C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Beer set to become cheaper
High-end brands of IMFL to cost more; UT makes drastic changes in new excise policy
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
There is good news for beer guzzlers in the city. Come June, beer will become cheaper by at least 15 per cent compared to the prices at the adjoining vends of Punjab, as the excise duty on bottled beer in the UT has been reduced by 50 per cent.

On the contrary, high-end brands of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), draught beer, imported liquor and wine will become costlier as the UT Excise Department has increased the excise duty in the segment by 10 per cent to 25 per cent in the excise policy for 2014-2015.

This means the prices of expensive brands of the IMFL will be more or less on a par with those in Punjab. “Compared to cheaper brands, using expensive brands such as scotch will be more taxing,” said an official of the department.

The UT has gone in for drastic changes in this year's excise policy. Against the standard policy for 12 months, the new policy will be for 10 months.

UT Excise and Taxation Secretary Sarvjit Singh said the overall quota of country liquor had been reduced from 27 lakh proof litres to 10.82 lakh proof litres and for the IMFL it had been reduced from 200 lakh proof litres to 83.23 lakh proof litres for a period of 10 months.

He said the UT Excise Department would approve of only those labels where the ex-distillery price had been kept on a par with that in Punjab.

The quota of liquor will now be distributed proportionately among vends keeping in view the licence fee of the respective vend, meaning that vends with high bid money will have a higher quota compared to other vends that attract less bid money.

Accordingly, the number of vends has been reduced from 217 to 173. “The department was able to sell only 121 vends of the total 217 in the current excise policy. This was resulting in huge losses to the department,” said the official.

Little to cheer for liquor consumers

In the red for incurring a loss of over Rs 60 crore due to a poor response to the auction of all 217 vends during 2013-2014, the Chandigarh Administration has gone in for drastic changes in the excise policy for 2014-2015 to mop up revenue by incorporating various measures for stakeholders. On the other had, the minimum retail price of the IMFL has been increased.

At a glance

  • To check illegal service of liquor at private functions, operators of marriage, banquet halls and community centres to pay a new annual licence fee of Rs 30,000
  • Liquor contractors will have to provide proper documents regarding the possession of property where the vend is intended to be opened
  • The licence fee for clubs and bars increased by 11% to 16%
  • Licence fee for department stores increased to Rs 10 lakh
  • Excise duty on the IMFL, draught beer, imported liquor and wine increased by 10% to 25.50%
  • Excise duty on cheap brands of the IMFL and bottled beer reduced by 17% and 50%, respectively
  • Excise duty unchanged in case of country-made liquor
  • Assessment fee levied on liquor vends reduced by 33%



PEC student ends his life
Was a tae kwon do gold medallist; exams were to begin today
Tribune News Service

The victim's relatives outside the mortuary at the General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula, on Monday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, May 12
A day before his exams, a gold medallist in tae kwon do and BTech final-year student of the PEC University of Technology, Chandigarh, today committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling fan of his room at his residence in Sector 8, Panchkula. The victim, identified as Vikram Pandey, was a psychiatry patient for the past two years and his final semester exams were to begin tomorrow. The victim's father, SB Pandey, is an advocate.

The police said he had to re-appear in an exam and had got a supplementary as well.

"Vikram had suicidal tendencies. Some time ago, he jumped from the roof of his house to his neighbour's house, but survived," said Inspector Malkiat Singh, SHO of the Sector 5 police station.

He said, "Vikram was a bright student, but for some reason he couldn't do well in his exams and slipped into depression."

The victim did not go to college today. At around 12 noon, he went to his mother and asked for water and then went to his room. "His mother knocked at the door of his room, but Vikram did not open it. As the past incident was fresh in her mind, she got scared and called neighbours for help," said SB Pandey.

Vikram was found hanging from the ceiling fan. He was declared brought dead at the General Hospital, Sector 6. Vikram was the second among three siblings.

Had attempted suicide earlier

  • Some time ago, the victim tried to commit suicide by jumping from the roof of his house to his neighbour's house. Though Vikram survived, he slipped into depression.
  • "After taking treatment from a doctor, Vikram was recovering. I don't know why he took the extreme step," said his father crying. The family was in an inconsolable state.



