C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cop fires gunshots at SUV
Says he did so in self-defence as driver tried to run over him
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 6
The controversial official of the Chandigarh Police, Inspector Amanjot Singh, fired two gunshots from his service weapon at an SUV at a naka on the road dividing Sectors 45 and 46 near Laxmi Narayan temple at the wee hours on Sunday. Three youths driving a Toyota Fortuner tried to escape from the naka after hitting another car.

Singh reportedly fired the gunshots in self-defence after the driver of the SUV tried to run over him.

Inspector Amanjot who was the in-charge of the naka set up as a part of a special drive to seal the city, said that a recklessly driven SUV approaching the naka tried to flee on noticing the police ahead. “The SUV driver turned towards the left side and hit a Honda City car. The driver then turned off the headlights of the vehicle and again drove towards the naka. By then, we had already blocked the road with barricades”, he said.

The SUV driver then tried to drive over the road median towards the other side of the road.

Inspector Amanjot stated that that in a bid to stop them from moving on the opposite side of the road, he ran towards the vehicle. “They didn’t stop and tired to run over me following which I fired two gunshots on the tyre of the vehicle”, Singh added.

The SUV was being driven at a very high speed and they drove towards Mohali after taking the wrong lane.

A case of rash driving (279), causing hurt by an act endangering life or personal safety of others (337), assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharging his duty (353) and obstructing public servant in discharging of public functions (186) has been registered at the Sector 34 police station against unknown persons. The police have begun probing the case.

His controversial past

Inspector Amanjot who is posted with the India Reserve Battalion (IRB) of the local police has a controversial past. In 2012, he was suspended on the charge of insubordination during the Vice-President's visit to the city. In 2013, a realtor had complained against him for extortion and criminal intimidation at the Sector 19 police station.

229 violators challaned

In view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, the Chandigarh Police laid nakas on the intervening night of April 5 and 6 from 12 am to 3 am to check on suspicious activities. There were 106 nakas — 38 outer and 68 internal nakas. Besides, the traffic wing of the Chandigarh Police also laid 22 nakas at different places. For the purpose, 1,000 police personnel were deployed at various places of Chandigarh. As many as 229 violators were challaned and 13 vehicles impounded during the drive.



Bollywood stars, television actors spice up hectic poll campaigns
Anil Kapoor descends on city to support Kirron, Raghu Ram for Gul Panag
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 6
Stars from the tensil town and the telly world landed in the city on Sunday to give the much-needed spice and colour to the hectic campaigns. The presence of stars saw their fans clamoring for their autographs.

While Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor was roped in by the BJP candidate and her actor husband, Anupam Kher, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) brought Raghu Ram, the man behind MTV roadies. Presence of Punjabi singer Jaswinder Jassi for the AAP candidate attracted a large crowd.

Soaking the city in the Bollywood mood, Anil Kapoor pulled a huge crowd at the gatherings where he was accompanied by Kirron and Anupam.

Children were seen carrying their autograph books at various gatherings held in Sectors 26, 18 and 34. While many managed to get their pictures clicked with them, few lucky ones even got their autographs.

Ishita, a local resident, who was present at one of the gatherings in Sector 34, said that it was exciting to watch the three stars together. “I was surprised to see all of them. It seemed we were in Mumbai”, she added.

Many fans were seen following the actors to all the sectors where they went to address the gatherings.

Adding to the excitement was Raghu Ram who reached the city to support AAP party candidate Gulkirat Kaur Panag. He also joined the campaigning at Dadu Majra village. Raghu who has a huge fan following among the youths, turned out to be a showstopper. A large number of youths reached at the village to have a glimpse of Raghu, as a band played in the background.

Meanwhile, Punjabi singers Pammi Bai and Ranjit Bawa were among others who accompanied Gul during the campaign. Gul drove across the city riding in a truck. The band playing music gave the performances from the truck at Dadu Majra, Maloya, Palsora and Kajehri. In the evening a music performance at Sector 34 ground was also held.



It is raining discounts for voters
Election Dept ropes in business houses to promote voting
Rajmeet Singh and Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 6
In perhaps the biggest exercise undertaken to encourage more voting, the UT Election Department has literally “flooded” the city with banner, posters and buntings asking the electorate to caste their ballot before enjoying shopping, eating and entertainment at discounted rates.

The Election Department has roped in corporate and business houses to encourage residents to vote in maximum number. With the help of students of Government Arts College, the department has adopted the slogan “festival of elections” and has come out with colourful advertisements in newspapers and banners on the roadsides.

Roping in the Tourism Department and the Chandigarh Hospitality Association, the Election Department has been organising debates, talks, awareness programme and “nukad nataks” to register among the voters the need to caste their ballot.

The voters will also be able to enjoy 30 per cent discount on bills at hotels and restaurants till three days after voting. The Chandigarh Hospitality Association has come up with the offer.

"It is the celebration of an intellectual festival (elections) for us. Our hotels and restaurants will be organising food festivals also from April 11 to 13", said Arvinder Pal Singh, president, Hotel and Restaurants Association.

