C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Campaign ends in Mohali district
Road shows, rallies, “nukkad” meetings mark last day; candidates go full throttle
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

AAP candidate campaigns in Mohali on Monday
AAP candidate campaigns in Mohali on Monday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, April 28
Road shows, rallies and “nukkad” meetings marked the last day of election campaign in the town and its peripheral villages here today. The election campaign ended at 6 pm, providing relief to candidates and their supporters from their back-breaking campaign routine.

The town and its nearby areas were seen abuzz with political activities since morning as three road shows and several rallies and meeting were held by the contestants and their supporters to woo voters.

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal held rallies at Kurali and Kansal village to support SAD candidate Prem Singh Chandumajra (who also held a road show in the afternoon in Mohali town), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Himmat Singh Shergill and Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) candidate Jaswant Singh Mann too held road shows.

On the other hand, Congress candidate Ambika Soni and Bahujan Samaj Party candidate KS Makhan preferred to canvass in other parts of the constituency on the final day of the campaign.

The first road show in the morning began with Shergill and his supporters campaigning at his party’s office in Phase IX. His cavalcade, consisting of around 12 vehicles, passed through Phase VIII, 3B2, V, IV, Shahimajra village and Balongi. “After the road show Shergill left for Kharar and then he went to Anandpur Sahib. He met people in villages. On the last day, we wanted to cover the maximum places and reach out to the people”, said Karan, an AAP activist.

Leaving no stone unturned, Professor Prem Singh Chandumajra, for whom this contest is nothing less than a “do or die” battle, held two rallies -first at Kurali and another at Kansal village -with Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. Then he held a road show along with several senior Akali leaders, including Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, NK Sharma, Ujagar Singh Badali, Kamal Chaudhary and members of the Youth Akali Dal in the town. “The road show began at around 2.30 pm and after covering all the markets of the town, it culminated at Phase 11”, said Harmanpreet Singh Prince, president of YAD (Mohali). Chandumajra’s road show witnessed over 100 vehicles. To make his presence felt, SAD (Amritsar) candidate Jaswant Singh Mann also held his road show in the town. It took him over five hours to cover the entire stretch from Kurali to Mohali and its nearby villages, including Landran and Sohana, during his road show. Mann’s cavalcade had seven to eight vehicles.

Though Ambika Soni and KS Mahan did not come to the town today, the other leaders and supporters held small meetings in various parts here.

Booth management meetings

Immediately after the campaign came to an end on Monday evening, candidates with supporters were busy conducting “booth management meetings”. “The party’s booth agents have been selected. The meetings are being held,” said a SAD leader.

Door-to-door canvassing today

With the election campaign coming to an end, the candidates and their supporters will be going door to door for canvassing on Tuesday. “There is no time to waste. So we will be going from door to door in groups,” said BSP candidate KS Makhan. Similar sentiments were expressed by leaders of the Congress, SAD and AAP.

Liquor vends closed

All liquor vends in the area were closed from 6 pm as per orders of the Mohali District Electoral Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner, Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu. Now, the liquor vends will reopen at 6 pm on April 30 only after the polling is over.

Polling time

On April 30, the polling will start at 7 am and end at 6 pm.



Affiliated degree colleges
PU to hike fee from next session
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Panjab University today decided to hike the annual fee of all courses being run in its affiliated degree colleges from the next session 2014-15. Students will now have to pay Rs 2,000 to 3,000 per annum, depending on the courses they choose to study.

The proposal was approved at a meeting of the Committee for Degree Colleges, (affiliated to the PU).The meeting was chaired by Dean University (instruction) A K Bhandari today,

For the city private colleges, the revised fee structure of BA will be Rs 14,000 per annum against Rs 12,300, for B.Com it will be Rs 18,000 against Rs 15,000 and for B.Sc the fee will be Rs 15,500 against Rs 3,500. The fee structure for the postgraduate classes will be similar to the Punjab colleges.

As per the fresh proposal for Punjab private colleges, the students of BA will have to shell out Rs 12,000 against Rs 10,000, for B.Sc, the fee will be Rs 14,000 against Rs 11,400 and for B.Com the students will be charged Rs 18,000 against Rs 15,000.

For the postgraduate courses, the students will have to pay Rs 15,500 for MA against Rs 14,000, for M. Com, students will shell out Rs 18,000 against Rs 15,000 and those opting for M.Sc, the fee will be Rs 18,000, against Rs 15,000.

The committee also proposed to increase the fee for additional courses. The students will now have to pay Rs 1,500 annually from the next session as against Rs 1200. There has been no increase in the university funds.

The members unanimously decided that there would be no hike in self-finance courses. Sources said that the issue was taken up in the meeting because last year, the university authorities received complaints that different colleges were charging different fees for the B.Com finance and non-finance categories, due to which the fee committee decided to fix similar fee for both the categories.



Khushpreet’s Murder
Lure of quick buck led to crime: Court
Judgment sounds a note of caution, says social values declining
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Increased materialism and decline in social values have been highlighted in the court judgment sentencing the three convicts to life imprisonment in the Khushpreet murder case.