Doctors found absent at dispensaries
UT inspection team recommends disciplinary action against them
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
A team of the UT Health Department found most of the doctors at dispensaries missing from duty during a recent inspection and has recommended disciplinary action against them. Sanitation was a casualty at all dispensaries. The interim report of the inspection, which was submitted to the UT Health Secretary recently, stated, "In all dispensaries, it was found that most of the doctors were on leave without getting their leave sanctioned from the competent authority."

"Their leave applications were placed in the attendance registers and were shown to the inspecting team. However, these were not sanctioned by the competent authority, which means these applications were 'emergency devices' either written by someone else or kept on record for such an eventuality and in case nobody checked, these could be destroyed later," the inspection team noted in the report, a copy of which is with Chandigarh Tribune.

One of the members of the five-member inspection team said, "The final report of the inquiry will be submitted to the Health Secretary shortly, while the interim report has already been given to him. Action will be taken on the basis of the final report." The team, headed by Joint Health Secretary SK Setia, inspected 13 health centres a few weeks ago.

Key findings in interim report

  • Health centre, Kaimbwala: Doctor, pharmacist, ANM absent
  • Punjab & Haryana High Court dispensary: Found closed
  • Dhanas dispensary: Doctor, pharmacist, data entry operator, NRHM staff absent
  • Dhanas rehabilitation colony dispensary: Doctor, safai karamchari absent; patients complained of regular unavailability of doctor
  • Ram Darbar dispensary: Doctor, technician absent
  • Ram Darbar ayurvedic unit: Doctor absent
  • Mauli Jagran dispensary: One of the two doctors, safai karamchari, malaria unit and TB unit staff absent
  • Civil Dispensary, Sector 22: SMO, ECG staff, lab technician absent


  • All doctors must get their leave sanctioned, else they should be considered absent
  • Group D employees need to be instructed to wear uniform
  • Safai karamcharis must be told to maintain hygiene
  • A security guard should be provided at Civil Dispensary, Sector 22, for better vigilance in the gynaecology ward
  • A helper should be provided for ambulance at the Civil Hospital, Mani Majra



PSEB Class XII results
Setting their sights on a bright future despite odds
Students of Institute for the Blind come out with flying colours; Labh Singh gets 87.5% marks
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
The joy and celebrations of students of Institute for the Blind, Sector 26, knew no bounds as they passed the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) Class XII exams with flying colours. The topper of the school, Labh Singh, son of a farmer, secured 87.5 per cent marks. Labh Singh said, "I want to become a classical vocalist and make my parents proud. For me, my books are my eyes to the world. I see through the vision of knowledge."

The young lad, who is from a humble background, came to the city to pursue his studies in 2006 and since then he has never looked back.

High on determination, getting a good score was more like a cakewalk for him. "I never took studies as a challenge. I used to study only for three hours daily."

Surpassing last year's highest percentage of 85.1, with no extra coaching and no monetary help, Arpit Kumar, son of a ricksaw-puller, bagged the second spot with 86.4 per cent marks. Arpit, who is crazy about technology and wants to make a name in the field of software coding, said, "My inspiration is my father, who toils hard everyday to ensure that his children are able to fulfil their dreams."

Such is Arpit's hunger for knowledge that even before the results were declared, he got himself enrolled for an advanced computer course in Delhi.

Jatin Jindal, son of a businessman, clinched the third position with 85.3 per cent marks. He aspires to be a judge. Jatin said, "This score will help me get admission to a law college; it is just the beginning; I want to achieve more in life."

The institute's best tabla player, Sandeep Kumar Goyal, scored 98 marks in percussion. Of the 14 students who appeared for the exams from the institute, over five students secured more than 80 per cent marks, while the remaining students have all scored above 70 per cent.

School Principal Jayara, who is happy over the students' performance, said, "We want our students to become an integral part of society. They should be provided equal opportunities. We have always taught our students that nothing is impossible and they can achieve whatever they aim for."



