C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Councillors can carry forward funds
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
Councillors of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation who fail to utilise Rs 40 lakh provided to them annually under the ward development fund will now be able to carry these funds forward and utilise these next year.

Earlier, the unutilised funds used to lapse at the end of the year.

All councillors get Rs 40 lakh each for their respective ward. However, a majority of the councillors fail to utilise the funds within a year. In 2013, of the total 26 elected councillors, 13 failed to touch the figure of Rs 30 lakh.

The councillors were demanding that the funds should be allowed to be carried forward so that these did not lapse and could be utilised in the wards for the benefit of the people. The decision to carry forward the unutilised funds was taken at a meeting of the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) held recently.

Saurabh Joshi, BJP councillor and member of the F&CC, said the decision would help the councillors utilise the funds optimally. “According to the decision, the maximum limit has been fixed at Rs 1 crore. The amount over this limit will not be carried forward”, Joshi stated.

While councillors fail to utilise their funds, residents in their wards keep waiting for basic amenities such as streetlights, play equipment in parks and widening and recarpeting of roads.

SAD councillor Malkiat Singh said the councillors would now be able to utilise the funds throughout their tenure as sometimes there were no new projects planned for the wards due to which the councillors failed to spend the funds within a year. “With this decision, the councillors will now be able to plan bigger projects in their wards and spend the funds together,” he said.

In 2013, only BJP councillor Arun Sood managed to spend the total amount on development works in his ward. Interestingly, former Mayor Raj Bala Malik and BJP councillor Rajinder Kaur spent less than Rs 10 lakh in their wards.

Arun Sood said, “As we are given an opportunity to spend the funds, I purchased play equipments for parks in my ward and got tiles installed on road berms in Sectors 37 and 38 to provide parking facility to residents,” he said.

In 2012, 10 councillors had spent less then Rs 20 lakh in their ward of the total Rs 40 lakh each provided to them.



Opening of projects: Mayor, councillor lock horns
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
High drama was witnessed today at Mauli Jagran when a team of the municipal corporation reached there to remove plaques bearing the name of area BJP councillor, hours after the inauguration of three projects by residents of the ward.

The residents inaugurated the three projects at Mauli Jagran and Vikas Nagar. Later, MC officials went there asking area councillor Rajinder Kaur to remove the plaques bearing her name so that Mayor HC Kalyan could inaugurate the projects on Monday.

The inauguration of the three projects, planned by the Mayor for February 17 apparently without taking the BJP councillor into confidence, had led to a controversy after which the councillor got the projects inaugurated by the residents of her ward.

Rajinder Kaur said MC officials arrived in her ward to persuade her to remove the plaques.

The exercise by the MC officials to get the plaques removed continued till the evening. “Residents didn’t let the MC officials remove the plaques,” she said.

The residents had inaugurated a community centre, a shopping centre and an extension of a community centre. Local BJP president Sanjay Tandon , BJP councillors Arun Sood and Asha Kumari Jaswal, and SAD councillors Harjinder Kaur and Malkiat Singh attended the inauguration.

Arun Sood, Leader of the Opposition, said the MC officials tried to seek the assistance of the local police to remove the plaques. “There is nothing illegal in getting the projects inaugurated by residents as it is the prerogative of the area councillor,” Sood said.

Mayor HC Kalyan said he would inaugurate the three projects tomorrow. “The BJP councillors are playing cheap politics, which will not be tolerated,” Kalyan said.

what led to the controversy

The inauguration of the three projects, planned by the Mayor on February 17 apparently without taking BJP councillor Rajinder Kaur into confidence, had led to a controversy after which the councillor got the projects inaugurated by the residents of her ward.



Innocence lost: 910 minors held for crimes since 2008 
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The recent arrest of four members of an all-juvenile gang for their involvement in a spate of snatchings in one single night last month has once again highlighted that crime by minor children in the city is on the rise. The four juveniles had forcibly taken away an auto-rickshaw from its driver and used it for the snatchings.

According to police records, over 130 children are arrested by the UT police on an average every year. A total of 910 minors have been arrested for various crimes in the past seven years (2008 to date).

With rising drug addiction and unemployment, children in the age group of 12 to 16 are increasingly taking to crime, including heinous cases.

As many as 136 children were arrested for various crimes in the city in 2013. A majority of the children (45) were arrested in theft cases while 12 were arrested in robbery cases. Four juveniles were arrested for murder last year while four were arrested for attempt to murder. Four juveniles were arrested by the police for snatchings last year.

On February 5, the crime branch of the UT police had arrested a four-member gang of minor children for their involvement in four snatching cases in a single night. Last year, the police had arrested a juvenile for possessing four live detonators.

In March last year, the police had arrested five juveniles for robbing and stabbing a vegetable vendor. The five, all of whom were between 14 and 15 years of age, had robbed a vegetable vendor of Rs 1,800 and documents after stabbing him.

In 2011, two juveniles had killed an auto-rickshaw driver after smashing his head with a brick.

DSP (Crime) Satbir Singh said crime by juveniles was on the rise owing to rising drug addiction among children, especially school dropouts. “Rising unemployment and poverty are among the other reasons behind the crime by minors. Over the years, more and more children are getting involved in heinous crimes. They get away with light punishment,” said Satbir Singh.



Doc’s car damaged with acid in Mohali
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 16
A local government doctor got a shock when somebody damaged his new car by throwing acid on it last night. The paint of the i 20 car of Dr Vijay Bhagat, a resident of Phase VII and radiologist at the Civil Hospital, Phase VI, came off the roof and the sides due to the acid.

Dr Bhagat said the car was parked inside the gate and the miscreant(s) seemed to have thrown the acid after climbing the gate. The miscreants left behind two bottles in which they had carried the acid. The matter came to light when Dr Bhagat went to wash his car this morning.

