C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Congress courts ad trouble 
Election Dept seeks report from Returning Officer, MC on Rahul’s ads on public toilets
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
A day after the UT Returning Officer wrote to the SSP to register an FIR against BSP nominee Jannat Jahan, today it was the turn of the Congress to face the heat of the UT Election Department for allegedly violating the model code of conduct.

The department today sought a report from the area Returning Officer and the municipal corporation on the display of huge advertisements by the Congress on public toilets in the city.

The public toilets come under the civic body, which is headed by Congress Mayor Harphool Kalyan.

The municipal corporation has given these toilets on contract to a private firm, which has further rented out space to the Congress for its national advertisement campaign to promote party vice-president Rahul Gandhi's image.

An advertisement displayed by the Congress on a public toilet in Sector 22, which falls under Ward No. 3, represented by Congress councillor Pardeep Chhabra, reads, "Rajniti nahin, kajniti", "Har haath shakti, har haath tarakki".

According to the guidelines of the Election Commission, advertisements of political parties on public property is a violation of the model code of conduct. Even though the poll code has come into force in the city, officials of the municipal corporation seem to have turned a blind eye to these violations.

Sources said such advertisements were displayed on various public toilets across the city, but the advertisement firm had removed some of these in the past few days. However, in Sector 22, Congress advertisements could still be seen on public toilets, which was a violation of the poll code.

UT Joint Chief Electoral Officer Tilak Raj said the matter had been reported to the Returning Officer's cell and action would soon be taken.

The District Magistrate-cum-Returning Officer for the Chandigarh parliamentary constituency, Mohammed Shayin, said after receiving information about such adverstiments, a report had been sought from the municipal corporation and the area Returning Officer. Soon, a notice would be issued to the parties concerned, he said. 



Code violation: FIR registered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
The Chandigarh police today registered an FIR against unknown persons on the directions of the District Magistrate-cum-Returning Officer for the Chandigarh parliamentary constituency, Mohhamed Shayin.

Shayin had written to the UT SSP to register an FIR after receiving a report on the violation of the model code of conduct by the BSP. BSP candidate Jannat Jahan’s poster was pasted on the wall of Government High School, Colony No. 4, which is a public property. DSP (East) Chepyala Anjitha said a case against unknown persons had been registered since it could not be established that the BSP candidate or her supporters had pasted the posters on the wall of the school. 



AAP offers ticket to Gul Panag 
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
After Savita Bhatti, wife of the late Jaspal Bhatti, refused to contest the coming Lok Sabha elections on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ticket from the Chandigarh seat, the party has reportedly offered the ticket to Bollywood actress Gul Panag.

Gul Panag, a resident of Panchkula, is the daughter of Lt Gen HS Panag (retd), who recently joined the AAP. Sources said a meeting in this regard was held in Delhi today. The party is likely to announce her candidature formally tomorrow.

The sources said after Bhatti’s withdrawal, the party was to keen on fielding a celebrity from the Chandigarh seat. The party was of the view that the celebrity should have some connection with the city. As Gul Panag’s father had recently joined the AAP and she also had a connection with the city, the party offered her the seat, the sources said.

On March 10, AAP leader Bhagwant Maan, at a meeting with local party workers, had told them that the party needed their full support if an outsider was fielded from the seat. On Mann’s request, a majority of the party workers had agreed to his request.

Around 250 people had applied for the AAP ticket for the Chandigarh seat. Of them, 31 were shortlisted. Seven were called for interview to Delhi, but none of them was selected. After the announcement of Bhatti’s name, there was resentment among AAP workers.

In her withdrawal letter to the party high command, Bhatti had stated that the city unit of the AAP was divided and indisciplined.

Opposition to Panag’s name

Local AAP volunteers have already started opposing Gul Panag's likely candidature on the party's official WhatsApp account. 



