanent sanitation workers were given Rs 52, 92, 923 as salary. The condition of sanitation was not satisfactory while a huge amount was spent on the service,” CAG noted in its audit report (2012-13).

Last year, CAG had slammed the hospital for spending the money allocated for sanitation (about Rs 2 crore) on buying laptops for the staff.


  • CAG’s report (2012-13) stated: “The contractor was not performing his duty diligently. Garbage remains strewn in and around the hospital.”
  • The condition of toilets is pathetic. Taps, washbasins and doors of most of the toilets are broken. Fungi dot drinking water areas.
  • New contractor was appointed on January 1 and a committee was also formed.



Basic amenities at Deep Complex
Laying of pipes gets civic body’s nod
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC) General House today unanimously decided to go ahead with the laying of pipes for the sewerage system and providing the facility of potable water to residents of Deep Complex.

It ended the confusion over the communication sent by the UT Administration to the MC, allowing it to provide basic amenities to the residents of Deep Complex.

Deep Complex falls outside the “lal dora” where the Periphery Act is applicable and as per the Act, the basic amenities cannot be given to the residents of Deep Complex.

After repeated representation from the residents of the area and efforts of local politicians, The UT Administration had given the permission to the MC to provide basic amenities at Deep Complex. The Administration also mentioned that the schemes should be implemented in the areas as per law. The Administration had also asked the MC to explore the possibility of an alternative which could help to do the work in a legal way.

The communication also mentions that the services are provided on a temporary basis and it will not be construed as regularisation of Deep Complex.

MC Commissioner VP Singh addressing the House stated that since the approval given by the Administration was not clear, the House needed to consider providing facilities to the residents of Deep Complex. “The Administration gave the permission to provide the facility, but how the facility is to be provided needs to be discussed, as this is the grey area”, he stated.

BSP councilllor Jannat Jahan Ul-Haq stated that there was no need to bring the letter sent by the Administration in the House and the MC should have begun the tendering process to lay the pipes. “When the UT has given an approval then we should start the work immediately in the area”, she stated.

Congress councillor Subhash Chawla supporting the BSP councillor stated that the House should unanimously take a decision to go ahead with the laying of pipes in Deep Complex so that the residents get the basic facilities.

After over 30 minutes of discussion, the House unanimously came to a conclusion that laying pipes in the area was the only alternative.

Keeping the direction of UT Administration in mind, the House agreed that the services would be provided on a temporary basis.

On the Sidelines

  • On the MC Commissioner’s statement that the communication sent by the UT Administration was not clear, BSP councillor Jannat Jahan Ul-Haq said this was not a love letter, but an official one and usually the language of an official letter was not clear. The Commissioner objected to Jannat’s remarks and asked her to argue with the fellow councillors or the Mayor and not with him.
  • Tempers ran high when BJP councillor Arun Sood demanded that the request made by several councillors for placing the decision taken by the Finance and Contract Committee at a meeting held recently over the operation and maintenance of public toilets, be placed before the House for discussion. The councillors in their representation to the Mayor alleged financial irregularity in the allotment of the operation and maintenance of public toilets.
  • Nominated councillor Surinder Bahga said that high cost material should not be used for constructing jogging tracks which irked MC Commissioner VP Singh. Bahga further said that with such high rates “a JE can easily purchase a car for himself”. The Commissioner was upset over the remarks and asked Bahga not to use such defamatory words in the House.



Mayor to appoint members of three panels
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
The General House today empowered the Mayor to appoint members of three committees, including the Road Committee, Water Supply and Sewerage Disposal Committee and House Tax Assessment Committee.

The councillors have demanded that they should be given equal representation in the committees.

BJP councillor and Leader of the Opposition Arun Sood stated that all councillors, including the Independent and nominated councillors should get representation in the committee.

Congress Councillor Subhash Chawla also raised the issue that the Public Health and Primary Education Committees had not been formed for the last two years, even after these departments were transferred to the MC. “The Commissioner should write to the UT Administration that these committees should also be consulted”, Chawla stated.



UT fails to comply with JERC directions but still seeks hike
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
The UT Electricity Department has sought 21 per cent hike in power tariff, yet they have failed to comply with many directions issued by the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC).

The UT Electricity Department has failed to get an energy audit conducted meant for reduction of losses. The orders were issued in 2012 and the department was asked to submit its report by the end of September that year. Though the department had allotted the work to a firm, the audit could not be initiated as the allotment was put on hold on technical grounds.