Two killed in road accidents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
Two persons were killed in separate accidents in the city during the past 24 hours. In the first incident, a 23-year-old motorcyclist died after being hit by a Haryana Roadways bus. The police said Deepak Sharma's motorcycle was hit by the bus near New Labour Chowk, Sector 20-C. Deepak was hit by the bus from the rear side and he fell on the road and received a head injury. He was admitted to the PGI, where he succumbed to his injuries. The driver was arrested and later granted bail.

In a separate incident, a pillion rider died while the motorcyclist sustained injuries after the duo was hit by a car yesterday evening. The police said Pankaj, a resident of New Colony, Dhanas, alleged that the driver of a car (PB 10 DF 0990), Deepak Kumar, a resident of Ludhiana, hit their motorcycle (CH 01 AR 4814) near the road dividing Sectors 38 and 39. Pankaj and Sonu (pillion rider) suffered injuries and were admitted to the hospital. Later, Sonu succumbed to his injuries at the PGI. The accused was arrested and later granted bail.

The police have registered separate cases in connection with the accidents.


Better Mohali
Six-lane ring road to ease traffic snarls at Zirakpur
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

A six-lane ring road will divert Delhi-Manali, Delhi-Dharamsala, Delhi-Shimla and Shimla-Patiala-Bathinda traffic from Zirakpur. It will provide relief to commuters from traffic jams on the Ambala-Chandigarh Highway. The project launched by the state government in 2012 is likely to be completed soon.

Zirakpur, May 12
In an effort to decongest the Zirakpur intersection of the Ambala-Chandigarh Highway and the Patiala-Shimla Highway, the Punjab Government has taken up a Rs 1,000-crore project to lay a six-lane ring road. It will provide a major relief to the commuters from frequent traffic jams. The link road will also help motorists heading towards Shimla, Manali, Dharamsala, Patiala and Bathinda.

The 3.5-km six-lane ring road will divert traffic from the Chandigarh-Ambala Highway near the Ghaggar Bridge and will rejoin the Zirakpur-Patiala road near Chhat village and then meet the Aero City in Manali to rejoin the Chandigarh-Manali Highway in Kharar.

Similarly, the traffic heading towards Panchkula and Shimla would be diverted from the same point to take the Sanauli road that will rejoin the Zirakpur-Panchkula road ahead of Sector 20, Panchkula.

With the construction of the ring road, the volume of vehicular traffic on the Zirakpur intersection and the overbridge will be reduced to almost half.

‘Find solution to the problem’

CM’s technical adviser Satish Chandra visited Zirakpur and took stock of the traffic problem following the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s directions to the Punjab Government to come up with a solution to the traffic problem. The technical adviser has also asked the PIDB, the PWD and the Zirakpur Municipal Council to find a solution to the problem collectively. 

Major bottleneck in smooth flow of traffic

The local bus stand that is likely to be thrown open to the general public is being considered another major bottleneck in the smooth flow of vehicular traffic at this busy intersection. While local leaders are trying to take the credit for this “hazardous” development, officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) accuse the state government of further compounding the traffic problem here. Constructed by the Punjab Public Works Department on the guidelines of the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB), the bus stand will be thrown open this month. Officials of the PWD (B&R), on the condition of anonymity, said the bus stand was a part of the city development plan and was constructed to ease traffic congestion at the Zirakpur junction.

Blunder in constructing the bus stand

OC Mathur, project director, NHAI, held the state government responsible for making another blunder by constructing a bus stand and that too right adjacent to the highway. The bus stand was constructed at a location, which will block the entire junction. The traffic problem will aggravate further in the years to come as the township is growing at a rapid pace. Presently, the NHAI has sent a proposal to widen the Panchkula chowk to the Patiala chowk stretch of the highway.

The government has started laying a six-lane ring road in Zirakpur. It will divert Delhi-Mohali traffic away from Zirakpur. Moreover, the government has also directed the GMADA to work in coordination with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for the re-engineering of the Zirakpur overbridge to resolve the problem of traffic congestion under and over the bridge permanently. ~

Narinder Kumar Sharma, MLA, Dera Bassi

What prominent residents say

The National Highways Authority of India constructed the overbridge at Zirakpur without discussing the proposal with the local residents and involving local engineering experts in the planning. There are a number of designing faults in the overbridge.