Only three top IAS officers, Mayor, IGP can use red beacon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
Now only three IAS officers, the Mayor and the IGP are authorised to use the red beacon atop their official vehicles. According to a new notification issued by the UT Administration, the UT Adviser, Home Secretary, Finance Secretary, Mayor and the IGP are authorised to use the red beacon.

On December 10, the Supreme Court had banned the use of red beacon with flashers on all vehicles except those used by high dignitaries holding constitutional posts.

With the new notification, the Deputy Commissioner, Municipal Commissioner, Transport Secretary, Information Technology Secretary, CHB Chairman, CITCO Managing Director and other IAS officers cannot use the red beacon. The Deputy Commissioner is now authorised to use only the blue light.

According to the notification, “Officials who are responsible for the maintenance of law and order and require unhindered access to the road for performance of their duties i.e. the Deputy Commissioner, Additional Deputy Commissioner and subdivisional magistrates are to be allowed the use of blue light on their official vehicles." “All police vehicles, assigned duties of emergency/quick response, escorts, pilots, law and order as well as police vehicles requiring unhindered access to the road for performance of their duty, including vehicles of the traffic police, police control room and ambulances are also allowed to use the blue light,” the notification states.

It states, “Repair vans of the Electricity Department, which are responsible for the maintenance of the automatic traffic control lights and the electricity supply to the three major hospitals — the PGI, the GMSH-16 and the GMCH-32 — and fire tenders are allowed to use the orange light." 

Who gets to use which light

Red Light

* UT Adviser

* Home Secretary

* Finance Secretary

* Mayor


Blue Light

* Deputy Commissioner

* Additional Deputy Commissioner

* Subdivisional magistrates

* Duty Magistrate for law and order

* Ambulances

* Escorts and pilot vehicles

Orange Light

* Fire tenders

* Electricity Dept repair vans


Chandigarh votes 2014
Cong to name candidate today
Bansal, Tewari hot favourites, BJP to announce nominee tomorrow 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
Two main political parties - the Congress and the BJP - will announce the names of their candidates for the Lok Sabha elections on March 12 and 13, respectively.

Sitting Congress MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, whose name was recommended by the Congress Central Election Committee for the Chandigarh seat, is only facing opposition from Union Minister Manish Tewari, who had raised the issue of tainted leaders being fielded, yesterday. Tewari is also eyeing the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat on the Congress ticket.

The Congress Central Election Committee will decide the political fate of Bansal, who had resigned from the post of Railways Minister after his nephew Vijay Singla was caught by the CBI in the railway bribery scam.

On the other side, three top contenders for the BJP ticket - state president Sanjay Tandon, former city MP and BJP national chairman of the committee on legal and election commission issues Satya Pal Jain and former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan, have also reached Delhi. The BJP will announce the name of their candidate for the Chandigarh seat on March 13.

Recently, the BJP had carried out a survey in Chandigarh to ascertain the popularity of the three leaders. Besides, the BJP had also sought the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) viewpoint on the three contenders.

In Chandigarh, the BJP is divided into three groups headed by Tandon, Jain and Dhawan. The three senior leaders are organising separate functions, campaigns, meetings etc without intimating one another. They have even set up separate media cells.



BJP connects with youth on ‘WhatsApp’ 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
To connect with the youth and first-time voters, the BJP has now expanded its digital campaigning. Besides, using social media like Facebook and Twitter, the party is now also using 'WhatsApp'. The BJP city unit president, Sanjay Tandon on Tuesday had an interactive session with city youngsters on WhatsApp where he was asked various relevant questions.

Talking about the party’s ‘Connect Youth’ programmes, Sanjay Tandon said, “The upcoming election promises to be very different from the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.” 



Department takes to catchy slogans to encourage young voters
Deputes campus ambassadors to educate youth on voting
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
“Youth Chala Booth” and “We are committed to each other for voting too” a slogan for young couples committed to each other are some of the catchy slogans the UT Election Department has come up with to encourage youngsters and professionals to exercise their right to vote. As many as 55.99 voters come under these categories in the city.

