C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Revolt against Bansal
 Ex-Deputy Mayor, DCC office-bearers oppose his name for LS ticket 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
The factionalism in the Chandigarh unit of the Congress came to the fore today when many local Congress leaders revolted against the sitting MP Pawan Kumar Bansal.

Pawan Kumar BansalIt was perhaps for the first time that a former Deputy Mayor, HS Lucky, had openly spoke against Bansal, citing the need for fielding a new face in the coming Lok Sabha elections.

The entire drama unfolded before the general secretary of the All-India Congress Committee (AICC), Shakeel Ahmed, also in charge of Chandigarh, who was in the city to attend a meeting of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Election Committee.

Already struggling to retain the seat after the railgate scam, Bansal’s candidature from the city was opposed by Lucky, who is the president of the District Congress Committee (Urban-1), and around 40 office-bearers of the District Congress Committee (DCC) before Shakeel.

As soon as Shakeel reached the Chandigarh Congress Bhawan in Sector 35, Lucky, along with the 40 office-bearers, met him.

Lucky said: “If the Congress wants to win the Chandigarh seat this time, then it should give a chance to a new candidate. Keeping in mind the possible projection of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate, every single seat is important”.

Meanwhile, Bansal said: “In a democratic setup, everyone has the right to raise his voice”.

After the meeting, the president of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee, BB Behl, said earlier, they had proposed only Bansal’s name but after Lucky’s opposition, they had decided to seek fresh applications till 4 pm on January 29. Thereafter, a meeting will take place on January 30 where the committee will recommend candidate’s name to the AICC.

Many in race for Chandigarh LS seat

Apart from Lucky, who has decided to seek the Congress ticket from Chandigarh, the names of other ticket seekers from the Congress, including Mukesh Bassi, Subhash Chawla, Ravinder Pali and Bhupinder Badheri, are also doing the rounds. However, these leaders have denied it. 

National leaders keen too

Before the railgate scam, nobody had doubted Pawan Kumar Bansal’s victory from the Chandigarh seat. Now, many senior Congress leaders are eyeing the ticket for the Chandigarh seat. There is speculation about the names of Union Law Minister Kapil Sibal, Minister forInformation and Broadcasting Manish Tewari and former Union Minister Venod Sharma are. 



revolt against bansal
Strategy planned at Lucky’s office
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
The strategy before the final assault on sitting Congress MP Pawan Kumar Bansal was worked out in a closed-door meeting at former deputy mayor HS Lucky’s office in Sector 27 on the night of January 26.

At the meeting, which was attended by over 15 disgruntled senior Congress leaders of the city, who are now indirectly backing Lucky, it was decided that HS Lucky along with office-bearers of the District Congress Committee (Urban-1) would oppose Bansal’s name before AICC general secretary Shakeel Ahmed, also in charge of Chandigarh.

Requesting anonymity, a senior Congress leader who attended the meeting said the way the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) kept today’s election committee meeting a secret affair and consulted no one before finalising the candidate’s name, they all decided to express their views before Ahmed.

Another leader said Bansal was handling the main Congress party in the city, his son Manish Bansal was indirectly handling the Youth Congress and his wife Madhu Bansal was handling the women’s wing. Meanwhile, the workers who are with the party for past many years had no say in decision making, he said.

After the Railgate expose, Bansal recently suffered a major political blow when BJP won the posts of Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the MC.

Breakfast diplomacy

Sources said a senior Congress leader from a neighbouring state, who is eyeing the Chandigarh ticket, has invited some local party leaders for breakfast to his Chandigarh residence on January 28.



Police shame: 2 cops pressure girl to make physical relations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
In yet another embarrassment to the UT police, two policemen have been arrested for molesting and extorting money and ornaments from a young couple. They have been suspended and a regular departmental enquiry has been initiated against them.

The two threatened the couple that they would tell their family members about their relationship. They also pressured the girl to make physical relations with them.

The policemen have been identified as Shakti Raj and Kuldeep Singh, who are attached with the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB). They were produced in the court on January 26 and remanded to 14 days’ judicial custody.

The police also recovered the girl’s ornaments from their possession.

Last month, the police had arrested five constables of the force for the raping a 17-year-old girl of Khuda Lahora.

Vinay Sharma and his woman friend, who is a student, were caught by the two policemen at Shanti Kunj in Sector 16 on January 20.

In his complaint to the police, Vinay has: “Initially, the policemen threatened us that they would expose our relationship before our families and extort Rs 200 from me and removed the silver earrings from the girl’s ears. The policemen also took down the girl’s cellphone number.”

The following day, constable Shakti started making calls to the girl, asking her to make physical relationship with both of them, and demanded Rs 5,000. They threatened that if she failed to pay the amount, an FIR would be registered against the couple.

