C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


7 held for impersonation
Were found appearing for SSC entrance exam for data entry operators 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
The UT police today arrested seven impersonators, who were caught appearing for an entrance test for posts of data entry operator and lower division clerk. The test was conducted by the Staff Selection Commission.

The police have identified the mastermind in the case as Rajesh, a resident of Sonepat. Raids are on to arrest him.

The police said it was an organised gang of impersonators. The mastermind charged between Rs 50,000 and Rs 1 lakh from aspiring candidates for clearing the test.

The investigating officer, who is in charge of the Sector 22 police post, Sub-Inspector Jaspal Singh, said they received information that some candidates had entered the exam venue, Government Model School, Sector 23, under suspicious circumstances.

The police raided the premises and found seven candidates appearing for the test in place of the original candidates. They had managed to sneak into the examination hall with the roll number slips of the original candidates.

"The mastermind runs a computer typing centre in Sonepat," the police said.

The seven arrested have been identified as Sonu of Delhi, Anil Kumar of Panipat, Manjeet Singh and Vipin Kumar of Hisar, and Amrit Dhayia, Ajit Kumar and Manjeet Devi of Sonepat.

The identity of the original candidates has been established and their names have been mentioned in the FIR registered at the Sector 17 police station.

Meanwhile, more than 90,000 candidates from various states appeared for the exam at around 90 centres in Chandigarh and the surrounding areas.

Police sources said Sonu appeared in place of Parmod of Bhiwani, Ajit in place of Haneesh, Anil in place of Sunil, Manjeet in place of Ravi Kumar and Manjeet Devi in place of Preeti Devi.



City traders talk business, put candidates to test
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Unlike other voters in the city who are content with the door-to-door campaign of candidates, city traders, comprising a sizebale vote bank of around 50,000 votes, want something more.

The traders today provided the candidates a platform to present their views on the problems being faced by them, which were enlisted in a charter of demands submitted to each candidate.

The traders will now evaluate the candidates on the basis of their presentation and open house interaction with 250 representatives of the traders and decide whom to vote for.

All four main candidates —Congress’ Pawan Kumar Bansal, Aam Aadmi Party’s Gul Panag, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Kirron Kher and Bahujan Samaj Party’s Jannat Jahan — presented their views on the demands today and made promises to the traders. The candidates answered traders' questions.

“For the past 15 years, we have been suffering at the hands of bureaucrats, who implement thought-defying policies, complete their tenure and forget the city. The least we can do is to choose an honest MP who has a feeling of belongingness with the city,” said Anil Vohra, general secretary of the Sector 44 market association.

In the charter of demands, the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, headed by Charanjiv Singh, has stated that city traders are losing customers to businessmen in Zirakpur, Panchkula and Mohali due to the heavy taxes in Chandigarh.

Besides, they have also raised the issue of a 50-fold hike in the penalty for violation of building bylaws.

The traders alleged that not even a single problem mentioned in the charter of demands had been addressed during the past 15 years. They took keen interest in shooting questions at the four candidates to gauge their reactions.

Several traders left after Bansal's address

A number of traders left after Bansal’s address. As Kirron Kher criticised Bansal for not meeting the demands of traders for years, some traders pointed out that she should offer solutions and not just criticise.

How the traders are spread out

Total voters: Around 50,000

In 22 villages: 10,000

Across sector markets: 40,000 (4,000 in the northern sectors, including Sectors 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14 and 15, and 36,000 in southern sectors, including Sector 17 and Sectors 22 to 47)

What they want

  • A rollback in the increase in penalty for misuse/violation of building bylaws. The penalty was hiked from Rs 10 per sq ft to Rs 500 per sq ft per month
  • Commercial use of upper floors of SCOs and SCFs without any conversion charges
  • Construction of first floor on single storey shops/booths
  • Allocation of a warehousing complex for storing material
  • Formation of a trade board
  • Welfare schemes for traders
  • Beautification of markets 



Toilet scam: CBI to question officials
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
A day after registering a preliminary inquiry into the alleged irregularities in the allotment of tenders for public toilets by the MC, the CBI said it would summon those named in the inquiry.

The investigation agency is likely to summon three persons, including two former MC officials SK Bansal and Sita Ram Aggarwal, and RC Diwan, who is currently attached to the MC, for recording their statements in this regard.

CBI sources said the process of scrutiny of all relevant documents had been initiated and a detailed questionnaire was being prepared.

Yesterday, a regular preliminary inquiry was lodged against three MC officers and others for allegedly causing a loss of around Rs 17 crore to the state exchequer by way of awarding a sanitation contract to Selvel Media Services Pvt Ltd after deliberately modifying the guidelines and making the terms and conditions favourable for the private company in 2007.

Sources in the MC said apart from a Panchkula-based contractor, Rakesh Kumar, some councillors had also provided relevant documents related to the controversial sanitation work to the CBI.



82-yr-old stands firm behind infirm voters
Wants wheelchair at all polling stations
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
An 82-year-old city resident, Nirmala Kumari, is fighting for senior citizens' right to "exercise" their franchise.

Like her, there are several other senior citizens who fail to cast their vote due to health reasons, old age or physical disability. Such voters are unable to cover the distance from the polling station gate to the enclosure where electronic voting machines (EVMs are placed as the Election Department has failed to provide wheelchairs for their convenience.

This time, however, Nirmala has decided to fight for the cause of such voters. Today, she wrote to the UT Chief Election Commissioner, demanding a wheelchair at each polling station so that persons like her could cast their ballot.

In her letter, she has mentioned that during the last Lok Sabha and the city municipal corporation elections, she could not cast her vote as the vehicle in which she went to cast her vote was not allowed inside the polling station area and she was not in a position to walk to the polling booth.

She said while the Election Commission was sensitising people to exercise their right to vote, it had failed to do anything for senior citizens who were not keeping good health. She quoted several senior citizens in the letter who could not cast their vote.

