C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Early voters to get gifts 
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
Those who cast their ballot early are set to get surprise gifts and cash vouchers in the coming Lok Sabha elections.

In an attempt to woo voters to exercise their right to franchise, the UT Election Department has decided that in each polling booth, it will give surprise gifts and cash vouchers to the first 10 voters. There are 500 polling booths in the city.

Besides, the department has tied up with hotels and restaurants in the city which will offer discounts to people who exercise their franchise. To avail of the discount, voters will have to show the indelible mark on their finger to the restaurant owners.

Joint Chief Electoral Officer Tilak Raj said their aim was to ensure that more people turn up to cast their ballot.

He said the department was working on a tie-up with a company for the surprise gifts and cash vouchers to be given to the first 10 voters in each booth.

The department has also tied up with theatre groups and NGOs. Members of theatre groups and NGOs will perform street plays in colonies, villages and markets to encourage people to exercise their franchise. Theatre Age, an NGO which works for the uplift of slum children, will perform these plays. 

What's in the offing

* Slogan-writing competition in schools and colleges

* Campaign on local radio stations, cinema halls and newspapers

* Discounts in hotels and restaurants to voters

* Street plays to spread awareness regarding "ethical voting"

* Appointment of campus ambassadors in city colleges

* Awareness campaign on EVMs

* Banks, post offices roped in for registration of voters 

First 10 in each booth to get lucky

In an attempt to woo voters to exercise their right to franchise, the UT Election Department has decided that in each polling booth, it will give surprise gifts and cash vouchers to the first 10 voters. There are 500 polling booths in the city.



Keep vigil till 9 pm, HC tells civic body
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
Less than four months after the Chandigarh Administration was rapped on its knuckles for apparently displaying a complete lack of will “to do anything”, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today ordered the municipal corporation authorities to maintain a vigil till 9 pm to check encroachments in Sector 22.

The High Court also made it clear to officials that checking of identity proof of the encroachers was a requirement.

The directions came during the hearing of a petition filed by the Sector 22 Welfare Society against the Chandigarh Administration and other respondents. Taking up the issue of encroachments in Sector 22, the High Court had earlier asked inspectors of the municipal corporation to maintain a register of violations. The Bench had also specified that the register should contain not just the names of the violators, but also the number of times they had indulged in infringement and the nature of violations. The Bench also directed the authorities to file an affidavit giving details of the number of challans issued for the violations.

The High Court has already made its intentions clear of not only directing the removal of obstructions, but also disciplinary action against officials charged with the duty of removing the intrusions.

The petition has been filed by the Sector 22 Welfare Society. The Bench observed that they were prima facie of the view that there were a large number of encroachments/obstructions in the corridors meant for shoppers visiting Sector 22-C and 22-D. As the encroachments had remained unnoticeable to the authorities concerned, they proposed to issue effective directions.

The Bench had added before doing so they would want the corporation to file an affidavit on the strength of the encroachment staff deployed in Sector 22. The corporation has also been asked to give the particulars of their designations and nature of duties. The Bench has also asked the corporation to tell whether the Commissioner and the Additional Commissioner had ever conducted a spot inspection of the markets in the sectors to take stock of the conditions prevailing there.



GMSH, dispensaries run short of medicines
Patients from economically weaker sections forced to buy these from the market
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
Patients visiting Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, and numerous civic dispensaries in the city are being forced to purchase most of the basic medicines from the market for the past over 15 days.

Of the 100 medicines that are provided free of cost, the UT Health Department has run out of stock of 88 medicines, causing problems for patients, especially those belonging to economically weaker sections.

The stock of life-saving drugs, which are to be provided to patients in the emergency ward within the first 24 hours of admission, has also been exhausted, forcing patients to rush to chemist shops on the hospital campus for every small dose.

“My father is a daily wage earner. He met with an accident last week. We took him to the GMSH. Since he was the sole breadwinner and is admitted to the hospital, our income has stopped. We do not have any savings. I had to borrow some money from my neighbours to buy medicines and injections,” said Ram Kumar, name changed, a Class X student.

The shortage of medicines, especially those meant for common diseases such as high blood pressure, cold and fever, has been affecting a large number of patients visiting the civic dispensaries. Chandigarh Tribune had recently highlighted how patients visiting the civic dispensaries in Sector 34 and Sector 42 were being asked to buy half of the prescribed medicines from the market.

An official of the UT Health Department said: “We place bulk orders every year. Such a problem occurs when the number of patients visiting the hospital exceeds the estimated figure. This year the footfall of patients was apparently higher. As a result, we ran short of medicines. Though we have placed an order, restoring proper supply is likely to take some time."

“For emergency cases, we have made purchases at the local level,” the official said.



Chandigarh votes 2014
AAP likely to act against 8 party workers
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
After witnessing anti-party activities being carried out by some party volunteers, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is likely to take action against eight workers.

Sources in AAP said recently these party workers had posted indecent comments against senior party leaders on social networking sites and Whatsapp group of the city party unit. They had even misbehaved with senior party leaders, sources said.

An AAP leader said they had written a letter against them to the party high command. After getting response from it, the city unit was likely to take action against them.