Deepinder Singh Dhillon, chairman of the Patiala Development Board

It is high time the Zirakpur Administration sorts out the issue of slip roads along the national highway and under the flyover with the NHAI to facilitate the business establishments with proper access to the highway.

Sunil Bandha, director, Zirakpur-based company

Scores of business establishments and MNCs have their offices in the approved commercial complexes. They have already paid all necessary charges to the local civic bodies. Now, they are switching over to some other places due to the absence of proper access to their establishments.

Rajesh Bhasin, a Zirakpur-based real estate developer

Presently, the occupancy rate of flats that have come up in Zirakpur is nearly 30 per cent. The problem will aggravate in the future when the occupancy rate will be 100 per cent. The government should declare “no-construction zone” along the six-lane ring road in the initial stage. Otherwise, a similar situation will occur here, too.

Rotarian Bhupinder Singh Saini

The district police have deployed 23 policemen, including an inspector, two sub-inspectors and 20 head constables, to regulate traffic in Zirakpur. In the absence of any alternative route and the number of vehicles plying on the roads multiplying day by day, the stretch from the Panchkula chowk to Patiala chowk, which is the lifeline of the town, remains completely choked throughout the day. Traffic rule violators further added to the congestion.

Inspector Avtar Singh, in charge, Traffic Wing

I have been residing here for the past 40 years. I have not assumed that Zirakpur will develop beyond expectations. Now, bypasses are the only solution to the frequent traffic jams.

Harbansh Singh, president, Zirakpur Market Association



Beant Singh Memorial
Committee approves conceptual drawings for remaining buildings

Chandigarh, May 12
The executive committee meeting of the Beant Singh Memorial and Chandigarh Centre for Performing and Visual Arts, Sector 42, was held under the chairmanship of, KK Sharma, Adviser to the UT Administrator.

The committee has given the approval for the conceptual drawings for the remaining buildings of the Beant Singh Memorial. These buildings are sarva dharam repository, cafeteria, exhibition-cum-multipurpose hall, guest house and convention centre-cum-auditorium block and parking. A consultant will be hired for the interior works of these buildings.

The chief engineer was directed to prepare the rough cost estimate for the construction of these buildings and also indicate the funds required during the current financial year so that the budgetary approval will be obtained from the governing body of the memorial.

The library, samadhi and open air theatre have already been constructed and a media centre is under construction. As the construction and interior works of the library has been completed, it was decided in the meeting that with the help of experts from Panjab University and various arts and cultural organisations, books will be selected for the library. For the inauguration of the library, Governor of Punjab-cum-Administrator of Union Territory, Chandigarh, will be requested shortly.

For the day-to-day working of the memorial, required staff will be outsourced. The representative of the Punjab Government has agreed to release the balance funds to the tune of Rs 4.001 crore after June when the Budget is passed.



Mystery deepens in Saman death case
Phone location of girl accompanying him traced to Mubarakpur when she claimed to be in Morni
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 12
The mystery in the Saman Dhanak death case has deepened with the mobile phone location of the girl accompanying him being traced to Mubarakpur, about 40 km from Morni. The fact that the mobile phone locations have been traced to Mubarakpur when the girl claimed to be in Morni at that time has left the police dumbstruck.

At 12.37 pm on April 20, when the duo was taken out of the gorge by the police, the mobile location of the girl’s phone, which was recovered by the family of the victim, was traced to Mubarakpur.

Similarly, at 10.30 pm on April 19, after talking to his mother on the phone, the mobile location of Saman’s mobile phone was also traced to Mubarakpur.

Jagtar Singh, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), who is heading the special investigation team (SIT) said, “At 11 am on April 20, our teams were there to rescue the duo from the gorge. The family said that at 12.37 pm, the mobile phone location of the girl that was found in the car was also traced to Mubarakpur.”

He added, “As Himachal, Haryana and Punjab both adjoin Morni, so we are working on the theory that in the gorge, does the phone catch Mubarakpur signals.”

The police are still clueless as to how come the internet was used by the girl at 10.05 am for 25 minutes and she managed to send 4KB and received 2 KB material.