A senior citizen, Pritam Bhullar, said it was strange that till date no senior citizens' association had taken up the matter with the Election Commission.

"Is the Election Commission only interested in attracting first-time voters to cast their vote? Why has nothing been done for the convenience of senior citizens in the city?" asked Youth Innovative Society chairman Sachin Sharma.

The president of the Servants of the People Society, Gp Capt PS Sony, said there should be a separate queue for senior citizens to avoid inconvenience to them.

What Social Welfare Department Director says

UT Social Welfare Department Director Rajesh Jogpal said it would not be possible for the Election Commission to make wheelchairs available at all polling stations in the city. He said the department would propose to the Election Commission to set up a helpline at control room number 181 where senior citizens could register themselves a day before the polling to avail of the wheelchair facility on the polling day.

Joint Chief Electoral Officer's take

Joint Chief Electoral Officer Tilak Raj said according to the norms, there was no provision for providing wheelchairs to senior citizens on the polling day, but if they approached the department, it would provide them this facility. He said the Election Commission could identify polling booths where the number of senior citizens was high to provide them with the wheelchair facility.



Chandigarh Votes 2014
‘Public transport in city needs a boost’
Gulkirat Kaur Panag: AAP candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat shares her vision for the city with Chandigarh Tribune

What is your take on how the Union Territory is today? Should it remain a Union Territory or be transferred to either Punjab or Haryana, as was initially intended.

Chandigarh has been a UT for the past 47 years due to the dispute that arose between Punjab and Haryana as a result of the reorganisation of Punjab state way back in 1966. It is a sensitive matter with no immediate solution in sight, affecting the aspirations of the people of Punjab, Haryana and most importantly, Chandigarh itself. Given the complex nature of interstate disputes, it is for the Union Government to resolve the dispute amicably.

The people of Chandigarh, who have lived in the Union Territory for the past 47 years, are key stakeholders and their aspirations must be duly ascertained by way of a referendum before a final decision is made.

Are you satisfied with the way the UT is administered - with an Administrator (Punjab Governor) reporting to the Union Government? Should the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh be given more powers? Give us your governance model for the UT.

The appointment of an Administrator is provided by the Constitution of India by virtue of Article 239 and constitutionally speaking, UTs have to be governed by the President through the Administrator. However, a Governor doubling up as the Administrator of an UT is not mandatory and Chandigarh could well do with a full-time Administrator.

The powers and functions of the MC as envisaged under the Punjab Municipal Corporation Law (Extension to Chandigarh) Act, 1994, need to be reviewed. The present structure does not give the citizens of Chandigarh the representation they need or deserve.

The role of representatives of the people, be it the MP or the elected representatives of the local bodies, needs to be more defined, direct and evident in the administration. We will strongly advocate for amendments to the Punjab Municipal Corporation Law (Extension to Chandigarh) Act, 1994, in order to ensure that the people of Chandigarh have an accountable system of representation giving them a platform for participative democracy.

Should Chandigarh be made into a City State with a Legislative Assembly? Explain the contours.

Bringing about changes in the essential system of governance by way of introducing an Assembly in Chandigarh may be desirable in view of the increased population much more than what was originally envisaged but the same cannot be done without bringing about amendments in Part VIII of the Constitution.

But like we have stated earlier, the wishes of the people need to be ascertained by way of a referendum as they are the biggest stakeholders.

Should the six villages (Burail, Badheri, Butrela, Attawa, Kajheri and Palsora) within the sector limits, which stick out oddly, be retained or acquired and turned into sectors?

The inherent character of the villages should be retained, as it is a part of our legacy and cultural heritage. Having said this, these villages being the life and blood of the city, need to be transformed and developed.

What is your plan for the other villages around the city of Chandigarh? How should they be developed?

Chandigarh today tells a dark tale of two cities. One which is popularly known to the members of the press, the intelligentsia and the country at large and the other which is the underdeveloped villages and colonies where even the basic amenities, which the rest of Chandigarh takes for granted, are not present. Our interaction with the villagers brings out this dark side of Chandigarh where the dispensaries are not stocked with basic medicines, pathways are unmetalled, drainage and sewerage facilities are non-existent and poverty dictates terms.

We need to concentrate on our villages and colonies. There is a need to review the established Lal Dora of the villages and also to review the regularisation of constructions outside the present Lal Dora.

What is our plan for the slums of the city? Should they be removed and their inhabitants rehabilitated? Are you satisfied with the ongoing rehabilitation plans? Should migrants into the city be encouraged or discouraged?

The Aam Aadmi Party is committed to the rehabilitation of the inhabitants of slums in New Delhi and we will endeavour to work towards the same in Chandigarh as well. Rehabilitation must take place in the most just, equitable and judicious manner.

The ongoing rehabilitation plans need to be fast tracked and clear actionable timelines need to be drawn up. We should endeavour to have a slum-free Chandigarh in three years.

How should UT be developed: As an IT hub, education hub, convention city, health tourism city, tourist destination or...?

Chandigarh has always been multifaceted and as India's first planned city, we feel strongly that we should not limit the character of the city. We believe the city can be developed into multiple hubs for which we need organic growth in all of the above mentioned sectors. We would also like to add biotechnology, electronics and entrepreneurship - as other sectors where Chandigarh could play a leading role. We need a major overhaul of how the city addresses business, and if elected, we intend to drive the transformation of Chandigarh from primarily a government centre to a modern economic powerhouse.

Since Chandigarh is the gateway to three states, can it be promoted as a tourist destination? If yes, how?

From being merely a gateway to the three states, Chandigarh has enough potential to be a tourist destination in its own right. The integrated strategy should be based on addressing key issues of connectivity, information, attractiveness, convenience and safety.

The green heritage of the city needs preservation and transformation, which has the potential of becoming landmark tourist sites. Restoring Sukhna to its past glory would be of immense importance in the light of the scenic and historic value it has. This would extend to all other choes in the city, along with Patiali Rao as well, which could all be developed into green belts.