There is also resentment among the AAP volunteers as they allege that AAP candidate Savita Bhatti is not approachable. A number of AAP workers said neither she pick up their calls nor responded to their SMSes.

From March 4 onwards, they will send mass SMSes to her and will appeal to her to connect with the party workers.

After the announcement of Savita’s name as AAP candidate from the city, a number of AAP leaders have also distanced themselves from her campaign.

Even on the first day of her campaign, only a few people had turned up at the Sector 17 Plaza.

Savita visited the Nada Sahib Gurdwara in Panchkula today on the birthday of her husband, late Jaspal Bhatti.

Despite repeated attempts, Savita did not responded.

Gadkari to meet BJP workers on March 5

BJP’s senior leader and former party president Nitin Gadkari will visit the city on March 5. Gadkari will meet party workers at a meeting that will be held at the party office ‘Kamlam’, in Sector 33. Party’s city unit president Sanjay Tandon said Gadkari’s visit was expected to fill party workers with enthusiasm and provide necessary guidance for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Workers will get an opportunity to discuss important matters with him, he said.

Congress holds padyatra in Maloya

Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) president BB Bahl led the padyatra today at Maloya. A large number of Congress workers and supporters took part in the event.

The padyatra is being organised on instructions given by the AICC to highlight the achievements of the UPA Government and sitting MP Pawan Kumar Bansal.

BSP holds meeting

BSP’s Lok Sabha candidate and councillor Jannat Jahan today organised a meeting with MC officials and residents of Ram Darbar. Jahan listened to problems faced by area residents during the meeting and assured early solution to their issues.

She appealed to area residents to vote for the BSP in the upcoming elections. Jannat said the BSP had raised its voice for poor and needy people and it would remain the same in the future as well.


Lok Sabha poll: HAS leaders to join BJP tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
Panjab University has turned into a political hub for national parties who are mobilising youth voters for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

On the lines of the Shiromani Akali Dal, the BJP is also organising a cultural event on the PU campus on March 5.

Former BJP president Nitin Gadkari will address students during the event.

Sources said former senior leaders of the Haryana Students Association (HAS) —who earlier supported the Congress — will join the BJP at its party office, Sector 33, before the commencement of the event.

Former HAS leaders, including Narender Gujjar and Kuldeep Chaudary along the four other party leaders, will join the BJP.

Sources said Panjab University Campus Student Council secretary Disha Arora had taken permission from the authorities to hold the cultural event.

Political experts said the SAD-BJP aimed to get all Congress student leaders join their party to emerge victorious in the upcoming elections.

Interestingly, the Congress, which has been backing these student leaders in the student elections, has not acted till now. Experts believe that this would be a big setback for the Congress in the Panjab University.

To avoid row, BJP plays safe

To avoid any untoward incident on the PU campus in the wake of senior HAS leaders joining the BJP, the party has decided that the HAS leaders will join its fold at its  office in Sector 33. Last week,, objections were raised by the National Students Union of India (NSUI) for holding such an event on the university campus, wherein Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) and Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) leaders joined the Shiromani Akali Dal.



Chinks in AAP come to fore
Party leader writes to Kejriwal opposing the name of Savita Bhatti
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
Chinks in the city unit of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) over finalising Savita Bhatti’s name as AAP candidate from the Chandigarh LS seat have now surfaced.

Upset with her name, an AAP leader, Ram Lakhan Mittal Kasiwal, who is also an advocate in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, shot off a letter to AAP founder Arvind Kejriwal today.

Kasiwal, who was among the seven ticket aspirants interviewed by senior AAP leaders, in his four-page letter said instead of selecting local AAP volunteers who were working for the party from the past two years, it preferred "khas" (special) people for the Chandigarh seat.

Kasiwal also stated in his letter that the party also not followed the proper rules for finalising Bhatti’s name. Her name was never uploaded on the party’s official website to take public opinion on her name.

Kasiwal also written that Bhatti hardly participated in any ‘Jhadu Yatra’ in the city. Hence, it should reconsider its decision, he said.

For the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat, the AAP had interviewed HK Arora, Ram Lakhan Mittal Kasiwal, Prof KK Garg, Meena Sharma, Palwinder Singh Bajwa, Dr Munish Raizada and Pawan Handa. But ultimately, the party gave the ticket to her from Chandigarh, who had joined the party on January 13 this year.



Congress men squabble for party ticket in Panchkula
Hooda was in city to attend Punjabi Ekta Manch function
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 3
High drama was witnessed when local Congressmen squabbled with one another over party ticket during a function where Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was the chief guest.

Hooda had come to address the members of the ‘Punjabi Ekta Manch’ at the ‘Punjabi Milan Sammaroh’ organised at Indradhanush auditiorium, Panchkula, today.

Supporters of the local MLA, DK Bansal, fought with other Congressmen when they hinted at Bansal being an outsider from Ambala. They demanded that ticket be given to someone belonging to Panchkula and not. Bansal said, “I don’t know why they spoke about an ‘outsider’. I am from a village in Barwala here itself.”

Ranjeeta Mehta, president of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee said, “In the first place, these Congressmen did not invite the MLA and he came here on invitation. When he was on the stage, they did not even let him speak.”