Inspector Navin Pal Singh Lehal, SHO of the Mataur police station, said personal enmity seemed to be reason behind the incident as the miscreants targeted the car parked inside the gate, sparing several cars parked on the street.

A DDR has been lodged in this connection. 



Panchkula may soon have cycle tracks to check mishaps
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Cyclists care little for traffic rules, resulting in accidents at times.
Cyclists care little for traffic rules, resulting in accidents at times. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, February 16
After Chandigarh, now the Panchkula Police have demanded cycle tracks along main roads in the city.

In view of the increasing number of accidents and traffic congestion on Panchkula roads, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ashwin Shenvi has mooted a "mobility plan" for the city. Following the DCP's recommendation, Panchkula Deputy Commissioner SS Phulia has communicated to the Town and Country Planning Department to work out a plan for cycle tracks.

As part of the plan, banning cycle rickshaws in crowded sectors has also been recommended.

In his plan, Shenvi has stated, "Apart from various types of vehicles, slow-moving traffic (bicycles, cycle rickshaws and carts) is also seen plying on Panchkula roads. The roads are not safe and many accidents occur due to the slow-moving traffic. In order to make the city roads safe and accident-free, it is important to segregate the slow-moving traffic from the fast-moving traffic."

It has been proposed to construct separate tracks for bicycles along all main roads in Panchkula.

Besides cycle tracks, slip roads have also been suggested for diverting rickshaws and bicycles. "Slip roads should be constructed on all roads dividing various sectors and the slow-moving traffic should be diverted on these," the plan states.

On imposing a ban of cycle rickshaws in certain areas, the plan states, "The markets of Sectors 7, 9 and 11, the District Courts and the Mini-Secretariat are the busiest places as a large number of people visit these every day. Due to overcrowding, no place is left for parking vehicles. It is, therefore, proposed that the entry of rickshaws to these places should be banned."

Salient points of the plan

  • Separate lane for emergency service vehicles
  • One-way traffic in front of schools between 7 am and 9 am, and 1 pm and 3 pm
  • Certain areas to be earmarked as no-parking zones
  • Bus shelters and footpaths proposed at important locations

The plan has been proposed for the convenience of commuters in Panchkula and to make the city accident-free.
— Ashwin Shenvi, DCP 

I have asked the Town and Country Planning Department to identify all possible places where cycle tracks can be introduced.
— SS Phulia, DC



Man robbed 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
A man was robbed of Rs 2,000 at knifepoint in Daddu Majra late last night. Mohal Lal, a resident of Dhanas who works as a waiter, was on his way back home when he was targeted.

In his complaint to the police, the victim said four unidentified persons confronted him and told him to give them all he had at knifepoint. The victim told the police that he had taken Rs 2,000 as advance from his employer for his expenses, which he gave to them.


Chandigarh votes 2014
Modi takes feedback on city’s political scenario
Meets local unit president at city airport; was on way to Hamirpur district in Himachal Pradesh
Tribune New Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi sought a feedback on Chandigarh's political scenario in the wake of the forthcoming Lok Sabha Elections-2014 during a quick meeting with state president Sanjay Tandon today at the city airport.

Modi had stopped for a while at the Chandigarh airport where he had to take a helicopter to reach Sujanpur town of Hamirpur district in Himachal Pradesh.

Divulging details of the meeting, Ravinder Pathania, convener, media cell, BJP, Chandigarh, said that local president apprised Modi of the success of the ongoing 'Ek note, Kamal par vote' campaign where people were getting connected with the party's vision.

BJP local unit strikes chord with rural masses

To strike a chord with people living in the villages, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), carried out its “Ek Note, Kamal Par Vote” campaign. BJP state president Sanjay Tandon appealed to party workers to spread the party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s vision among the rural folks.

Mandal president Sawraj Singh led the campaign at the Housing Board Complex of Dhanas. He was supported by party vice-president Rambir Bhatti, councilor Arun Sood, secretary Ramesh Sharma Nikku and other party leaders Anita Chaudhary, Shankar Lal, Ranjit Singh, Chanderman, Chunni Lal Gupta, VP Singh, Rajinder Sharma and Amar Singh. The party workers approached the voters with a box, a party flag and Modi’s masks appealing people to vote for the right candidate and to utilise their voting rights.

Padyatra, membership drive mark AAP rally

Carrying on with its "Jhadoo Chalaoo Brasht Bhagaoo" campaign, AAP, Chandigarh, today organised the second day of its campaign in Dadu Majra Colony, and Sector 38 (West).

In the first leg of our awareness campaign, more than 100 people joined the “padyatra” and told people to vote for the Aam Aadmi party. Along with the awareness campaign, membership drive was also carried outsimultaneously.Later in the afternoon, a jan sabha was organised in Maloya village by the party members who were its residents.

BSP rally: Development top priority

A rally was organised by the Ambedkar Kalyan Committee in Colony No 4 here. BSP candidate and councilor Jannat Jahan, national -in-charge Narendra Kashyap, president Jageer Singh, chief coordinator Hafiz Anvar-Ul-Haq, coordinator Sudesh Khurcha, councilor Naresh Kumar, general secretary Sanjeev Babbar, Saleem Khan, former party president MC Suman were present there.

Jannat Jahan said that social service and development was her goals. She said that development of the colonies would remain her top priority after winning the forthcoming elections . 



Open House response
Car pooling, active policing needed to ease traffic snarls

Vehicles in the City Beautiful have increased manifold over the years. The planners of the city might have had no idea that this situation would arise one day. There is a huge rush during the morning and evening hours. Regulating traffic has become a major challenge for the traffic police these days. There is a need to construct underpasses, install traffic lights and challan habitual traffic violators. Separate lanes for cyclists, rickshaw-pullers and pedestrians are also needed.

Ujagar Singh, Chandigarh

Prefer smaller cars while travelling alone

Traffic problem in Chandigarh, a city known for its wide roads, has assumed an alarming proportion. To tide over the situation, people should be encouraged to use smaller cars while travelling alone. To ease frequent traffic snarls on the city roads, the traffic authorities should encourage car pooling.