Inexpensive accommodation is a key tourist determinant and an area the city lacks in considerably. The capacity of the city’s existing youth hostel coupled with reviewing the paying guest structure would provide the much-needed demand for inexpensive accommodation.

Besides the above basic points, Chandigarh has the potential of developing as a global MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Exhibitions) destination.

The city needs an annual activity calendar, which would be the focal point for rallying tourists. This calendar should include cultural/film festivals, sports events, industrial expositions, conferences and seminars - each delegate/participant is a potential tourist that needs to be addressed.

The plan to build a world-class amusement park in Chandigarh, which was shelved in 2010, should be revisited and reviewed. Another major area of focus should be medical tourism. Chandigarh is home to premiere medical institutions.

Is Chandigarh doing enough for its youth? What else should be done?

Most definitely not and Chandigarh's substance abuse statistics are just one indicative factor of this fact. A holistic approach has to be taken towards the development of the youth and youth affairs as they are the future of the country and it will be our collective failure if we do not positively contribute towards this development.

Can Chandigarh be developed into a world-class modern city? How? Are you in favour of Metro? What should be done to speed up work?

The dream and vision for Chandigarh was to be a modern world-class city and this dream has been reduced to inequality in opportunities, underdevelopment and degradation of existing infrastructure, let alone developing something new. Putting Chandigarh back on track needs a multifaceted approach socially, economically and politically as well.

Yes, we are in favour of the Metro as the first pre-requisite to a world-class city is good public transportation, which citizens from all walks of life use and are proud of.

There is need to improve the public transportation. It is not limited only to the Metro but critically requires an overhaul of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking. We need to increase the number of buses on various routes and to increase the operational efficiency of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU).

Should the UT's building bylaws remain stringent to retain its character or should they be made flexible?

Bylaws should be flexible but should not threaten the essential character of the city. There should be harmony between legacy vis-ŕ-vis requirements of the modern life. 


Chandigarh Votes 2014
Villages, colonies gateway to success
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Villages and colonies on the city’s periphery are the gateway to success in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. With around 57 per cent voters of the city residing here, these areas will play an important role in deciding the fate of candidates. As per the revised list of the Election Department, around 3.50 lakh voters of the total 6.13 lakh are from villages and colonies.

Mani Majra, which includes Mani Majra village, alone has 48,103 voters--the maximum number of voters in an area.

Areas including Dhanas, Ram Darbar, Bapu Dham colony, Burail, Kajehri village, Sector 25 colony, Dadu Majra colony, Maloya colony and Hallo Majra village have the major chunk of voters among villages and colonies.

All political parties are making tireless efforts to attract these voters. From padyatra to door-to-door campaigning, candidates are leaving no stone unturned to get maximum votes from these areas. Bahujan Samaj Party candidate Jannat Jahan-ul-Haq said all leaders would be banking upon colonies and villages during the elections.

“I am regularly going door to door in these areas to meet residents and hear their grievances,” she said. Congress councillor Mukesh Bassi said with villages and colonies holding a major share of votes, these areas would play a crucial role on the poll day.

UT Joint Chief Electoral Officer Tilak Raj said in the past elections, villages and colonies have recorded higher voting percentage than other areas.



chandigarh beopar mandal’s open debate
Fearing rival parties’ allegations, govt officers delay decisions: Pawan Bansal
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Allegations and counter allegations marred the open debate organised by the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal for all candidates contesting the Lok Sabha elections from the city.

The candidates who were there to present their road map for fulfilling the long-pending demands of city traders if they come to power used the platform to attack their rival candidates on various points.

Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal said government officers were afraid of taking any decision because of the fear of an “accusing finger” being raised at them.

He accused rival parties of creating this environment of fear, which was one of the reasons that the UT Administrator and officials despite understanding the need to lower the penalty on building violations, that stands at Rs 500 per sq feet at present, had taken no decision yet.

He also accused the BJP of creating the booth scam “out of nothing”.

BJP candidate Kirron Kher said only “neeyat aur neeti (intention and policy)” could solve the problems of city residents.

She said no other party could provide good governance except for the BJP led by its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

When some traders tried to create ruckus during her address, she said: “Lagda hai Bansal sahab de bande hain (It seems they are Bansal’s men).”

AAP candidate Gul Panag said manifestos of all the parties were same, but what mattered was their willingness to implement the promises. She said AAP could provide the traders an alternative to other political parties who had been cheating them for past many years.

Gul Panag also proposed a full-time Administrator for the city to solve problems of residents.

BSP candidate Jannat Jahan, in her address, targeted the BJP and AAP candidates, saying she was the “real daughter” of the City Beautiful. She also accused the sitting MP, Pawan Kumar Bansal, of doing nothing for the city in past 15 years.

She said if people elected her, she would try to solve all their problems.



Congress is using money to create vote bank: Kirron Kher
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
BJP candidate Kirron Kher today addressed public rallies at various villages including Kishangarh, Raipur Kalan and Mauli Jagran.

Kher also carried out a roadshow in Sectors 27 and 28. Later, she met members of Patanjali Yog Samiti at the party office in Sector 33.

Addressing the gathering, Kirron Kher said: “The Congress has been using the power of money to create its vote bank. I challenge the Congress to compete on development agenda.”

Kher also addressed party workers who had gathered under the leadership of the BJP national general secretary (organisation), Ram Lal.

The BJP candidate also held detailed discussions with advocates at the District Courts Complex in Sector 43. She informed the gathering that Narendra Modi was backing the housing scheme for advocates.

Later, she addressed youngsters at a public meeting organised by the Competent Group, Sector 34.

She appealed to the young crowd to take an informative decision while choosing their MP.

Kirron Kher concluded her day’s canvassing at a dinner meeting on the Panjab University campus in Sector 14.



Gul questions Bansal’s claims on development
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
AAP candidate Gulkirat Kaur Panag began her day by campaigning at Dadu Majra. She said there were a number of schemes and policies for all major issues, but no implementation.

