C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Boy drowns in pond
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
An 11-year-old boy, who had a handicap in the right arm, drowned in a pond opposite the Botanical Garden in Sarangpur village today. The child, identified as Khemraj, had gone there to take a bath with his cousin Manish and friend Karan. The incident occurred at 6 pm when Khemraj went deep into the pond and drowned. He struggled to save himself and his cousins also threw a shirt at him so that he could catch hold of it, but their attempts proved futile. The victim was a resident of Khuda Lahora and was a Class VII student of a government school in the area.

The pond was around 7 ft deep. Children from the surrounding areas usually come here to take a bath in the scorching heat. Manish and Karan, who accompanied the victim, came on the main road when they noticed Khemraj drowning and informed some passerby, who informed the police control room.

A police party of the PCR wing rushed to the spot. Khemraj was brought out from the pond with the assistance of some local persons. He was rushed to the PGI where doctors declared him brought dead.

Manish is a cousin brother of the deceased. Karan resides in the victim’a locality. Sunita Devi, aunt of deceased, said Khemraj, along with two others, went out of the house around 4 pm without saying anything.

The police said there were four ponds in the area.

The police have initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC.



Hit by Punjab Roadways bus, 75-yr-old woman dies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
A 75-year-old woman was killed after she was hit by a speeding Punjab Roadways Transport Corporation (PRTC) bus near the Zirakpur barrier on the Airport road today. The victim, Chani Devi, was crossing the road with her son, Vinod Kumar, when she was hit.

The mishap occurred at 11 am when the woman was hit by the speeding bus coming from the Sector 29 side. Her son had already crossed the road and was waiting for his mother on the other side.

The woman fell on the road and the rear tyre of the bus crushed her leg and one side of the body. She was taken to the Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32 where she was declared brought dead.

The driver of the bus fled the spot, leaving the bus behind.

The bus has been impounded and the identity of the driver will be established from the roster of the PRTC tomorrow, the police said. The body would be handed over to the family after a postmortem examination tomorrow. A case has been registered at the Sector 31 police station. The deceased was a resident of Raipur Khurd village and is survived by two sons and two daughters, who are all married.



Women up in arms against liquor vend
Tribune News Service

A liquor vend being run from a tin shed against the rules on the outskirts of Kajheri village opposite the ISBT, Sector 43, Chandigarh, on Sunday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, June 1
The first day of opening of liquor vends under the new excise policy for 2014-2015 today was marked by protests by residents in different sectors over the opening of vends in their respective areas. In Attawa village, women came out of their houses in protest against the opening of a liquor vend near their houses. The police were rushed to the spot when the protesting women, armed with lathis, prevented the contractor from opening the vend.

Sonu, a resident of the area, said they would not allow any liquor vend near their houses as it was illegal to open a vend in residential area. Similar protests were reported from Sectors 20, 25 and 40.

The liquor contractor of Attawa village, Satpal, said he had taken the shop on rent after completing all formalities.

Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner Ashok Bhalla said the department had taken the requisite fee from the applicants. The department would ensure that the vends were not opened in unauthorised places.

Illegal vend being run from tin shed

The Excise and Taxation Department courted a controversy on the first day of the new excise policy when one of the contractors opened a liquor vend in a tin shed on the outskirts of Kajheri village.

Interestingly, liquor vends in tin sheds have been banned in the city following orders issued by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. For the past two years, the department has not auctioned vends in tin sheds.

Ignoring the guidelines, the vend has been opened along Vikas Marg opposite the Sector 43 ISBT.

According to the new policy, licences are granted for setting up liquor vends in the sectors, industrial areas, the NAC, rehabilitation colonies and in already existing pucca structures in areas where such structures are allowed by the Administration in villages. However, due to the absence of such structures, contractors are looking for sites located at strategic points either in villages or on the outskirts.

The Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner said the department had received a complaint from other liquor contractors and the matter was being looked into.



Home Guards volunteer sees threat to life from accused, moves court
Absence of witness protection programme taking a toll
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
Showcasing that threat from the accused looms large on witnesses in the absence of any witness protection programme, a UT police Home Guards volunteer shocked the court earlier this week when he stated that he was scared of the accused and feared a threat to his life from him. The UT policeman, who also moved an application on May 25 seeking protection from the accused, stated before the court that he was left for dead and survived the attack last year from a history sheeter of Mani Majra, Sonu Bakriwala, and feared a threat again.

“I have survived because of destiny; I fear I may be attacked again. I need protection,” said UT police Home Guards volunteer Rajinder Singh in the court of ADJ Shalini Nagpal while identifying the accused.

The revelation that a police Home Guards volunteer was fearing for his life reflects that even soldiers are not safe, leave aside the common man.

Rajinder and another witness, Paramjit, have stated in the application that they are receiving threats from the accused and his supporters and fear for their life. They had moved applications seeking protection, which have been forwarded to the SHO.

Sources said the matter ended there as protection was hardly provided to any witness and a DDR was merely lodged after court directions by the particular police station.

Incidentally, the accused in this case, Sonu Bakriwala, has been acquitted in as many as four cases in the past as no witness stands to depose against him in court for fear of life.