Sangeeta Goyal, former councillor said to those who were creating a ruckus, “If you cannot respect the sititng MLA then we can’t expect anything from you. You did not treat him well and also did not let him speak on the stage. You are not true Congressmen.”

Ranjeeta Mehta said, “ We all should respect each other if we true Congressmen.”

Punjabi families who migrated from Pak will be taken on a visit to their houses across the border: CM

Hooda in his speech said that Punjabi families who had migrated from Pakistan during partition would be taken to Pakistan to visit their houses free of cost after relaxation in visa rules. At present, the issue of relaxation in visa rules between India and Pakistan was under consideration. Addressing the gathering in Punjabi Language, Hooda said that many families of the Punjabi community had migrated to India during the partition in 1947. On the demand raised by the Punjabi Ekta Manch for providing land to set up Punjabi Bhawan in Panchkula, Hooda said that their demand would be considered sympathetically.



Neighbour’s dog attacks woman in P’kula
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 3
Calling a pet dog of her neighbour by its name landed a 50 year-old woman in hospital after the canine attacked her in Sector 2 here. The victim is a lawyer with the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The canine, a St Bernard, attacked the woman, Parveen Dutt, injuring her all over the body. The owner of the pet was holding its leash when it suddenly pounced upon the victim and attacked her.

The victim, identified as Parveen Dutt Bhardwaj, was taking a walk when the neighbour was with her dog outside the house. A DDR has been lodged at the local police post on the complaint of the victim.

The doctors treating the woman at the General Hospital said that it was the rarest of a rare case when the entire skin from neck to waist had been badly injured, using jaws and claws.

"I was going for a morning walk. While on my way, I politely asked the owner what the name of the dog was. After she told me the name, I politely called out to the dog, “Billu” and the dog pounced on me. He attacked me several times," said the victim who was in great pain.

She added, "The woman did not pull back the dog when it was attacking me. Rather my tenant also shouted at the woman to control the dog but she didn't, following which I lodged a complaint with the police."

Dr Mandeep Singh, said, "Parveen has suffered serious injuries on her breast. We have received such a case for the first time."

Colonel Vimla, a doctor at the Command Hospital and a relative said, "When people cannot hold their dogs properly they should not take it for a walk. The police should register an FIR. Why should an innocent person suffer because of others?" The family of the victim has already spent Rs 50,000 on seven injections given to her.



UT Admn to improve e-connectivity in villages
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
The UT Department of Information Technology has inked an agreement with the Department of Telecommunications, Government of India and Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL), for laying optical fiber cable to enable connectivity in Chandigarh villages under the Government of India’s IT flagship project the National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN).

The Government of India is creating the National Optical Fiber Network as a national asset, for providing broadband to 250,000 panchayats across the country. A minimum bandwidth of 100Mbps will be made available at each gram panchayat and it will lead to the proliferation of broadband services. Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL), a special purpose vehicle that has been incorporated by the Department of Telecommunications for the NOFN project, is the executing agency for it. The prime objective of the NOFN is to extend the existing optical network that is presently available up to district, block levels and panchayat level.

The broadband connectivity in the villages across the nation will provide e-governance, e-banking, e-health and e-learning services to the villagers. 



2 PUDA employees threaten self-immolation
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 3
Fed up with the indifferent approach of the state government towards their long pending demands, the two office-bearers of PUDA Employees Sangharsh Committee threatened to immolate themselves tomorrow morning at PUDA Bhawan, Phase 8, here.

The committee’s convener Mohinder Singh Maloya and Jarnail Singh threatened to set themselves afire at the PUDA Bhawan if the government would not react to their demands. “If we die, the Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, PUDA’s vice -chairman A Venu Prasad and PUDA’s chief administrator Manvesh Singh Sidhu would be held responsible,” said the duo.

Earlier, the executive body of the committee also decided to boycott the ruling party candidates in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

“We (the PUDA/GMADA employees) would not cast votes for any SAD-BJP candidate in the coming elections,” said Maloya.

Earlier, the members of the committee, who turned up in front of the PUDA Bhawan to stage protest today from across the state, held a rally and raised anti-government and anti-PUDA management slogans. The employees had been staging protest in one or other way since December 4.

The main demands of the employees include implementation of pension scheme, one-year extension in retirement age, allotment of plots to remaining employees, who did not get plots under PUDA policy in 2001 and regularisation of daily wagers.



Computer operators stage protest
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 3
Nearly 200 computer operators, members of PHS Computer Operators Association, staged a protest in front of office of Punjab Health Corporation at Phase 6, here today.

Hundreds of computer operators, who came from various parts of the state, assembled at the venue today morning.

Rupinderpal Singh, district president of the association, said 350 operators were regularised around two years ago, leaving a total of 68 operators. “After that a total of 143 operators were recruited on contractual basis. We demand to regularise these operators with immediate effect,” said the president.

The protestors also gave a memorandum to the managing director of the corporation Hussan Lal.



Retired Colonel accuses hospital staff of negligence
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 3
A former Army personnel alleged negligence on the part of Fortis hospital during operation of his wife, which resulted in suffering of the patient for at least two days after the operation.