“People are fooled by their elected representatives and made to beg for services which should come to them as a matter of right," she said.

Thereafter, Gul visited Sabji Mandi and the Sector 26 market. Gul said on the one hand Bansal published a 20-page booklet on what all he had done for the city and on the other hand villages and colonies were in a pathetic condition.



Women candidates not raising issues concerning women
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Students of Dev Samaj College, Sector 45, have questioned the failure of women candidates, fielded by the political parties from the city, to raise the issue of implementation of 33 per cent reservation of seats for women in the Parliament.

The students said they did not think any of the candidates had any concern for girls and their security.

Shiwangi said fielding a woman candidate did not mean political parties were giving equal rights to women in the country.

“It is surprising that none of the three women candidates have talked about problems being faced by girls in the city. They, rather, are focused on national problems,” she said.

Pulkit said by fielding women candidates, various political parties were trying to attract the 49 per cent electorate that comprises women.

“The women candidates, however, are hardly bothered about women’s issues and problems they face everyday. We as a voter do not find any reason to celebrate the candidature of these women as they have no plans for us,” she said.

Divya asked as to why women MPs were not aggressive enough to get agendas related to them cleared in the Parliament. She said it was strange that even for the coming elections, women candidates forgot their own issues during campaigning.

Palvi asked when candidates were clueless of demands of city residents, how could they fulfil them and resolve issues if elected.

Rattanjeet said the candidates should interact with the youth to get an idea about their issues and problems.



Jannat campaigns across city

Chandigarh, April 1
BSP candidate Jannat Jahan started her day with door-to-door campaigning at the milk colony in Dhanas.

She said people had already given 15 years to the Congress to develop the city, but got nothing in return.

She appealed to the residents to give five years to the BSP. Later, she also campaigned at the Sector 44 market. She said as she belongs to the city, she understood the problems better. — TNS



Poll observer checks booths
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Election observer Vishwas Anand accompanied by Returning Officer Mohammed Shayin and other officials today visited the polling booths under the Area Returning Officer 10.

The officials inspected basic facilities at all polling booths in Buterla, Badheri, Palsora and Dadu Majra besides Sectors 54 and 56.

The observer pointed out that at some polling booths, such as those set up in schools, various sketches and posters on display on walls and notice boards resembled symbols allotted to the contesting candidates.

He suggested that all such displays should be covered.

Before visiting these polling booths, Vishwas Anand visited the counting centre at the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology, Sector 26, where he discussed various dos and don’ts to be kept in mind at strong rooms and the counting centre.

He also suggested that the EVM machines be placed against the wall, and not against windows, and polling agents be at a reasonable distance from voters, while they are voting



BSP’s Maurya joins Cong
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
In a major setback to the BSP, its senior vice-president Ram Sumer Maurya, a former councillor and also the covering candidate of BSP’s Lok Sabha candidate Jannat Jahan, joined the Congress today. Maurya joined the party at a public meeting held in Sector 32 here.

Besides Maurya, other BSP leaders who joined the Congress were Mohan Lal, Prem Pal Chauhan, Jaswant and Avinash.

Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal, while welcoming the BSP leader, said it was a moment of pride for the Congress that such a senior leader had joined the Congress and it would strengthen the party.

Congress city unit president BB Bahl, while welcoming Maurya, said it was indeed encouraging that Maurya had joined the Congress keeping faith in the ideology of the party.

Other leaders present in the public meeting were Vijay Rana, Pardeep Chhabra, Jatinder Bhatia, Pawan Sharma among others.

Besides the joining of the BSP leader, Bansal also focused on markets today and carried out a padyatra in the markets of Sectors 18 and 19 along with area councillor Mukesh Bassi and other senior party leaders.

In his campaign, Bansal also met residents in Sector 49 and also attended a function organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India in Sector 22 here.



Congress files complaints against Modi, Mehra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
The Congress today filed two separate complaints against BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and BJP's General Secretary Aarti Mehra with the UT Election Department.

Congress vice-president DD Jindal in his first complaint stated that on March 29 during the BJP's Bharat Vijay Rally in the Exhibition Ground, Sector 34, Narendra Modi delivered a speech wherein he used false, defamatory and uncalled-for language against Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal, which was violation of the code of conduct.

Modi had said, “Bhrasthachar ke Pawan ko yahi par gaad do. Usey jaane mat do. Yahin per rok do.”

In another complaint, Jindal said in the same rally, BJP’s General Secretary and Chandigarh in-charge Aarti Mehra had used the language, which was an insult to Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi. Mehra had said, “Majboori ka naam Mahatma Gandhi”.

In its complaint, Jindal said such language was a clear insult to the Father of the Nation and was violation of the model code of conduct.

The Congress has demanded strict action against Modi and Mehra.



SAD leader Chhindi helps accused flee in Mohali
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 1
In a shocking incident in front of the Mohali Senior Superintendent of Police office at Phase I here, a local SAD leader helped an absconding accused in a criminal case flee after being detected there by his rival group today.

The SAD leader, Sukhwinder Singh Chhindi, former president of the Mohali Truck Union, is also an accused in several cases.

Chhindi allegedly helped Ranjit Singh Rode, a key accused in a bloody group clash, which had taken place during the last year’s Gram Panchayat and Zila Parishad elections at Mauli Baidwan village and the accused had opened fire at his rival group, flee when certain members of his rival group saw him roaming in the District Police Headquarters and raised an alarm this afternoon.

The incident took place around 3 pm when the members of the rival group, Avtar Singh, former sarpanch of Mauli Baidwan village, Bhag Singh, Bhupinder Singh and Satwinder Singh, saw Rode roaming in the Police Headquarters and tried to catch him.

“We caught hold of Rode and raised an alarm, but to our utter shock no policeman tried to nab the absconding accused. Chhindi, who was also present there, came to help him and both fled in front of the several policemen there,” said Avtar Singh and others.