The court of Additional District Judge, Atul Kasana, while dismissing the plea of the defence counsel that it was not possible for the convicts to keep the child confined in their custody in Burail for 15 days, stated that, “These days no body interferes in the business or affairs of others and tenants also are not expected to keep a tab on what is happening in the house of their landlords.”

The defense counsel of the accused had contended that the entire version of the prosecution regarding keeping Khushpreet Singh in captivity by the accused in the house of the accused was not probable at all as the same was inhabited by many other persons at a given time and it was not possible to keep a child hidden there for so many days at a stretch.

However, the court held that the evidence on the record categorically showed that the child was hidden and kept in captivity in one of the rooms of the house of the accused, and there was enough evidence that at no point of time the child was left alone or unattended. “The presence of the child, Khushpreet, in the residential house could have well gone unnoticed as he was kept under sedation by giving Alprex tablets by the accused due to which he remained unconscious, thus at no point raised any hue and cry to catch the attention of people.”

The prosecution succeeded in securing convictions for all the accused in the Khushpreet murder case through “circumstantial evidence as well as extra judicial confessions” made by accused Sukhdev Singh and Gurvinder Singh which clearly showed "that all the three accused hatched criminal conspiracy to kidnap Khushpreet”.

However, none of the pleas taken by the defense found any ground in the court.

Asserting that the motive in the case was clear, the court held that “As allurement of fast money in itself is sufficient motive for a person to commit such a crime and the fact that Sukhdev and all the accused hatched the conspiracy to kidnap Khushpreet for ransom is proved on file from the evidence on record.”

Five-year-old Khushpreet was kidnapped for ransom from Burail village on December 21, 2010, and his strangulated body was recovered on January 5, 2011, in a pit in Phase X, Mohali. The three convicts, who were Khushpreet’s neighbours, had kidnapped the child for ransom. Sukhdev, the mastermind behind the kidnapping was reeling under heavy debt and thus hatched the conspiracy. They killed the child after he recognised Sukhdev as his neighbour while in captivity. The child was given intoxicants for 14 days when he was confined in custody.

On April 18, the court had sentenced Sukhdev, Gurwinder and Nand Kishore to life imprisonment for the murder.



Gill is new Golf Club president
Defeats rival Tegvir Singh Sibia by 64 votes; 1,030 members cast their vote
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
In an evenly contested election, senior advocate Birinder Singh Gill (Gilly) recorded victory over his lone rival agriculturist Tegvir Singh Sibia (Gogi), to become the new president of the Chandigarh Golf Club. Gilly became the new president of the club with a lead of 64 votes against his rival.

A total of 1,030 members cast their vote out of which 545 votes were in favour of Gill and 481 voted for Gogi. A total of four votes were found invalid. The result was announced at 10am and Gill was declared the new president of the club. This will be Gill’s third term as the president of the club. Earlier, he was elected to the top post in 2009-10 and 2010-11.

“I am happy and thankful to all the members for electing me to the top post. I will focus on four areas and will develop the Chandigarh Golf Club as a major tourist attraction. Firstly, we will get the golf course revamped, so that it is among the top 10 golf courses of India. Secondly, we will increase interactions related to golf with the help of members and the staff. Thirdly, Chandigarh has always produced best of the golfers, so my aim will be to encourage young talents, provide them good exposure And last but not the least, I will try to make services of the Chandigarh Golf Club pocket friendly’ for the members, so that that they visit the club frequently”, said Gill. When asked about the programme for caddies, the newly elected chief, said, “Caddies are doing a great job. Some of them who take interest in the game will be encouraged to take up the game” said he.

Last year, Sibia received 541 votes against his winning rival Gurinderjeet Singh Sandhu, who got 594 votes. After the final counting, seven votes were found to be invalid.

Out of the registered 1,800 members, 1,030 came to cast their vote during the annual governing body elections. Gill faces tough challenges to handle the ongoing issue of lease money, pending in the HC, and that of the green card membership. “The matter is in the court and we will follow, whatever the court will advice. I hope the decision will be in favour of the Chandigarh Golf Club” he said. Six members of BS Gill’s (the newly elected president) group and four members of TS Sibia’s group and an independent candidate group were elected among the 11-member executive committee of the club.



City records highest minimum temperature in April
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
The city recorded the highest minimum temperature in April this year. As per the Met report, the minimum highest temperature recorded in the last 10 years was in April 2012, which was 18.8°C but this year it touched 21.2 °C.

As per the records of last 10 years, the minimum temperature recorded during April was between 13 and 18 °C. But as per the forecast of the Met Department, the minimum temperature in May will touch 24 °C.

Met Department Director Surinder Pal Singh said due to the changing pattern in the weather and frequent rain, the minimum temperature has gone up. He said there would be no relief to residents from the heat this week, but there were chances of rain in the first week of May.

As per the records of the Met Department, in April, the city receives around 26.9 mm rainfall. The maximum temperature recorded today was 38.2 °C and minimum 21.2 °C.