Meanwhile, the family was in tears, when they received Saman’s admit card for the preliminary examination of the Delhi Judicial Services today.

“Saman has been asked to appear for the examination on June 1. They are not aware that he is no more. He hid it from me but had discussed it with his mother that he wanted to take the exam,” said, Rajender Dhanak, Saman’s father.

The case

On the intervening night of April 19 and 20, Saman Dhanak, grandson of a former Haryana Minister, died when his car fell into a 60-foot-deep gorge in Morni hills. His woman friend suffered serious injuries. It was after the family raised several missing links in the police investigation that a SIT was formed.



Public resents locking of toilets
Paucity of staff led to such a move by the civic body in various markets of the city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
The Municipal Corporation (MC) Chandigarh, today took over the 86 public toilets in the city, however, in the absence of the staff to operate and maintain the public toilets, the MC locked the toilets leading to inconvenience to the public. After the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a preliminary inquiry (PI) against MC officials for allegedly giving undue advantage to Selvel Media in allotting the tender for maintenance of 86 public toilets and displaying advertisements on them between 2007 and 2012, the MC decided to cancel the fresh tender allotted to Selvel Media.

The MC was supposed to take over the toilets on or before May 12. At present, Since there is no staff available with the MC to operate and maintain the toilets the MC has locked the toilets.

The move received opposition from the traders in several markets. Naresh Mahajan, president of the Sector 23 market association, stated that the MC staff locked the two toilets in the market today, leading to the inconvenience to shopkeepers and the people visiting the market. “The MC should have made some arrangement before locking the toilets”, he stated.

Similarly, the shopkeepers at the Sector 10 market also opposed the move by MC. The MC closed the toilets in several other markets.

Nikhil, a resident, said the MC should have arranged the staff for operating and maintenance of the toilets rather then closing them down.

Medical officer writes to Public Health Dept

The Medical Officer of Health (MOH), MC, has written to the Public Health Department for providing 86 male and 86 female workers for operating and maintaining the toilets. There is requirement of 86 security guards. With the MC taking over the operation and maintenance of toilets, the authorities will have to pay salaries of the staff and electricity and water bills of the toilets.



Healthcare on the doorstep

Health Care at Home (HCAH) has started providing home care services in the tricity such as health check-up, blood tests, tests for cervical and breast cancer, ECG and urine test among others. The HCAH staff even collects samples from the doorstep providing relief to the elderly. It also offers counselling services that help elderly parents, whose children have settled abroad, to deal with stressful situation, said Dr Gaurav Thukral, Head, Medical Services, HCAH.

Entries invited for social entrepreneur of year award

Jubilant Bhartia Foundation and Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship on Monday announced opening of entries for the 'Social Entrepreneur of the Year'(SEOY) India-2014 Awards. The applicants are evaluated on key parameters of innovation, sustainability, reach and social impact. The applications will be accepted till May 31. The finalists will be selected following an intensive search and selection process, including expert reviews and site visits. The winner will be announced at an award function to be held on November 4 in New Delhi.

Easyday opens stores at Morinda, Kalka

Bharti Retail expanded by launching its two stores each in Morinda and Kalka. Bharti Retail now operates 115 stores in Haryana and Punjab. It has stores across 10 states in the country.

Netizens get hands on Airtel 4G service

Bharti Airtel Limited has recently launched its 4G service on mobile in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula. Until now, Airtel customers in the tricity were experiencing internet on mobile at 2G speed. Over the weekend, customers visiting malls at the IT Park, Mani Majra and Zirakpur experienced Airtel's 4G service live at specially designed experience kiosks.

Insurance products launched

IDBI Federal Life Insurance has announced the launch of a bouquet of four new individual products catering to various life stage needs of customers. The company also announced the launch of three new group solutions. Announcing the same, Vighnesh Shahane, chief executive officer of the IDBI Federal Life Insurance, said the latest offerings from the company focus on the consumer needs of financial security, savings and growth of investments. The new range of products offers customers a mix of savings, growth of investments and financial protection. — TNS



Smart cards to get smarter look now
RLA office to revamp these with new design
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
Smart cards for the Registration Certificates (RCs) and Driving Licences (DLs) are soon going to get smarter as the Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA) is going to come up with a new design of the RCs and DLs. The RLA is going to replace the current design with the design followed in several other states.

