C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Woman crushed to death on NH-22
Her Activa scooter was hit by tipper from behind; driver held; vehicles impounded
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, May 3
A 37-year-old woman was crushed to death in an accident involving a scooter and a tipper on the ‘killer’ Ambala-Kalka National Highway (No-22) at the K-Area traffic light point, here this evening.

Rajesh Sharma, a resident of MS Enclave, Dhakoli, was riding on her Activa scooter (PB-65R-7928), when a tipper (HR-68-8772) heading towards Panchkula from Zirakpur reportedly hit the vehicle from behind. Rajesh lost control over the vehicle and fell on the road. She was mowed down by the tipper leaving her dead on the spot, eyewitnesses said.

The traffic on the busy highway was disrupted for almost 40 minutes as the local police did not have an ambulance to remove the body.

Even after passersby made repeated phone calls for seeking timely medical assistance, the 108 ambulance did not reach the accident site.

The body was removed from the spot only after her husband Vijay Kumar Sharma reached the spot. Vijay Kumar was inconsolable and virtually collapsed on the road after seeing the body, another eyewitness said.

ASI Paramjit Singh said the body had been sent to Dera Bassi Civil Hospital for a post-mortem examination to be conducted on Sunday.

After impounding the vehicles involved in the accident, the police have arrested Sonu, driver of the tipper. He hails from Jind in Haryana.

“The husband of the victim is not in a condition to record his statement yet. But the police have initiated proceedings for registering a case of rash and negligent driving against the tipper driver at the Zirakpur police station, the ASI said.



road mishap
Things will never be the same for Kirti’s family
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
The house that once echoed with Kirti Devi’s guffaw and chitchats was not the same today, as the 16-year-old, who was the pride of her mother and two elder sisters, is no more among them. On Friday, the girl lost her life in an accident when her scooty was hit by a private school bus.

“Kirti’s only aim was to fulfil her mother’s dream of becoming a nurse. We all had high hopes from her”, said Vandana, her eldest sister.

While recounting the tragic day, Vandana said, “Kirti had gone to collect my suit from the tailor which is very close to our house, but never returned.”

Five years a go, Kirti’s family had gone through the same pain as Nirmal Kumar. her father, had lost his life in an accident in Lucknow.

However their mother Seema, never let her three daughters, Vandana, Bhavana and Kirti feel the absence of their father, as she worked hard to make ends meet. Seema with tearful eyes, said, “What wrong had my daughter done? She was loved by all and was everyone’s favourite. She did not deserve such an end.”

Kirti was the youngest child at home. Mitul, her friend at GMSSS-19, said, “Kirti didi taught me how to play handball, she was one of the best players of the school. She helped every student, she had a very large group of friends.”

Her physical education teacher, Yogita, said, “Kirti had started playing handball in class VI. In the 59th National School Games 2013-14, the team had bagged the third position in handball (U-17) tournament.”

Yogita further said that Kirti had come to meet her two days ago on the school campus to collect her last year’s sports scholarship forms and fill this year’s form.

“She was passionate about sports, she was a very obedient child,” she said. It was Vandana’s BA final exam on Saturday, but she did not appear for it.

Kirti was an all-rounder

Palwinder Kaur, her social science teacher, said that Kirti was one of the most talented students of the school, as she was a good painter, a keen learner and a sincere student. She had many friends in the school. Her schoolteachers and friends said, “The school has lost one of its greatest assets. She was an all-rounder. She deserved to live a long life as she was a good human being.”



City’s loss could be auctioneer’s gain again
14 discarded heritage items designed by Le Corbusier’s cousin to go under hammer in Paris on May 19
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
The UT Administration may have discarded the old furniture designed by Le Corbusier’s cousin Pierre Jeanneret, but Paris-based Artcurial Auction House is again set to earn thousands of euros from the auction of the heritage furniture.

The auction will take place on May 19, wherein, 14 furniture items designed by Pierre Jeanneret will be auctioned.

The heritage furniture that was discarded by the UT Administration and city residents in the 80’s and 90’s, will now earn thousands of euros for the Paris -based auction house.

The furniture to be auctioned include a file rack from the Punjab and Haryana Secretariat, a pair of stools from Panjab University, a desk from one of the administrative buildings in the city, a set of six red vintage chairs and another set of six-yellow vintage chairs from the Punjab and Haryana Vidhan Sabha.

Jeanneret had designed chairs, tables, stools and racks for government offices in the late 50s. However, the furniture was replaced in the late 80s and early 90s. After dumping the heritage items in the backyards and stores, most of the departments of the UT Administration had auctioned these as part of junk, unaware of their international worth.