SC Luthra, Mani Majra

Challenging aspect of urban policing

Traffic jams have emerged as one of the most challenging aspects of urban policing. Among all urban cities, Chandigarh offers its own unique challenges. There is a proposal to set up an independent traffic management control centre by the UT Administration. It will act as a motoring station from where directions will be sent to the traffic police to avoid traffic snarls.

Open House Question

Encroachments in commercial areas have become a nuisance. Endless drives carried out to remove encroachments and the UT's reprimand by the Punjab and Haryana High Court have not brought any improvement as the well-organised nexus between encroachers and MC officials seems difficult to break. The MC has also failed to allocate any special zones for day markets. What needs to be done to check the problem without harming those who eke out a living by setting up shops illegally on government lands. Write your suggestions with a passport size photograph to openhouse@tribunemail.com 

Priya Darsh Growar, Mohali

Need to construct underpasses, flyovers

The UT Administration is unable to find a solution to the long-pending problem of the citizens. No directions are being issued by the MHA to upgrade infrastructure in the city. There is a need to construct underpasses and flyovers on all major heavily congested roundabouts in the city. The MHA should issue directions and approve plans to change the infrastructure as required to control the traffic congestion.

Sukhpal Singh, Chandigarh

Remove rotaries for smooth flow of traffic

Most of the CCTV cameras installed at traffic light points at various roundabouts in the city are lying defunct. Vehicles remain stuck in traffic jams for long due to rotaries, which need to be eradicated from the basic infrastructure of the city. The need of the hour is to remove useless and unwanted roundabouts in the city.

BM Dhawan, Chandigarh

Need to introduce car pooling system

Underpasses and flyovers need to be constructed on a priority. Separate lanes for cycle and rickshaws should be properly utilised. There should be a ban on erecting barricades on roads where traffic volume is high. There is a need to introduce car pooling system.

Jagdishpal Singh Kalra, Chandigarh

Self-discipline must on city roads

To meet the traffic challenge is to limit the number of vehicles one household can own. It should be a maximum of two. VIP fleets should be pruned. The UT must explore the feasibility of flyovers, underground parking and parking facility on the rooftops. The traffic police need to increase their strength. Self-discipline and observance of traffic rules is a must.

Colonel RD Singh (retd), Ambala Cantonment

No parking should be allowed on roads

The authorities should have invited professional traffic regulatory consultants for Chandigarh. All rotaries should be removed at the earliest. Two-wheeler riders, cyclists and rickshaw-pullers should be advised to avoid taking main roads. No parking should be allowed on roads.

Tarsem Bhardwaj. Chandigarh

Public transport needs to be strengthened

The UT Administration should purchase at least 500 buses to check traffic congestion. Officers need to be directed to make use of public transport daily. For official duties, vehicles should be readily available to every officer on requisition. People need to be made aware through various types of advertisements to make use of public transport at affordable rates and at frequent intervals.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Curb begging for smooth flow of traffic

Traffic chaos is due to mismanagement, disorderly flow of traffic, poor signals, speed obstructing rotaries, uncontrolled pedestrian crossing, among others. Traffic signals need to be made visible with LED lights. Begging at busy intersections should also be curbed for the smooth flow of traffic.

Rita Raina, Chandigarh

Traffic police need to be more active

It is high time the traffic police need to wake up and take some concrete steps to deal with traffic congestion in the city. Waiting time at light points should be reduced during rush hours to avoid long queues of vehicles. More traffic police should be deployed at light points and roundabouts during the morning and evening hours. Traffic violators should be dealt with strictly.

Baljinder Kaur, Chandigarh

Deploy more police to regulate traffic

The number of police personnel deployed to regulate traffic on the city roads is not enough. Commuters are left to fend for themselves during snarl-ups. Also, those on duty can be seen busy challaning the commuters, while showing little interest in regulating the traffic. There are frequent jams at almost all light points and rotaries.

Puran Kant, Chandigarh

Remove roundabouts from major points

The UT Administration must remove roundabouts from all major points. During rush hours, traffic policemen should remain on duty at traffic lights so that people do not violate traffic rules.

Gursharan Singh Bedi, Mohali

Traffic signals must at all T-points

Traffic signals must be installed at all T-points in order to prevent chaos. Slip roads must be constructed at a considerable distance from the traffic lights. Construction of pedestrian crossings, wider sidewalks and footpaths will prove beneficial for commuters.

Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh

Need to introduce lane driving

The city is in dire need of introduction of lane driving. The system was introduced by the Chandigarh Traffic Police from the Sector 16 Stadium to Sector 1, 3 roundabout. It is yet to be implemented in letter and in spirit.

Vineet Kapoor, Panchkula

Sensor system needs to be implemented

All major crossings and roundabouts need to be manned by police personnel during peak hours instead of dependence on traffic lights. Traffic marshals need to be regularly roped in to check the problem. The process of challaning during rush hours should be avoided. The sensor system on traffic lights concerning vehicular traffic volume needs to be implemented immediately.

Dr Ranju Gulati, Chandigarh

Chandigarh becoming a nightmare for motorists

Chandigarh, an architectural marvel designed by Le Corbusier, is becoming a nightmare for motorists. The growing number of vehicles on city roads has brought down the travelling speed, causing snarls at traffic junctions during the morning and evening hours.

The traffic unit of the Chandigarh Police has miserably failed to regulate the traffic. Rather, policemen can be seen busy challaning outstation vehicles.

The city’s public transport system has not been strengthened in proportion to the increasing population, indicating lack of seriousness on the part of UT officials in doing the right planning.

A smarter planning means developing a smart public transportation system that would not only take commuters to their destinations on time but also ease congestion and reduce air and noise pollution.

Since the growth in public transport has not kept pace with the demand for service, more and more people are forced to commute in their private vehicles, resulting in traffic congestion.