The youngsters between the age group of 18 and 29 years who have 1,77,213 votes are already registered with the UT Election Department and 1,47,957 voters between the age group of 30 and 39 years are going to be on the target of the Election Department to encourage voting among them.

UT Joint Chief Electoral Officer Tilak Raj said that they were going to encourage youngsters to votes since they constitute more then half of the voters in the city.

“Ink on finger the ultimate fashion statement”, “Don’t be a quitter, be a voter” are some of the slogans that will be soon seen put up on city colleges and university campuses.

Tilak Raj further said a large number of youths had filled their enrollment forms during the special drive conducted by the Election Department following which their percentage among the total number of voters in the city was further going to rise. “The slogans are definitely going to mobilise the youth in casting their votes”, he added.

The campus ambassadors deputed by the Election Department in city colleges to educate youths about their right to vote would also use the slogans to encourage the youngsters to exercise their franchise in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. 



Traders oppose project
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 11
The introduction of paid parking facility by the Municipal Corporation here ran into rough weather on the very first day with shopkeepers resisting the execution of the project by the contractors’ employees.

Reports said some shopkeepers raised slogans, damaged parking barricades and tore up parking slips soon after the facility was introduced in five markets this morning. The employees of the two parking contractors had hardly worked for about an hour or so when they were told by the contractors to stop issuing parking slips to keep the situation under control.

Civic body officials were taken aback by the development. They said shopkeepers’ representatives had not opposed the new facility earlier during meetings with the authorities but did a volte face taking advantage of the Lok Sabha election.

Shopkeepers in Phase X raised slogans and said they would not allow paid parking in the market. The police reached the scene to prevent any untoward incident.

Dr Mukesh Gaba of Phase X said he had been running his clinic in the area for the last 10 years and “one fine morning you are stopped and asked to pay for parking your vehicle. It is disgusting”. He said he had to wait for about 10 minutes to get into the market as only one entry point had been provided.

Hardeep Singh, a chemist in Phase V, said most people were unhappy with the paid parking plan as it amounted to an additional financial load on those visiting the markets frequently. If a resident came to make small purchases now and then in a car, he would have to dish out Rs 5 each time to park his vehicle. Paid parking could also hit the shopkeepers’ business, he added.

Another shopkeeper of Phase X, Abhey Jain, said their market was quite small and not like the one at Sector 17 in Chandigarh where people from neighbouring states also came to shop. There was no need for paid parking here, he added.

Gurnam Singh, another shopkeeper, said markets in Mohali were not big and customers came there often to make small purchases. “How many times will they keep paying Rs 5 as parking fee?” he asked.

Navjot Singh, who has the parking contract for four of the five markets in the town, said his employees began work at 8 am but around 9.30 am, it had to be called off because of opposition by shopkeepers.

MC Additional Commissioner (Technical) BD Singla said certain shopkeepers tried to instigate employees of the contractors and damaged the parking infrastructure. The civic body had asked the contractors to give their report in writing in this regard.

MC Commissioner Uma Shankar Gupta said the situation would be reviewed and meetings held with the shopkeepers to find a way out.



MC impounds abandoned vehicles 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
The enforcement wing of the Municipal Corporation (MC) today cleared the parking area in Industrial Area Phase II by impounding the abandoned vehicles there.

The MC action comes a day after Chandigarh Tribune highlighted that the parking area was occupied by abandoned vehicles leading to parking problem in the vicinity.

Inspector (Enforcement) Sunil Dutt stated that they impounded eight trucks, four water tankers and six other vehicles from the parking area. “We would conduct similar drives in Phases I and II of the Industrial Area,” he added.

A team of the enforcement wing visited the Industrial Area and lifted the vehicles from the parking area of around 3.5 acre and took them to the MC godown.