In fact, it seems that the elections are no less than a festival for the service sector. After hotels and food joints offering discounts to those showing up after casting their vote, nearly all private diagnostic labs, nursing homes and clinics are offering either free consultation and pathological tests or 25 per cent discount on services.

Citing it as a "social responsibility", the medical sector is making the most of the election fever in the ensuring footfall.

Offering discount up to 30 per cent on eatables to those who show up after casting their votes, the eating joints across the city have pepped up their efforts to woo the voters.

At the healthcare institutions, the voters will have to show their voting sign and voter ID card before availing the facility, said the MD of Chandigarh Clinical Laboratory, Sector 20, RR Khanna.

As per directions from the Indian Medical Association (IMA), all the 1,500 IMA members across the Tricity, who run clinics, nursing homes or labs will provide discounts for a week after the polling day (April 10), informed an official.

Hotels to offer discounts from April 11 to 13

A total of 31 hotels and 40 restaurants across Sectors 35, 43, 17, 26, 9 and others will allow discounts from April 11 to 13. A photo lab, salons and sweetshops are also offering discounts ranging from 10 per cent to 30 per cent to the voters.

Clinics, nursing homes to provide discounts a week after April 10

Nearly all private diagnostic labs, nursing homes and clinics are offering either free consultation and pathological tests or 25 per cent discount on services. As per directions from the Indian Medical Association (IMA), all 1,500 IMA members across the Tricity, who run clinics, nursing homes or labs, will provide discounts for a week after the polling day, April 10.



Cong takes up ‘outsider’ issue, BJP banks on ‘Modi wave’
Parties target one another through SMSes, social media
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 6
With only four days left for the Lok Sabha elections, political parties have intensified their campaign through SMSes and social media. While the Congress is sending SMSes to people like, “Dear Fellow Chandigarhians, Choose one - Gujarat, Mumbai, Delhi, Sector 28. Where will we go for our problems? A performer or actresses?”

In another message, Congressmen posted, “Dear fellow Chandigarhians, Train connectivity to over 100 major cities to boost trade, commerce and employment. Will you support a performer or an Actor?”.

Even Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal’s nephew Vikram Bansal, posted on social media, “In Chandigarh, we have actresses contesting against Mr Bansal. Tell me, whether Mr Modi will come here or Chandigarhians will go to Gujarat Delhi or Mumbai for their problems”.

On the other side, the city unit of the BJP is spreading messages about the vision of BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. On social networking sites, local BJP workers are posting various comments on Modi’s good governance model in Gujarat. The BJP workers are even taking up issues of development in the city and corruption during the UPA rule. Congress is also spreading messages on Whatsapp about Bansal’s developmental works in the last 15 years. Be it rail connectivity, air connectivity, utilisation of MPLAD funds and an increase in plan budget of Chandigarh`, the issues are intensively being publicised on the social media.

Pay Rs 2,500 to dine with Gul Panag

The local unit of AAP is organising a “joint fundraiser dinner” and an interaction with AAP candidate Gul Panag on April 7. The party’s campaign manager, Dr Munish Raizada, said they were organising a joint fundraiser dinner and an interaction with the actor at a restaurant in Sector 26. For dinner with Gul Panag, an individual will have to pay Rs 2,500.



Kirron kher bjp
‘I love city, for its welfare I pray, I am here to stay’
Kirron Kher, BJP candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat, does not believe in lip service and does not promise the moon. She says there are no on-the-spot solutions to any problem. She is keen on starting a single-window grievance redressal cell.

Anupam Kher with wife Kirron Kher at The Tribune Office
Anupam Kher with wife Kirron Kher at The Tribune Office.

The actor-turned-politician refuted the allegation levelled by her opponents that the tinsel town would be on her priority list once she won the elections.

She asserted: “I will continue to stay in city. As far as the film world is concerned, I will sign only those projects which are close to my heart. I am not a young star and do not require too much involvement in films. Movies such as ‘1984 Punjab’ interest me.”

At an interactive session ‘Chandigarh Votes 2014’ moderated by Executive Editor, The Tribune, Kanwar Sandhu, Kirron Kher talks about her vision for the city.

Tell us how the city has grown over the years. If you get elected as an MP, in which direction would you like to see the city?

— Kanwar Sandhu

‘City needs more hospitals’

In 70s, the city was young and beautiful. Those belonging to affluent families came here to educate their children. Most of them were either Army officers or bureaucrats. They worked hard and climbed the success ladder. But with the passage of time, everything changed. Now, I don’t see any such thing happening in the city. With village residents shifting their base, development has taken a backseat. The city’s infrastructure needs to be upgraded. I will focus on the development of villages and colonies. There are only three government hospitals in the city, we need more such healthcare institutes.

For the past five to six years, you have been telling me that Chandigarh is calling you. A lot of people say Kirron Kher will forget Chandigarh after winning the elections. What do you plan to do?

— Anupam Kher, Actor

‘I love the city’

I have been in love with Chandigarh. All these years, I have missed the city badly. Even if I lose, I am going to be in the city. My father and my sister are here. Every month, I visit the city.

What will you do to raise education standards in the city?