The commission in its orders had directed the UT Electricity Department to get an energy audit conducted through an accredited agency to assess the actual technical and commercial losses. Based on the outcome of audit, the department was asked to propose reduction of losses in subsequent years. The department was also asked to take effective technical and administrative measures to reduce the commercial losses.

The commission had also directed the Electricity Department to submit the audited accounts based on commercial accounting principles mentioned in the JERC tariff regulations of 2009. Till date, the department has failed to get a commercial audit of its accounts done, as desired by the JERC.

Similarly, the JERC had also directed the department to carry out load research to identify the target consumer segments and end users to build the necessary database but to no avail. Likewise, the JERC had directed the UT Electricity Department to conduct detailed load forecasting study for short term (2-5 years), medium term (7-10 years) and long term (15-25 years) use in order to understand the load requirements in their area at various periods. The order is yet to be complied with by the Department.

Residents’ body slams Electricity Department

The Chandigarh Residents Social Welfare Federation condemned the proposal of the Electricity Department to hike the power tariff. SK Khosla, federation’s secretary, said on the one hand, states like Delhi, Maharashtra and Haryana were reducing the electricity tariff and on the other, the UT Electricity Department was arbitrarily and unilaterally proposing a steep hike. Instead of power tariff hike, the Electricity Department should recover crores of rupees from defaulters and check the ‘kundi’ connections, he said.



Firing incident: Tussle turns murky
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
Frainy Ahuja, former Mrs India of 2006, against whom the general secretary of People’s Party of Punjab had levelled allegations of firing at him in Sector 8 three days ago, today addressed a press conference and said that the allegations against her were baseless.

“Allegations of Yadwinder Singh Buttar are baseless as he is just trying to wriggle out of the complaints lodged by me against him. He has been constantly trying to harass and torture me mentally for more than three years. He approached me when I had a dispute with my husband and had left my in-laws house.

He claimed to be a politician from Punjab having good links with senior officers of Punjab and Chandigarh. He had assured me that he would sort out the matter in my favour by using his links with senior police officers. He has been constantly stalking me,” she alleged.

On the other hand, Yadwinder Singh Buttar alleged that the police was shielding the accused in the case owing to the big names involved.

He has also alleged the involvement of a DIG and a Punjab minister in the FIR.

“I shifted from Gurdaspur to Chandigarh as they were constantly threatening me. I have provided all proofs to the Chandigarh Police, including documents, but the police are still not doing anything in the case. They have not even summoned the persons named in the FIR and are blatantly shielding them,” said Butar.

Buttar was reportedly attacked when he was returning with his driver Subhash Rana in his Etios car on January 19. In the FIR registered at the Sector 3 police station, Butter, who resides in Sector 21, has not ruled out the possibility of involvement of a former Mrs India in the attack. Buttar is trying to recover his Rs 83 lakh from her.

Police sources said Buttar also submitted copies of his police complaints against the woman to the police.

Buttar was given Punjab police protection following an ongoing tussle with a senior Punjab Minister and a DIG in a local court in Gurdaspur whom he has accused of attacking him in the FIR.



PGI procures generic medicines on discount
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
For the first time, the PGI’s private grant cell has procured generic medicines at a discount of 83 per cent. This is the highest discount obtained in any rate contract in the history of the institute.

The private grant cell purchases medicines for poor patients whose funds come from their respective state governments and also for those patients who opt for surgery packages.

In the latest rate contract, the chemist had quoted 83 per cent discount on generic medicines and 38 per cent on branded medicines. The move will promote prescription of generic drugs and also save expenses of patients.

The PGI will open a chemist shop that will offer a discount of 57 per cent on all medicines. The shop will be allotted by the end of the month.

The shop was auctioned on the basis of highest discount to be offered instead of highest rent quoted by chemists (bidders). While the PGI claims that all 15 shops on the campus would be auctioned, the minimum limit of 57 per cent discount included by the institute in the present shop’s tender had invited criticism from the Chandigarh Chemists’ Association.



Post of conductor in CTU
CAT quashes criteria
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) today quashed the impugned selection criteria of shortlisting the candidates for the post of conductor in the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU).

The CTU has been asked to call all candidates eligible for the post who were not called earlier due to the impugned criteria.

It was alleged that an aspirant, Amanpreet Singh, who was not called for an interview had moved CAT as he was eligible for the same, but the UT Administration changed the criteria while calling the candidates.

The CAT also quashed the special relaxation given to female candidates. The relaxation was to allow them to appear in the exam without having the Conductor's Licence, which they could obtain after three month from the final selection.