Giving details, Col Sanyal said four wires were used in the operation. “After the operation, parts of three wires were seen outside the body, which would be removed after settling of the bone. As no part of the fourth wire was visible outside the body, we asked the doctors on duty to check-up my wife when she started complaining of severe pain in her shoulder but nobody paid heed to our complaints”, alleged Col Sanyal.

After two days, one of the doctors noticed the amiss and pull out the part of the wire from the body after administering anesthesia, added Col Sanyal.

The hospital’s spokesperson stated that the patient in question had a fracture of the neck humerus for which percutaneous fixation was done with kirschner wires. “Out of the four wires, one moved from its position with the movement of the shoulder. Moving of the wires because of the extent of shoulder movement by the patient is common and the wires were readjusted so that they continued to maintain the fracture reduction in its proper position. The wires would be removed after the fracture starts healing, as it is a standard procedure.”



Doctor to attend global summit
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 3
Orthopaedician Dr Mohinder Kaushal will address the International Minimally Invasive Spine (MIS) Congress, to be held at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from March 20.

The three-day conference, being organised by The Malaysian Spine Society in collaboration with the World Endoscopic Spine Society, would witness symposiums on endoscopic spine surgery in which Dr Kaushal will give his lecture.

The congress will witness several world-renowned doctors from various countries including France, Singapore, Germany, Spain, Thailand, USA, Japan, Indonesia and India. Apart from Dr Kaushal, five more doctors from India, Dr Arun Bhanot, Dr PC Dey, Dr Shankar Acharya, Dr Arvind Jayaswal and Shrinivas M Rohidas, were invited to the congress.



Idea of writing threat letter came from FB account of a Punjabi singer
Accused downloaded ‘Babbar Khalsa’ letterhead from artiste’s Facebook wall
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
In police custody for extorting a city-based jeweller Manoj Jain, the accused, Harvir Singh, told the police that he took the idea of writing a threat letter from the Facebook account of a Punjabi singer who had also received a threat letter and had pasted it on his Facebook wall.

The Crime Branch of the UT police has seized the computer and printer machine which was used to download and type the letterhead and then a letter was written by hand on it and sent to complainant Manoj Jain.

The jeweller had received two threat letters at his house in Sector 35 on February 20 and 24. Accused Harvir and his driver Jagdev were arrested on March 1.

DSP (crime) Jagbir Singh said Harvir was running the business of making Punjabi music video films with local folk singers and had borrowed money for investing in his business in which he suffered losses and could not repay the debts. The accused thus hatched a conspiracy to extort money from Jain. The police said Jain’s relatives had also acted in some of the videos, which were made by Harvir.

Harvir and Jagdev were arrested on the basis of CCTV footage of the camera installed at the house of Manoj Jain.

The police said the accused was attached to Wanjali Records, a firm, which produced Punjabi videos.

The police said the accused got the idea of writing the letter which was received by a Punjabi singer from a militant organisation. He copied the said letterhead from the Facebook account of that artist. He then wrote the letters in his own handwriting demanding Rs 7 crore from Jain. Thereafter, he asked Jagdev Singh to drop the letters at the complainant’s house in Sector 35, Chandigarh. Harvir disclosed during his interrogation that the letterhead was prepared and printed on his personal computer. He also admitted that he himself wrote the letter.

The printer and the hard disc of the computer has been taken into police possession and will be sent to CFSL for further analysis. Further, his hand-writing samples will be obtained for the purpose of comparison with the threat letters.

Manoj Jain had received two threat letters on February 20 and 24, 2014, respectively. It was written in Punjabi on the letterhead of “Babbar Khalsa” threatening him that his son would be kidnapped if he did not pay a ransom of Rs 7 crore. The accused demanded the ransom or else his son would be killed. The complainant further said that the accused had used Pajero Car to deliver the letter. The CCTV footage installed outside Jain’s house was vital in solving the case.



Sanitation a grave issue in city’s Ward No. 21
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
Sanitation is one of the major issues which residents of Sectors 32 and 46 falling under the Municipal Corporation (MC) Ward No 21 encounter with. Heaps of garbage can be seen in various parts of the ward of Senior Deputy Mayor Heera Negi, exposing the tall claims of ensuring clean city by the MC.

Heaps of garbage in Sectors 32, 46

Heaps of garbage stacked alongside roads greets the people visiting both sectors. The garbage and leaves can be seen piled-up at short distances, showing a picture of neglect. Malba can also be seen dumped by the roadsides.

Need to develop garbage collection system

There is a need to streamline the garbage collection system in Sector 32. Residents demand that the civic body should regulate the garbage collection by contractors in Sector 32. Gurmail Singh, general secretary, Welfare Society, Sector 32, claimed that the rate of garbage collection at marla houses in Sector 32 is Rs 50 for ground floor, Rs 60 for first floor and Rs 70 for the top floor which were revised recently, however the garbage collectors are again demanding a hike in the collection charges. "The MC should fix the charges in each sector and should also maintain the attendance chart of the garbage collectors to ensure they are regular on the job," Singh added.