The girl approached a police Inspector who told her to record her conversation with the policemen on the phone. Constable Shakti was asked to reach near the ISBT-43 for collecting the cash and was caught red-handed. His associate Kuldeep was apprehended later, the police said.



Waterworks repairs to hit water supply
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
The water supply to the city during the evening hours will be affected for two days because of repair work at the Kajauli Waterworks. Water pressure will be low between 6 pm and 8 pm on January 28 and 29.

Officials of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation said owing to repairs and replacement of sluice valves, there would be no water supply from the Kajauli Waterworks, Phase III and IV, to the waterworks, Sector 39, Chandigarh.

On the two days, the water supply be normal between 4 am and 8.30 am. 



Poor turnout at AAP Jan Sabha
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
The first Jan Sabha of the Aam Aadmi Party (APP) in Chandigarh to celebrate Republic Day received a lukewarm with not many AAP supporters turning up for the celebrations.

The Jan Sabha was organised at the Rally Ground in Sector 25. The timings for the celebrations were 12 noon. However, even an hour later the venue witnessed a low turnout.

The objective of the Jan Sabha was to bring the issues facing the common man to the forefront.

The first AAP rally held earlier this month witnessed a huge turnout.

Sahil Chauhan, a Panjab University student, who attended the Jan Sabha, said he was expecting a good turnout at the venue. “It was my first visit to an AAP function in the city. I was disappointed to see empty mats at the venue,” he said.

The chief guests of the function were Naveen Jaihind, a member of the AAP National Executive, and Prof Baljeet, from the Haryana unit of the party.

Prof Manjit Singh, who is one of the five members of the committee constituted for Chandigarh, was missing. He said he was in New Delhi on January 26 to attend a meeting of AAP.

Meanwhile, those who attended the Jan Sabha came up with the issues such as rehabilitation of people living in colonies, safety of women, etc.



Only nine MC councillors turn up at R-Day function
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
A majority of the Municipal Corporation (MC) councillors gave a miss to the Republic Day celebrations organised at the fire station premises in Sector 17. Only nine councillors, including the Mayor, of a total of 35 councillors, turned up.

Those who attended the celebrations included Congress councillors Pardeep Chabbra and Gurbax Rawat, Senior Deputy Mayor from the BJP Heera Negi, BJP Deputy Mayor Davesh Moudgil and SAD councillor Harjinder Kaur.

Of the nine nominated councilors, only MP Kohli, Major DS Sandhu (retd) and Babu Lal attended the function.

Former Mayors Raj Bala Malik and Subhash Chawla, both from the Congress, were also missing. The ruling Congress has a total of 12 councillors in the MC House.

The Congress Mayor HC Kalyan unfurled the national flag. The function concluded within 30 minutes.

Sachin Sharma, chairman of the Youth Innovative Society (YIS), who was present at the celebrations, said: “The thin attendance of councillors shows their insensitivity towards the Republic Day celebrations. They should not forget the Constitution under which they have been elected councillors”.

The MC Commissioner, VP Singh, felicitated nine employees and presented them with commendation certificates.

The Mayor listed various achievements of the MC.



Infant dumped in cold night
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 27
Braving the chill, a one-day-old baby girl was found lying bare on the road near Railway Colony at Kalka in Panchkula district late last evening. A local villager spotted the infant. He covered the infant with a cloth and rushed her to the local hospital.

The hospital authorities informed the police and a case under section 317 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered. Inspector Ajay Disodia, Station House Officer, said they would investigate all the delivery cases reported at the Kalka hospital in the past one week.

Owing to her critical condition, the infant was referred to the General Hospital in Sector 6, Panchkula, where she is said to be stable.

“The infant was cold and shivering. It seemed she was dumped during the night. Thankfully, before she could be run over by a vehicle, the villagers rushed her to the hospital,” said a police official.

Disodia said: “There is every possibility that the infant might have been dumped because she is a girl child.”

Some time ago, a two-day-old baby girl was found dumped. She was found wrapped in polythene bag near the railway track near Mauli Jagran. Another baby girl, wrapped in a blanket, was found dumped near Thapli village in Morni.

many Families keen on adopting ‘26’

Everyone in the hospital was calling the baby girl ‘26’, as she was found on January 26. Many families wanted to adopt the infant. The police told them to approach the officials of the district administration.


Slum dwellers seek rehabilitation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
A large number of jhuggi dwellers, including those who have been displaced by the demolition of Colony Number 5, gathered at the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Office, Chandigarh, along with activists from the Ghar Adhikar Sangharsh Morcha today.