During his stay in Chandigarh, Jeanneret designed several pieces of furniture. Some of the prototypes are present at the Government Museum and Art Gallery in Sector 10. Jeanneret stayed in Sector 5 and was so fond of the city that after his death, his ashes (as desired by him) were immersed in Sukhna Lake.

Advocate Ajay Jagga, who had filed a public interest litigation in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, said the UT should take steps to stop such auctions. The Administration should find out who sold the furniture to the auction house illegally and take action accordingly, he said.


EO to hold fresh probe in booth scam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
The UT Estate Office (EO) will be holding a fresh investigation into the infamous booth scam. A team from the EO will visit the Krishna Market in Sector 41 on May 6 to check the ownership details of the booth allottees.

The booth allotment scam in the market came to the fore in February 2011 and former UT Additional Deputy Commissioner PS Shergill had, in his report, pointed out involvement of top politicians and senior officials, including the sitting MP and former Union Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, former Mayor Pardeep Chhabra, former UT Adviser Pradip Mehra and former Deputy Commissioner RK Rao.

Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Shayin said a survey regarding ownership of booths would be conducted on May 6 and they would check the documents/allotment papers and identification proofs of the owners of the booths.

In case the occupier failed to prove his identity or was in an unauthorised occupation of the booth, action would be taken against him.

The onus of proving the legal ownership laid with the occupier/booth owner, the DC said.

Fact file

  • The booth allotment scam in the Krishna Market, Sector 41, Chandigarh, came to the fore in February 2011.
  • Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Shayin said a survey regarding ownership of booths would be conducted on May 6 and they would check the documents/allotment papers and identification proofs of the owners of the booths.



illegal vegetable market
Probe finds Market Committee, P’kula Admn, HUDA guilty
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 3
The local Market Committee, the Panchkula Administration and the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) have been held responsible for the illegal vegetable ‘mandi’ held in Sector 19 here.

In her inquiry report submitted with the Commissioner, Ambala, the then Panchkula City Magistrate, Kamaljeet Kaur, now posted in Ambala, held the three departments responsible prima facie. Kaur also stated that regarding charges of extortion from the illegal work, the accounts of the market committee may be audited.

A copy of the report prepared on March 21 this year reached the Panchkula Administration yesterday.

It may be mentioned that the City Magistrate was asked to hold an inquiry after some residents stated in the district grievance meeting that a vegetable market was being held in Sector 19 daily, which was illegal as the norms permitted holding of such a market only once a week. Residents also alleged that those putting up their stalls at the market were being charged illegally and a part of the amount was forwarded to officials in the Administration.

The complainants said the mandi was also a cause of traffic jams on the road nearby.

“Prima facie, the Market Committee besides the Panchkula Administration and the HUDA have been found accused in the case,” stated the report.

“Regarding extortion, a committee may be constituted solely for the purpose of investigating the charge. Besides, the accounts of the Market Committee may be got audited,” said the report.

While the complainants alleged that slips were being issued and fee was charged daily, the secretary of the committee, JK Bansal, in his statements claimed that the slips were issued only once a week.

“I reach to conclusion that the committee was charging fee by issuing slips to around 50-60 rehriwalas. Though its officials say that to remove these rehriwalas, a letter was written to the in-charge of the Sector 19 police post, it is clear that the secretary was just completing formalities and shirking his duty. If he was really willing to remove the illegal market, they could have written to the Panchkula Deputy Commissioner and asked for police force, which was not done,” the City Magistrate stated in the report.

She suggested, “The HUDA and other officials could have easily sorted out this problem by taking help of the police.”

A similar enquiry is being conducted by the marketing board as well.

JK Bansal had stated that they required police force to get the mandi removed but were not getting it.

HUDA Tehsildar Bachan Ram said the land where the mandi was being held was earmarked for a primary school and hence, it was illegal.

Report forwarded: DC

Panchkula DC SS Phulia said, “The report has been forwarded to the departments concerned to take action as I am not competent to initiate action on it.”



registration fee
From June, RLA to accept only demand drafts
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
From June onwards, the Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA) will accept the registration fee for new vehicles in the form of demand draft (DD) only. At present, payment of fee for registration of new vehicles can be deposited either through cash or DD.

From June, the department will accept fee in the form of DD in the favour of the Registering and Licensing Authority, Chandigarh.

The RLA, Kashish Mittal, said a large number of people visit the RLA office everyday to get their vehicles registered and it becomes difficult for the staff at counters to handle huge amount of cash deposited as registration fee. “Around Rs 50 lakh is collected as motor vehicle tax everyday," he said.

The official said since the cash received was deposited in bank on the next day, they had to keep it at the office only and ensure its safety. “Moreover, checking genuineness of currency notes is not possible during rush hours, following which the risk of receiving fake currency notes is high," he added.