Better Chandigarh
Annual maintenance of tracks must to promote cycling
Well-maintained and illuminated cycle tracks, strict enforcement of traffic rules by restricting motorists from driving on these tracks and subsidies to residents for purchasing cycles is what the UT Administration can provide to make Chandigarh a cyclist-friendly city.
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
While the UT Administration and the Municipal Corporation (MC) are still considering ways to promote cycling, city residents believe that the annual maintenance of cycle tracks, illuminating these and restricting motorists from driving on these can encourage the cycling and provide a safe ride for cyclists.

The residents believe that to promote the culture of cycling and ensure that the cycle tracks are properly utilised, infrastructure in the form of cycle tracks and cycle stands is required.

Manish, a resident of Sector 37, said: “The Chandigarh police should penalise the motorists who are found using cycle tracks. Issuing challans is the only way to restrict people from driving on these tracks”.

The cyclists also believe that in addition to the cycle tracks along V-3 roads, proper integration along with zebra crossing near intersection should be made so that the cyclists don’t face any problem at the intersections.

Gaurav Gaur, a faculty member at the Centre for Social Work, PU, who has been cycling in the city from the past several years, said: “The UT Administration should popularise the cycle tracks. Those commuting on cycles in the city should be encouraged by rewarding them. Educational institutes, including colleges and university, can also be roped in for promoting cycling by providing subsidy to students in case they want to pedal on the city roads.”

Park-and-ride facility

The UT Administration is planning to introduce the park-and-ride facility under which residents will be provided cycles on rent to commute between the two destinations. The facility will help ease traffic on the city roads. The facility has been planned under a cycle-sharing scheme, for which the Ministry of Urban Development and Planning will provide financial assistance.

Illuminate cycle tracks

The UT Administration recently started illuminating cycle tracks. Electric poles were installed on a cycle track in Sector 10. However, lights are yet to be fitted on these poles. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had also asked the UT to illuminate the cycle tracks as it is one of the reasons behind the cyclists not using these at night. The electric poles have been installed at a low height in a bid to ensure that the cyclists get enough light while riding on these tracks during the night hours.

What official says

We had installed lights on a cycle track in Sector 23. However, these lights were stolen as they were installed at a low height, following which we didn’t extend the plan to other sectors. Now, the UT Administration is installing lights on the cycle tracks. We will study the concept and plan similar lights on these tracks.

Mukesh Anand, MC Chief Engineer

What residents say

I feel that illuminating cycle tracks are the need of the hour. Cyclists are often at risk of being hit by speeding vehicles during night hours. If required, the UT can also rework on the design of the cycle tracks to ensure that these are exclusively used by cyclists.

Mukesh Bassi, Congress Councillor

The existing cycle tracks in the city do not serve any purpose. They should either be improved or merged with the main roads. I fail to understand where does the money meant for the maintenance of these tracks go every year. I have never seen any policeman challaning any cyclist for violations on the roads. I do not say that monetary penalties should be imposed on them, but if a minimal fine is imposed, it will be a deterrent for them.

Dr SM Bose, former head, Department of Surgery, PGIMER

I think the UT Administration should popularise the benefits of using cycle tracks. At the same time, the Chandigarh police should ensure that the cycle tracks are not used by motorists so that cyclists get a safe passage.

Kushaldeep Sandhu, lawyer

Unless the authorities will ensure that the cycle tracks are maintained and are free from garbage, nobody will ride on them. These tracks should be carpeted, illuminated and exclusively reserved for cyclists. Every time, I drive through these potholed tracks, the tyres of the rickshaw get flat.

Narayan Ram, A rickshaw-puller

To facilitate the cyclists in foreign countries, their governments have installed tool kits at short distances so that they can repair their cycles, if required. However, here if the tyre of a cycle gets punctured, one has to look for a cycle repair shop. I feel the UT Administration and the MC should study the ideas adopted by other countries to encourage cycling.

Navneet Arora, businessman

Chandigarh should plan cycle tracks through parks so that the cyclists reach their destination safely. The motorists should also be told to show respect to the cyclists by giving them way at intersections.

Jeesu Jaskanwar Singh, assistant professor at PU



Ramdev's barb against RaGa rocks MC House
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s controversial remarks targeting Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Lucknow a few days ago rocked the General House meeting of the Municipal Corporation (MC), Chandigarh, today.

The issue was raised soon after the meeting began and resulted in heated arguments between Congress and BJP councillors. Subsequently, the meeting was adjourned for over 40 minutes.

At a rally in Lucknow, Ramdev had alleged that Rahul Gandhi goes to the houses of Dalits for honeymoon and picnic.

Congress councillor and a former deputy mayor Satish Kainth condemned the yoga guru's statement, which drew a strong opposition from BJP councillors, who claimed that the issue had no concern with the MC. Kainth, who belongs to a reserved category, stated that Ramdev’s statement had hurt the sentiments of Dalits.