Charanpal Singh Bhagri, counsel of the complainant, said the CTU had been directed to call all the candidates who were eligible. They would be given a chance to appear in the examination. Now, the examination would be held again.

The Chandigarh Administration called only those candidates who secured 72 per cent and above in Class XII in the general category for men. They did not issue the call letter and admit card to those candidates whose percentage was below 72 per cent in the general category for men. However, no such criteria was mentioned in the advertisement.

The CTU had advertised the posts for the recruitment of bus conductors. As per the advertisement, the basic qualification was Class XII passed from any recognised board/university.



lifting of garbage
Despite security, sweepers obstruct work
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 23
A few dumping points in the town were today cleared by the workers deployed by the Municipal Corporation (MC) under complete police protection. The work of lifting garbage was started from Phase XI.

The work was interrupted after sometime by some protesting safai sewaks, who reached there after they got to know about the activity being carried on. Soon after, more persons joined in and got the work stopped. Some persons even deflated the tyres of the tractor-trailers being used to remove the garbage. The protesters raised slogans against the authorities concerned and tried to block the road but the police foiled their attempt.

Former Municipal Councillor SS Barnala said the efforts of the civic body to remove garbage from Phase XI were thwarted by the protesters. He said residents were also to be blamed for the present insanitary conditions as they dumped garbage at places which suited them and not at the corporation’s dumping points. However, it was possible that some of them might not be aware of the designated garbage dumping sites.

Uma Shankar Gupta, Commissioner of the corporation, said around 10 tractor-trailers of garbage had been lifted before the protesters obstructed the work.

He said later, Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu held a meeting with the protesters’ representatives. The protesters had given an assurance that they would try to resolve the matter by tomorrow but requested the MC authorities to stop the work today.

He said private safai sewaks were told to limit their protest to the houses where door-to-door activity of lifting garbage was performed.



Mohali SSP rushes accident victims to hospital
The teenagers succumbed to their injuries on way to the infirmary
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 23
Mohali Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti played good samaritan when he came to the rescue of two accident victims here this evening. Unfortunately, the teenaged victims, 16-year-old Gurpreet Singh (a student of Class VIII) and 19-year-old Kamaljit Singh (unemployed) succumbed to their injuries on the way to the Civil Hospital in Phase VI.

The motorbike of the duo was hit by a PRTC bus near Tangori village on the Banur-Patiala Highway at around 3.45 pm.

An eyewitness said nobody was lifting the victims, both residents of Tangori village, who were lying on the road in a serious condition. “SSP Bhatti was crossing from there when he saw the victims lying helplessly on the road in a serious condition. He immediately shifted them in his vehicle and took them to a hospital,” he said.

On being contacted, SSP Bhatti said he was coming from Patiala after attending a meeting when he noticed the accident.

“I took both the boys to the Civil Hospital where the doctors declared them brought dead,” said SSP Bhatti.

He added that if people, who were gathered there, took them to a hospital immediately, their lives might have been saved. “I appeal to the people that in such cases, they should help the victims immediately. I assure you that the police would not harass any such person,” said SSP Bhatti.

A case in this connection has been registered at the Banur Police Station.



Authorities fail to bridge gap between Jagatpura and city
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 23
The authorities can never comfort residents.The construction of a bridge connecting Jagatpura village with Chandigarh and Mohali has been hanging fire, but the Administration has failed to do the needful.

The old bridge was closed in the first week of October last year and a makeshift bridge was set up.

During rainy season, the commute becomes difficult. Schoolchildren face a great difficulty in crossing the slushy bridge.

Two-wheelers and autos often get stuck in the slush. “The Administration has failed to keep its promise of constructing a new bridge. It had set a two-month deadline for the completion of the work.

The situation has gone from bad to worse but the authorities are yet to act,” said Ram Nijhawan, a resident of Jagatpura.

Residents of more than 12 villages commute to Chandigarh and Mohali everyday.

Mohali Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu said they were aware of the problem. “The makeshift bridge was set up to facilitate the residents. It is not meant for tractor-trailers and four-wheelers. Alternative arrangements are being worked out,” said Sidhu.



Mixed response to Arvind Kejriwal’s protest in Delhi
The Tribune spoke to students of various colleges about the recent demonstration by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and got mixed reactions

The initiative by AAP to remove corruption from the country has given some hope to young voters. Though the party has not come up with any agenda, which directly benefits the youngsters, the issues it is raising are related to them.