Residents of Colony Number 5 protest outside the DC office in Chandigarh on Monday
Residents of Colony Number 5 protest outside the DC office in Chandigarh on Monday. Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari

The gathering sought redressal of their demand for shelter, especially given the harsh weather conditions.

They complained about the lackadaisical attitude of the Administration in dealing with the individual and collective grievances of all those who had been rendered homeless due to the recent demolition.

The meeting was a follow up of the meeting earlier held on January 13, when the DC had met representatives of the Morcha and asked them to submit applications.

Tehsildar Amarinder Singh, while addressing the gathering, said as many as 1,200 applications were submitted to him by people who had been rendered homeless because of the demolition. The tehsildar assured the gathering that each application would be considered and all the issues raised would be put before the DC.

Several issues regarding the lack of ownership rights to those in Dhanas Rehabilitation Colony, transport, educational, and healthcare facilities as well as issues regarding the problematic way in which the biometric survey of the colonies were done in 2006 were also raised.

The Tehsildar, Amarinder Singh, however, said he was not competent to deal with such policy matters and that they could be raised only with theDeputy Commissioner and other superior officials.



R-Day function
Women empowerment on Admn’s mind
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
With three major schemes aiming at women empowerment, the Chandigarh Administration has dedicated 2014 to promote the safety of girl child and encourage girls’ education.
Students present a dance at Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Sunday.
Students present a dance at Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Sunday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Addressing the gathering at the 65th Republic Day function at the Parade Ground here, UT Adviser to Administrator KK Sharma said to empower the girl child, a new scheme, “Hamari Beti”, was proposed under which Rs 40,000 would be deposited for every girl child, belonging to priority households, delivered in government health institutions. The deposit would be handed over to the girl child when she attains the age of 18.

Under another scheme, “e-sanatak”, laptops will be given to girl students pursuing graduation.

Once again flagging the issue of preserving the heritage of the city, the Adviser said the proposal to recognise “The Capitol Complex” as a UNESCO World Heritage site is now at an advanced stage with the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, for which a transnational dossier was being prepared.

Announcing that the administration was awarded by the Ministry of Health for the best “indoor and outdoor patient care services” at the national level and for bringing down the Infant Mortality Rate in the city, he said a five-storeyed OPD block had been made functional at the GMSH, Sector 16. The announcement of a 50-bedded dedicated Mother and Child Health Hospital being set up in Sector 45 had also been listed during the Independence Day speech last year.

Model Solar City

With the project to develop the city as a Model Solar City, rooftop-based solar photovoltaic power plants of 1,860KWp capacity have been set up on government buildings. A 200KWp solar photovoltaic plant is being commissioned at the IRB Complex at Sarangpur. A special scheme for converting the normal inverter to solar inverter has been launched for the private households in which 30 per cent subsidy is being offered to the residents.

Wait for the Right to Service Act

While Punjab has already implemented the Right to Service Act, the Chandigarh Administration seems to be taking too long to draft the Chandigarh Right to Services Act in which over 100 services have been identified for time bound delivery to the citizens. The draft is being sent to the Government of India for enactment.

CTU still managING with old buses

As the CTU is waiting for the final approval to purchase 49 low-floor midi-buses, it found mention in the address of the Advisor. Purchase of 400 more buses sanctioned under the JNNURM seems to be a fry cry. The process of the recruitment of 114 drivers has eventually been completed.

the Proposals

* Process initiated for setting up of Wi-Fi hotspots at prominent locations of the city, including Sukhna Lake, Bus Terminus and Sector 17 City Centre.

* The e-district and state service delivery gateway projects are under implementation and will enable electronic delivery of 100 public services to the citizens.



Dignitaries converge on Raj Bhawan for At Home
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
A host of dignitaries, including Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, along with other politicians and defence personnel, gathered at the Punjab Raj Bhawan for the ‘At Home’ function of Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil on the Republic Day.

Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court; Parminder Singh Dhindsa, Punjab Finance Minister; Rakesh Singh, Punjab Chief Secretary; Pawan Kumar Bansal, local MP; Satya Pal Jain, former MP; Sanjay Tandon, BJP president; KK Sharma, UT Advisor; Satyagopal, Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) chairman; Sumedh Singh Saini, Punjab DGP; RP Upadhayay, UT IG; Anil Kumar, UT Home Secretary; senior defence, civil and police officers of the Punjab and the Chandigarh Administrations were present at the function, which began with the National Anthem played by the Punjab Police personnel.

Patil also interacted with freedom fighters and serving and retired Army officers on this special day.

The Governor said the nation was proud of the sacrifices made by freedom fighters in the freedom struggle.

Progressive farmers from different parts of the state came in strength to greet him on the occasion.