The new smart cards will be introduced once the National Informatics Centre (NIC) starts providing the cards to the RLA. At present, the Society for Promotion of IT in Chandigarh (SPIC) is providing the smart cards however, the RLA is in the process of procuring the cards from NIC due to delay by SPIC in providing the cards.

RLA Kashish Mittal said that the design of the smart cards would be replaced with a new design that would have all the information about the vehicle, but in the new format. “The design we are planning to introduce is followed in several other states across the country”, he said.

At present, only the front side of the RC has an image of ‘Open Hand’ imprinted on it, however, the new smart card will have the image on both the sides. Similarly, the DLs at present, have information about the driver printed on only one side but now it will have the information on both the sides. “The information on the card will be more readable in the new format”, the officials added.

The image of the type of vehicle for which the DL has been issued will also be printed on the new smart card. SPIC provided each smart card for Rs 70 without printing; however, NIC will be making it available at Rs 54 only along with the manpower for printing the cards and maintaining the infrastructure.



UT Admn to auction nine nursing home sites
Will help de-congest overcrowded hospitals in city
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
In a bid to expand avenues for nursing care in specialties other than maternity care for those who can afford to pay higher costs and de-congest emergencies in government hospitals, the UT Health Department is soon going to hold auction for nursing homes sites in the city.

Sources in the UT Health Department confirmed that approval for auctioning nine nursing home sites in various parts of the city has been granted. “We will begin auctioning immediately after the code of conduct imposed in view of the Lok Sabha elections is over,” said a senior UT official.

At present, there are nearly 15 nursing homes functioning in the city. A number of other nursing homes have closed down over the past couple of years. Services at a majority of these nursing homes are limited to maternal health while the burden of other specialties, including cardiology and elective surgeries, lies majorly on the three government hospitals - GMCH-32, GMSH-16 and the PGIMER, officials said.

The new nursing homes will help in de-congesting the overcrowded hospitals by taking away the load of at least the middle -class population in the city who can afford to pay higher costs at these nursing homes when compared with those being charged at government hospitals, they added. These sites include one in Sector 44, two each in Sectors 33 and 46 and four in Sector 51.



Delayed power bills irk Landran residents
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 12
Several residents of Landran village and its nearby villages were up in arms against the alleged high-handedness of the PSPCL. The residents, including Jaspal Singh, Gurpreet Singh and Dilbagh Singh, alleged that their electricity bills were not issued for the past over four months. “When we collected our respective bills from the department on our own, we were shocked to see that hefty fines were imposed on our bills for not depositing the bill amount in time,” alleged Jaspal.

“How we could deposit the bills when the same were not issued and found lying with the department,”said Jaspal and other residents.

He added that he along with several other residents also met Mohali MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu in this regard.

Sidhu added that several residents of other villages, including Manauli and Baropur Bhago Majra, also met him regarding the same issue.

After the issue was taken up by Sidhu with senior officials of the department, a team of officials concerned was sent to Landran this afternoon. “We are preparing the new bills after noting down fresh reading from electricity metres. The affected consumers have been asked to deposit their pending bills by May 29 without any fine,” said an official of the department.

The amount of fine would be adjusted in the next bills of consumers who had already deposited their bills with fine, the official added.



Lawyers continue protest, work hit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
For the second consecutive day today, advocates were on a strike at the district courts causing harassment to scores of litigants whose cases were adjourned today. Lawyers protested the attack on Advocate Vaneet Mahajan in Amritsar. On Friday, they had gone on a strike against lack of power supply in their chambers.

“In a meeting held at 9.45am today, the Bar Association unanimously resolved to condemn the incident of brutal and murderous attack on Vaneet Mahajan, which was allegedly carried out by supporters of Anil Joshi, Minister of Local Bodies, Punjab, in Amritsar on May 10, 2014,” reads the notice of strike, issued by the Bar Association.

Renu, wife of Vaneet Mahajan, and her father and brother are part of the Chandigarh Bar Association. Advocate Vaneet Mahajan and his brother Avneesh Mahajan were attacked on May 10.