Diveeja Sharma, BCom-II, DAV-10

I am a supporter of AAP and will vote for it. The party has been able to bring about a revolution in a short time. I believe that AAP will emerge as a leading party in the future.

Sukrit Garg, BBA, Second-Year, SD College

I do not have much hope from AAP. There is a big difference between making promises in the manifesto and implementing them. Giving subsidy on power is not a big relief as Arvind Kejriwal had promised to reduce electricity tariffs earlier. He claimed to expose corrupt leaders, but no such step has been taken so far. His interest seems to have been shifted from having a corruption-free India to winning Lok Sabha election.

Shairoz Mithani, BBA Final-Year, Dev Samaj College for Women-45

Since the Delhi CM is busy holding janta darbars and dharnas, opposition parties have an opportunity to criticise the government. I don't think AAP will emerge as a successful ruling party because its leaders do not understand their duties. They are creating chaos and disorder for the residents of Delhi. The members of the party do not seem to be on the same wavelength. They are criticising the moves of their leader. AAP will have to soar above controversies in order to compete with other parties.

Sidhant Das, BA Final-Year, SD College

I wanted to join AAP. But now, my faith has been shaken after realising Arvind Kejriwal's anarchist approach. I am in a state of confusion and don't know whom to vote this time. Though the ideology of the Delhi CM is appreciable, his way of working is not constitutional. Individual leadership of this kind has never worked in the country ever before and he needs to understand this.

Jaiprabh Kaur, BCom Final-Year, Dev Samaj College for Women

The party started off well, but it seemed to have derailed from its actual motive. The working style of AAP is different from what it actually promised to the public during the elections. The party has forgotten its motto. It is now busy in resolving its own issues with the Centre. I think the party needs to work on its ideologies again for the benefit of the public.

Stanzin, BA-II, PGGC-11

The party is doing well. I hope in near future it will take strong actions to live up to the expectations of the people. AAP, which has been referring itself as a layman’s party, should introduce good governing system that will make it different from other parties. I expect transparent governance from this party.

Mridula, BA-I, PGGC-11

Compiled by Aparna Bakshi



HUDA seals 6 makeshift liquor vends
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 23
The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) today sealed six makeshift liquor vends/taverns at various sites here as they failed to deposit the annual land lease charges. The sealed liquor vends/taverns include the ones at Sector 16, Sector 20, Buddanpur village (two vends) and industrial area (two vends).

According to a senior official of HUDA, prior notices were served to the owners of these vends before initiating the action.

“The owners of these liquor vends have not deposited the charges despite receiving notices in this connection. We have to recover over Rs 50 lakhs from other defaulters as well,” said the official.



DSP Vijay Kumar cremated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
Deputy Superintendent of Police Vijay Kumar who died following a heart attack yesterday was cremated with full state honours today. City residents, local politicians, senior police officers and UT Administration officials attended the cremation at the Sector 25 cremation ground.

UT Inspector General of Police RP Upadhyaya, Senior Superintendent of Police Sukchain Singh Gill, SSP (traffic) Maneesh Chaudhry, Deputy Inspector General (operations and training) RS Ghumman and SSP (headquarters) Arun Kampani, were present. UT Home Secretary Anil Kumar, Chairman Chandigarh Housing Board-cum-acting UT Advisor Satya Gopal and Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini also laid wreath. The pyre was lit by his elder son Rahul.

Retired police officers and residents also attended the cremation.



MC introduces online system to deposit property tax in Zirakpur
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, January 23
The Zirakpur Municipal Council (MC) has set an example in Punjab by starting the online system of depositing the property tax. Executive officer of Municipal Council Parminder Singh said the online web address for depositing the tax was www.mczirakpur.com.

He informed that till now, the MC had collected nearly Rs 3,42,00,000 from the property tax in Zirakpur. He added that the MC had been expecting an additional amount of Rs 1 crore from the collection. The online system is proving as a boon for the residents as now they can check the house number and can calculate the property tax before depositing it.




Bring transparency in excise earnings

Revenue sources are critical for every government department to maintain its fiscal health. Earnings from excise duty are one of the major sources of revenue for the UT Administration. In keeping with its commitment to transparency, the Administration should release its annual excise revenue report highlighting how successful was its excise policy as well as the challenges faced and the efforts made in finding contractors for 96 liquor vends that could not be let out during the year 2013-2014. Further, the report should not only provide information but analysis too. Public expects transparency and a progress report helps the Administration to fulfill the obligation and build confidence in the public. Notably, this is for the first time in the history of Chandigarh that there were no takers for liquor vends. The loss of revenue due to vacant vends could be attributed to the wrong policy of the Administration. Heads ought to roll for the loss.