Avtar Singh alleged that several policemen were present at the scene but nobody took any initiative to nab the absconding accused.

“Both (Chindi and Rode) sat in their car and fled,” said Avtar Singh and his friends.

Mohali SSP Gursharan Singh Sandhu immediately marked an inquiry to Mohali SP (City 1) Swarndeep Singh in the matter and sought his report as soon as possible.

The police had registered a case of attempt to murder against Rode and his seven other accomplices in the group clash case, while Rode had also been declared a proclaimed offender in another case under Section 326 of the IPC in which he had broken legs of an elderly person, Hardyal Singh, of the same village.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mohali SSP Sandhu confirmed that an inquiry had been marked to the SP (City) following today’s incident. SP Swarndeep Singh said he had begun investigations in the matter.



Anandpur sahib votes 2014
Cong leader accuses cops of threatening voters
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 1
Congress leader Balbir Singh Sidhu, MLA, Mohali, accused Mohali police officials of influencing voters of the area by issuing threats to implicate them in false cases.

Balbir Singh Sidhu, president of the Mohali District Congress Committee, alleged that the “illegal” act was being done by several senior police officials, including SP-rank officers.

“We have proper proofs in this regard that people of several villages are being threatened by these police officials at the behest of Shiromani Akali Dal candidate Prem Singh Chandumajra, who is misusing the government machinery to influence the voters in his favour,” alleged Balbir Singh Sidhu today.

However, he refused to divulge further details in this regard when asked to disclose the identity of the victims.

“The victims are from peripheral villages, including Chaumajra and Saneta. They (the victims) approached us to tell about the misbehavior by policemen, who clearly asked them to support the SAD or be ready for consequences,” alleged Sidhu.

When asked, whether any complaint in this connection has been made to the District Election Officer or Chief Electoral Officer, Sidhu denied.

“First we wanted to caution them to restrain from such activities. If they will not stop, we will not only make complaints to the authority but also resort to hold protests against such activities,” said Sidhu.

Sidhu also alleged that it had been noticed that government employees were working as election agents of Chandumajra.

“Now we just warn to these employees not to indulge themselves as election agents of the ruling party and put their jobs in danger,” said Sidhu.

Sidhu appealed to the Election Commissioner to depute extra paramilitary forces during the elections as the constituency comes under the “very sensitive” category.


On Sidhu’s allegations on partial role of the Mohali police, SSP Gursharan Singh Sandhu said no such thing had come to his notice so far. “If they (the Congress) have proofs, they should come to me to show those. Nobody has approached me in this connection so far,” said SSP Sandhu. He said the police was impartial and if any staff member would be found indulging in any such activity, strict action would be taken against him/her.



ambala votes 2014
BJP goes all out to make Rajnath’s rally a success
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 1
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to make Rajnath Singh's election rally, to be held at Barwala on April 4, a historic one.

The BJP has not only put its leaders and workers on their toes to make adequate arrangements but also is involving the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) leaders to mobilise the masses to reach the venue.

The BJP-HJC alliance is reaching out to the voters in different parts of the district and alluring them to vote for Rattan Lal Kataria.

Former Mayor of Chandigarh Gian Chand Gupta, who is the convener of the district unit of the party, said different committees had been constituted to execute different jobs assigned to them in a planned way.

A micro campaign had also been launched to reach every house in the Panchkula and Kalka segments of the constituency and appeal to the people to voter for Kataria, he said.

The schedule

  • BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will address a public rally in Kurukshetra on April 3, while party stalwart Sushma Swaraj will seek votes for Rattan Lal Kataria at a public rally in Ambala on April 5.
  • On the BJP’s foundation Day, April 6, Narendra Modi will have online interaction with booth-level party workers from 5 pm to 6 pm.
  • Rosy Malik, a woman leader of the party, will chair a women’s convention in Kalka on April 7 at 5 pm.



Police conduct flag march in city

Chandigarh, April 1
In view of the coming Lok Sabha elections, a flag march was organised by the UT police today. Over 1,000 cops patrolled various places in the city on the occasion.

DSP Roshan Lal said the flag march was organised to build up enthusiasm and confidence in city residents.

In city’s east division, comprising Mani Majra, Industrial Area, Sectors 19 and 26 police stations, the flag march was carried out under the supervision of DSP Anjitha Chapyala, DSP (East), and Parvinder Singh, ASP (City), along with four station house officers.

The march was carried out by 200 police personnel. The march also included IRB, CISF and PCR vehicles.

In the central division, comprising of Sector 17, Sector 3 and Sector 11 police stations, the flag march was carried out under the supervision of DSP Ashish Kapoor, DSP Satish Kapoor and all SHOs.

The march was carried out under the supervision of Surjit Singh, DSP (South) and Sweta Chauhan, DSP, along with four SHOs in the south division. The south division comprises Sectors 31, 34, 36 and 39 police stations. — TNS



Street play to highlight importance of vote staged

Chandigarh, April 1
The Election Department, Chandigarh, in association with an NGO, organised a nukkad natak, “Jano Vote Ki Keemat”, in the markets of Dadumajra colony, Janta and Kumhar colony, Sector 25, here this evening.

The play was staged to create awareness among the local residents about their right to vote. The aim of the play was to motivate people to come out of their households and vote in large numbers on April 10.

After being educated by some prominent citizens, people came to know about the value of their vote and pledged to cast their vote for the better future of the country.

The Election Department, UT, Chandigarh is going to organise a series of short play in the villages, slum colonies and other parts of the City Beautiful till April 8. — TNS



Provide poll slips on voters’ doorstep, BLOs told 

Panchkula, April 1
The district election officer has directed the booth-level officers (BLOs), to distribute poll slips on the doorstep of every voter by April 4 in the Panchkula and Kalka segments of the Ambala Lok Sabha seat to ensure smooth electioneering.