“The Industrial Area is frequented by hundreds of visitors everyday. However, parking is a major problem there. For want of adequate parking space, the vehicles are parked on roads leading to traffic snarls. The MC removing the vehicles from the parking area will certainly prove helpful in checking traffic congestion,” said Rishab Sharma, a frequent visitor to Industrial Area. 



Don’t ignore high BP, your kidney may be at risk: Experts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
Identifiable and direct symptoms of chronic kidney disease (kidney failure) appear only when 70 per cent of the organ has already been damaged. To diagnose the disease early, it is important not to ignore high blood pressure and diabetes, as these are indicators of poor functioning of kidneys.

This was stated by PGIMER experts while addressing mediapersons here today.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a progressive loss of kidney function and has been internationally recognised as a major public health problem.

Only 10 per cent of over 2 lakh patients across the country are able to undergo transplant while others die without treatment for want of donors. In view of this, the Department of Nephrology, PGIMER, will organise a series of talks to raise awareness on tackling the early signs of the disease to mark the World Kidney Day on March 13.

“Inability to meet transplant expenses is another major factor responsible for lesser number of kidney patients surviving in our country,” said Dr KL Gupta, Head, Department of Nephorology.

Spouses take lead in kidney donation

Dr Raka Kaushal, Director of Nephrology, Ivy Hospital Mohali, honoured eight women kidney donors on the occasion of the World Kidney Day and the ongoing International Women’s Week. Six of them donated kidney to their husbands. Those felicitated were Veena Bhatia (57), Kiran Sehgal (46), Princy (34), Gurjeet Kaur (44), Jasbir Kaur (50), Gurjeet Kaur and Kiran (38) from Chandigarh region and Neelam Grover (43) from Roorkee.

Figures from Department of Renal Sciences, Ivy Hospital, show that in over 85 per cent cases, women donate their organs. 

Golden rules

* Keep fit and active.

* Keep blood sugar level under control.

* Regularly check your blood pressure.

* Watch your weight.

* Maintain a healthy fluid intake. Start the day with a glass of water.

* Quit smoking.

* Do not take over-the-counter pills regularly.

* Check your kidney function if you have ‘high risk’ factors.

Awareness campaign

March 13

* Free medical check-up at the New OPD block from 9.30 am to 2.00 pm.

* Interactive sessions at APC Auditorium, Advanced Paediatric Centre from 5 pm to 6.30 pm. Call 0172-2756731 / 2756212 for registration.

March 16

* Walkathon from the Lake Club to Sukhna Lake. Timings: 8.00 am to 10.00 am.



Need to fix minimum wages for employees, says minister
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
In order to increase the number of employable professionals according to industry needs, admissions to higher secondary education and above levels should be offered on the basis of aptitude test scores.

This was stated by the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Technical Education and Industrial Training, Madan Mohan Mittal, during a conference on "demystifying skill development" here today.

While addressing the function organised by Bridging Gaps at the CII, Sector 31, here, the minister said the number of qualified professionals had increased manifold. However, the number of jobs available with respectable wages was inadequate.

“There are a large number of postgraduate degree holders who are presently working as Class IV employees on low wages. There is a need to fix minimum wages for employees so that they can lead a respectable life,” said Mittal.

In wake of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, the Minister did not hesitate to use the conference podium to praise the Punjab Government. Mittal said: “The government recently organised progressive summits in order to invite more industry to the state.”

He soon retracted his remarks and said: “Though the Punjab Government is planning to introduce new training and skill trades, due to the imposition of the Model Code of Conduct I cannot reveal the details.”

A report skill gap study was also released on the occasion. A panel discussion on the skills of youth and the need of the industry was held where speakers emphasised the need for creating a link between the requirements of industrial skills and academic syllabi.



Political notes

Cong’s padyatra

Congress supporters, workers and leaders on Tuesday held padyatra in Ram Darbar. Sitting Congress MP Pawan Kumar Bansal was not present, but his son Manish Bansal led the padyatra. The party leaders interacted with people sharing with them achievements of the UPA government.