— Prof Parmod Kumar, Director, Institute of Development and Communication (IDC), Chandigarh

‘Infrastructure should be upgraded’

We need more money and infrastructure. PEC should be upgraded to the level of an IIT. We have to have a macro vision.

There are no financial institutions in the northern part of the country, including Chandigarh. In the absence of any foreign investors, are residents not being deprived of opportunities to grow? Chandigarh had a stock exchange which is now derecognised.

— KIP Singh, a former DSP and vice-principal, Central Detective Training School, Chandigarh

‘Welfare of poor tops my priority’

I have not planned anything on that front. I have been inundated with so many problems. The welfare of the poor tops my priority. Investments are being done through other stock exchanges. I did not know that there was a stock exchange in the city.

Despite being honest and competent, the UPA government was scarred with a number of scams. What will your party do to check corruption?

— Prof Parmod Kumar, director, Institute of Development and Communication (IDC), Chandigarh

‘Corruption should be nipped in the bud’

The Prime Minister could not act as Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi took all important decisions. The PM could not do certain things. It is important to be honest and one must not let corruption erode the system. The PM was the coal minister when Coalgate surfaced. He was aware of everything. Why did he let it happen? Modi is not dependent.

How do you plan to generate employment in the city? Can Chandigarh be developed as an investment destination on the lines of Dubai and Singapore?

— Sandeep Sahni, president, Chamber of Chandigarh Industries

‘City should have a film city’

The city should be developed on the lines of Singapore. I think the city should have a film city. Punjabi films are being liked by viewers but directors have to go to Mumbai to get sound mixing and dubbing done. We also need a medicity. Vocational and skilled courses need to be introduced. I believe the youth should be provided with more job opportunities.

I face a tough time finding a place to practise in Chandigarh. The city lacks infrastructure. We have to go to other cities and look for options. We don’t come across qualified coaches here. How will you solve the problem?

— Husandeep Singh, athlete, South Asian Games silver medallist 2013 and fastest junior athlete (100 metres) during the World Junior Athletics meet held in Bengaluru (2013-2014).

‘Facilities should be provided to sportspersons’

I am aware of the ground reality. There are only a few options in the city. Chandigarh has produced many players and all of them have put in efforts to scale greater heights. Haryana has fared well as far as the promotion of sports is concerned. The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has shifted a lot of people from the sports fraternity to Kurukshetra. We should not to give up and being a sportsperson I think we really need to look into it and do something to provide facilities to sportspersons.

Your manifesto highlights a number of problems plaguing the city. Punjab has refused to give us our share from Phases V, VI, VII and VIII of the Kajauli Water Works. How will you resolve the dispute?

— Ranju Aery Dhadwal, Principal Correspondent, Dainik Tribune

‘Problems will be solved’

The matter has to be taken up with the authorities concerned. Replying to the question, Kirron’s husband Anupam Kher said his wife did not believe in lip service. If she wins, she will put in efforts to solve the problems of the city, unlikely the present MP who has done noting for the city. For the past few years, Kirron has been saying she wants to go back to her roots and she has got a chance to come back. Since her soul lives here, she will not go anywhere.

Science and technology play a major role in socioeconomic development of the city. What is your scientific vision for the city?

— Jimmy Kansal, scientist, DRDO

‘Solar power project needed’

We should have a solar power project here. A few years ago, the Central Government came up with a plan saying every state could apply one coal block and could get somebody to start a power plant. Many states did it, but Chandigarh failed to grab the opportunity. I feel science and technology should be used for improving infrastructure and keeping the city clean.

You represent the Akali-BJP. The Akali Dal says Chandigarh should be merged with Punjab but the local unit of BJP wants it to remain a Union Territory. What do you have to say?

— Tarlochan Singh, Staff Correspondent, Punjabi Tribune

‘UT’s status should be debated’

It is a bigger issue. It needs to be debated before reaching a conclusion. Everyone in the party feels so and all states should be taken into consideration before taking the decision.

In Amritsar, Navjot Sidhu made flamboyant statements. However, when the promises had to be turned into a reality, everybody did a vanishing act. Will you be able to deliver on your promises?

— Dr Manuj Wadhwa, director and head, Max Elite Institute of Orthopaedics and Joint Replacement, Max Hospital, Mohali

‘I will never run away’

I do not plan to run away. I have done 22 films so far. As far as India’s Got Talent is concerned, I want to be a part of the show as I love meeting people. We shoot only 19 days. We have already started the citizen’s charter. We also plan to start a single-window grievance redressal cell for the elderly.

Do you think your charm will attract the urban population?

— Deepankar Sharda, Staff Correspondent

‘People love me because of my dedication’

Those residing on the periphery of the city have bowled me over with their hospitality. People are fond of me and it is not because of my charm, it is because of my dedication and social service. The world has seen the real side of me. In reality shows, we don’t follow any scripts, it’s the real me that comes out and makes people familiar with my instincts. I am here in Chandigarh, even if I lose, I will stay here. I want to bring about a change in Chandigarh and as a performer I will make it possible.

Are you in favour of the commissionerate system?

— KIP Singh, former DSP and vice-principal, Central Detective Training School, Chandigarh

‘Residents’ problems have kept me pre-occupied’

At present, I am busy identifying the civic problems of residents.