The DEO, SS Phulia, while chairing a meting of the BLOs, directed them to submit a report to their magistrates concerned after completing the job.

The process will not only help in distributing the poll slips to the right voters but also ensure that the particular voter was alive or had shifted from the given address. Moreover, this would also help in checking the duplicate votes, the DEO said.

The BLOs, however, have to bear the conveyance expenditure as the Election Commission has made no arrangements for providing them transport to reach far-flung areas. — TNS



Liquor vend flouts norms
Found open in the evening despite orders by HC to close vends on roadsides
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 1
A liquor shop, near the YPS Chowk, here, was found open, despite the orders by the High Court to close down liquor vends located on roadsides.

The shutter of the shop was seen half-open in the evening. In a recent decision, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had issued directions that liquor vends should function only from market areas.

Former municipal councillor Kuljit Singh Bedi claimed that he had filed a case in the High Court regarding the nuisance of liquor vends that had opened in green belts and near slip roads in the town. In his petition against the liquor vends, he said such vends prove to be traffic hazards, as customers park their vehicles on the main road to purchase liquor, thereby blocking traffic. He added that sanitation problems have also been reported, as people often urinate around such areas.

Bedi said there were 24 liquor shops in Mohali, which were located on roadsides. Those located near Balongi, Spice Chowk and the Dasehra ground have been closed today, added Bedi.



NRI alleges police inaction in cheating case, to approach higher authorities
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 1
A USA-based Non-Resident Indian (NRI) has questioned tall claims of the Punjab Police in disposing of complaints lodged by NRIs.

Following the alleged inaction by the Mohali Police, the complainant, Tarun Sachdeva, a victim of cheating by alleged influential builders, has now decided to approach the country’s Prime Minister/Home Minister.

In his mail to top police officials and to an MP from Bathinda, Harsimrat Badal, Sachdeva alleged that even after four months of registering an FIR against the directors of Sukhm Infrastructure, Mohali, the police have failed to nab the accused.

The victim claimed that since the accused were very rich and influential, the police were not taking action against them, despite his consistent follow ups and personal visit to India in December last year.

Mohali Senior Superintendent of Police Gursharan Singh Sandhu said, “All related documents are being checked. Certain cases take time and this is one of those, but we ensure thorough fairness in the investigations. We have already registered a case against the accused. Further action will be initiated soon,” said SSP Sandhu.

Notably, the Mohali Police have booked three directors and a general manager of the company, having a mega project-Yellow Stone Infocity at Sector 66 A, for cheating, breach of trust and criminal conspiracy at the Sohana Police Station on November 13, 2013.

The accused have been identified as Mohinder Aggarwal, Tajinder Singh and V Rastogi, all directors of the company, and Aprajit Sachdev, the company’s general manager.

In his complaint, Sachdeva alleged that he had purchased a plot in the company’s Yellow Stone project for Rs 26.40 lakh and had paid Rs 7.26 lakh as advance. He said four years have passed and the company is yet to give him the allotment letter of his plot. The company has not even returned my money, said Sachdeva, adding that since an FIR has been registered, the accused are threatening him with dire consequences.



VIPs use novel ways to flout norms
Dignitaries find methods to manage exclusive entries for themselves and their acquaintances at Mansa Devi temple
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

A Haryana Government vehicle at the Mansa Devi shrine in Panchkula.
A Haryana Government vehicle at the Mansa Devi shrine in Panchkula. A Tribune photograph

Panchkula, April 1
Ministers and other dignitaries have devised new methods to manage ‘VIP’ entry for their acquaintances in Mansa Devi temple, in the absence of VIP passes, proving the non-issuance of the passes- a mere eyewash. A reality check by this correspondent during the ongoing Navratra fest showed that the ‘VIP’ system still persists.

Senior officials of the administration are called up and provided a list of vehicle numbers. The same is communicated to the police officials who are on the ‘naka’ duty. The cops maintain a notebook on which they jot down the numbers and flash the same across all the check points.

This was noticed on the second day of the Navratras today. As the officials of the administration said personal Identity cards of senior officers can work, so in absence of the same for their kin, these methods were devised. Sources said the officials of the shrine are being bombarded with phone calls every minute.

“Just in the morning itself, a minister called up our senior and said his relatives are facing lot of problem while making entry. Time and again he has to put in a word to the police officials that they are known to him. So the high ups have been provided a list of numbers of the vehicles,” said an official of the shrine requesting anonymity.

He added, “The same list is passed on to the cops who flash the numbers to allow all those vehicles to enter.”

Another technique devised to make VIP entry is to borrow the government vehicle of any official. Most of the official vehicles are being used to ferry the acquaintances of dignitaries at the shrine.

Many class 3 and class 4 employees of the officers were seen with the kin of dignitaries to ensure facilitation in paying obeisance at the temple. They are also allowed to pay obeisance from inside the ‘darbar’ where the general public is not allowed.

Actor Rishi Kapoor also visited the shrine to pay obeisance on the second day of Navratras. Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, he said, “I have come just to take the blessings of the goddess.”



UT Admn gets EC nod for new excise policy
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
The Election Commission of India has given the go-ahead to Chandigarh Administration to come out with new excise policy 2014-2015.

ECI’s nod comes after the Chief Electoral Officer has sought clearance from former regarding the new excise policy. The existing excise policy comes to end on April 30.

Sources reveal that since the existing policy had literally a flop, due to increased excise duty and assessment fee, UT was keen that new policy should be investor-friendly and brought it at par with Punjab.

Since Punjab has reverted to its two year-old excise policy while announcing its new excise policy for 2014-2015, the UT was under pressure to lower the excise duty.

Under the new policy, Punjab has doubled the number of groups (licencing units) to bring down the liquor prices. It is also learnt that Punjab was trying to put a cap in the maximum retail price of liquor. Being an election year, Punjab was trying to bring the liquor prices at par with Haryana.