However, the staff would not have to face any of these problem from the next month as the office would only be receiving demand drafts.

Mittal said except for fee for registration of new vehicles, charges for other works could be deposited in cash as well.



Leopard strays into Chhat Bir zoo, kills two barking deer
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Chhat Bir, May 3
A leopard strayed into the Chhat Bir zoo here and targeted an enclosure for barking deer and killed two antelopes. The zoo staff, however, managed to trap the big cat safely after a struggle of over five hours. It is for the first time that a leopard strayed into the zoo and killed animals.

On hearing some noise at about 6 am, a night guard approached the barking deer enclosure and found the carcass of a barking deer. There were traces of dragging which led to the bed of the Banur canal, an employee at the zoo revealed.

On noticing the pug marks of a leopard, the guard sounded an alert and informed the zoo security supervisor, who subsequently informed Dr Munish Kumar, the field director.

Dr Kumar told TNS that the leopard had preyed on a barking deer adjacent to the enclosure and dragged another to a culvert under a service road on the zoo premises.

The employees confirmed presence of the leopard while it was hiding under the culvert, he claimed.

“To trap the leopard unhurt, a trap-cage was set up on one of the openings of the culvert. Zoo employees drove the beast into it from the other end. The scared animal took refuge in the cage,” he claimed.

Dr Kumar claimed that harvesting of wheat crops in the surrounding areas must have drove the adult male leopard to shift its base to the zoo.



Harish Dhillon’s 19th book unveiled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
Known for his larger-than-life middles in newspapers, Harish Dhillon, academician-cum-author, who has penned over 18 books, unveiled his 19th book “Of Cabbages and Kings” (a book of middles) at the CGA Golf Range here today.

SS Sodhi, former Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court, and chairman of The Tribune Trust, unveiled the book.

At his witty best, the author started his speech with one of his favourite middles “Case of forgetful grandmother”. While giving the reason behind the catchy title of his book, Dhillon said: “The title means it’s time to talk about random things. The title has been inspired from a strap in the book “Alice in Wonderland”.

The author said: “The readers of my middles inspired me to compile them as a book”.

The book has around 137 middles based on the themes that have been inspired from the author’s own life as a headmaster at The Lawerence School, Sanawar, and Yadavindra Public School, Patiala and Mohali.

While signing up his new book for the readers, Dhillon said: “The only way to become a good writer is by writing, writing and more writing”. The author who finds pleasure in writing has already started working on this next publication, which is a novel.

Inspired by Ruskin Bond, Kushwant Singh and Ernest Hemingway, the writer said: “Now when I read my latest book, I realise that I couldn’t have done better.”



Development works
DC warns civic body officials of strict action
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 3
Tightening noose around the officials of the local civic body, the deputy commissioner (DC), at a meeting, today warned them of a strict action if deficiencies were found in the ongoing developmental works in the city.

Cautioning the officials concerned against the use of substandard material in the construction works, DC Dr SS Phulia said requisite action would be taken against those found guilty.

He also directed the MC officials not to transfer anyone for the development workers being carried on in their respective wards without seeking mandatory permission from the District Administration.

The DC made it clear that payments for the works (upto Rs 10 lakh) will be made only after receiving a ‘satisfaction’ report from the National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research, Sector 26, Chandigarh, while the Shri Ram Inspection Agency, New Delhi, will look into the development works beyond Rs 10 lakh.

The DC also advised officials of the engineering wing of the MC to use single file for the development projects. The engineers were especially asked to mention the date of the launch and completion of the works.



Former addicts stage play on drug abuse
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
A theatre group, comprising seven children who were drug addicts, staged a play titled ‘Pata na tha’ based on the role of panchayats in the prevention of alcohol and drug abuse.

The one-day convention was organised by the Society for Promotion of Youth and Masses (SPYM) in partnership with the National Institute of Social Defence; Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India; Development and Panchayats Department, Government of Haryana, and Department of Community Education and Disability Studies, Panjab University.

The convention aimed at motivating panches to create awareness on the consequences of drug abuse and play an active role in information dissemination at the panchayat level.

Dr Yatanpal, assistant professor, AIIMS, highlighted the vulnerability of rural youth and adolescents to the problem of drug abuse.

Dr Rajesh Kumar, executive director, SPYM, talked about the ill-effects of drug abuse and it’s implication on individual’s life, family and society.



All-India JEE (Mains) examination
Hardik Verma tops in Tricity
His friends Gurkirat, Aryan follow with 336 marks and 335 marks, respectively
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
Three friends - Hardik Verma, Gurkirat Singh Bajwa and Aryan Garg - clinched top three positions in the Tricity in the all-India JEE (Mains) examination. Surpassing last year city’s highest score of 331, Hardik topped with 345 marks, followed by Gurkirat with 336 marks and Aryan with 335 marks out of a total of 360 marks.