Contrary to Singapore where around 65 per cent commuters use public transportation and around 70 per cent of the Delhi population has shifted to public transport, only 14 per cent of the city’s population is using the same.

The results are disastrous. In the absence of any strict law sealing the number of vehicles a household can own, the number of vehicle are increasing day by day. The number of city households owning a car has increased by 10 per cent in the past decade. While in 2001, the percentage stood at 15.4, in 2011 it reached 25.7. The total number of motorised vehicles in Chandigarh has increased approximately 75 times since 1971, from around 12,345 to around 9 lakh (in 2013).

Officials are yet to put in place the traffic management central control centre. The centre is planned to gather real-time information about the traffic situation and live image feeds from various junctions of the city with the help of CCTV cameras.

The proposal to construct underpasses at various spots in the city to decongest traffic, which was mooted over seven years ago, stills hangs fire. Now, the MC has announced to start work on one such underpass.

The officials need to take a cue from Beijing, China, where the authorities have limited the number of new plates issued to passenger cars to 20,000 a month and barring cars of non-Beijing plates from entering areas within the Fifth Ring Road during the rush hours.

Singapore has implemented a sophisticated intelligent transport system in addition to a number of transport initiatives, including free public transportation in pre-morning peak hours, vehicle quota system, congestion charge and extensive public transport system. Many industrialised countries have developed large-scale intelligent transport system (ITS).

For us, it is time to act and enforce the rules with an iron hand, lest the place gets the tag of the worst traffic managed city.



Better Chandigarh
Space stealers crawl in, time runs out
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Another eatery in Sector 22, Chandigarh.
Another eatery in Sector 22, Chandigarh. Tribune photos:  Pradeep Tewari

Shopkeepers selling goods outside shops in the Shastri Market, Sector 22.
Shopkeepers selling goods outside shops in the Shastri Market, Sector 22. Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, February 16
The problem of encroachments has attained an alarming proportion in the City Beautiful. The magnitude of the problem can be gauged from the fact that shopkeepers have openly flouted rules by encroaching upon pavements and footpaths outside their shops, right under the nose of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

This also belies the tall claims of the civic body to curb the menace.

Goods and grocery items have been displayed by shopkeepers outside stores, making it arduous for shoppers to pass through.

Rampant encroachments can be witnessed in the market places of Sectors 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 30, 32, 33, 34, 35, 45, 46, Mani Majra etc.

Priyanka Thakur, a shopper at the Shastri Market in Sector 22, said, “There is hardly any space to walk through. The corridors are full to the brim with goods displayed for sale.”

The scenario worsens during the evening hours when vendors put up stalls and display goods in every nook and corner of the market area.

Manipal Singh, a local resident, said the authorities concerned should initiate stern measures and take the defaulters to task.

“There is lack of effort and action on the part of the MC authorities to check encroachments,” he added.

The Master Plan drafted by the UT Administration clearly mentions about keeping a check on encroachments in market places.

The Master Plan Committee, in its fire safety norms, has recommended that tabs should be kept on encroachments on public land to facilitate the movement of fire tenders during an emergency.

The Chandigarh Police have often written to the MC regarding encroachments in market places.

Despite this, the municipal corporation has adopted ‘softer’ measures such as surprise visits and issuing of challans, which has invariably not helped much.

A few months ago, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had suggested the UT Administration to increase the existing fine on encroachments from Rs 500 to Rs 10,000.

Walls rented out by shopkeepers

To make a fast extra buck, a few booth owners in the markets of Sectors 15, 18, 19 and 22 have rented out the facing walls and pillars for Rs 5,000 to Rs 15,000.

The vendor, who takes the wall on rent, openly displays goods on the front and sidewalls of the shop, adding to the chaos.

Goods such as clothes, bags, shoes, grocery items etc can be seen adorning the walls of market places.

Food courts on pavements

Pavements of prominent city markets have been turned into food courts with makeshift stalls selling cheaper fast food, attracting visitors.

The vendors also carry gas cylinders along with them, virtually turning the market area into an open kitchen. A similar scenario can be seen at Sectors 22, 15, 27 19 etc.

In several other sectors, vendors have also encroached upon the parking area, forcing visitors to park their vehicles on the roads. With food stalls set up in every nook and corner of the market, the area is littered with leftover food and other waste materials. Likewise, vegetable and fruits cart owners have earmarked specific places.

Illegal construction

Goods and grocery items have been displayed by shopkeepers in front of their stores. The shopkeepers in Dadu Majra have gone a step ahead and made a mockery of the MC rule book by constructing walls in the middle of the corridor to extend the shop area. The encroachment has resulted in the blocking of the passage meant for visitors to the market.

Though the MC spends Rs 2.72 crore annually on the payment of salaries to the enforcement staff, encroachments in market places have doubled over the years. The civic body pays Rs 2.72 crore per annum as salary to the staff of the enforcement wing. Despite having 120 workers, the MC has failed to check encroachments in the city.

The enforcement wing has 57 regular workers, including inspectors, sub-inspectors, police personnel, labourers and drivers. They are paid over Rs 2.1 crore per annum.

The MC has also hired 55 beldars and eight drivers, who are paid over Rs 70.50 lakh per annum.

Anti-encroachment drives a damp squib

Sources said there have been instances when shopkeepers got to know about the anti-encroachment drive in advance, thereby hoodwinking the MC staff.

On seeing the enforcement team arrive in the market, shopkeepers remove encroachments from the corridors, making it difficult for the civic body staff to confiscate the goods. Only a handful of violators are caught and challaned.

The lack of manpower further compounds the problem. However, as soon as the MC team leaves the market, shopkeepers return to their usual ways.

29,000 challans issued in 2013

The enforcement wing of the MC issued nearly 29,455 challans for encroachments in 2013, generating a revenue of Rs 1.36 crore through fines and auction of the impounded goods.