As per the existing excise policy, liquor prices and the taxes are much lower in Haryana when compared to Punjab and Chandigarh. As a result, Haryana has emerged as a source of liquor smuggling. Sat Pal, a veteran in the liquor trade, said existing UT policy had doomed the traders and many were ready to surrender their shops.

Since UT follows Punjab in framing the liquor policy, Punjab’s policy would reflect in this year’s UT excise policy. Last year, the UT while following Punjab had increased the excise duty by 20 per cent to 300 per cent and assessment fee by 33 per cent.

But this year’s UT policy turned out to be a poor show as out of the total 256 vends, 96 vends remained unsold. Of these 19 vends had failed to attract even a single bid in the past five attempts.



Check swelling, itching in your child’s eye: Experts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
As the spring season has set in with pleasant winds, it has brought problems of eye allergies, due to dust and pollen, especially in children aged below 10. According experts at the PGIMER, the cases of severe eye allergy have increased five-fold in past one month and 15-20 new cases are being reported in OPD, everyday.

The clinics are full of eye allergy cases affecting the children, in particular, called the spring catarrh or spring conjunctivitis.

“Children are more vulnerable to the allergy. If a child has pink tinge in the eye or unexplained swelling and eyes seem bulging, one must see a doctor without delay,” said Dr Amit Gupta, associate professor, Advanced Eye Centre, PGIMER.

If unattended, the allergy can also give way to keratoconus, a degenerative disorder of the eye, in which structural changes within the cornea cause it to thin and change to a more conical shape than its normal gradual curve. “The problem often persists during the spring season as children are more sensitive to pollens,” said Dr Gupta.

Changing bed sheets regularly, frequent washing of eyes and air-conditioning can be effective.

Dr Gupta also pointed out a case where a child was found having severe eye allergy. As the parents observed the change on a day-to-day basis, they started dropping the child to school in their air-conditioned vehicle and realized that the school bus passed through a specific area where child was exposed to pollen as the bus did not have an air-conditioner.

Consult doctor if your child

  • Rubs eyes frequently
  • Has redness in the eyes
  • Has muddy look in white portion of eyes
  • Has iigmentation or swelling around the eyes
  • Has itching or watering in the eyes

How to prevent allergies

  • Keep away from substances that cause allergy like dust, pollen.
  • Frequently wash the eyes with cold water
  • Use quality sunglasses
  • Do not use contact lenses as they increase allergy



Office-bearers elected

Chandigarh, April 1
The General House of the Central Administrative Tribunal Bar Association, Chandigarh, has unanimously elected the following as members of the executive body for 2014-2015.

Sanjeev Pandit president; Rajiv Goel vice-president; Pankaj Mohan Kansal secretary; Anil Bhardwaj joint secretary; JR Syal treasurer; executive members RK Sharma, Madan Mohan, GS Sathi, Deepak Agnihotri, DR Sharma, Pawan Gaur, Shaliender Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Ravinder Pal Singh, Ashwani Kumar Sharma and Sanjiv Dhaiya. — TNS



Three deaths reported from Panchkula 

Panchkula, April 1
Three persons were reported dead in separate incidents in Panchkula this evening. A 12-year-old boy was killed in a hit and run accident in Pinjore. The victim, identified as Sarthak, a resident of Pinjore, was crossing the road when he was hit by an unknown vehicle. In another incident, a person was found dead on the Mansa Devi temple premises.

The identity of the victim is yet to be ascertained. In third incident, an engineer from Bhopal was run over by a train in Chandimandir area. Postmortem will be conducted tomorrow. — TNS



NCC chief visits city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Director General, National Cadet Corps, Lt Gen Aniruddha Chakravarty, inspected the Chandigarh NCC Group Headquarters here today.

He was briefed by the Group Commander, Brig JS Arora, about activities conducted by the group.

Lt Gen Chakravarty also interacted with the cadets, who had excelled in various events at the national and international level.

He also inspected a weapon, ship and aero model displayed by the cadets.

Lt Gen Chakravarty also visited the proposed complex of No.1 Chandigarh Air Squadron at Sector 31.

Later, he addressed the officers of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh NCC Directorate and Chandigarh NCC group. He emphasised the role of NCC in personality building.



health notes
IMA’s new executive members sworn in

Chandigarh: The Chandigarh State Branch (executive) for 2014-15 of the Indian Medical Association was today sworn in. Its president, Dr Gajinder Dewan, and honorary secretary Ajay K Aggarwal thanked the outgoing executive committee members.

Extend date to file objections in medical Act

The Medico-Legal Action Group (MLAG) has raised objections to the draft minimum standards of the Clinical Establishment Act as notified on the website of the health ministry. The MLAG has submitted a representation to the ministry in this regard. “We have strong reservations and objections to these minimum standards. Some of our suggestions include extension of last date for objections on the Act, re-consideration of requirements for minimum standards being prescribed for hospitals,” said Dr Neeraj Nagpal, convener, MLAG.

NHM releases booklet of village health plan

The booklet of a village health plan was released by the Director, Health Services and Mission Director, National Health Mission (NHM) Dr Nirlep Kaur. The representatives of 22 villages of Chandigarh were also present on the occasion. The village health plan is the annual planning for villagers wherein health issues are discussed and ways are suggested to tackle them.

Society gives charter of demands to RIMH director

The Parents and Guardians Society headed by ML Kalra today submitted a charter of demands to the director, Regional Institute of Mentally Handicapped (RIMH). Their demands include free education till 18 years of age for special children, basic amenities such as toilets at the institute and free transport facility. — TNS



Business News
N Sambasiva Rao is new KRIBHCO MD

N Sambasiva Rao is the new managing director (MD) of Krishak Bharati Cooperative Limited (KRIBHCO). He has been working as the marketing director of the KRIBHCO since 2009.

City-based man best hotelier of the year

Sunil Bansal, managing director, World Hotel Turquoise, has been awarded with the ‘Best hotelier of the year’, under the aegis of the 21st National Award 2013, during a ceremony on March 20 at New Delhi. Bansal received the award by Oscar Fernandez, Minister for Road Transport and Highway, Government of India, in the presence of Justice SN Aggarwal and members of the JFI.