Who do you think is your strongest competitor?

— Kanwar Sandhu

‘Cannot take anyone for granted’

Everyone is my competitor. I cannot take anyone for granted. You cannot disrespect by presuming who is better and who is not. The elections are unpredictable. I am not experienced but I do hope to make it to the MP’s seat.



Kirron will be a class apart: Anil Kapoor
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 6
“I believe in good policies and people like Kirron Kher. I know how much she loves Chandigarh and I want people to vote for her for the overall development of the UT,” said Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor.

Anil Kapoor was in the city today for the election campaign of BJP candidate Kirron Kher. Highlighting the straight forwardness of Kirron, Anil said: “She will be a class apart from other politicians who don’t keep their words. I am also feeling a little bit sad over the fact that she would leave Mumbai and stay in Chandigarh to serve the people”.

Being asked on joining the politics, Anil said he was not cut out to be a politician, but he had been inspired with former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s speeches.

Replying to a query whether he believes in the policies and vision of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, he said it was not about any party but he surely believes in good policies and people like Kirron Kher.

On a question whether he would campaign for any other candidate, Anil said he would not campaign for anyone apart from Kirron.

Anupam Kher said: “I am thankful to Anil Kapoor for his support”.



BJP candidate capable of voicing issues faced by common man: Anupam Kher
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 6
“As an individual, Kirron Kher is a strong woman and is capable of voicing the issues being faced by the common man,” said Anupam Kher, Bollywood actor and BJP candidate Kirron Kher’s husband.

While interacting with the media, Anupam Kher said: “As a citizen of India, I had felt my responsibility to fight against corruption. I am here to support my wife in her movement to bring about a change in society”.

The actor, who had extended his support to the movement against corruption called upon by social activist Anna Hazare, said: “I was with them till the forming of the party but thereafter the AAP lost its focus”.

On BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, he said after listening to Modi he feels charged up and he personally believes Modi is the right choice for the Prime Minister of the country.

On Kirron Kher, he said from the past 5-6 years, Kirron was telling me that her roots in Chandigarh were calling her.

He said: “Senior party leaders talked to Kirron on March 15 and sought her views on contesting the elections. Thereafter, she had discussed with our son and me. Within two hours, she conveyed her willingness to contest elections to senior leaders”.



Kin trouble for BJP candidate Kirron Kher again
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 6
BJP candidate from the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat Kirron Kher seems to have landed in trouble, with her sister-in-law (brother's wife) Gurindesh Sandhu and two nieces levelling serious allegations against her just four days ahead of the elections here today.

Accusing Kirron of furnishing wrong facts in her nomination papers, Sandhu claimed to have already complained to the Election Commission, BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Aam Aadmi Party national convener Arvind Kejriwal and local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal against her, but no action had been taken against her till date.

Accompanied by her daughters, Minnal and Scheherazade, Gurindesh Sandhu finally spoke her mind and addressed a press conference today.

Narrating her woes, Sandhu accused Kirron of cheating her. She alleged that Kirron had misled the Election Commission and now befooling the residents of the city by making false promises during the election campaign.

She alleged that Kirron had always been after money and professional engagements. This is evident from the fact that instead of attending the cremation of her younger brother (Amardeep Sandhu, my husband) in 2003, she preferred to shoot for Bollywood movie "Veer Zaara".

“Do you think that she will be accessible to the city residents after winning the elections,” questioned Sandhu.

“After going through newspapers, hoardings, banners and pamphlets, in which she boasts of empowering women, I was upset as she rendered me and my two daughters homeless just a few years after Amardeep’s death,” said Sandhu.

“This all was done as I had two daughters and no son,” she alleged.

Minnal and Scheherazade alleged that their aunt discouraged them from joining the film industry saying that 'this is a dirty world'. “Now she is promising to set up a film city in Chandigarh. This is a cruel joke with the city youth,” they said.

Sandhu was also accompanied by her counsels AK Sinha and Tarun Jain Sinha during the press conference.

Kirron refutes allegations

Refuting the allegations levelled against her, Kirron Kher said Gurindesh Sandhu was playing into the hands of the Congress and had raised these issues during the elections. “Why she did not hold a press conference prior to the elections? She is telling all lies and wants to malign my image in public,” claimed Kher. “I was in London when I received the news of my brother’s death. I reached Mumbai almost after over 36 hours but the family, without waiting for me, cremated Amardeep,” she said. “My father had distributed his property equally among three of us. Gurindesh had no problems at the time when my father Lt-Col (retd) Thakar Singh distributed his property among us. Now, she wants to grab the entire wealth and mar my reputation” Kher said.



Clinical Establishment Act
MLAG takes exception to provisions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 6
As the UT Administration is all set to implement the Clinical Establishment Act (CEA) and begin registration of clinical establishments in city, the Medico-Legal Action Group (MLAG), has now taken exception to various provisions in the Act.

The medicos’ body has written to the Health Ministry and has objected to the minimum standards prescribed --citing inability of small clinics in meeting them. In addition to demanding extension of last date for comments on the provisions, the MLAG criticised the list of legal requirements in the Act.