Defending his party, present deputy mayor and BJP councillor Davesh Moudgil stated that if Congress councillors were so concerned about Dalits, why did they fail to get SC/ST certificates issued to the city residents, who belong to the reserved categories. “For the last over a decade, the UT has imposed a ban on issuing these certificates and the Congress failed to get it lifted," the deputy mayor stated.

MC Commissioner VP Singh said if any councillor had any problem with the yoga guru's statement, he/she should complain to the Election Commission. Singh advised the members of the House against making any wrong comments or indulging in a political discussion, which might be in violation of the Modal Code of Conduct.

Nominated councillor MP Kohli appealed to the House that issues pertaining to those who were not members of the House should not be discussed. He requested the Commissioner, the custodian of the House, to convey this to the members.

Gurcharan Das Kala, an independent councillor who joined the BJP before polling in Chandigarh, also supported the points raised by BJP councillors.

The House meeting that was delayed by 20 minutes saw heated debate on the issue for about 20 minutes before the meeting was adjourned. The meeting was resumed at 12.40 pm.


  • The BJP and SAD councillors also raised an objection to the House meeting being called without informing the councillors about the issues to be discussed during the meeting. The councillors also blamed the Mayor for not calling the House meeting in March while the rules made it mandatory to hold at least one meeting in a month.
  • Nominated councillor Major DS Sandhu (retd) said rather than indulging in politics, the councillors should discuss the problems of city residents.
  • BJP councillors were apparently in a poll mood as they repeatedly said ‘achche din aane waale hain’ (good days are around the corner).



Dalits flay yoga guru
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 28
Shri Guru Ravidass Naujawan Sabha, Mohali, has condemned Baba Ramdev’s derogatory remarks relating to Rahul Gandhi’s visit to houses of Dalits. Sabha president RA Suman and general secretary JR Kahal said the remarks were unethical and had hurt the feelings of the entire Dalit community.

The sabha has decided to approach the competent authority to take a legal action against Baba Ramdev so as to prevent ill-will and hatred from spreading and to protect the country’s unity.



meeting demand for water
MC Commissioner proposes revision of tariff
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
To meet the gap between demand and supply of potable water by reducing its consumption, the Municipal Corporation (MC) Commissioner today proposed to revise the water tariff.

The proposal was made in the MC House meeting after former mayor Subhash Chawla raised queries about the MC’s future plan to meet the increasing demand for water. However, no decision was taken in this regard.

Raising a concern over the water problem that the city might face in the near future, Chawla asked about the MC’s plan to meet the city’s requirement of potable water.

“Providing sufficient amount of water to every household is a major challenge in front of us and we should plan in advance so that the residents don’t have to suffer,” Chawla stated.

MC Commissioner VP Singh said the city was not facing any water scarcity at present. However, he added that to ensure that everyone gets ample amount of water, the MC should plan water-tariff reforms. “It is not due to water scarcity that residents of upper floors face the problem of low water-pressure. In fact, it is because the entire city does water-related works during the morning hours,” the Commissioner said.

He added that quantity of water to be supplied at the present tariff should be fixed for every household and for consumption above this limit, consumers should be charged at revised rates.

The MC official said on an average, one single person consumes 250 litre of water per day while in colonies and villages, per capita consumption of water was about 115 litre a day.

An MC official said residents of northern sectors consume more water than those living in the southern part of the city.



Sector 6 in Panchkula lacks civic amenities
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 28
Senior bureaucrats, police officers, top brass of the Army, businessmen and other VIPs are staying in the neglected part of the city. Broken roads, loose electricity wires and non-functional streetlights are what the 'Paris of Haryana' (Panchkula) offers to its VIPs residing in Sector 6.

The residents said they are the most neglected lot in the city. Despite making repeated requests to the administration and Municipal Corporation, no relief was provided to them. Even in front of the General Hospital, Sector 6, no streetlight is functioning leaving the patients and visitors in dark.

“Is this the facility given to us? I believe villages have better conditions than our sector,” said RC Bector, former chief engineer with the Punjab State Electricity Board.

He added, “The markets are also in a bad shape. One can’t afford to stand there as there is garbage all around.”

The condition of the sector is such that it seems no department be it the MC, electricity department has ever paid any attention to it,” said Vikas Dua, a businessman.

“There are particular norms that the conductors and the electricity wires connecting to it need to be at a height of over 6 m from the ground but here they are at a distance of just 3 to 4 m from the ground and highly dangerous,” said VK Sood, a businessman. Sood also said the condition of parks was in a deteriorated condition with garbage all around.

Non-functional streetlights are making the sector a crime-prone area. Four days ago thieves struck in four houses, including that of a former Justice of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Amarjeet Chaudhary. Interestingly, all families were in their homes and did not even come to know about the theft and found the window panes broken.

Councillor of the area CB Goel said, “We are already on the job to give a makeover to the sector. Regarding the roads, estimates of Rs 97 lakh were prepared but the conditions were such that no contractor is ready to take the tenders.

Two days ago, a contractor has come to take the work so the re-carpeting will start soon. Previously, 80 per cent streetlights were non-functional but now they are functioning.