ICICI Prudential sweeps top honours

The ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund won the top honours at the Morningstar Fund Awards 2014 in Mumbai. The fund house bagged three awards-best fund house in the debt, equity and multi-asset categories.

Made in Pakistan Show

The 6th edition of the five-day Made in Pakistan Show is being organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at the Himachal Bhawan in Sector 28 B. The CII is organising the event in association with the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce.

Progressive farmers’ meet at CII HQ

Establishment of large-scale cold chains, standardisation in the freezing and packaging norms and a strong Central and state-level policy mechanism and implementation are needed to revolutionise the agri sector. This was stated by Roshan Lal, additional chief secretary agriculture, Government of Haryana, while addressing the 8th Progressive Farmers’ Meet, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Mehram Publications Pvt Ltd at the CII headquarters on Tuesday. — TNS



Police Presence on Panjab University CAMPUS
Form panel, students urge Dean
Say committee will resolve student-related issues; call for interaction
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
To check the growing presence of police on the Panjab University campus, the student representatives held a meeting with the Dean, Student Welfare, in this regard today.

The representatives suggested that a committee comprising representatives of various students’ organisations of Panjab University should be constituted to resolve student-related issues. This will also check ‘police intervention’ in matters relating to the university, they said.

The students also proposed that the university should organise a meeting of the committee with the UT Administration and police every month.

The student representatives said police intervention was not required in the day-to-day activities on the campus as a security system was already in place in PU.

“In case of students staging rallies and protests regarding their rights, the authorities should follow a set procedure,” said the representatives. Interaction is needed between the students concerned or the organisation and university administration.

“If the authority fails to resolve the issue, the representatives of all student organisations and university administration should hold a meeting,” added the students.

On the issue of raids being conducted in hostels, the representatives, said, “PU authorities should have a face to face interaction with the hostel inmates. If the warden gives a written recommendation, the police may initiate action.”

The student representatives also said, “If police personnel visit the university, they should be dressed in uniform and details, including number of police personnel and their names, should be maintained by the authority.”



VC urged to change examination date
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) submitted a memorandum to Panjab University Vice Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover urging him to change the date of the entrance examination of LLB (3 year).

In the memorandum —submitted by ABVP president Vikash Sharma — the students demanded that the date of the examination be changed.

The date of the exam —scheduled for June 8 — clashes with the entrance exam of LLB (3 year) conducted by Delhi University.

The student organisation has requested the Vice Chancellor to change the date of the entrance examination for the convenience of students.



850 students clear bank PO exam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
The result of the bank probationary officer (PO) examination — conducted by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) — was declared today.

More than 850 students qualified for the bank PO exam from Chandigarh.

IBPS is a Pune-based recruitment body, which conducts the exam for the selection of probationary officer (PO) and clerical-level officers for all 19 public sector banks, excluding State Bank of India.

Bright Academy director RK Mahajan said, “As many as 25 lakh students applied for the PO exam. Nearly 70,000 cleared the written exam. Finally, 21,680 probationary officers were selected.” As many as 50 lakh students applied for the clerical exam and more than 10,000 students had applied from the Tricity. Of these students, 35,627 qualified the exam.

Nearly 21,680 students qualified as probationary officers and 35,627 as clerks.



Post-Graduate Government College for Girls
750 awarded degrees at convocation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
More than 750 graduates and post-graduates were conferred degrees during the 57th annual convocation of Post-Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, today.

Sandeep Hans, director, UT Higher Education, was the chief guest.

While congratulating the students, Hans said, “You have been empowered to contribute in shaping the destiny of the nation. Educated girls play a predominant role in the overall development of society.

On the occasion, Hans also released a book ‘Problematizing existence: A study of Graham Greene’ written by Dr Sandeep Sarang, Department of English, Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11.

As many as 190 post-graduate degrees were awarded in public administration, economics, dance, music (vocal), music (instrumental), botany, zoology, chemistry, sociology, English and computer applications.

Under the graduate category, 185 students received degrees in the commerce stream, including pass course, Honours and BCA; 172 students received degrees for Honours in Arts, 104 students in Arts, while 119 science graduates were conferred degrees in medical, non-medical and computer science.

More than 50 college students secured positions in Panjab University examinations.

The students who excelled in academics in the examinations were given the Roll of Honour by Hans. Eight graduates and post-graduates were also given college medals for securing the first position in the PU annual examination.

While presenting the college annual report, principal Achila Dogra highlighted the achievements of the students in academics. 



from schools
Orientation programme for parents

Chandigarh: Saupin’s School, Sector 32, conducted an orientation programme for the parents of students on the school premises today. The parents were apprised of the teaching methodology being practiced and new activities to be introduced in the school curriculum. PowerPoint presentations were conducted to explain different formative, summative and co-scholastic assessment skills. The parents were also informed about pedagogy, new subjects, assessment techniques and activities for the new session. The parents discussed parenting problems with the teachers. Principal ABS Sidhu said, “The orientation session was conducted to educate parents on new innovative ways on the changing trends in the field of education”.

Interaction Day

Mohali: Tiny-Tots’ Foundation School today organised an ‘Interaction Day’ on the school premises. It was an introductory session between the parents and teachers. The parents also discussed problems faced by their children with the faculty members. This was aimed at apprising teachers about a student’s psychology. The syllabus for the new session and books were also discussed during the session.


Pinjore: St Vivekanand Millennium School, HMT Township, Pinjore organised Gaiety-2014. The two-day event was an array of cultural events aiming at ‘youth & moral values.” Justice Rameshwar Singh Malik, Punjab and Haryana High Court, was the chief guest. Col KP Mishra, executive director, HMT Ltd, Pinjore, was the guest of honour. Members of the school management committee were also present on the occasion. — TNS



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