Patriotic fervour at Burail Jail

Chandigarh, January 27
Inmates of the Model Jail, Burail, celebrated the Republic Day with fanfare. Balbir Singh Dhol, PCS, Additional Inspector-General of Prisons, Chandigarh, was the chief guest.

The chief guest hoisted the National Flag. He was accompanied by Amandeep Singh, Deputy Superintendent, Jail. He told the staff to work for the progress and honour of the department and the nation.

Jai Kishan, Hari Singh, Assistant Superintendent, Jail, Rakesh Mahana, pharmacist, ASI Anil Kumar (CRPF), head warder Harbilas, warder Hardeep Singh, warder Pawan Kumar and gardener Shiv Darshan were awarded with commendation certificates and cash rewards for good work and dedication to services in their respective jobs.

The Additional Inspector-General of Prisons also distributed jerseys among indigent jail inmates. — TNS



176 units of blood donated

Chandigarh, January 27
As many as 176 units of blood were donated at the 31st blood donation camp organised on the Republic Day here. The camp was organised by the Canara Bank Officers’ Association, Chandigarh Region, in association with the Department of Transfusion Medicine, PGIMER, Chandigarh, said Atul Kapoor, vice-president of the association. Rajender Reddy, DGM, Canara Bank, Chandigarh Circle, distributed mementos among the donors. — TNS



Tableaux show in Panchkula

Panchkula, January 27
Tableaux showcasing the achievements of various departments of Panchkula were taken through the streets of the city for the first time on the Republic Day.

Over 20 tableaux of departments like Pollution Control Board, HUDA, Municipal Corporation, Red Cross Society, Health, Forest, District Informatics Centre, Marketing Board, Office of the Additional Deputy Commissioner and others, were showcased. Rao Narender Singh, Haryana Health Minister, who was the chief guest, presided over the function, organised by the District Administration at the Parade Ground here. The tableaux passed through the Parade Ground and then moved to Sectors 11, 16 17 and returned to the venue. Schoolchildren presented colourful programmes. As many as 47 persons were awarded for their services. — TNS



When DRDO chief found himself in tight spot
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
The Director General (missiles and strategic systems), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Dr VG Sekaran delivered a colloquium on ‘Aerospace technologies and applications: present and future,’ at Panjab University today.

Dr Sekaran briefed the gathering on the scope and growth of aerospace industry in the country.

Following this, an interaction session was organised wherein Dr Sekaran found himself in a tight spot.

The PU Defence and National Security Studies chairman, Rakesh Datta, raised an objection as to how the DRDO was offering collaboration with Panjab University for assistance in aerospace, when the department did not come under their jurisdiction.

Datta further said, “The DRDO is like a white elephant for the country as the government has spent crores of rupees on it but has failed to make it self-sufficient in terms of defence machinery.”

Vice Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover immediately intervened and stated, “This is not a platform to discuss these issues with the renowned scientist.”

During the address, Dr Sekaran proposed that PU can be a part of the military engineering system as both the varsity and DRDO could work together. “We need to build and nurture basic sciences. This is the reason why DRDO tends to have networking with basic science institutes,” he added.

The Vice Chancellor expressed the need for more cooperation between PU, national laboratories and other premier institutions. “A symbiotic relationship should be formed between terminal ballistic research laboratory and PU.”



Robotics contest
Tribune News Service

panchkula, January 27
A group of five young scientists of Hallmark Public School, Sector, 15 Panchkula, won the North Zone leg of the First Lego league (FLL) robotics contest held recently.

The contest was part of an international STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programme based in Manchester. The team has won the regional competition. It has qualified to take part in the nationals, which will be held in Pune on February 10.

Kavita Wadhwa, principal of the school, said: “Our school has done the tricity proud by winning the northern leg of the competition. If the team wins in Pune, it will travel to Manchester for the grand international finale.”

This year’s challenge is “Nature’s Fury”. Hallmark’s team chose “earthquake” as its topic.



Trying to save a buck?

Having failed to provide timely updates of press conferences and press notes of the UT Administration to the media, the UT’s Public Relations Department has “outsourced” its work to a journalist. For the recent press conference of the UT Home Secretary Anil Kumar, journalists received invitation from a journalist of a vernacular daily, instead of the department officials. It seems by taking the “help” of a journalist, the department is trying to save money as the posts of Public Relations Officer (PRO) and Assistant Public Relations Officer (APRO) are lying vacant for over a year now.

A blessing in disguise

Patients left no stones unturned in making the PGI administration remove speed humps on various roads of the hospital that caused them pain due to jerky commute. The administration, however, did not budge. Now, what has brought cheer to the patients is the theft of some strips from the humps, which has made the roads more comfortable to move on.