Vendors misbehave with visitors

Gurgaon Municipal Commissioner Parveen Kumar entered into an altercation with a vendor in the Sector 17 market after he mistakenly stepped on the latter’s goods, displayed on the pavement.

The vendor allegedly misbehaved with the official, following which, the commissioner reported the matter to the police. Subsequently, the MC transferred 14 sub inspectors.


The Master Plan drafted by the UT Administration clearly mentions about keeping a check on encroachments in market places. The Chandigarh Police have often written to the MC regarding encroachments in market places. Despite this, the municipal corporation has adopted ‘softer’ measures such as surprise checks and issuing of challans, which has invariably not helped much.



Reporters Diary
Lucky doesn’t get Bansal’s hug

At a “patch-up” tea party organised by Congress leader HS Lucky for sitting MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, when photojournalists asked Bansal to hug Lucky for a photograph, Bansal did not give any answer. Lucky quickly handled the situation and said as Bansal was his senior, he would not hug him but take his blessings. But the leaders present at the tea party were heard saying, “Bansal will not forgive Lucky for revolting against him”. Only time would tell, whether the ‘tea party’ helped in ending their differences.

Suspense continues for BJP

As the BJP leadership is dabbling with the choice of candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Saha seat, the contenders for the seat are organising their independent shows to reach out to the voters, rather than working in tandem to show unity among them.

Hunger pangs

With jail inmates on a hunger strike opposing strictness in parole norms, the two days were tough for convicts as they remained without food and water. The jail food was wasted owing to the strike. Sure, they ate like a glutton once the strike ended.

When Inspector could not look into the eye of former boss

While recording his statements in the court against suspended SP Desraj, who was once his superior, Inspector Anokh Singh did not make any eye contact with Desraj during the day long proceedings. As he made statements corroborating his allegations on demand of bribe by the IPS officer in the court, he remained indifferent to the SP sitting in the court as an accused.

Protest for media coverage

It seems that protest by MBBS doctors in the city after the government’s decision to increase the duration of course from five and half year to seven years was for media coverage only. Interestingly, the doctors, who called up media personnel to cover their protest, were heard saying that they would only start their protest once photojournalists would reach the venue.

Catch-22 situation for Mohali cops

VIP duties and sudden spurt in crime in the district has put the Mohali Police on their toes. While the force is struggling hard to check the crime incidents in the area at present, the VIP duty for the four-day Progressive Punjab Agriculture Summit, starting tomorrow, just makes things worse for them.

Bridging the language barrier

Mediapersons came to the rescue of the Panchkula Police as they acted as mediators in bridging the language barrier between the police and the Nigerians arrested in the lottery scam.

Contributed by: Rajinder Nagarkoti, Rajmeet Singh, Aneesha Sareen, Aarti Kapur, Akash Ghai and Hina Rohtaki



Fifth Panjab University Rose Festival ends on a high note
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The fifth Panjab University Rose Festival concluded on the PU campus today. The day witnessed huge turnout of students, youth and people at the festival.

About 1,500 participants took part in various competitions. Competitions like dancing, poetic recitation, face painting, rose quiz, creative mehandi, rose prince/rose princess and painting were held today on the last day of the festival.

Noted Sufi singer Kanwar Grewal enthralled the students, participants and the audience during the festival at the Old Convocation Ground.

Simran Kaur and Avni Sehgal won the first and second position in singing competition in the 5 to 15-year age group, while Tanya Sharma and Komal Bhatia won the first and second position in singing competition in the above 15-year age group.

Apurva and Gursimran won the duet singing, while Saumyaa and Vasundhra Vedvyas bagged the second position. Saumyaa Verma and group won the group singing, while Ananya Kalia and group remained second.


Poetic: 1 Shivanshi Sehgal; and 2 Ritvik Munjal

Consolation: Vridhi Gupta, Riya Swami, Asmita Sharma and Onir

Mehandi: (Below 15 Yrs): 1 Harpreet Singh and Raveta Rani; and 2 Anandita Talwar and Aanchal Gupta

Consolation: Tripti and Usha Kiran

(Above 15 Yrs): 1 Shivani Kaushal and Tanya Ahuja; and 2 Hema and Parwinder Kaur

Consolation: Manisha and Pranshu; Sanju Kumar and Kusum; Laxmi and Alka

Face Painting: (5-15 Yrs): 1 Hitakshi Kanwar and Gauri Madan; and 2 Anushka Gupta and Alima Nalwa

Consolation: Dhruvi Yadav and Vyom Yadav, Tripti and Usha Kiran; Devyanshi Kaura and Vanshika Kochhar

(Above 15 Yrs): 1 Parwinder Kaur and Amanpreet Kaur; 2 Vinay Chopra and Pankaj Kumar

Consolation: Sonu Sharma and Shubham; Ratul and Manoj Kumar

Dancing: (3-8 Yrs): 1 Daksh Singla; 2 Noor Kainth

Consolation: Arshi

(9-15 Yrs): 1 Deliya Kaur; and 2 Shruti Sardar

Consolation: Avani Jindal, Dia Sharma, Harmehar Dhaliwal

(Above 16 Yrs): 1 Deachan Angmo; and 2 Manprit Singh

Consolation: Sandeep Kaur

Groups: 1 Pratyuman and Group; and 2 Rashi Sehgal and Group

Consolation: Mehakpreet Kaur and Group; and Sandra Mathew and Group

Duet Dance: 1 Sukhwinder Singh and Rahul Khan; and 2 Shreya Sharma and Vatsalika

Consolation: Gurleen Kaur and Harnaindeep

Rose Prince: (0-1 Yrs): 1 Sehraj Singh Bhangu; and 2 Ayaan Gambhir

Consolation: Arnav Nair

(1-2 Yrs): 1 Maahir Singh; and 2 Bhavneet Singh

Consolation: Abhay Chopra

(2-3 Yrs): 1 Aarav Bhaskar; and 2 Akshaj Goyal

Consolation: Aaditya

Rose Princess: (0-1 Yrs): 1 Aisha; and 2 Samaira 

Consolation: Vamdhi Wadhawan

(1-2 Yrs): 1 Aaratrika Kapoor; and 2 Sachika

Consolation: Anhad Kaur

(2-3 Yrs): 1 Amanat Ahuja; and 2 Radihka Balodi

Consolation: Nimarpreet Kaur

Painting: (5-10 Yrs): 1 Usha Kiran; and 2 Kinjal Chandel, Prabhjot Kaur

Consolation: Rehaan Sharma, Tanishika Thakur, Samridhi Thakur, Anish Thakur Aarna Gupta, Sohini, Chahat Kaushal, Gulneeer Bhandari, Vibha, Hargunee Kaur, Iha Kaur Sandhu, Toshani, Ishita and Ashmita Choudhary