Maintenance of green belts

Upkeep and cleanliness of the park is another issue that tops the agenda of residents in Sector 46. The playing equipment and benches in the park next to the ground where the Apni Mandi is held are broken. The ground where the mandi is held every Friday is not cleaned for the next few days. Mangat Ram, a resident of the area, said the leftover garbage and rotten vegetables were carried to the nearby residential areas by animals. The green belt in Sector 46-A also requires the attention of the MC authorities.

Sehaj Safai Kendra in Sector 46

Sehaj Safai Kendra (SSK) is another long-pending demand of the residents of Sector 46. In the absence of a kendra, garbage collectors dump the garbage in open leading to serious hygiene issues among residents. The SSK was approved by the MC in a House meeting around 10 months ago. However, the project is pending since then.

Cleaning of pavements

Residents complain that while the sanitation staff of the MC cleans the road, they refuse to clean pavements. SP Jand, president, Resident Welfare Society, Sector 46, said there was a need to develop a policy for cleanliness of the area adjacent to roads as safai karamcharis claim that their duty was only to clean the roads. "What's the fun of cleaning the road when the pavements are kept dirty," he said.


* Lights in neighbourhood parks.

* Huts in parks.

* Parking created alongside parks in Sector 46 by shifting grills.

* New road gullies in the ward.

* Pushed the case of renovation of government houses with the Administration.

* Revamping of Government High School in Sector 3.

"Streetlights should be regularly checked and maintained to ensure that the streets are not dark leading to inconvenience to the residents."  Ekta, a resident of Sector 32

"Hygiene in Sector 32 should be the priority of the area councillor. The MC should ensure that the streets are cleaned regularly to provide a healthy environment to residents." Shashi Pandey, a resident of Sector 32

"The MC officials should visit the wards frequently to have a reality check. Members of the Residents Welfare Association should also be a part of the visits so that the grave problems of the sectors can be highlighted. " Param, a resident of Sector 46

"Stray dog meance in our sector is also a major issue following which the children and women face issues while walking down the streets. " Perwinder Khairwal, 
a resident of Sector 46


"I agree that sanitation is a great problem for the residents of both sectors, I will be taking up the issue with the MC authorities to ensure clean surroundings. Moreover, the work on the SSK in Sector 46 will start soon. Six wards in the city, including my ward, got water boosters after I took up the issue, which was pending for the past many years, with the authorities concerned. To provide facilities to the residents of Sector 32, a Sampark Centre is also on the priority list." — Heera Negi, Senior Deputy Mayor and BJP councillor



Spreading awareness against dowry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
Dowry sought by the groom's family at a small district, Jalna, in Maharashtra, around 25 years ago gave birth to a crusader who decided to pedal across the country to spread awareness against the social evil that still exists in the country.

Bhau Saheb Bhawar's (41) dream to get his sister happily married was shattered when the groom's family demanded Rs 5,000 from him. Bhawar had no other option but to pay the amount.

That was the moment when he took a pledge to spread awareness against dowry.

His crusade against it began in 1993 when he started his cycling expedition after realising that he was not the only sufferer.

Referring to the disturbing dip in the male and female ratio in different parts of the country, Bhawar said dowry was one of the reasons that led to female foeticide.

"Many people kill their girl child because they feel girls are a burden. Since then, I have been travelling across the length and breadth of the country," said Bhawar, who has travelled across the nation four times on his bicycle.

He said education and employment should be promoted among women to eradicate the social evil.

"Unnecessary spending of money on marriages should be stopped. Instead, money should be spend on the education of the girl child," he said.

Bhawar, who was in Chandigarh for his fifth expedition, said his arduous journeys would continue to reach the masses.



Underpass proposed in Panchkula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 3
The Municipal Corporation has proposed an underpass connecting Sectors 20 and 21. This decision has been taken during the House meeting of the Municipal Corporation here to check the traffic jam issue in the area.

Mayor Upinder Kaur Ahluwalia said the underpass was a dire need of the area.

"It has been decided in the House to intimate the Haryana Urban Development Authority and the National Highway Authority of India immediately for the construction of the underpass," said Ahluwalia.

"People are complaining of heavy traffic jams," she added.

Also, CCTV cameras would be installed at the entry points of the district, including Pinjore and Kalka. A budget of Rs 1.5 crore has been approved for the same.

The meeting that was held at the Red Bishop, Sector 1, started with a boycott by councillors who said the sitting arrangement was like that of a reception.

Ravi Kant Swami, Satinder Tony and other councillors said they would not sit this way and its an insult for them. It was after executive officer OP Sihag and Mayor requested them to return, the sitting arrangements were changed.

Though the budget of 74 crores was proposed during the Budget meeting, a huge ruckus was created over the allocation of the amount to be given to each ward for the works.

After that it was decided that the councillors have been given Rs 3 crore each to get the developmental works done in their respective wards.

A few officials, including sub-divisional officers, with the MC stood up during the meet and said they were short of staff. The Mayor said they would be recruiting more people.