Dr Neeraj Nagpal, convener of the group, said that these standards cannot be fulfilled by 90 per cent of the small and medium-scale healthcare establishments.

Nagpal said, “Several licenses and registrations are being imposed to perpetuate and re-establish “inspector Raj” and all the small and medium-scale healthcare facilities will close down.”

The MLAG has also pointed out that the minimum standards for hospitals under the ayurveda stream did not require such stringent legal clearances.

The Act makes it mandatory for all government and private clinics, nursing homes, hospitals, local authorities, individual practitioners to register themselves with the District Registering Authority (DRA), also binds these (clinical establishments) to display costs of each service in patient areas.

The Act, notified by the UT Administration 2010, also provides for regular surprise checks and monetary penalties on clinical establishments in case of violations. A web portal for online registrations will be launched within a month.


Open House response
Good governance: Where there is a will, there is a way

There is no need to grant powers to public representatives for good governance. They can work better, even with the existing powers, if they have the will to do so.

IPS Anand
MHC, Mani Majra

MPs make hay while the sun shines

Neither the representatives nor the MPs have, till now, showed credibility in accomplishing a task. They just know how to make good use of opportunities while they have the power. Even IAS officers have not yet exhibited a true sense of belongingness to the Chandigarh Administration for that matter. They must be, however, made accountable for their actions and not just merely rule. The Residents Welfare Associations as well as other local bodies must be empowered so as to enable them to suggest as well as monitor projects. To expect good development in the city, citizens must participate actively.

Brig Pradeep Sharma

Representatives must be given more powers

Elected representatives deserve more powers in order to scrutinise the problems of their respective areas and to carry out development work more effectively than the bureaucrats. Elected representatives are definitely more connected to the people than the officers of the Administration. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which won the Delhi elections had a manifest point in their campaign that they will give more powers to the mohalla sabhas.

Wg Cdr Jasbir Singh Minhas (retd)

Powers to local authorities will ensure timely action

There is a definite need to give more powers to the public representatives, including MPs, because local authorities are in close proximity to the situation. They can very well analyse and make prudent judgments by interacting closely with the masses. Moreover, many situations demand timely action which is possible only if the local authorities are given powers.

Sanjay Kapila

Chandigarh must be given statehood

It is high time that Chandigarh is given full statehood and lets the elected representatives, who are well-versed with the aspirations of the public, govern the City Beautiful. As a temporary arrangement, the Government of India should give the powers to the local MPs to interfere in the vital policy decision endorsed by the Chandigarh Administration. The power to grant the final approval to important policy matters should rest with the MPs of Chandigarh.

Ravinder Nath

Local bodies must fulfil tasks in public interests

I believe that the elected representatives, such as the Member of Parliament (MP) and councillors of the Municipal Corporation (MC), Chandigarh, must be granted powers to accomplish tasks in public interests. To ensure this, the bureaucracy has to be brought under them. The politicians, however, must ensure that representatives do not misuse the powers, if granted.

RK Kapoor

Representatives should not be granted powers

I strongly feel that there is no need to give more powers to the public representatives, including the Member of Parliament and elected councillors, by way of changing the political set-up and bringing the bureaucracy under them. In all fairness, the bureaucrats should continue to be held accountable for their actions, as per the extant provisions.

SK Gupta

City governance has failed to fulfil hopes of public

The city governance has never been able to fulfil the expectations of the public. Hence, there is a dire need to give power to a system which comprises public representatives, including the MPs and elected councillors. Bureaucracy must be brought under it.

Ragandeep Singh Sidhu
Naya Gaon

Save city from clutches of MPs and councillors

There is no need to give more powers to the public representatives and change the entire political set-up. Before the formation of the Municipal Council, Chandigarh (MCC), city residents were not facing any kind of problems and even the UT Administration was functioning smoothly. Most of the powers of the Administration have been granted to the MCC and political interference has just resulted in a poor state of affairs. Money is just being misused at the hands of such MPs and elected councillors

Sat Pal Kansal

Power to local authorities will be a boon for public

Giving more powers to the MPs and elected representatives of local areas is the need of the hour. More powers to the elected representatives would prove a boon for residents as the public-centric works will then be accomplished at a fast pace. There have been reports that some MPs do not utilise their discretionary amount meticulously or do not use it at all. Therefore, more financial control or other powers, if granted, should be used honestly.

Ujagar Singh

Political set-up needs to be revamped

Elected members represent the public and all the promises and policies they implement are in the interests of the public. But when the right time comes to execute the policies, the bureaucracy gives them the cold shoulder. Sometimes these very policies become an apple of discord between the bureaucracy and elected members. In Chandigarh, problems related to water, electricity, parks, playground and CHB houses are hanging fire due to the bureaucracy. For better development of the city, powers should be decentralised at regional level.

Gurdeep Singh

Elected councillors must realise their responsibilities

In wake of the coming Lok Sabha elections, there is absolutely no need to change the political set-up and bring the bureaucracy under it. The elected councillors should themselves take it as a duty to govern for the benefit of public.