(11-15 Yrs): 1 Muskan Chug; and 2 Jatin

Consolation: Ishmehar, Khushneet Bhatia, Anuj Gupta, Sonam Palzom, Ishnpreet Singh and Shivam Kaushik

(16-30 Yrs): 1 Akanksha Sharma, Rahul; and 2 Varsha Malvia

Consolation: Shivani, Shubham and Ratul Chaudhary

Quiz: 1 Suman and Neha Jain; and 2 Aradhana Thakur and Navjot Kaur

Consolation: Sarabjeet Kaur and Anamika Dadhwal; Harish Dehiya and Madhuri Maurya



Phone call keeps cops on toes
Complaint of taking away car at gunpoint found fake
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The UT police was on its toes last night when it received a call that an attempt had been made to snatch a car at gunpoint outside a hotel in Sector 35. However, on reaching the spot, the police found that two parties had got into a scuffle following which one of them had called the police. The matter was later sorted out and no complaint was received by the police.

The police received a call from Varun Bansal, a resident of Moga, around 12.45am that three occupant of a white Maruti Swift car tried to take away his Verna car (PB-29M-0444) at gunpoint.

The police said the scuffle took place outside an eating food joint and when the police reached the spot, the complainant told them he had a confrontation with the occupant of the car over some issue. The complainant said that got the impression that they were trying to take away his car so he called the police.He did not lodge any complaint and no case was registered.

The police received a call from Varun Bansal, a resident of Moga, around 12.45am that three occupant of a white Maruti Swift car tried to take away his Verna car (PB-29M-0444) at gunpoint.The police said the scuffle took place outside a food joint and when the police reached the spot, the complainant told them he had a confrontation with the occupant of the car over some issue.



Duped 32 persons of over Rs 32 lakh: Accused
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 16
In a new revelation in the online lottery scam, the Nigerians and the two women accused told the police today that they had duped around 32 persons of Rs 32,35,812 who deposited the amount in various bank accounts across the country.

Commissioner of Police Ajay Singhal said the investigations by their teams suggested that it was a countrywide scam and the number of victims could go much higher.

The Panchkula Police made a huge breakthrough on Friday night after they cracked the online lottery scam. They arrested the foreign nationals and two women after a local resident deposited Rs 14 lakh thinking that he won a lottery of 700,000 pounds.

The second day of the remand also revealed that the account holders in whose account money from the victims was being deposited were also taking commission from the accused.

The accused are gradually revealing the names of other gang members. The name of another member, Rahul, has come up during the investigations.

John, Chopper, Tina and Jyoti Rana have already been arrested while David (mastermind) and Rahul are still absconding.

“It needs to be verified whether these account holders are genuine or a gang that is opening these accounts,” said Singhal.

The investigations on the second day also revealed that John and Chopper are real brothers. John came to India in July 2010. Since then he has been residing in Nevada, Delhi, while Chopper came to India in September 2011.

Jyoti was involved in sending people abroad. A case under the Immigration Act against her is going on.

Romeo, alias David, was putting up in Delhi for the past four years. He used his email ID to inform others about the lottery.



Contractors exploiting security guards at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
Security guards working on a contractual basis at the PGI parking lots are being harassed by contractors.

The security guards said they were not paid well and were deprived of ESI and PF benefits. By not giving them the benefits, the contractors are violating labour laws. So far, the PGI administration does not have any mechanism in place to check the practice.

There are 65 security guards working under one contractor. They work for over 12 hours everyday and are still not paid the minimum DC rates. As per the DC rates, a security guard should be paid Rs 9,500 for an eight-hour duty. For a 12-hour duty, the security guards deputed at various parking lots are not being paid more than Rs 3,500 per month. All this is happening right under the nose of a labour officer appointed by the PGI administration to ensure that labour laws are complied with on its premises. Besides, there is also a security department looking after the security concerns of the institute.

While the PGI has no check on these exploitations, Chandigarh Tribune asked M Shayin, the Deputy Commissioner, who is also the Labour Comissioner, UT, on the matter, to which he replied, “It is a serious offence. I will look into it,” he said.

Earlier, Chandigarh Tribune had highlighted that the PGI had no check on the pay rolls of the security guards and there was no clarity on whether the labour office of the PGI maintained any records of people being hired by the service providers.

Just getting Rs 3,500 per month

There are 65 security guards working under one contractor. They work for over 12 hours everyday and are still not paid the minimum DC rates. As per the DC rates, a security guard should be paid Rs 9,500 for an eight-hour duty. For a 12-hour duty, the security guards deputed at various parking lots are not being paid more than Rs 3,500 per month. All this is happening right under the nose of a labour officer appointed by the PGI administration to ensure that labour laws are complied with on its premises.



Not scared of crop diversification: Farmers
Say government must ensure infrastructure, MSP for crops it intends to promote
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 16
Farmers of Punjab are ready for crop diversification provided the state government would create proper infrastructure, including markets, cold storages and fix minimum support price (MSP) for crops, except the traditional ones.