Attendance compulsory

To ensure there was complete attendance of the staff of the Deputy Commissioner office at the Republic Day parade in Sector 17, all the employees were asked to mark their attendance at the venue. They were also warned that in case of absence, strict action would be taken against them.

A ready-made formula

Learning lessons from previous Congress Mayors, the newly elected Mayor used the National Anthem to pacify the opposition councillors. When the opposition councillors were arguing during the Zero Hour in the recent MC House meeting, Mayor HC Kalyan suddenly asked the staff to play the National Anthem and end the meeting. Suddenly, silence prevailed and the meeting was concluded thereafter.

Bridging the cultural gap

Making an effort to strike camaraderie with the local team members, Australian players of the Jaypee Punjab Warriors team were seen wearing turban and greeting each other with Sat Sri Akal. A few were also seen introducing themselves with Singh prefixed to their name. Let’s hope their effort helps in bridging the cultural gap during the Hockey India League matches.

Old habits die hard

While Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is known for his punctuality, his son--Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal--seems to be a habitual latecomer. At a recent function that saw BS Brar taking charge of the Punjab Health System Corporation, the hosts and senior functionaries of the district kept waiting for the Badal Junior for over two hours. The story was no different at the inauguration of Punjab Olympic Bhawan.

"Sukhbir Badal should take a lesson on importance of punctuality from his father,” said a senior official at Brar's function.

Contributed by Rajinder Nagarkoti, Ritika Jha Palial, Rajmeet Singh, Amit Sharma, Deepankar Sharda and Akash Ghai



Narrow escape for car driver
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
A Sector 41 resident had a narrow escape when his car caught fire on the Kaimbwala road this evening. The driver, Arjun, said on applying brakes he noticed a spark in the engine.

"After moving for a few metres, I noticed smoke coming out of the engine. Without wasting any time, I got off the vehicle,” he said.

As soon as he got off the car, flames engulfed it, said Arjun. A fire tender and police reached the spot.



Padma Shri awardee doc roots for team spirit
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27
Selflessness and working in national interest has brought the honour to him, says Padma Shri recipient Dr Amod Gupta, an ophthalmologist at the Advanced Eye Centre, PGI, who was felicitated during the Republic Day function at New Delhi on Sunday.
Dr Amod Gupta at his office in the PGI, Chandigarh
Dr Amod Gupta at his office in the PGI, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Dr Amod has figured in the list of world’s leading ophthalmologists for describing a new disease—serpiginous choroiditis or eye TB—for the first time in the world. He also led the team that reported that lipid-lowering drugs statins are highly significant in diabetic retinopathy. The doctor has performed over 30,000 surgeries and published 285 research papers in various leading national and international journals in his 40 years of service at the PGI.

In a conversation with the Chandigarh Tribune, the Padma Shri recipient shares his vision, success mantra and expectations from patients as a doctor and from students as the PGI Dean.

Success mantra

I was highly inspired by my father’s dedication towards work. I am the first to reach the institute, around 7am, and the last to leave it, around 7pm, on most of the days. I take pride in having imbibed my father’s skills. My family has been my biggest driving force. My wife and my daughter have sacrificed their valuable moments for the sake of my work. I must also thank my team at the Advanced Eye Centre for showing excellent team spirit.

Vision for PGI

I hope the institute instills more integrity and team spirit among its faculty, so that we all can serve the nation together. Being a part of an institute like the PGI, we all represent our nation, and our individual interests must be sidelined. I feel that those who hold important positions at the institute must not let their egos come in the way of their functioning. When they boss around, their juniors imbibe the same traits.

Expectations from students

Since the PGI’s entrance examination is regarded as one of the toughest in the country, those who get through often come with too much of an attitude. As the Dean, I have always asked my students to be humble and disciplined. While I expect them to excel in medical skills, being disciplined, curious, honest and supportive is what will take them forward.

Expectations from patients

Non-compliance, i.e. not returning for follow-up treatment, is a common problem among patients in our country. Also, blind faith in doctors makes them treat some as Gods. This is an unfortunate thing. I appreciate patients who are curious and ask a lot of questions before undergoing a surgery. When patients understand everything, doctors feel more confident while treating them.

A matter of pride for PGI, says Director

PGI Director YK Chawla congratulated institute’s dean, Dr Amod Gupta, on being bestowed with Padma Shri. He was addressing the medical and administrative staff during the Republic Day function on the campus. While expressing his happiness, Dr Chawla said the honour bestowed upon Dr Amod was a matter of pride for all those associated with the PGI.



electricity department
Helpline launched
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, January 27
The Electricity Department will be completing the 66KV grid at Baltana and Zirakpur soon and the 30 kilometer long wires will also be replaced at the earliest. This was stated by officials of Electricity Department during a meeting held to resolve the problems of consumers. Chief Parliamentary Secretary NK Sharma was also present in the meeting.