BSP’s door-to-door campaign

BSP candidate Jannat Jahan on Tuesday carried out its door-to-door campaign at Mauli Jagran. Many party officials were also present along with Jannat Jahan. Jannat appealed to the people vote for the BSP on April 10. 

Poll issues

If you have shifted to a new residence, you can still cast your vote by getting your name enrolled using the new residential address.

How to get your name enrolled using the new address

* In case the new residence is in the same constituency, fill Form-8A and submit to the ERO or the AERO of the area in which your new residence is located.

* In case you have shifted from some other constituency to Chandigarh then get your name deleted from the previous address, which will facilitate your registration in Chandigarh. Then enroll yourself by filling up Form-6 and deposit the proof of deletion. Your address can be changed on the rear side of the card as the same card will remain valid. 


"Registered voters who have changed their address or shifted from some other part of the country to Chandigarh can vote by getting their name transferred to the electoral rolls in Chandigarh. " Tilak Raj, UT Joint Chief Electoral Officer

UT Election Dept Helplines

1950, 0172-2700322 and 1800-180-2095

You can send your election-related queries at letters.ct@gmail.com



Business news

Optical eyewear launched

Fastrack launched its latest optical eyewear collection in Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Tuesday. The collection with 49 new styles is designed for youth. The frames come in unconventional and interesting colour combinations like orange, yellow, neon green, pink and turquoise blue. Priced between Rs 795 and Rs 2,195, the latest collection is available across all Titan Eye Plus stores, including the Sector 17 store. — TNS



Students found using fake ID cards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
With the beginning of examinations at Panjab University, the cases of students from outside using fake ID cards to enter AC Joshi Library are increasing.

Recently, the security staff of the library caught five students having fake ID cards bearing forged signatures of the librarian.

Sources in the library said: “This is an old practice at the university. During examinations, students from outside use fake ID cards to get books at the library”.

Though the library staff keeps a check on students with fake ID cards during the entire academic session, such cases increase during the examination days.

Raj Kumar, librarian, AC Joshi Library, said to keep a check on such students, checking of ID cards had been intensified during the examinations.

He said: “The university does not take any action against these students. It only issues warning to them not to visit the library again”. He said the security staff did not allow the students to enter the library without ID cards.

“Outsiders spoil the atmosphere of the library and create nuisance," said PU students. The students said they used to complain to the authorities about it, but no strict action had been taken yet.

An official said to avoid such incidents, the university should come up with smart card for students, rather than sticking to manual checking. 



Students given warm send-off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
The Department of Computer Applications of the Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, organised a farewell party, “Alvida Angels”, for the outgoing students of Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Applications and Bachelor of Computer Application (BCA)-III today.

The students of BCA-II presented a kaleidoscope of dance and music items. The outgoing students became nostalgic while recalling the glorious stay in the college. The students expressed gratitude towards their teachers for guiding them throughout their stay in the college.

The students showcased dance sequences ranging from classical to contemporary Hindi and Punjabi songs. The seniors also walked down the ramp presenting a graceful and vibrant costume display.

Achila Dogra, principal of the college, appreciated the presentations of the students. She motivated them to make the best use of the knowledge and skills they had acquired from their stay in the college.

Dr Pardeep SinghWalia, Head of the Department of Computer Applications, assured the outgoing students that the college and the faculty would always be there for any help and guidance.



Management institute holds admission test

Chandigarh, March 11
International Management Institute (IMI), New Delhi, conducted an admission round here. The test was conducted for admission to the Chandigarh centre.

Under the leadership of Dr Pritam Singh, director-general, IMI, the institute is working with a vision, “shaping global leaders for tomorrow”.

The institute encourages students to take student-driven academic and professional initiatives to compliment their classroom learning with practical aspects of the real business world. These activities range from organising special events focusing on current affairs to carefully planned symposia and lectures that enrich the participants' professional, academic and extracurricular interests. The speakers for all these events are eminent business personalities.