Talking to The Tribune, several farmers, who came to attend the farmers’ exhibition at Chappar Chiri village and the Kisan Sammelan at Phase 11 here today, said turning towards other crops, including vegetables, fruit and maize, was not a problem for them.

“The problem is that the government talk a lot but does nothing at the ground level,” they said.

Jarnail Singh and Mahima Singh, who came from Pamaur village in Fatehgarh Sahib, said where were the markets to sell these products and cold storages to keep the products in case the farmers would not get the price over the cost of production.

“First the government must ensure the MSP of those crops, which it intends to promote. We are not scared of crop diversification, but there is a lesser risk in producing traditional crops like paddy and wheat,” they said.

Echoing similar sentiments, another farmer Hari Singh, who came with a group of farmers from his native Ghareri Jattan village in Patiala, said rates of vegetables and fruits changes on a daily basis.

“If there is a glut of any vegetable or fruit, we are forced to throw these on the roads. In such a scenario, who would take risk,” he said.

Several farmers are of the view that free electricity provided to them by the Punjab Government was of no use as the electricity supply was being given during night hours only.

“We are getting power supply for six to eight hours, mostly during night hours. So it is of no use for us. We need electricity supply for minimum 12 hours and for that we are ready to pay,” said Sukhminder Singh, another farmer.

However, lauding the efforts of the state government for organising the farmers’ exhibition here, Jora Singh, a young and progressive farmer from Jandola village in Kaithal, Haryana, said he gained a lot of knowledge about advanced agricultural equipment, technologies, hybrid seeds and other related paraphernalia.

“Such exhibitions should be organised so that the farmers can update themselves with the latest updates in the agricultural sector. Its a learning experience,” Jora Singh added.



Miscreants break windowpanes of SUV

Panchkula, February 16
After a Bolero SUV that was stolen three days ago was found abandoned at Raipur Rani and handed over to its owner, windowpanes of the vehicle were found broken while it was parked outside his residence in Sector 11 here today.

The owner of the car, Surinder Yadav, informed the police about the incident which are investigating the matter. A relative of Yadav noticed the SUV near Raipur Rani a day after the theft. He told the police about the vehicle which recovered it later.

Today, when Surinder Yadav woke up he found the windowpanes of his car broken. — TNS



Rain pushes up potato prices 

Chandigarh, February 16
Recent rain seems to have pushed up potato prices in the Chandigarh region. Since the past two days, the prices have escalated.

Currently, potato is being sold at Rs 10 per to 15 per kg, whereas a week ago, the wholesale price was Rs 3 to Rs 7 per kg.

Rajinder Kumar, Mandi Supervisor, said onions were being bought from Nasik. The farmers were not able to make money due of the high transportation cost. The current wholesale price of onions is Rs 7 to Rs 10 per kg and the retailers are selling it at Rs 12 to16 per kg. — TNS



Business News
Anniversary celebrated

Bank of Baroda’s Sector 71, Mohali branch, has achieved a business of Rs 23 crore in the first year of its opening.

The branch of the bank celebrated its first anniversary on Sunday. HS Kler, Deputy General Manager, Bank of Baroda, Chandigarh Region, was the chief guest on the occasion.

While DRM, Bank of Baroda, Chandigarh Region, SB Prasad, and Assistant Media Adviser, Punjab Government, Vineet Joshi, were the guests of honour.

Student immigration

The Canadian student immigration has become more attractive with the Canadian Government allowing students to earn while they learn from the day one of initiating their educational course.

Students also need not apply for 20 hours work per week, as was mandatory earlier, said CMD, World Wide Immigration Consultancy Services (WWICS) Group Lt-Col BS Sandhu (retd). - TNS



Chandigarh Scan
Seminar concludes

A three-day seminar on meditation and yoga under the aegis of the Ananda Marga concluded at Satsang Bhawan, Sector 26, here on Sunday. Topics like “actions and their results” and “intuitional practice and its necessity” were discussed. Ac Priyatoshananda, trainer of the seminar, emphasised on spiritual practice to enhance physical, mental and spiritual well-being of the practitioner. He discussed about Progressive Utilisation Theory (PROUT), the socio-economic theory propounded by the founder of the Ananda Marga, PR Sarkar. “PROUT is a blend of individual liberty and collective welfare. It seeks to guarantee the five minimum requirements of life for human beings - food, clothing, shelter, education and medical care,” he said.

Book released

A book on Advance Pharmacology was released at North Zone, New Horizon in Pharmacy and Pharmacology, under the Indian Pharmacological Society meet, Mathura. It has been written by Dr Bikash Medhi and Dr Ajay Prakash of the Department of Pharmacology, PGIMER. The book is divided into three sections for ease learning, and all sections are important as each of them cover different aspects of drug module. - TNS



Experts dwell upon growth of Indian politics
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The Chetna Manch, Chandigarh, organised a panel discussion on ‘Debating Alternative: Illusions and Realities in Contemporary Indian Politics’ at Shivalik Public School, Sector 41, today.

PS Verma, former chairman, Department of Political Science, Panjab University, deliberated upon the changes that Indian politics had witnessed in the last 65 years.

“The one party system remained in power though some alternatives emerged after the fourth general elections in 1967 and in the later years too. The factors, which helped in the emergence of alternatives, included the economic sufferings of common people, creditability gap, factionalism etc,” he said.

Verma further said, “It is for the first time that a political outfit under the name of Aam Aadmi, claiming to be a new alternative, has replaced the one party rule in Delhi.”

“The two major political parties in the country —Congress and BJP — say that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is not an alternative. However, AAP has made an impact on both parties in many ways,” he added.

While speaking at the forum, Dr Ronki Ram, director, Indian Council of Social Sciences Research, North West, Chandigarh, traced the history of corporate houses where ethics and the morality of governance are lacking.

“The corporate houses under the garb of serving people are serving their own interests,” said Verma.