3 runaway couples put up in one-room protection home
DLSA team shocked at the living conditions of couples
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 28
Three days after a surprise inspection at the Panchkula Bal Niketan, a District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) team today found three runaway couples huddled in a small room inside the police post at Sector 15 here. Stolen items recovered by the police were also found dumped in the room.

The three couples are putting up in the special protection home after they approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking protection.

The pathetic condition at the home persists even as the Panchkula Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM)-cum-DLSA secretary, Hemraj Mittal, wrote to the local Administration about it 15 days ago.

Surprisingly, the room was found to be without armed security.

The DLSA panel advocate, Manbir Singh Rathi, said, "The three newly-wed couples were packed in a single room. They told us that they have to survive on the food borrowed from the old-age home situated in front of the police post."

A visiting official was shocked to see the ‘facility and safety’ being provided to the couples coming here after seeking protection from the High Court. “The windows are broken, walls are cracked and just one guard in the name of security and he isn’t armed," added the official.

The official said several people, including bad elements, visit the police post daily, which was adjacent to the place where the couples were asked to stay.

It is learnt that two of the three couples told the DLSA team that they were not safe there.

A girl told the DLSA team that they don't feel safe while going to the washroom at night due to the presence of cops at the police post.

The couples were kept at the Kisan Bhawan, Sector 14, before being shifted to the Sector 15 police post recently.

Panchkula Deputy Commissioner SS Phulia failed to comment on the state of the protection home.



Maintenance of toilets
Tender allotted to Selvel Media cancelled: MC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
The Municipal Corporation (MC) today clarified that the fresh tender allotted to M/s Selvel Media Services Pvt Ltd for operation and maintenance of public toilets in the city, has been cancelled and a new tender would be floated.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered a preliminary inquiry (PI) against MC officials for allegedly giving undue advantage to the Selvel Media in allotting the tender for maintenance of 86 public toilets and displaying advertisements on them between 2007 and 2012.

MC Commissioner VP Singh, while replying to queries raised by councillors during the House meeting today, stated that the tender, which was allotted to the Selvel Media for maintenance of public toilets recently, has been cancelled as the company did not fulfill some procedural formalities.

BJP councillor Satinder Singh said the MC should also initiate a parallel inquiry in the case and issue a memo to the MC officials, who were under scanner.

Congress councillor Pardeep Chhabra asked if the fresh tender, which was allotted to the company, has been cancelled, then who was maintaining public toilets in the city. “It is surprising that the MC has not taken over the work yet even as the contract with the company expired on March 31 and almost a month has been passed since then," he added.

Chhabra stated that the House members must be apprised of the present status of operation and maintenance of public toilets.



Inquiry module for PGI patients soon
Through the facility, people will be able to get exact location of patients in wards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
To bring respite to the attendants of patients —who shuttle between several wards to trace their family members admitted at PGIMER — the IT wing of the institution will soon launch an inquiry module.

With the module — that forms part of an ongoing computerisation project of the institute — the reception staff and operators at various kiosks can trace a patient’s location at the click of a mouse.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Dr LN Yaddanapudi, vice chairman, Computerisation Monitoring Committee and Navin Bindra, system analyst, PGIMER, said the service will be launched within a few weeks at the facility.

At present, an admission discharge transfer (ADT) module is running at the institute through which the staff can trace the ward where the patient is admitted.

However, the general public or the reception staff still rely on the manual records. The inquiry module will save people from the tedious task of locating their relatives’ whereabouts in the hospital.

PGIMER has adopted a comprehensive Hospital Information System with 20 modules keeping in mind the general OPDs, specialities/super-specialities and nearly 80 wards.

The 2,000-bed hospital of the institute has benefited from the several patient-related software modules.

“The data of patient is now available at the click of a mouse and has resulted in an improved experience for patients and their attendants,” said Dr Yaddanapudi.

Benefits of computerisation

  • Pre-registration for appointment in OPD
  • SMS facility will be soon introduced to inform patients when their reports are ready to be accessed from the web
  • Allowing access to radio-diagnostic images on their smartphones to doctors while travelling to save consultation time



Anomalies in purchase of mobile mammography van
Probe moves at snail’s pace
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Even though a year has passed, the inquiry marked into the alleged anomalies in the purchase of a mobile mammography van for Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, is moving at a snail’s pace.

The inquiry has not moved beyond seeking the Health Secretary’s comments.

A year ago, an RTI reply from the UT Vigilance Department — which is probing the case — seeking status of inquiry into the case stated that the comments of the UT Health Secretary, Anil Kumar, were awaited.

UT adviser KK Sharma, who is also Chief Vigilance Officer of the UT, said, “The vigilance cell has sought the comment of Secretary, Medical Education and Research (health), in this regard.”

Following the purchase of the van in 2012, an RTI activist had filed a complaint with the UT Administrator which led the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking details of the tenders to look into the alleged ‘pooling of tenders’.

The case was then transferred to the UT Adviser.