A few councillors said a security wall inaugurated by MLA DK Bansal should be razed down. They raised the issue that local MLA DK Bansal visits the wards of councillors and inaugurates walls and other projects without bringing it to their notice. Though the House passed that the wall will be razed down in another 24 hours, later the authorities said it was not feasible.

Bansal said: "I have inaugurated so many buildings as well. How will they raze down so many structures worth Rs 30 crores. We all should bother about the development and not these petty issues."

A canteen has been approved to come up at the MC office. The issue was raised by councillor Ravi Kant Swami.

Three wards consisting of slum areas that were termed as unauthorised, leading to Rs 4.5 crore lying unused, have been approved in the House as authorised. The Mayor would be informing the government to regularise these colonies so that they could carry out the developmental works. The MC has approved that a bypass which has to be made from Pinjore may be speed up. 



Rotarians from Pakistan visit city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
A delegation of 16 Rotarians from Nawabshah, Pakistan, reached here today. The delegation was led by President of the Rotary club of Nawabshah, Rtn Sadar Din Memon. The delegation had attended the Rotary Conference at Dehradun on March 1 and 2 and was in the city today on an invitation of Rotary Club, Chandigarh.

Rotarian Dr Muhammad Ayub, Chairman of the Gift of Life Pakistan, who is a part of delegation, said many children from Pakistan have survived the heart problem who were operated Chandigarh, under Rotary Heartline Project, which has strengthened the ties between the people.

On a request from Dr Ayub, Rotary Club of Chandigarh agreed to treat three critical heart-patient children of Pakistan in the city.

He said children born in Pakistan are getting new lease of life and their hearts are being mended here in India.

Hassan Singh Mejie, President of the Rotary Club of Chandigarh, said we have worked together with the Rotarians of Pakistan on our Heartline project and it is gratifying that lives of little children could be saved.

For almost every Rotarian from Pakistan this had been their first visit to India and has enjoyed every moment and Indian hospitality.

The programme was also attended by Rotary District Governor of Tanzania and Uganda, Emmanuel Katongole who was overwhelmed by the presence of Rotarians from Pakistan and India, and said such interactions can pave way for peace and goodwill amongst nations through people to people contact.



Residents suggest solutions
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 3
Following the parking chaos in Panchkula, the residents have come up with various solutions. Chandigarh Tribune, on Sunday, in its columns had published how the township is groping with the parking problem.

The Sectors 7, 9 and 11 are the worst affected ones. Due to lack of space and encroachments by the shopkeepers and other street vendors, the sectors are left with space to the commuters for parking the vehicles.

Vimal Singla, a resident of Sector 11 said, “The authorities can implement underground parking in the Sector 11 market at least. As it is the most chaotic, people have to park on the main roads.”

Estate officer of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) said they were looking for proposals to curb the parking problem.

Solutions suggested by residents

Clearing encroachments can make adequate space for the commuters. Strict and exemplary action should be taken against the people who park their vehicles wrongly. Underground parking should be implemented in Sector 11. To curb the parking problem in the residential areas, community parking should be developed.

Traffic policemen should be deployed at the peak hours in the busy markets.



Board submits its views to UT Administrator
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
The “Board of Inquiry and Hearing”, which was constituted by UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil, to look into objections and suggestions received on the Draft Master Plan-2031, has finally submitted its recommendations to the UT Administrator.

After holding a number of hearing sessions in November and December 2013, the board submitted its recommendations on last Friday.

Requesting anonymity, a board member said that after going through the suggestions and objections submitted by city residents, including traders, industrialists, Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) flat allottees etc., they had submitted their recommendations to the UT Administrator. After his approval, it will be submitted before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, he said.

The board headed by Satya Gopal, Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) chairman, include Sumit Kaur, UT Chief Architect, Prerna Puri, UT Secretary (Information Technology) SK Chadda, UT Chief Engineer, Ravinder Singh Pali, former Mayor, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, Vivek Partap Singh, MC Commissioner and the Chief Planner, Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD).

The UT authorities started working on the master plan on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and an expert committee was constituted under the chairpersonship of Sumit Kaur to prepare a vision for 2031. 



Row over registry clerk’s appointment 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
Even as the UT vigilance is looking into the complaint on appointments of sub-registrar, the office of the sub-registrar has again quoted controversy by appointing an unqualified registry clerk.

An RTI activist, RK Garg, had highlighted the issue of illegal appointment of sub-registrar. The issue had brought the legal sanctity of over 1,300 legal documents, including sale deeds of properties, lease deeds and attorneys registered by the UT sub-registrar under scrutiny. The sub-registrar had been appointed by Registrar of Document-cum- Deputy Commissioner.

Now the Registrar has appointed an unqualified registry clerk, in violation of the orders of the Home Secretary issued in March 2012. Only those candidates can be appointed who have passed the exams of registry clerks.

RK Garg, who has sought information about the qualification of the sub-registrars appointed by the Registrar, said even the appointment of Inderpal as Sub-registrar was against the rules. He has complained to the UT Advisor over the issue. “When the CAG objected to appointment of previous sub-registrars, the UT should go by the rules,” he said.



63 units of blood collected at PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
The Yuva Sankalpa Foundation, an NGO, in collaboration with the Society for Divine Reiki and Meditation organised the 9th Annual Kamlesh Sharma Memorial Blood Donation Camp at Student Centre, Panjab University, today. 