Kanwar Sandhu, Executive Editor of The Tribune, one of the panelists on the occasion, said, “Owing to regional aspirations of the people, more states such as Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand were created.

“People, however, remained unhappy owing to several problems such as poverty, hunger, unemployment, corruption and law and order and want to seek alternatives to the current policies,” added Sandhu.

He further said regional aspirations still dominated and influenced the national politics.

Welcoming the panelists, SK Khosla, secretary, Chetna Manch, said, “In view of the pitiable condition of the masses across the country, there is a need to mobilise the masses as AAP has emerged out of the struggle initiated by social activist Anna Hazare.”

Proposing the vote of thanks, Joginder Singh, member of Chetna Manch, said, “The need of the hour is to change the neo-liberal policies of the government.”



Bosco-Caesar to train students in dance

Mohali: Oakridge International School, Mohali campus, will organise ‘The Happy Feet Workshop’ from 11am to 12.30 pm on February 23. Bollywood choreographers Bosco Martis and Caesar Gonsalves will be in attendance. The famous Bosco-Caesar choreographer duo will teach dance moves to the students. The workshop will be held for kids in the age group of 3 to 14 years. Bosco and Caesar have choreographed 350 songs for movies and music videos.

Farewell for Class XII students

A farewell function was organised for the students of Class XII of St. Soldiers’. The programme commenced with a prayer by Gursahiba followed by a song by Jasleen and Shrey. A thought-provoking skit based on casualties of students enthralled the audience. A medley of party songs and one-minute games entertained the students.

Baby show for tiny tots

Ashmah International School organised a baby show which saw participation from more than 200 children in the age group of 1.5 years, 2.5 years and 3.5 years. The tiny tots from various schools took part in the show. The judges evaluated them as healthy baby, sunniest smile, most active baby, friendliest baby, most attractive baby, most sparkling eyes and all-round super baby. The overwhelming response and the performance of children kept the audience enthralled for hours. Principal Roopinder Ghuman lauded the tiny tots.

Mock test in accountancy

PANCHKULA: Commerce Zone, Sector 10, in association with Saint Soldier’s School, Sector 16, conducted the second mock test in accountancy based on the CBSE pattern for Class XI and XII. The paper was conducted at Saint Soldier’s. Institute director Kulvinder Singh said the question paper was set as per the CBSE pattern.

Mango Masti 2014

The 10th anniversary of The Mango Grove pre-school was celebrated in Sector 20 today. A baby show, fancy dress competition, drawing contest etc formed part of the function ‘Mango Masti 2014’. Chairman of the pre-school Col Karan Singh Thandi said “Education should shift from teaching the same lessons to children to understanding their needs and inclinations.”

Workshop for science teachers

A workshop for science teachers of government and non-government schools of Panchkula was organised by a Chandigarh-based NGO ‘Society for the Promotion of Science and Technology in India’ (SPSTI) at Doon Public School, Sector 21, today. The objective of the workshop was to train teachers and give them ideas to make science more understandable. A total of 55 science teachers from Panchkula took part in the one-day workshop. — TNS



PU & college notes
PU chemistry dept holds alumni meet

Chandigarh: The Department of Chemistry, Panjab University (PU), organised an alumni meet today. The meet was attended by a large number of alumni of the department who shared their views on the occasion. The event also saw participation from alumni over 75 years of age, including Prof Gurdev Singh, Prof SV Kessar, Prof RD Verma and Prof SP Narula, who were felicitated on the occasion. The Department of Chemistry also held the valedictory function of Prof Ram Chand Paul National Symposium, 2014. The alumni meet has been organised after a span of seven years under the chairmanship of president of the Panjab University Old Student Association Prof SK Mehta. SS Bains, IAS, Punjab Cadre, an alumnus of the department, was the guest of honour.

Campus placement drive at SVIET

A joint campus placement drive was organised at the Swami Vivekananda Institute of Engineering and Technology (SVIET), which witnessed massive recruitments from Pepsico. Students hailing from Punjabi University, Doaba College, Kharar, MIMT, Malout, Rayat and Bahra Institute, Ropar, APJ, Jalandhar, Gyan Jyoti, Mohali, GDEC, Ludhiana, KC Nawashahar and others participated in the placement drive. After rigorous rounds of written test, ground discussion and interview, 18 students were recruited by Pepsico. The selected candidates were offered packages between Rs 5.5 lakh to 7 lakh per annum.

Talk on nanochemistry at Rayat-Bahra

Rayat-Bahra Institute of Engineering and Bio-Technology (RBIEBT), Mohali campus, organised an expert talk on nanochemistry in the Applied Science Department. Dr Nirender Singh, professor, IIT, Ropar, briefed the students on the subject. Director Dr KC Aggarwal said nanomaterials emerged from research are expected to evolve towards engineering issues.

Desh Bhagat College of Education student shines

Manpreet Kaur, student of Desh Bhagat College of Education, has bagged the fifth position in the university by securing 80.83 per cent marks in M.Ed. final examination 2013, conducted by Punjabi University, Patiala. Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes director general Dr Shalini Gupta said all students had secured the first division. — TNS



Supply chain excellence discussed at seminar

Chandigarh, February 16
The Indian Institute of Material Management (IIMM), Chandigarh branch, celebrated it’s 29th Annual Day by organising a seminar on ‘Supply Chain Excellence — Essential for Customers Delight’ at Panjab University here today.

Speaking on the occasion, SK Sharma, former national president, IIMM, said, “IIMM is having a pan India presence with 46 branches and 300 members. It tends to educate the youth in the field of supply chain, logistics and marketing management.”

Deepak Kumar Khullar, MD, KSI Medicare was the chief guest.

Ramandeep Singh, director, Philips, was another prominent speaker. Dharam Bir Longia, chairman, Chandigarh branch, welcomed the delegates and former national presidents VK Jain and Suresh Sharma.

VS Maniam, vice-president, Chandigarh branch, spoke on supply chain management. — TNS



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