Chandigarh Tribune had, last year, highlighted that a perusal of the tender documents and sequence of purchase events, including the pre-bid meeting, obtained under the RTI Act, revealed that the tender for purchase of the mammography machine was accepted despite the two companies bidding for the machinery, having quoted the rates of the same model of the equipment manufactured by the same firm.

The rules stipulate that the tenders should have been immediately rejected in view of the pooling of tenders. Fresh bids should have been invited. However, the authorities seemingly chose to turn a blind eye despite one of the clerks pointing towards ‘the violation ahead of the opening of the price bid.’

The CBI had on July 30, 2012, sought details of the documents pertaining to the purchase of the mammography machine. Later, the CBI had forwarded the case to the UT Central Vigilance Officer on November 29, 2012.

The Rs 1.24 crore mobile mammography van had several defects during its launch on April 12 this year.



Micro-observers to be deputed at polling booths
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 28
The General Election Observer for the Anandpur Sahib constituency, Sanjay Dixit, and the General Election Observer for Patiala, Ram Vishal Mishra, reviewed the randomisation of micro-observers and polling staff for the SAS Nagar, Kharar and Dera Bassi segments here today.

District Electoral Officer Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu said a close watch would be kept on every polling booth during the voting on April 30.

Micro-observers will be deputed to facilitate the smooth functioning of the poll procedure.

Sidhu said micro-observers would be deputed at the respective polling booths from 6am. After performing a mock poll drill, the actual polling process will start at 7am in the presence of the micro-observers.

“The micro-observers will be stationed at the booths till the completion of the polling process,” he added.

Sidhu said there were 688 polling booths in the district of which, 122 were hyper-sensitive and 231 sensitive.

Live webcasting of 21 critically sensitive polling stations will also be carried out in this regard.

Sidhu said relevant training such as the voting process, functioning of EVMs and sending information through SMS etc. had already been imparted to the polling staff.

Meanwhile, booth-level officers were going from door-to-door to distribute the voter slips.



Seminar on aerospace quality control at 3 BRD
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
A two-day seminar on Aerospace Quality Perspective to address issues relating to quality control in the aviation industry was inaugurated at 3 BRD (base repair depot) here today.

The event is being attended by delegates from the Air Force, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Aeronautical Society of India and the private industry.

During his inaugural address, Air Marshal P Kanakaraj, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Maintenance Command, stressed on developing the best practices in quality control mechanisms and ensuring their implementation meticulously.

He also apprised the audience on the latest projects initiated by the Maintenance Command. “The IAF is involving private industry in the projects for the upgrade of MiG-29 and An-32 aircraft,” he added.

He also highlighted the Su-30 routine overhaul project that the IAF and HAL would be undertaking in a collaborative manner.

He added that the IAF had embarked on an indigenisation drive aimed at attaining self-reliance in a phased manner.



Mansa Devi resident falls to death from building
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 28
Ajay (24), a resident of Bhainsa Tibba in the Mansa Devi area, died after falling from the fourth floor of a house, this evening. According to the police, the Ajay accidentally slipped and came crashing down to ground.

The deceased was rushed to the local civil hospital where doctors declared him brought dead.

The autopsy will be conducted tomorrow.



Priority Occupation List

The Priority Occupation List (POL) corresponding to the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) of Canada was released on Thursday by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). It carries 50 occupations which are in demand in Canada. The number of eligible occupations has more than doubled from just 24 last year. Prospective immigrants can file their cases under this programme when it re-opens on May 1, 2014.

Shopping fiesta

DLF City Centre Mall, IT Park, has organised a ‘Fashion Re-Fresh’ campaign, which will be continued till April 30. With the Baisakhi celebrations and the arrival of the Spring season, DLF City Centre Mall is hosting the shopping fiesta.

Offers on Akshaya Tritiya

Tanishq announces exciting offers on the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya. Rejoicing the spirit of gold, Tanishq is offering a free gold coin on every purchase of minimum 10 gm of gold jewellery and customers can avail up to 20 per cent off on purchase of single diamond jewellery worth Rs 2 lakh and above too. These offers are available at all Tanishq stores across the country from April 26 to May 2.

Windows tablet launched

In a move to make learning more engaging for technical and management students, Microsoft has launched an HP tablet with Windows 8.1 with embedded Pearson educational content. The venture in the higher education space aims to offer students a single device for all their educational needs.

EB-5 investment programme

NYSA, a complete financial management company with offices in India, USA and Singapore, has launched its product EB-5 Investment Programme whereby an investor could qualify for the US Green Card (Permanent Residency) with eligible family members. The motive of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) EB-5 Programme is to create US jobs by capital investment from foreigners interested in obtaining Permanent Residence/Green Cards pursuant to their investments. — TNS



EO drive keeps building owners, architects on edge

As the UT Estate Office (EO) has launched a drive against violations in commercial buildings in the city, owners and architects of such buildings who had submitted the building plan to the office, are in panic. To save themselves from inspections by EO officials, building owners are now approaching higher-ups.