The idea was instituted by deputy mayor Davesh Moudgil in the memory of his mother. The camp was organised in association with the Rotary Blood Bank Society. As many as 63 units of blood were collected.



Business news

Punjab, Haryana to get power from Mundra UMPP

Following the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) orders on 4,000 MW Ultra Mega Power Plant (UMPP), the consumers of Punjab and Haryana will continue to get reliable power from the Mundra UMPP. The Mundra plant provides power to 5 beneficiary states including Punjab and Haryana at remarkably low rates, which will continue to stay at Rs 2.87 per unit.

Biocare launches mouth restoration solutions

Nobel Biocare has launched full mouth restoration solutions. This technique reduces the number of dental implants required to support a fixed denture to just four. Sharing his views on the subject, Rakesh Julka, Regional Director - South Asia, Nobel Biocare, said, “In India, patients do not immediately approach dentists for dentures. This delay leads to excessive bone loss which reduces the support for the denture. Historically, these patients were either treated with bone grafting or were simply rejected any treatment. Graftless solutions like the All-on-4 treatment concept have revolutionised the approach to treatment and many patients who have understandably rejected treatment in the past can now be treated with this solution.”



CBSE, ICSE Class X exams begin
17,000 students from Tricity take exam across 425 centres on first day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
The Class X examinations of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), and the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), began here today.

As many as 17,000 students from the Tricity took the examination. A total of 425 centres have been formed by CBSE for the exams.

A majority of students who took the CBSE Mathematics exam said they attempted it well. Similarly, students of ICSE also found the English exam easy.

Anxiety was writ large on the faces of parents who stood outside the examination centres.

CBSE regional officer RJ Khanderao said, “The examination went off without any hitch and no complaints were received from any centre. No unfair means cases were reported at any of the centres in the city.”

"The answer sheets will be evaluated through computers this year. It will be an on-screen marking system," added Khanderao.

Saishubham, a student of Model School in Sector 19, said the Mathematics paper was not difficult.

Pranav, a student of St. Xavier’s School, said the English language paper had been aptly set.

The CBSE examinations will conclude on March 19.

However, examinations for students opting for their personal school-based (within CBSE), are yet to begin.

The difference between the two examination formats lies in the evaluation of the answer sheets.

While the school-based examination answer sheets are evaluated by teachers within the school, the external board examination answer sheets are checked by external teachers.

In both the cases, assessments will be based on the marking scheme provided by CBSE. The students will receive the same certificate, irrespective of the exam format they choose.



Help at hand: Counsellors drive away exam blues
Bhavya Bhatia

Chandigarh, March 3
Raman, a Class XII student, is jittery these days.

With the commencement of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Examination, he feels pressured to perform well.

With the Physics exam scheduled for March 5, Raman’s anxieties have increased. He called up the CBSE regional counsellor yesterday to seek guidance on how to prepare for the exam.

Raman is not the lone student to seek help. Scores of students approach counsellors daily with a view to perform well in the exam.

CBSE has appointed two regional counsellors to impart tips to students -- Rakesh Sachdeva, principal of DAV School, Sector 15; and Madhu Bahl, principal of KB DAV School, Sector 7.

The counsellors said on an average, they received around 20-25 calls from students daily who shared their anxieties about the exam. They said the percentage of students carrying out last-minute revision to score marks was far less than those who just wanted guidance on how to take the exam.

The counsellors said the calls received this year, related to stress and anxiety, were less as compared to last year.

CBSE regional counsellor and principal of DAV School, Sector 15, Rakesh Sachdeva, said, “I tell students to study with a relaxed mind. A healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet are a must during the exams.”

Madhu Bahl, CBSE regional counsellor and principal of KB DAV School, Sector 7, said, “Enquiries by Class X students are less as the examination is optional. A majority of the students are of Classes XI and XII.”

Sources said subject-wise counsellors had been appointed for students in government schools.

Gear up

*n Don’t panic

* Practice mock tests

* Study the important questions as told by your teachers

* Get sufficient sleep

* Practice sample test papers

* Practice handwriting

Helpline numbers

* Rakesh Sachdeva: 9814131484

* Madhu Bahl: 9417006590



Date sheet for undergraduate classes

Chandigarh, March 3
Panjab University (PU), has notified the annual examination date sheet for all undergraduate classes.

As many as three lakh students will appear in the examination.

PU Controller of Examinations Prof Parvinder Singh said the date sheet had been uploaded on the PU website http://exams.puchd.ac.in/datesheet.php.

The annual examinations for BA, B.Com, B.Sc (general and honours), BBA and BCA would commence from April 2 and continue till May 19. — TNS



SATKAL Award for Dev Samaj librarian 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
Dr Jaspal Kaur, librarian at the Dev Samaj College for Women, has been conferred the Satinder Kaur Ramdev Memorial Trust for Advancement of Librarianship (SATKAL) Award for being the best woman librarian for 2013.

She has been in the forefront to inculcate reading among school, college and university-level students and promoting the use of libraries in Chandigarh and its adjoining areas for the last 15 years.