A helpline number 7989598647 has been launched for the convenience of customers residing in areas including Zirakpur, Banur and Mohali. A Suvidha Centre is also underway, said an official from the department.



SBI Mutual Fund opens 51 branches

The SBI Mutual Fund launched as many as 51 branches in 15 cities in one day. One of the branches has also been launched in Chandigarh. This is an attempt to take mutual fund asset class to investors, said officials on the occasion. The chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), UK Sinha, announced the formal inauguration of the branches. The chairman of the State Bank Group, Arundhati Bhattacharya, was also present.

Surya launches new fans range

Surya Roshni launched designs of ceiling, table, pedestal, wall mounting fans and a collection of domestic exhaust fans. — TNS



National integration camp begins
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 27
A national integration camp was organised on the premises of Chandigarh University, Gharuan, on the occasion of Republic Day.

The five-day long camp was inaugurated by JP Malik, Director, Nehru Yuva Kendra (NYK), Punjab and Chandigarh Zone, and Dr RS Bawa, Vice-Chancellor, Chandigarh University. The host, Chandigarh University, in association with the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports is organising the camp in which more than 250 volunteers of the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, representing different states of India, are taking part.

The NYK volunteers along with NCC cadets of Chandigarh University took part in the flag unfurling ceremony.



AAP holds peace march

ZIRAKPUR: To apprise masses of diminishing natural resources, the local unit of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) organised a peace march from Baltana light point to Lucky dhaba on Sunday afternoon.

The convener of the unit, Narinderjit Kaur Barar, said, “During the march, as many as 110 members joined our party and during the free membership drive, more than 2,000 persons joined the AAP unit here.”— OC



Open House response
They need empathy, not sympathy

The disabled face immense difficulty in entering public places. Nobody spares a thought to their plight. People should be willing to offer them assistance. Public places and transport should be made disabled-friendly. The authorities should provide them cemented chairs/benches, ramps, besides adequate door width for the entry of wheel chairs. These efforts can bring a drastic change in society.


The UT Electricity Department has sought 21 per cent hike in power tariff. Instead of cutting on distribution and transmission losses, UT wants to increase the power tariff. Is the proposed hike in power tariff justified? Write your suggestions along with passport size photograph to openhouse@tribunemail.com. 


Construct ramps at public places

Ramps should be constructed for differently-abled persons at all government offices and other public utility offices such as Sampark kendras. At a majority of these places, such facilities are non-existent. Also, people should be sensitive towards their needs.

IPS Anand, Mani Majra

Ensure basic amenities to physically-challenged

In the absence of adequate infrastructure such as ramps and elevators, the disabled are at the receiving end in Chandigarh and other cities. A proper mechanism needs to be put into place at government offices, hospitals, schools, colleges and other educational institutions to provide services to these people. The authorities need to be sensitive towards their problems. Sometimes, elevators installed for the disabled are used by others. This practice needs to be checked.

Ramesh K Dhiman, Chandigarh

Separate gates, lift facility

The disabled face immense difficulty while entering big buildings and parks. The government should initiate measures to address their grievances. The gates of parks should be constructed to provide easy access to them. Separate gates should be set up. Also, separate lifts for disabled should be installed in old buildings.

Vishavdeep Dhaliwal, Chandigarh

Construct ramps, disabled-friendly toilets

Lifts and ramps in public as well as government buildings should be constructed in such a way that the disabled can use them conveniently. Ramps and disabled-friendly toilets should be set up for them in schools. In parks, authorities should provide information about exotic plants in Braille for their convenience. Sensors should also be installed in parks to guide them. City residents and NGOs can do their bit to improve the plight of the disabled.

Priya Darsh Growar, Mohali

Sensitise govt officials

Government officials should be sensitised on how to deal with the disabled. The government alone cannot do much unless the society at large adopts a friendly and responsible attitude towards the differently-abled.

Manoj Malik, Chandigarh

People are insensitive towards them

The plight of the differently-abled is reflected in the insensitive attitude of people around them. The senior citizens of Modern Housing Complex, Mani Majra, do their bit by holding periodic get-togethers at the Institute for Blind, Sector 26. This boosts the morale of children.

SC Luthra, Mani Majra

Give top priority at public places

The differently-abled don’t need our pity and mercy. They need our empathy instead of sympathy. We need to understand their problems. These people should be accorded top priority everywhere. They should not be made to stand in queues. Measures such as self-opening doors, ramps, elevators and corridors for people on wheel chairs should be initiated.