Privacy issues

Officials at the GMCH-32 are facing a lack of privacy while speaking to the director in his office. Faculty members and senior officials resent that the director remains surrounded with some ‘specific’ faculty members. A senior member had even expressed his resentment recently when instead of the director, a faculty member accompanying him (the director) replied to his question.

High drama at school

Poor Class IX results do not seem to have gone down well with students. Recently, a student of a private school threatened the school authorities that he would run away from the school if he wasn't shown the paper of his classmate who passed the exams. Going by the norms, the school authorities refused to entertain the student’s demand. High drama ensued as the student ran off from the principal's office while all the teachers chased him and students peeked out of their classes to watch the great marathon of chase. After a couple of hours of chasing and tracing and calling the police, the drama ended as the student returned and saw his own answersheet.

Admn’s ‘jharu’

AAP not required in Chandigarh, as the UT Administration officials are cleaning the city with their ‘jharus’. Officials in the Administration say that since the Deputy Commissioner is regularly ordering removal of encroachments, there is no need of the AAPs broom to clean the city.

When rescuers turned victims but did not get help

While rushing accident victims to the PGI, a PCR jeep turned turtle at the Sector 16/17 light point with all the cops seated inside sustaining minor injuries. An eyewitness said the cops were seen crying for help but people did not bother to stop to help.

Gloves not disposed of properly at hospital

Gloves used for post-mortem examination are not dispose of properly at a hospital in Panchkula. One notices blood-stained gloves lying near the mortuary of the hospital.

Sweet tradition

Keeping the old tradition of feeding ‘kheer’ to pandits, Dera Bassi residents are offering the delicacy as sweet dish to the local MLA, who is a pandit. MLA Narinder Sharma is getting the delicacy in lunches and dinners hosted by party workers at different villages in the Dera Bassi Assembly segment. Sharma is campaigning for Deepinder Singh Dhillon, a SAD-BJP candidate for the Patiala Lok Sabha seat. Sharma and Dhillon were strong rivals once.

Endless wait by Bacchus lovers

As serving of free liquor allegedly by political parties to woo voters is yet to kick off in Mohali, booze lovers are getting restless. Pata nahi ji kithe chhupa ke rakhi hai iss vaar ( we don't know where they have hidden it), said a resident of village Mataur. Similar sentiments were expressed by residents of various other villages, including Ballomajra, Landran and Sohana.

Contributed by Ritika Jha Palial, Rajinder Nagarkoti, Mehakdeep Grewal, Aarti Kapur, Aneesha Sareen, Hina Rohtaki, Bipin Bhardwaj and Akash Ghai.



No end to controversy over appointment of PU VC’s wife
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
There seems to be no end to the controversy over the appointment of Panjab University (PU) Vice-Chancellor’s wife Neera Grover in the Music Department. Today, a complaint was made to PU Chancellor Dr Mohd Hamid Ansari that Neera Grover had misinformed her parent university in Mumbai to get herself transferred to Panjab University.

RK Singla, a local RTI activist, in his complaint alleged that the university authorities created faculty crisis in the Music Department to adjust the PU VC’s wife.

He said on June 29, 2012, Professor AK Grover was named as the next Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University.

After six days, a letter by the PU Music Department’s chairman and proceedings of the Academic and Administrative Committee, both dated July 5, 2012, stated that there was a dire need of a teaching faculty in the Music Department. They projected a workload of 82 periods and recommended the name of Dr Neera Grover as a temporary professor in the Music Department for one year.

Singla revealed that as per the RTI information from SNDT Women's University, Mumbai, the parent university of Dr Neera Grover, a request was made on September 2012 that she was diagnosed with polymyositis. She had recovered now, but was advised not to stay alone as she is under the supervision of a specialist doctor and needs to restrict and regulate physical activities.

As her husband has recently moved from Mumbai to Chandigarh for a period of three years from July 23, 2012, so she should also be allowed to shift due to personal circumstances.

A spokesperson for the Panjab University said there was no substance in the allegations levelled by the activist as the Punjab and Haryana High Court had already decided on the matter.



NCC to conduct aptitude test for enrolling cadets
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
The growing number of National Cadet Corps (NCC) aspirants from the city has made the authorities to conduct an aptitude test for the enrolment of cadets from this academic session.

Brig Jatinder Singh Arora, group commander of the NCC Group Headquarters, said: “The response for the enrolment process has been tremendous. Against 20 seats, there are over 100 candidates. The city has a lot of potential. However, we want to enrol the best. Hence, we are conducting an aptitude for the interested candidates.”

The enrolment process for cadets at the school level has already started. At the college level, it will start from July onwards.

Brig Jatinder said due to the overwhelming response from the institutions across the city, the authorities had demanded to add another 1,000 seats to the existing number.

At present, there are a total of 2,500 seats for the senior wing and the senior division and 2,900 seats for the junior wing and the junior division.

The growing interest for joining the NCC can be gauged from the rising number of cadets getting ‘C’ certificate from the NCC Group Headquarters. Last year, around 476 cadets were awarded with ‘C’ certificates.

“With an increase in the number of seats, more colleges and schools will be included. The previous waiting list of candidates will be easily accommodated,” said Arora.