SATKAL president Dr Jagtar Singh presented the award at the International Seminar of the Indian Library Association held at the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, recently. Kaur has been closely associated with the Chandigarh Librarians Association (CLA). 



Charitable body adopts rape victim, to fund her education
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3
Setting a precedent for others, DAV College student-run charitable association, NavSankalp, today adopted Damini — a 16-year-old girl who was allegedly raped by the PCR staff of the Chandigarh Police in an official gypsy in Khuda Lahora last year.

NavSankalp has decided to deposit Rs 2 lakh in a fixed deposit account for the victim. The association will also provide Rs 2,000 per month for Damini’s education from April.

This was announced by the association during a panel discussion ‘444 days after Damini-has anything changed?’ held here today. The discussion was organised by the Department of Sociology and Department of Psychology of DAV College, Sector 10, in collaboration with the charitable association.

The panelists included deliberated on various crimes against women.

Prof Vidhu Mohan threw light on the psychological dimensions of sexual behaviours, endangering practice and mindset that promoted discrimination against women.

Prof Sherry Sabharwal, Department of Sociology, Panjab University, highlighted the need to change the socialisation practices in order to achieve a gender-neutral society.

Prof Sangita Bhalla, Department of Legal Studies, traced the history of law-making related to the rape law and the practical limitation of such laws.

Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) general secretary Karishma Thakur spoke on the need to change the mindset of the youth to empower young men and women.

College principal Dr BC Josan said change could only be brought about through such activities.



Alumni body mourns deaths of professors

Chandigarh, March 3
The alumni of Economics Department (1970-72 batch), Panjab University, mourned the demise of Dr GK Chaddha, president of the South Asian University, New Delhi, and Dr VS Mahajan, eminent economist and retired professor of the department.

The condolence meeting was convened by Madan Gupta Spatu, President of the Alumni Association of Economics Students, Panjab University.

Spatu reminisced the time spent with Dr Chaddha and Dr Mahajan, who taught in the Economics Department, and informed the audience that both the professors were colleagues of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.

“The association had decided to honour both the professors in its annual meet to be held on March 23 in Chandigarh,” he added. — TNS



PU & colleges notes

Display of creations at Aarika-2014

The Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, organised a two-day exhibition Aarika-2014. The event was inaugurated by college principal Dr Meera Modi under the Design Aura Club.

Prof Anil Monga is Dean, Alumni Relations

Panjab University (PU) fellow and co-ordinator, Centre for Police Administration, Prof Anil Monga today assumed charge of the Dean, Alumni Relations, PU. He has succeeded Prof Neelam Grover, University School of Open Learning. Currently, the Department of Alumni has 5,427 life members.

IIFT placements

The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) concluded its final placements for the batch of 2012-14 in a record time. In all, 85 recruiters, including 46 first-time recruiters, made offers for 200 students of the graduating class of 2014. During placement, HCL was the largest recruiter with 14 offers, followed by Flipkart with 11, JP Morgan 10, Cognizant Business Consulting nine, Goldman Sachs eight and Google six.

6th Annual IT Fest-OSMIUM

The Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 42, organised its 6th Annual IT Fest-OSMIUM. As many as 300 students from various colleges of the Tricity participated in the fest.

Alumni meet

The Chemistry Department at Post Graduate Government College, Sector 11, organised its first alumni meet today. Principal Dr JS Raghu inaugurated the event.

SCERT organises six-day workshop

The State Council of Educational Research and Training, Chandigarh, has organised a six-day workshop on improving teaching in the classroom. The workshop is being conducted by renowned educationist Prof DN Sansanwal. — TNS



From schools


Annual function at Smart School

Smart School, the junior wing of AKSIPS, Sector 41, took part in their annual function held on the school premises today. The tiny tots presented SPECTRUM- A bouquet of seasons subtly underlining the importance of seasons and various festivals associated with them. The tiny tots came dressed in vibrant colourful dresses. The event was inaugurated by Harphool Chand Kalyan, Mayor, who was the chief guest.

Meet on behavioural issues

A workshop on behavioural issues of students was organised at St Xavier Senior Secondary School, Sector 44, today. The Department of Women and Child Helpline, Child Protection Society, Department of Psychiatry, GMCH, Sector 32, took part in the event. The keynote speakers were Dr Preeti Arun and Dr Paramleen Karu, Department of Psychiatry, GMCH, Sector 32. Rajesh Jogpal, director Social Welfare Department, was also present on the occasion.

World Wildlife Day

Nature’s GLORY Eco-Club of St Stephen’s School celebrated World Wildlife Day by adopting two peacocks at Chatbir Zoo today.


English Week

The English Week was inaugurated in the junior wing of Satluj Public School by Dr Robert Schroering from the US. The school will practice the new teaching schedule for the month of March. There will not be subject-wise and date-wise examinations. The stress will be on overall personality development, conversational skills, calligraphy and table manners.

Saving wildlife

To educate youngsters on saving wildlife, the students of Blue Bird High School, Sector 16, came dressed in animal masks today. The students of Classes I to V coloured sheets on the topic “Save animals, save wildlife”. — TNS



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