The highest score at the all-India level this year is 355. The trio share the same dream of becoming software engineers from IIT-Mumbai.

After burning the midnight oil for two years with focus and hard work, Hardik, son of a chemistry lecturer, says: “I had confidence in myself. I knew I could score well if I maintain consistency in my preparation”.

Gurkirat, who gave up playing computer games just to maintain his focus, said: “My mother and sister were the main motivators. My mother shifted with me from Hoshiarpur in order to help me in preparing for my examinations”.

Gurkirat would also be representing India in the International Physics Olympiad along with four others in Kazakhstan in July later this year.

“The best way to relax your mind is talk to your family members,” said Aryan.

All three of them are students of ALLEN Chandigarh Centre. At present, all of them are preparing for JEE Advanced.

While maintaining that it’s important to take breaks between study hours, the topper Hardik said: “It’s very important to relax one’s mind by doing some physical exercise. A fresh mind is more receptive”.

Gurkirat said: “The main score has added to our confidence. However, we feel that there is a lot of scope for improvement. We want to focus on our accuracy now.”



Hearing impairment no deterrent for this achiever
Scores 283 marks in all-India JEE (Mains) exam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
Prashant Mittal, who was born with hearing impairment, never let his disability deter his dreams and zest to prove that he belonged to the league of achievers. The city lad scored 283 marks in the all-India JEE (Mains) examination.

Mittal, who dreams of joining the IIT-Delhi and clearing the Civil Services examination, said: “My father always motivated me. I used to study for eight hours daily.”

Prashant’s father, a steel trader, said: “Until Prashant turned five, we had no idea that he could not hear. He has 80 per cent hearing disability. Despite all odds, my son never gave up. We thought that my son would not be able to even complete his schooling. Today, he has made us proud.”

The city lad took training for the entrance exams at the FIITJEE centre. Prashant said: “I never missed my school for attending tuitions. I made it a point to strike a balance between preparation for board and entrance examinations.”

Prashant, a cricket fan and follower of Virat Kohli, said: “In order to give my best shot to the exams, I did not watch cricket matches during my academic session. I missed a couple of IPL matches, too.”

The young achiever said: “I will party with my parents today. But at night, I will study because I need to clear the next level.”



Interactive session on cyber crime
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3
An interactive session between students and cyber crime experts from the Chandigarh police on how to prevent cyber crime was held at St Stephen's School in Sector 45 here today.

Students, who were eager to know about the cyber crime, asked several questions from the experts.

The students were also given a demonstration of ATM cloning. They were also told how they could become a victim of cyber crime by accepting friend requests from unknown persons.

Cyber cell officials also narrated the incidents when parents and guardians of children who deliberately and unknowingly commit cyber crime landed in trouble as SIM cards and Internet connections were registered on their names.

The one-hour session concluded with suggestions to students for not accepting friend requests of unknown persons on social networking sites and not uploading personal pictures on these sites.



Bhavan Vidyalaya-27 wins inter-school quiz

Mohali, May 3
The Association of British Scholars (ABS), Chandigarh Chapter, organised an inter-school quiz competition at Manav Mangal Smart School here today. The focus of the quiz was on “education, lifestyle, language, sports and culture in the UK”.

KK Kaul, secretary, ABS, welcomed the participants from different schools of the Tricity. David Lelliott, British Deputy High Commissioner, Chandigarh, was the chief guest. Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 27, Chandigarh, was declared the winner. DC Montessori Senior Secondary School, Mani Majra, was declared the first runner-up, while Manav Mangal High School, Sector 21-C, Chandigarh, was the second runner-up. — OC



Annual sports meet

Chandigarh: The annual sports meet of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 37, was organised here on Saturday. Events such as sack race, bursting the balloons, hit and run, butterfly race, lemon and spoon race and peel the peas were held.

World Press Freedom Day

On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, students of Classes VI-X of Ryan International School participated in an array of activities. Students of Classes VI-VIII wrote a press note on topics like “unpredictable temperature in Chandigarh”, “upcoming parties of 2014” and “soaring temperature a barrier to outdoor activities”. Students of Classes IX-X wrote essays on topics such as “alumni relation can enrich the institute too”, “woman entrepreneur leading the nation towards financial growth” and “accommodating the diverse social groups ensures the right democracy”.

Storytelling competition

A Character Walk and Storytelling Competition was held at Banyan Tree School for students of Classes I and II. The competition was held to boost the confidence and creativity skills of the students.

Labour Day observed

Mohali: Labour Day was observed at St Soldier School. Tiny tots of Class I-B honoured and thanked the Class IV employees of the school. — TNS



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