Dr Gurdev Singh, Mohali

Upgrade infrastructure

Infrastructure is inadequate for the disabled at public places and government offices. There is need to upgrade green belts with disabled-friendly infrastructure. These places should be identified with proper signboards. Chandigarh Transport Undertaking should launch low-floor buses and 2-3 seats should be reserved for the disabled. There is need to construct ramps in newly-constructed rehabilitation houses in Dhanas as well as in all cooperative societies and Housing Board flats. The multi-storey parking, currently under-construction in Sector 17, should have separate parking lots for the disabled on every floor, particularly near the entrance. Special signboards should be installed for their convenience.

Sukhpal Singh, Chandigarh

Hold events, games

When it comes to upgrading infrastructure for the disabled, the list is endless. Authorities need to construct ramps, escalators, besides install modern gadgets. Special events and competitions should be organised for them. Games, seminars, social and educational events should be held to boost their morale.

MPS Chadha, Mohali

Facilities inadequate

The city has nearly 20,000 disabled persons. Facilities for them are grossly inadequate. They don’t figure in the agenda of the MC or administration, who seem least bothered to improve their plight. They need to focus on disabled children, particularly their education, employment avenues, medical facilities and transport system.

Colonel (retd) RD Singh, Ambala Cantt

Measures need to be introduced

The initiative of Chandigarh Tribune for highlighting the ‘insensitive attitude’ of Chandigarh Administration towards the disabled is laudable. Various measures need to be introduced for improving the plight of the disabled. Ramps should be constructed along with stairways at all public buildings. No new maps of buildings and offices should be passed if they don’t include provisions for the disabled. There should be special toilets for those on wheelchairs. A helpline number should be started for the disabled.

Vineet Kapoor, Panchkula

Boost their morale

Public places and parks should ensure a perfect medium of de-labelling the differently-abled to motivate them. Finding themselves ‘able’ will help build their self-esteem and enable them to become self-dependent in public. The authorities should emphasise more on functional structuring.

Tarsem Bhardwaj, Chandigarh

Make green belts, public toilets accessible

Awareness needs to be spread about problems being faced by them. The Chandigarh Administration and Municipal Corporation should undertake measures to improve their plight. Issues such as inaccessibility to public toilets, green belts, community centres, corporation buildings and bus queue shelters should be addressed.

Sachin Sharma, Chandigarh

Undertake measures to improve their plight

The disabled should not be considered different from society. They are a part of our social system and should be respected. There should be no discrimination against them in any field. Special provisions should be made for them to lead a better life.

Aishwarya, Mohali

Authorities are insensitive towards disabled

There have been instances when disabled have been found lying on roads in severe cold. Authorities should initiate measures to help the elderly with disabilities. The higher-ups are insensitive towards their problems. All new buildings should have provision for lifts, wheel-chair entry and accessible toilets.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

City Beautiful not disabled-friendly

The City Beautiful is amongst the most developed and literate cities in India. However, it is yet to earn the tag of a disabled-friendly city. Right from buildings, housing the offices of top administrators to small markets, facilities for the disabled are lacking. This is also evident from public transport operating in the city.

Dr Ranju Gulati, Chandigarh

Government regulations

If one goes by government regulations and guidelines, all public places and civic amenities must be disabled-friendly and equipped with elevators or ramps. However, these are seldom found, particularly at public toilets. Special stickers and glow signs indicating their presence is a far cry. The civic body or local government should take initiatives for the provision of ramps, lifts, special toilets and pathways at all public places. Not only parks but schools, government offices buildings, important establishments such as Sampark centres, banks, ATMs, post offices, markets and malls should be easily accessible to those on wheel chairs.

BM Dhawan, Chandigarh

People need to be sensitised

The City Beautiful is not friendly towards the differently-abled. For this, people need to be sensitised about the special requirements of the physically challenged.

Dr Rajeev Kumar, Chandigarh



Last date to rectify discrepancies in candidates’ data today
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 27
To achieve accuracy in examination data, the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) has uploaded the list of candidates appearing for final examination this session on its website, (www.pseb.ac.in).

The PSEB secretary, GS Batth, said, “Schools can check and download the list for future use also. In case of any discrepancy, school management can contact the board authorities till January 28. No corrections in examination data/particulars will be made after the last date,” said Batth.

“Admit cards of regular candidates can be downloaded by the school authorities from February 5 onwards. The cards should be duly attested by the respective school heads. Only the candidates carrying the attested admit cards will be allowed to enter the examination centres,” said Batth.

This time the printed admit cards of regular candidates would not be sent by the board, said the Punjab School Education Board secretary.

PSEB exams

Only the candidates carrying the attested admit cards will be allowed to enter the examination centres.