Priya Darsh Growar

Not powers but dedication is the need of the hour

The representatives of the public have, so far, taken their rights for granted in the form of political power and have also inevitably failed to fulfill their responsibilities so far. It is evident from the present scenario that more powers are not required, rather a handful of honesty, pledge to do social welfare, sense of responsibility, unbiased and unconditional devotion and dedication towards the public is the need of the hour.

Shruti Marwaha

Governance must be made pro-public

In Chandigarh, bureaucrats come on deputation from Punjab and Haryana. Their stay here is not less than a holiday, as they are answerable to none and are completely unconcerned about the occurrence of events. As a result, the administrative set-up has adopted an unfriendly approach towards the city residents. The only way to escape such an unpleasant situation is to give more powers to elected representatives to control the bureaucracy and make the governance pro-public.

PS Bajwa

Post of Chief Commissioner should be revived

To keep the bureaucracy on tenterhooks, disciplined and accountable to their actions, the post of the Chief Commissioner should be revived. The incumbent, such as MS Randhawa, should be a man of proven integrity, proficiency and possess statesmanlike qualities, as he will also have to endure with councillors, who splurge on the resources of the City Beautiful without giving a second thought. The post of the Administrator has been found ineffectual and the post of the Advisor should be disbanded.

Gurmit Singh Saini

MPs involvement will result in effective governance

The political structure of the city should be changed and the Member of Parliament of the city should be made more effective and powerful in solving the issues related to public interest. The MPs should be drawn in as an instrument between the Administration and the public, while deciding on the major issues of residents, traders and industrialists and redress the grievances. This way, the MPs will get a real opportunity to work for better development of the city. The involvement of MPs in need-based changes and in the introduction of new projects may result in effective governance in the City Beautiful.

Sukhpal Singh

Politicians will remain politicians

Less political control is the need of the hour. At present, the mechanism to control the bureaucracy through the elected government already exists. If the politicians do not use the police and civil services for meeting their political ends, it is more than enough and is undoubtedly good news! Effective governance is possible only if every individual carries out his/her assigned job sincerely. They must put the interests of public before self.

Colonel RD Singh (retd)

Bureaucracy should not be under political set-up

The needs of the city related to industries, employment, institutions and connectivity to other destinations by roads, rail and air are regional and beyond the realms of possibility for the local Administration. The bureaucracy should not be brought under the political set-up. This will lead to the further dilution of the working system. For efficient and effective system, there should be only one controlling officer.

Dr Gurdev Singh

Bureaucrats must not come under representatives

There is no need to bring bureaucrats under public representatives. Rather, combined efforts from all can result in a more effective channelisation of the political set-up. On the basis of varied public needs, members can be taken from different fields with the aim of constituting bodies for solving problems of the pubic.

Dr Chetan Sharma

Visionary bureaucrats need to govern city

Despite the fact that there is a Municipal Corporation elected by the people since 1996, Chandigarh could not yet get a perfect system of government. The corporation, instead of providing hassle-free civic amenities, imposed heavy taxes such as house tax, paid parking and sewerage tax on residents, which were hitherto unknown to the masses. Even a lone elected MP could not fulfill the expectations of the people. Instead of giving more powers to the political outfits, there should be an enlightened bureaucratic system in Chandigarh, at least till the time a permanent solution is found.

SK Khosla

Systems must be renewed

In some way, an MP has no direct powers but to infringe upon political alliance with the MC alone. An MP has no jurisdiction over the functions of the local and state government. Systems, however, need a renewal with a citizen charter and self-consciousness.

Tarsem Bhardwaj

Bureaucrats responsible for not solving public issues

Going by the past records, it has been observed that the bureaucrats have not shown any interest in taking a timely decision on projects. Their tenure is set to a term of only three years. As a matter of fact, there is a delay in getting approvals on projects by the higher authority due to negligence on the part of the bureaucrats. They should not be held responsible for their failure in resolving issues of public interest.

Jai Parkash Goel

Give powers to public via mohalla committees

All public representatives should consult mohalla committees before taking any decision. For good governance, a change in the Administrative set-up is required. For how long will Chandigarh depend on deputation service from Punjab and Haryana? Chandigarh has grown up and it is high time that the city should have its own cadre.

Vidya Sagar Garg

Punjab, Haryana cadre officers are sidelined

The Punjab and Haryana cadre officers are often sidelined as the UT cadre bureaucrats are not answerable to any elected body. Since they do not come under any elected Member of Parliament or state government, they consider themselves rulers rather than public servants. The Centre that created Chandigarh for the purpose of divide and rule, gives directions in favour of bureaucrats and political leaders of their party so that the Member of Parliament’s (MP) seat is secured. Rather than solving the problems of the people, their whole focus is on securing the seat. As a result, parties and the people of Andhra Pradesh had opposed and very rightly rejected a Chandigarh-type UT status for their common capital Hyderabad.

Col B S Mathauda (retd)

open house question

Absence of forum for redressing grievances of the residents in the bureaucracy-laden Chandigarh Administration has taken centrestage during the Lok Sabha elections. What needs to be done to make the officials more accountable and work towards the welfare of the people? Write your comments along with passport size pictures to openhouse@tribunemail.com



BJP celebrates foundation day in P’kula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 6
The BJP today celebrated its 34th Foundation Day as “Vijay Sankalp Diwas” with its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi interacting with the party workers live. To observe the day, the district unit of the BJP installed LED TVs at its office located in Sector 2 for the workers to watch Modi live.