“The students are enrolled after going through a psychometric and stimulation test, which will help us understand them at a much deeper level. It will also give candidates coming from diverse backgrounds an equal chance to enter an institute of their choice,” said Dr Pritam Singh. — TNS



Desh Bhagat Group chairman interacts with foreign dignitaries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
Dr Zora Singh, chairman, Desh Bhagat Group, and Chancellor, Desh Bhagat University, attended the Partnership Summit-2014 in Bengaluru. It was organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in collaboration with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of India, the Government of Karnataka. Over 1,000 delegates from 45 countries converged in Bengaluru for the CII’s Partnership Summit.

Giving details about the event, Dr Zora Singh said the summit provided an unrivalled platform, which enabled close examination of the partnerships and synergies that would spark the next phase of global growth and develop strong multi-country linkages and networks that assist the transformation and act as catalyst to enable growth at the global level.

Dr Zora Singh said he had multi-level discussions with officials from all over the world and some special rounds of brainstorming sessions with dignitaries from Zimbabwe, Zambia, Macedonia, Servia, Papua New Guinea, Bruce, UK, Namibia, Indonesia, Canada and Philippines.

Giving details about the discussions, he said educational innovation through research practices and industry-academia interface were the widely discussed issues.

Dr Singh also had a series of discussion with senior trade policy makers and decision makers of the Indian business world.

Dr Zora Singh said: “Such partnership summits bring together multiple stakeholders and policy-thought leaders on a platform to exchange ideas and evolve solutions to the urgent challenges confronting the world today”.



Expert dwells on legal education

Chandigarh, March 11
Many senior professors, lawyers and judges have not opted for the legal profession by choice, but by chance. But the present generation is opting for this profession by choice; therefore, there are more expectations from law teachers. This was stated by Professor Ranbir Singh, Vice-Chancellor, National Law University, Delhi, today.

Prof Ranbir was at Panjab University to deliver a lecture on “strengthening legal education to promote social justice: challenges of 21st century” on the concluding day of Mehr Chand Mahajan Memorial Lecture Series, which was organised by the Department of Laws, PU.

He highlighted the importance of the role played by lawyers in the freedom struggle of every country. Initially, he drew a road map of the legal education in India and said there were more than 1,000 colleges in the country. He discussed in detail the phenomenal change that had emerged in legal profession.

He stressed the importance of moot courts in the present legal education system and advised the students to equip themselves with these learning experiences to be successful in professional life. Prof Ranbir also delivered a lecture yesterday, which was presided over by PU VC Prof AK Grover. — TNS



From schools


School honoured

Oakridge School won the World Education Award-2013 in the “Innovation in Teaching Pedagogy” for launching the first smart application in India. The school has launched “OAK APP” for challenging demands of the 21st century. It is a unique mobile application that empowers parents to collaborate actively and take informed decisions on their child’s learning and developmental milestones. The application is free to download and is compatible with Android and Apple devices. Principal Pranjala Dutta Dass said parents were always eager to know about the performance of their children, which will now be just a click away. This application has also won the World Education Award-2013 in the “Innovation in Teaching Pedagogy” category. The principal hoped that parents would be benefited from this revolutionary application.

Cultural Activity Day celebrated

Junior Cultural Activity Day was celebrated at International Public School, Kurali, on Wednesday. Preparatory children reminded the audience of their childhood days by singing various rhymes. Students dressed in colorful costumes presented dance items of different states. The students left the audience spellbound with their performances. Devotional song “Jai Ganesha” was applauded by the parents. Director AK Kaushal and principal P Sanger praised students and teachers for their 
hard work.

Annual function

Eurokids organised its annual function. The theme of the event was “Incredible India”. The colourful extravaganza saw diverse Indian cultures converging on one single point. The event started with “Ganesh Vandana”, which was performed by the students of Kindergarten. The highlight of the event was dance presentations of various states of the country. — TNS



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