He said over 28 institutes in the city were in the waiting list. At present, NCC course was being offered in 46 institutes, including both colleges and schools.

As per the officials, the duration of the NCC course at the college level had also been increased from two years’ span to three years.

The group commander said earlier also the NCC course used to be of three years’ duration. However in between for around five years, the duration of the course was decreased to two years, but now again it had been increased.

He said in Classes XI and XII, NCC was being offered as an elective subject.

“A large number of students opting for the NCC is a substantiation that the passion for joining the armed forces has once again gained ground in the northern region,” said Brig Arora.

Kargil hero and posthumous recipient of the country’s highest gallantry award Param Vir Chakra, Captain Vikram Batra was also the former cadet of the NCC Group, Chandigarh.



Recovery of EPF amount
PEC workers hold protest at Sector 17
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Workers of Punjab Engineering College (PEC) today held a dharna in front of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) office at Sector 17 here in favour of their demands. The dharna was held under the banner of the All-India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU). It was presided over by Kanwaljeet Singh, secretary, CPI.

The workers were demanding the recovery of their more than Rs 1 crore EPF amount deducted by the PEC management that was not submitted to the EPF Department.

Addressing the dharna, Kanwaljeet Singh said the management of the PEC illegally kept the EPF deduction of low-paid workers for the past more than 30 years. A case must be registered against them.

He said officials of the EPF Department had failed to recover the amount so far. They had not even initiated the process of lodging an FIR against the PEC management, which was the part of the procedure.

Satish Kumar, president of the PEC Union, said the workers would not tolerate this injustice anymore.

In 2009, the union of the PEC mess workers had unearthed a scam in the workers’ EPF account being run by the PEC management, whereby amount of several crores was deducted from the salary of workers for the past more than 30 years, but it was never submitted to the EPF Department. When the union raised the issue in 2009, the management admitted to have deducted around Rs 13 lakh, but declined the rest of the amount. The investigation by the inspectors of the EPF Department fixed the recoverable amount to be around Rs 1.72 crore taking 1994 as the starting point of recovery.

Regional Fund Commissioner SK Suman later met the workers and assured them that the recovery would be made within the next 15 days. SK Suman said the process of lodging an FIR against the PEC management would be initiated after considering the relevant evidence.



Printing workshop

Chandigarh: A one-day screen printing workshop by artists Nisha and Amar Nath was organised by Tribune Model School on the school campus on Monday. Around 100 students of Classes IX and X took part in the workshop. Students learnt screen-making technique, colour mixing and stencil making during the workshop. They also printed their own designs on table mats.

Student brings laurels

Aditi of Class I of DC Montessori brought laurels to the school by bagging first position at the state level and second position at the international level in the SOF English Olympiad. The school authorities said students from over 27,000 schools in 1,350 cities across 15 countries competed for top honours.

Swedish teachers visit city

Two Swedish aspiring teachers Theres Wikeford and Sofia Baga, presently studying at Swedish University of Gothenburg, visited the Regional Institute of English, Sector 32, as part of their project on “Attitudes to English and English Language Education”. The teachers are also visiting different schools in Chandigarh and Mohali. Dr Manohar Lal, a resident of Mohali, who is assisting the two teachers, said they had been interacting with teachers and students.

Debate on LS poll

Garden Valley International School, Machhiwara, organised a debate on the Lok Sabha elections on its campus. The school authorities said the objective of conducting the debate was to create awareness among the students about political parties, leadership and their activities. School’s managing committee member Guru Bhagat Singh was the chief guest on the occasion.

Walkathon held

The New Public School, Sector 18-B, organised a walkathon in association with the Jurists and Associates International and Eco-Friendly Sports Organisation to mark the 6th International Mother Earth Day. Justice Jasbeer Singh was the chief guest on the occasion.

Awareness programme

Sri Guru Harkrishan Senior Secondary Public School, Sector 40-C, in accordance with the CBSE guidelines regarding “Inclusive Education” conducted an “Autism Awareness Programme” to observe Autism Awareness Week. The endeavour aimed at promoting awareness among parents, students and staff to recognise and facilitate special children having autism disorder. Dr Archna Sharma, clinical psychologist from the Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College and Hospital, was the guest speaker.

Earth Day

Earth Day was celebrated at CL Aggarwal DAV Model School, Sector 7-B. To mark the importance of the day, a colouring and poster-making competition was held on topics “Save Earth Save Life” and “Grow More Trees”. Other activities held to mark the day included sapling plantation, face painting and slogan writing.

Oil Conservation Week

Government High School-46 marked oil conservation fortnight. The students were made aware of oil conservation. A poster-making and slogan-writing competition was organised on the topic in the school. Om of Class VIII; Mithlesh of Class VII; and Sonia of Class VIII and Saloni of Class VII stood first, second and third, respectively, in the completion in the junior category. Monika of Class X, Vikas of Class X and Talib of Class IX stood first, second and third, respectively, in the senior category. — TNS



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | E-mail |