Ajit Singh

Stop buses from stopping near Zirakpur flyover

Long-route buses continue to pick passengers from near the Zirakpur flyover as there is no traffic cop deployed there after 8 pm. Notably, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had banned parking of vehicles on the National Highway (NH) and prohibited stopping of buses near the Zirakpur flyover. The Mohali police should ensure that the HC direction is followed in letter and spirit. While traffic cops are found nowhere on the NH at Zirakpur after dusk putting the lives of other commuters at risk, their counterparts in Chandigarh have been running a campaign to check drunken driving at night. They put up check-posts at various intersections to check the violation. The Mohali traffic police should also start holding campaigns to check drunken driving during night hours besides other violations.

Rajvir Singh



Unable to join as DUI: Prof Jaswal
Prof AK Bhandari likely to be the new DUI; the post of PU Registrar to fall vacant
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
Professor PS Jaswal, the Vice-Chancellor of Rajiv Gandhi National Law University, Patiala, has expressed his inability to join the Panjab University (PU) as the Dean, University Instructions (DUI).

In a communication sent to the university authorities, Prof Jaswal stated that he would not be able to join the said position before February 10, 2014, as his two-year tenure at the present assignment was still not over.

In a meeting on January 4, the PU Syndicate had decided to offer the post of DUI to Prof Jaswal considering his seniority. The post had become vacant on November 30, 2013, following the retirement of Prof Madhu Raka.

At present, Prof AK Bhandari, PU Registrar, holds the additional charge of the DUI.

Prof PS Jaswal confirmed that he had communicated to the PU authorities that he would not be able to join as the DUI.

It was decided during the Syndicate meeting that Patiala university Vice-Chancellor Prof Jaswal would be asked to join as the DUI, PU, before February 10, failing which the post would be offered to Prof AK Bhandari.

According to sources, since Prof Jaswal has expressed his inability to join the university, the PU will now have to find a suitable candidate for the post of Registrar as after February 10, AK Bhandari would assume the charge of the DUI leaving the post of Registrar vacant.

The sources added that PU Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover was keen to fill the post before March as he does not want the important administrative post to remain vacant for a long time.

A senior PU official disclosed that till the Syndicate zeroed in on the official for the post of Registrar, the VC would assign the additional charge of the post to some senior faculty member.

Fact file

  • In a meeting on January 4, the PU Syndicate had decided to offer the post of Dean, University Instructions (DUI) to Prof PS Jaswal considering his seniority. Prof Jaswal is the Vice-Chancellor of Rajiv Gandhi National Law University, Patiala.
  • The post of DUI had become vacant on November 30, 2013, following the retirement of Prof Madhu Raka.
  • At present, Prof AK Bhandari, PU Registrar, holds the additional charge of the DUI.



Manch wants UT to declare Punjabi as official language
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
The Chandigarh Punjabi Manch has decided to hold a dharna at Sector 17 here on February 21 in support of its demand for declaring Punjabi as the official language in Chandigarh.

The decision was taken during a meeting of the working committee of the Manch which was presided over by Ram Arsh, the president of Chandigarh Lekhak Sabha.

It was also demanded that Punjabi should be made a compulsory subject up to class X in all government, private and convent schools in the UT. Further, it should be ensured that teachers and books of the subject were available in schools.

The working committee has decided that it would hold meetings in villages to drum up support for the dharna. The first such meeting will held at Sarangpur village on January 25

wherein Punjabi-loving people would be appealed to participate in the dharna, said Devi Dayal Sharma, general secretary of the Chandigarh Punjabi Manch and member of the Chandigarh Administrator's Advisory Council.



career in army
43 selected under University Entry Scheme
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 23
The Indo Global Colleges organised a placement drive on its campus for selection of commissioned officers in the Army. The recruitments are being made under the 24th University Entry Scheme for permanent commission in the Army for July 2015.

As many as 300 students took part in the drive and 43 of them cleared the campus interview.

A team of Army officials headed by Col Unmesh Sharma started the drive with a presentation on a career in the Indian Army.

For eligibility under the University Entry Scheme, a student should be in the pre-final year of an engineering degree course and qualify the campus interview, followed by the SSB interview.

The selection follows a series of procedures such as checking documents, physical measurements and fitness test, medical examination, preparation of merit list and enrolment and dispatch of the selected candidates in order of merit to their respective centres.