Vishal Seth, district president of the BJP, said over 6 lakh polling booths watched the programme live across the country.

Booth-level assistants remained at their respective booths and connected with the people of their areas in the morning while the workers gathered in the party office and exchanged sweets in the evening.

Seth said winning one’s booth should be the top priority of every party member. “If one wins his or her booth, the victory is sure,” he claimed.

Senior leaders Rekha Sharma, Bharat Bhushan, Ajay Sharma, Sanjay Ahuja, Neelam Awasthi, Seema Bhardwaj and Vikas Paul were also present.



AAP candidate holds road show
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 6
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate from the Ambala parliamentary constituency SP Singh organised a road show here today. Escorted by the party workers and supporters, Singh interacted with residents of Sectors 17, 8, 9 and 10.

He also heard grievances of residents of Nada, Moginand, Sector 26 Ashiana Flats and Sector 25 market before taking a round of the Kharag Mangoli, Rajiv Colony, Indira Colony and Buddhanpur areas.

The candidate from the Ambala parliamentary constituency and his team received an overwhelming response from the voters.



2,752 employees put on election duty

Mohali, April 6
As many as 2,752 employees have been put on duty at 688 polling booths in the Assembly constituency of Mohali district. The first rehearsal for the polling staff was also held today.

District electoral officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu said the rehearsal was done to ensure that the staff did not face difficulties on the day of the polling on April 30.

He said every polling booth would have a presiding officer, an alternative presiding officer and two polling officers. Fifty-four supervisors had been appointed to keep an eye on the polling booths.

The Kharar Assembly segment would have 226 polling booths in which 904 employees would be on duty. In Mohali, there would be 221 polling booths with 884 polling officials on duty. In the Dera Bassi segment, there would be 241 booths and 964 employees on duty. — OC



Residents’ body interacts with candidates
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 6
Sensing that this is the right time to take commitments from the candidates contesting the Lok Sabha elections, the Housing Societies Residents Welfare Federation today organised an interaction of candidates with the residents of societies from Sectors 48 to 51.

The candidates who reached the venue were asked to speak only about what they could promise to these societies.

Each candidate was invited at different times so that the people attending the interaction could judge the capability of each candidate. The candidates who turned up for the discussion were given a charter of demands and were asked to speak on them.

Surinder Bhardwaj of the Janta Dal United (JDU), who reached for the interaction, assured the residents that whether he wins or not, he would fight for their rights.

Four-time Member Parliament (MP) Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal also ensured to attend the interaction. Bansal took up a single demand of the residents and gave his views over it. He agreed to various demands and assured that he would take up the issue with the administration.

Other candidates, including Hindustan Ekta Party candidate Dharmender Singh and BSP candidate Jannat Jahan Ul Haq, gave an assurance to the members of the group housing societies for meeting demands.

Kamal Gupta, president of the federation, said they had invited the office-bearers of the resident welfare associations of various housing societies so that on the basis of their commitments towards the demands of the societies they could ask the residents of the societies to vote for a particular candidate.

Major demands

  • Transfer of flats
  • Conversion of housing society from leasehold to free hold
  • Policy for maintaining infrastructure inside the societies
  • House tax only on covered areas
  • Market in Sector 50
  • e-Sampark centres in Sectors 48 to 51
  • Need-based changes in society flats



Cycle rally to create voting awareness held

Chandigarh, April 6
As a part of its continuous voter awareness campaign, the Election Department, Chandigarh, with the help of an NGO, organised a cycle rally at Sukhna Lake and Rock Garden here this morning. The department also launched a signature campaign on the occasion.

Students were carrying placards and banners spreading awareness on “vote power” during the rally.

Plays were also staged with the help of the NGO on the theme “April 10 ko matdan kendra awashya jana hai” at Elante Mall, Vikas Nagar and Daria village here this evening.

A large number of people gathered to watch the play based on "free and fair polling" in Chandigarh. — TNS



Candidates chirp

Kirron Kher @KirronKherBJP

7.06 am: Good morning Chandigarh! Lehron se darkar nauka paar nahi hoti, himmat karne walo ki haar nahi hoti. God gives me more energy everyday to serve.

2.08 pm: Wonderful to have my friend @AnilKapoor come to Chandigarh and lend his support. Thank you Anil for this kind gesture.

Gul Panag @GulPanag

8.03 am: "If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance to run"

12.36 pm: If our youth is needy today, it is because of politicians mismanagement and lack of commitment to our youth. Swaraj must happen.



Mohali MC nets Rs 8.35 crore as property tax
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 6
The Municipal Corporation has been able to collect over Rs 8.35 crore as property tax till March 31 in Mohali. The civic body was able to earn a revenue of Rs 12,58,364 on March 31 as it was the last day to avail 10 per cent rebate on the tax amount.