Boarding schools for bright students in Mohali soon, says Education Minister
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 27
The state government will construct special boarding schools for students who will get 80 per cent or above marks in Class X exams. These students will be provided free education in these schools.

This announcement was made by Punjab Education Minister Sikandar Singh Maluka during his Republic Day speech at Government College, Phase VI, here, on Sunday.

Maluka, who was the chief guest at the R-Day function organised by the Mohali District Administration, said the government would spend Rs 180 crore to construct six boarding schools at Mohali, Patiala, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Bathinda.

“Meritorious students will be provided free education in these schools,” said Maluka after hoisting the Tricolour.

“The state has 19,000 government schools that are providing education to about 28 lakh students,” said Maluka.

Earlier, students of various government and private schools presented colourful programmes, including folk dances of various states like Punjab, Gujarat and Rajasthan, and mass physical training exercises, at a glittering function.

Various departments like Markfed, Traffic Police, Forest and Education showcased their tableaux on the occasion. Daler Singh, a local youth, performed stunts on his motorcycle.

The District Administration distributed 15 sewing machines and nine tricycles among the needy. The family members of freedom fighters were also honoured.

Later, Maluka announced an award of Rs 2 lakh for the students who performed at the function.

The dignitaries who were present included SAD leader Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, Paramjit Kaur Landran, chairperson of the Punjab State Women Commission, Mohali Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu, Mohali SSP Inder Mohan Singh, SDM Lakhmir Singh and other senior functionaries of the district.



PU and College NOTES
65th R-Day celebrated

The 65th Republic Day was celebrated at SD College. Members of the management, teaching and non-teaching staff of the college and the students assembled on the campus. Principal Bhushan K. Sharma unfurled the National Flag, which was followed by the singing of the National Anthem. The flag-hoisting ceremony concluded with the distribution of sweets.

Tricolour unfurled

The principal, staff and students of Postgraduate Government College, Sector 11, celebrated the Republic Day with patriotic zeal. Principal Dr JS Raghu hoisted the National Flag. Stressing the need to have zero tolerance for all sorts of corruption, he exhorted the youngsters to pledge to work for secure, disciplined and value-oriented life. Students from all three hostels presented cultural items.

R-Day parade

For the first time, students of Panjab University participated in the Republic Day parade on the campus. PU Vice-Chancellor Professor Arun Kumar Grover hoisted the Tricolour and took the salute at the ceremonial parade on PU campus to celebrate the Republic Day. PU students and security staff of the university took part in the parade. Addressing the function, Professor Grover said January 26 had a special importance for the university as it was re-organised after the Republic Day. Professor Grover called upon the students, participants, teachers and staff members to accelerate their efforts to further raise the ranking of the university. — TNS



Schools celebrate R-Day with fervour

Chandigarh: Tribune Model School celebrated the Republic Day with fervour. Vandana Saxena, principal of the school, unfurled the National Flag. The school choir presented a patriotic song.


Students of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 46, celebrated the Republic Day with enthusiasm. The chief guest, JS Diwan, founder president of the ‘Support a Child’, hoisted the Tricolour.

Delhi Public School

Delhi Public School celebrated the day with great patriotic zeal and fervour. The Tricolour was hoisted on the school premises.

Ryan International School

The 65th Republic Day, which marks the sovereignty of India, was celebrated with fervour at Ryan International School. Major-General Sateeshwar Singh Chahal and Dr Manpal Singh Narula unfurled the Tricolour.


Students of GMSSS-37B presented a cultural extravaganza to mark the commemoration of India acquiring sovereign republic on January 26, 1950. Principal of the school Raviraj Kaur motivated the students to follow Gandhian principles.


The Republic Day was celebrated at MDAV, Sector 22-A. The flag-hoisting ceremony was performed with the feeling of patriotism. Principal Neelam Sharma urged the students to work hard.


The Republic Day was celebrated at GMHS-43. Parminder Kaur Grewal, headmistress of the school, hoisted the National Flag.

Mount Carmel School

The Republic Day was celebrated at Mount Carmel School, Sector 47. The day started with a welcome speech by Nikita James, intra-school activities leader of the school. The National Flag was hoisted.


The 65th Republic Day was celebrated with zeal and fervour at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 31. Principal SK Bhatia hoisted the National Flag.


Week-long activities were organised to celebrate the Republic Day at AKSIPS-45. An inter-section quiz on “Know Your Country” was organised.


The Republic Day was celebrated at GMHS-39. Vice-head Kuldeep Kaur hoisted the National Flag.

PMLSD Public School

Students and staff members of PMLSD Public School, Sector 19-C, celebrated the Republic Day with patriotic zeal. — TNS



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