After the final selection, the candidates will undergo one-year training at the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, before being commissioned into the Army. Further, on commissioning, these officers will be granted antedate seniority of two years.



PU bags central programme in biotechnology
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
The Panjab University (PU) has been sanctioned an innovative industry oriented research programme titled university innovation cluster in biotechnology (UIC-B). The Government of India selected the university considering its impressive record in the field of biotechnology.

A communication to this effect was received by PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Arun Kumar Grover from the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and the National Innovation Council (NInC), the agencies sponsoring the programme. The BIRAC and NInC will fund the programme and are expected to bear expenses of around Rs 2 crore.

The cluster will act as a model and a centre for excellence for fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in other departments of the university and would create an overall academic and industrial cluster around the university.

The cluster will be headed by Prof Rupinder Tewari as the chief mentor and Dr Rohit Sharma as the deputy chief mentor.

The PU had applied for the programme in October, 2013. About 20 universities were short-listed to make a presentation in front of a galaxy of top scientists of the country. The PU and seven other universities were further short-listed and another presentation was made in November, 2013, in New Delhi. This was followed by a visit of an expert-committee to the PU in December, 2013, to assess the facilities and other things required for establishment of the cluster.



PGI orthopaedician awarded

Chandigarh, January 23
Dr Nirmal Raj Gopinathan, an assistant professor, Department of Orthopaedics, PGIMER, has been awarded with the Best POSI paper award in the 20th annual conference of the Paediatric Orthopaedic Society of India (POSI) held at Chennai.

The paper related to the research on clubfoot, a common congenital foot ailment affecting one in 1000 children. The research was carried out by orthopaedics and radiodiagnosis departments and the use of ultrasonography in predicting the prognosis of the condition was studied. Dr Pebam Sudesh, Dr Mahesh Prakash and Dr Uday Guled were among other members of the team that conducted the research. — TNS



Republic Day celebrated

Panchkula: Hallmark Public School here organised the Republic Day celebration with a difference. Considering the need for making learning and education in society an ‘inclusive’ process, students of the school undertook activities for the underprivileged children, who do not have access to creative endeavours and to gain formal knowledge due to meagre financial resources and other reasons. School principal Kavita Wadhwa said, “Therefore, we organised a meaningful R-Day celebration by holding an awareness programme, which was coordinated by our students. Children from financially weaker section of the society made sketches in an unhindered environment.”

Health check-up camp

A two-day health check-up camp was organised at Vijay Public Smart School, Sector 17 here. Apart from general examination, eye and dental check-up was also conducted by a team of doctors headed by Deepa Puri under the Simply Health Plus, a comprehensive school health programme. Students were sensitised to personal hygiene and benefits of cleanliness. Doctors also told them about importance of having healthy meals and advised them to avoid junk food. The students were also given demonstration about the right technique to brush teeth.

Dental awareness

Chandigarh: The Safe Hands Rehabilitation Society, in collaboration with the Avanced Dental Care, Chandigarh, organised a dental awareness camp at Tribune Model School on January 22 and 23. A team of dentists, led by Mohit Dhawan, Sachleen, Tarandeep and Manpreet, examined the students of the school and educated them on dental hygiene.

Poster-making contest

A poster-making competition was held at Government High School, Hallomajra. Students of classes 8th to 10th took part in the contest, which was organised by the CREST. They made beautiful and attractive posters to promote science as a subject. Prizes were given to the winners of the competition.

Seminar on RMSA

A seminar on the RMSA (Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyaan) was organised at Government Model High School, Sector 43 here. Speakers dwelled on the role and responsibilities in monitoring and utilising grants received under the RMSA besides other components of the national scheme. GMSSS-37 principal Ravi Raj Kaur highlighted the aims and objectives of the RMSA as well as the CCE (Continuous and comprehensive evaluation) system.

Workshop on energy conservation

With non-renewable sources of energy depleting fast, a workshop on the need for conservation of sources of energy was organised by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) for students of The British School Sector 44, Chandigarh, on Friday. Nearly 100 students of the school displayed their creative skills in a drawing and painting competition with energy conservation as its theme. All the teachers of the school participated in a slogan writing contest. School principal Mona Sethi said students participated in the events with great enthusiasm. The aim was to create mass awareness, mainly among the young residents of the country, about conservation of oil and gas and protection of environment. Krishan Kumar Handa, senior regional manager of HPCL, said to educate people about conservation of petroleum and gas, the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas along with oil companies had been organising Oil and Gas Conservation Fortnights (OGCF) since 1991. — TNS



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