The maximum amount of Rs 5,33,863 came from the residential sector. A sum of Rs 4,97,345 came from the commercial sector, while Rs 2,27,156 was paid by the industrial sector on March 31.

The maximum number of persons who paid property tax were those owning industrial property (55.22 per cent), followed by those having residential units (48.79 per cent). In the commercial sector, only 21.62 per cent people had paid the new levy.

It is learnt that those owning commercial property had demanded that the percentage of tax on rented property should be reduced from 10 per cent to 3 per cent.

According to an estimate of the corporation, there were 34,244 residential properties in the area under its jurisdiction. The estimated number of commercial properties was 4,739, while the number of industrial units stood at 1,005. The number of properties that did not fall into these categories was 285.



Harvesting vacation in Panchkula Schools
Parents left in the lurch
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 6
Parents and students have been left in the lurch as confusion prevails about the announcement of the first-of-its-kind harvesting vacations in the Panchkula schools. The school principals alleged that they did not get any direct communication from the office of District Education officer (DEO) in this regard.

The harvesting vacations were announced from April 5 to April 14 by Director Secondary Education but the same was not conveyed by the DEO office to the schools. As the schools did not get a direct communication, some of them closed down while some remained opened. Surprisingly, even till now, there is no direct communication from the DEO office. The principals of the Panchkula schools kept consulting each other whether they should close down or not.

“We got to know from the media reports about the harvesting vacation. We called up the DEO but she did not take our calls,” said a principal requesting anonymity.

Due to the ongoing confusion, most of the schools were open yesterday. Then on the basis of media reports, today they had to tell the parents about the closing of schools from tomorrow.

“In fact this is for the first time that this vacation has been announced and at this time. This is not the right time to announce the vacations as the new session has just started. There is so much work and how will we cope with the same,” said another principal requesting anonymity.

“I did not send my child to school yesterday and later realised that the school was open. Now today, till evening we kept waiting for a final confirmation form the school authorities as they said that even they are not sure,” said Anshul Bhargav, a parent.

“Only one private school in Sector 25 got a communication from Director Secondary Education so we closed down. Otherwise, this is a highly irresponsible act on the part of higher authorities who did not bother to inform us,” said another principal of a private school.

Late in the evening, finding no option they decided to close down till April 14.

According to the communication, Bhavan Vidalyaya Sector 15, Hansraj Public School Sector 6, DAV School Sector 8, Chaman Lal DAV Sector 11, Satluj Public School Sector 4 and 2 (primary wing), Sky World School Sector 21 and Manav Mangal School Sector 11 have closed the schools for vacations.

When Chandigarh Tribune contacted the District Education Officer (DEO), Savitri Sihag, she failed to respond despite repeated calls and messages.



Graduation day

Chandigarh: A graduation party was organised at St John’s Public School for the outgoing tiny tots of UKG and Class V. Shanta Nayyar, chairman, emphasised that each and every word of appreciation by the teachers influences the tender minds and play a vital role in shaping their personalities.

Students welcomed

Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 31, welcomed its junior most class on the first day of its schooling. The tiny tots were received at the school gate by the principal and student council, followed by the traditional tilak ceremony. Parents handed over their children to their respective class teachers. The spirited students were escorted into their well-decorated classrooms.

Orientation meet

The British School, Sector 44, organised an orientation meet for parents to introduce them to the new academic session. The programme was held for parents of the children studying in Classes IV till X. School principal Mona Shri Sethi, said, “Orientation meeting is absolutely vital to parents and new students as it reviews everything one needs to know about the new academic session and the teaching ethos at The British School. Parents are given time to share their views and expectations with the teacher.”

Investiture ceremony

Mohali: An investiture ceremony was organised by Shemrock Senior Secondary School, Sector 69, to nominate students for various appointments in the school. Maj Gen Raj Mehta was the chief guest on the occasion. The function began with the playing of the national anthem and the school song. The newly elected members of the council were conferred the badges and flags by the chief guest. While addressing students, Maj General Raj Mehta said the school had bestowed a huge responsibility on them and they should carry out their duties in such a way that they set an example for the entire school. He brought out the need to shoulder responsibility and develop leadership qualities to the students. The members of the school council promised to strive for perfection in all endeavours and take their school to greater heights of glory.

Parents apprised of new learning techniques

Students perform during a cultural programme at Millennium School in Sector 67, Mohali, on Sunday
Students perform during a cultural programme at Millennium School in Sector 67, Mohali, on Sunday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

The Millennium School, Mohali, organised their orientation day to apprise the parents and the students of new age learning methodologies and techniques in the education sector. Addressing the key concern of parents to provide individual attention to their children, Principal Komal Singh underlined the need for a multi-pronged approach and predictive strategy to address the issues confronting the system in an integrated manner. Fully supporting the ancient ‘Gurukul’ system, where the focus is on the individual and on personalised learning. The orientation day concluded with mock sessions where parents and their wards acted as students to have a taste of how their children were being taught in ‘modern’ classrooms. These sessions deliberated on various skills such as gross motor skills, fine motor skills and life skills to teach theme-based curriculum and lessons on ‘grammar family’ where they showed their knowledge of various parts of speech. — TNS



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