Vaneet and another advocate Sandeep Gorsi had filed a complaint against minister Anil Joshi in a dual voting case. A local court, later, had issued bailable warrants against Joshi in the case.

A family, which came from Rajasthan for hearing in a case, was one of the many to be harassed as their case was adjourned to another date.



Followers protest as revenue staff raze dera premises
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
Execution of eviction proceedings against the dera of Hazrat Peer Lala Wala Lakhdata Sufi in Daria village by the revenue staff of the Panchayat Department today saw protest by followers of the dera. Led by the caretaker of the dera, Abdul Razak Khan, the followers stated that despite the hearing of their case before the Home Secretary scheduled for May 13, the revenue staff led by the village panchayat went ahead with the demolition.

The followers of the dera said despite being in possession of land for the last 50 years, they had been forcibly evicted.

On the other hand, SDM (east), Danish Ashraf, said the eviction orders had been passed in the 12-year-old case after going through all the documents. The dera management had been asked to evict the premises in 15 days as they had no basis to hold on to the land



UHBVN gets its MD’s car released
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 12
The Uttar Haryana Bijli Vidyut Nigam (UHBVN) today got the official car of the Managing Director released from the court. The department also paid an amount of Rs 74 lakh to further give it to the Noida-based company, Teracom.

Recently, a Panchkula court attached the official car of the Managing Director of the nigam and three bank accounts of the department when they failed to pay the amount of Rs 14.80 crore to a company.

Teracom was given the contract for laying the power lines and erection of poles in Haryana in 2007. However, after the department failed to pay the amount to the company, the latter filed a suit. On July 30, 2011, an arbitral tribunal gave the decision in favour of Teracom and asked the UBHVN to pay the amount but to no avail. It was then that the company approached the local court for execution through the counsel, Aman Pal Singh.



No licence for food joints outside lal dora

Chandigarh, May 12
The UT Administration will no longer issue food licence to restaurants, bakeries, dhabas and other food joints operating outside lal dora limits of the city. With these orders, the food joints will now face closure as without food licence running these units will be illegal.

“No renewal of licence/registration of premises which fall outside the lal dora will be done even if they have been issued food licences/registration under the FSS Act, 2006, or the PFA Act, “stated a communiqué issued by the UT Administration today. A senior official of the UT Administration said not only outside the lal dora, but now, within the city, NOC from the CHB , the Estate Office and the MC is required to be submitted for issuing food licence, if a food business operator is running business in residential area, basements and on upper floors of the shop-cum-flats. — TNS



Panjab varsity plans compulsory non-credit course
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
In order to increase the employability of students, Panjab University is considering starting a compulsory non-credit course. This was discussed today at a meeting of the chairpersons, directors, coordinators and campus deans under the chairmanship of PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Arun Kumar Grover.

The PU Central Placement Cell made a presentation on the occasion. As per the proposal, there would be 10 to 15 lectures in each semester of the final year. It would have sessions on personality development, business English, quantitative aptitude and logical reasoning.

As per the proposal, all students would be trained in developing soft skills, communication skills, time management, personality development, presentation skills, group discussions, facing interviews and career opportunities in the summer semester of the final year.

Every student would have to clear one compulsory non-credit course floated by the central placement cell. A student would have to attend at least 75 per cent of sessions in the final semester, which would be conducted by the central placement cell in association with the industry.

In the winter semester, sessions would be about choosing a career, efficiency enhancement, self-development, decision-making, positive attitude, value system, professionalism at work, motivations, networking and non verbal communication.

Addressing the meeting, Panjab University Vice-Chancellor Prof Grover said UGC chairperson Prof Ved Prakash would address all universities of the country from the PU on August 14. It would be webcast live through the National Knowledge Network, in which he would give his vision.

Prof Grover said Panjab University had got another national recognition in the latest QS university rankings. The university had got fifth rank among the Indian universities.

He said the PU had participated in this ranking for the first time. Employability and placements played a key role in the QS ranking as seven IITs were in the list of the first 12 universities.



From Schools
Mother’s Day celebrated

Chandigarh: Mother’s Day was celebrated at Tribune Model School, Sector 29-D, here with great zeal and enthusiasm. The celebrations began in the morning. Teachers of the kindergarten section spoke on the importance of mothers. Later, a card-making activity was held in which students participated actively and made beautiful cards for their mothers.

St Soldier School

Students of St Soldier School, Dhakoli, celebrated Mother's Day with zeal on the campus. Teachers told the students about the importance of the mother-child relationship. The students expressed their love for their mothers by singing songs and rhymes along with their teachers. They also prepared cards for their mothers.

Little Angels School

The Pre-Primary Wing of Little Angels School celebrated Mother’s Day on its campus. Various activities were held to mark the occasion. The tiny tots presented a cultural programme. Mothers were also given an opportunity to showcase their talent by participating in ‘antakshri’ and other fun games.

Eye check-up camp

St Mary’s School, Sector 46-B, in association with Grewal Eye Institute, Sector 9, organised a free eye check-up camp on its campus. The Global Cancer Concern India also conducted a cancer awareness workshop for the teachers on the campus.

Investiture ceremony

An investiture ceremony for academic session 2014-15 was held at Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, Sector 26, on Monday. Head girl, vice-head girl, house captains and other office-bearers were sworn in at a grand ceremony. They pledged to safeguard the values and principles of the school.

Students bring laurels

Students of St Xavier’s Senior Secondary School brought laurels to the school by winning the “Overall Champions” title in the ICSE Inter-School Table Tennis Tournament organised by Tender Heart School, Chandigarh. Teams from all ICSE-affiliated schools of the Tricity took part in the tournament.

Annual day celebrated

Kendriya Vidyalaya, Air Force Station, High Grounds, celebrated its annual day by portraying the theme “life is beautiful”. The scouts welcomed the dignitaries by blowing the conch. Chief guest Gp Capt G Krishna Kumar (Station Commander, AFS Chandigarh) and guest of honour MP Mahajan (Deputy Commissioner KVS RO, Chandigarh) were accorded a warm welcome with a kaleidoscope of beauteous and colourful art and craft display by the students. The programme began with the lighting of the lamp.

Mother’s Day celebrated

Mohali: Pre-schoolers of Tiny-Tots Foundation School celebrated Mother’s Day with enthusiasm on its campus. The day was dedicated to salute the motherhood. Children participated in various activities with the help of their teachers. They also sang songs for their mothers. — TNS



Residential areas in PU
Hike in water charges, licence fee on the cards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
Panjab University is proposing to increase the water charges and licence fee by 10 per cent for the residential areas of the university from the next month. The proposal will be tabled in the next meeting of the Syndicate, scheduled for May 18, for approval.

As per the proposal, the committee constituted under the chairmanship of the Dean University Instructions has recommended a raise in the maintenance funds of the residential areas by 10 per cent in the licence fee and water charges.

The fresh water charges and licence fee will also be implemented in the residential areas of the Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana campuses.

According to the revised water charges, the Vice-Chancellor will have to pay Rs 390 instead of Rs 355 for his accommodation. For hostel wardens, the charges will be Rs 250 instead of Rs 225, while Class IV employees will have to pay Rs 90 instead of Rs 80. After the approval from the Syndicate, the proposal will be tabled in the Senate which is scheduled to be held on May 25.

Besides, the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) is coming up with a proposal to merge the seats of the Bachelor of Engineering MBA with the Bachelor of Engineering Course as the former is not much popular among the students. The revised admission guidelines for 2014-15 will also be tabled in the meeting for approval.



Common pre-PhD course soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 12
The Chandigarh Region Innovation and Knowledge Cluster (CRIKC) Institutions has decided to start common pre-PhD course work in all teaching and research institutions. It will also initiate inter-institutional research projects involving scientists from different disciplines.

This decision was taken at a meeting of the CRIKC institutions held at Panjab University here yesterday. PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Arun Kumar Grover presided over the meeting.

The CRIKC institutions also resolved to increase the inter-institutional collaborations in the field of academics and research for the benefit of the students and institutions. The CRIKC institutions also decided to promote DST-CII-sponsored Prime Minister’s Fellowship Scheme for Doctoral Research.



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