Only last month, Sonu Bakriwala was acquitted in an attempt-to-murder case in which he launched an attack during a birthday party in Mani Majra last year. There were at least 12 witnesses in the case, all of whom turned hostile.

The case in which Home Guards volunteer Rajinder Singh identified the accused in court while stating that he fears a threat to life was registered in November last year when Rajinder was attacked and robbed after he was returning from duty. It was after this incident that the accused had then launched another attack at a birthday party on the same day.

“They had looted money from Paramjit and Bobby. I had received a knife injury in the stomach and became unconscious due to it,” Rajinder told the court while identifying Sonu Bakriwala.

“Witnesses are being threatened by the accused and we are expediting such cases in view of safety hazards and request the court to make arrangements for security while they are on the court premises,” said public prosecutor Manu Kakkar.

Accused a history sheeter

A Mauli Jagran resident, Sonu Bakriwala, whom UT police Home Guards volunteer Rajinder Singh accused of issuing threats, is a history sheeter and has been acquitted in four cases in the past one year. Last month, he was acquitted in a case after 12 witnesses turned hostile. According to the case, gang members, led by Sonu Bakriwala, had created a ruckus during a birthday party in November last year. They had asked the owner of the house, Sher Singh, to play their favourite songs at a high volume. They were infuriated when Singh’s refused to oblige them. The miscreants had returned after 15 minutes with more men. They were armed with knives, sticks and batons, and thrashed everyone who came in their way. Nine persons, including two women, sustained serious injuries. The case fell flat in the court.



Unavailability of ambulance
Kharar family moves human rights panel over woman’s death
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 1
A Kharar-based family has knocked at the door of the Punjab Human Rights Commission following the death of a woman due to unavailability of an ambulance and alleged indifferent attitude of a doctor at the Kharar hospital. The complainant, Arvinder Arora, a pharmacist at the hospital, alleged that her sister-in-law, Daman Arora, who had suffered a heart attack on May 28, died due to unavailability of an ambulance and indifferent attitude of the doctor on duty at the hospital.

Arvinder Arora said her sister-in-law, who was being shifted to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, in their private car after being referred by the doctor at the Kharar hospital, died on the way.

“We had taken Daman to the Kharar hospital from where she was referred to the GMCH. The hospital has three ambulances, but we could not get even a single one. The 108 Ambulance service was unavailable due to ongoing strike of its staff,” said Arvinder Arora.

She alleged that when they were about to take Daman, who was on oxygen support at that time, the doctor did not allow them to take the oxygen cylinder along. “Despite repeated requests, we were not allowed to take the oxygen cylinder along,” she said.

Dr Neelam Bhardwaj, newly appointed Mohali Civil Surgeon, said she would look into the matter. “I have joined only recently, but I will look into the case,” said Dr Bhardwaj.



Open House response
Stray dogs unleash terror on roads across city

As packs of dogs continue to hound residents, venturing out has become a nightmare for many. This is evident from the sharp rise in the number of dog bite cases. Chandigarh Tribune asked its readers about what needs to be done to nip the problem in the bud

Every street infested with stray dogs

Killing stray dogs is not a way out, it is just cruelty. Sanitation is one of the basic problems resulting in stray dogs crowding around garbage bins. The owners of meat shops also dump waste in drains, which attracts dogs. The Municipal Corporation should concentrate on clearing garbage heaps and shutting down unlicenced meat shops. Even if stray dogs are vaccinated against rabies, they can still kill people in different ways such as running across roads causing accidents, by chasing vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists or jumping at bicycles in the night. Every area and street is infested with stray dogs.

Dr Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh

Catch and lock stray dogs

The stray dog menace has attained alarming proportions in the city. Some people feed strays almost daily on the pretext that it is a good gesture, while the practice compounds the woes of others. Stray dogs should be caught and locked in a walled house. The authorities should sterilise them.

Ujagar Singh, Chandigarh

City has 7,828 stray dogs

As per the data furnished by the UT’s Animal Husbandry Department survey, the population of pet dogs in the city is 9,824 whereas stray dogs are 7,828. Dogs need to be vaccinated.

SC Luthra, Mani Majra

Divide city into zones

To curb the problem of stray dogs, the city needs to be divided into a number of zones so that proper attention can be given to sterilise every dog. A number of NGO’s should come forward and help address the issue.

Priya Darsh Growar, Mohali

Eliminate dogs, monkeys

To decrease the population of stray dogs through sterilisation is not possible. The Municipal Corporation authorities have failed to solve the problem. It is sheer wastage of money. Opening helplines and specialised animal bite dispensaries is no solution. The government should allow the elimination of dogs and monkeys at the national level.

KC Rana, Chandigarh

Sterilisation need of the hour

There is a need to sterilise and vaccinate stray dogs to check their increasing numbers. This will also prevent the spread of rabies.

Sanjay Srivastava, Chandigarh

MC responsible for stray dog menace

The MC has to take corrective steps immediately to catch stray dogs by constituting its own teams, People for Animals (PFA), or NGOs related to the work. The sterilisation work should be aimed at solving the current crisis leading to an increase in the number of dog bite cases. The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh should be held accountable for the lapses on its part to control the menace of stray dogs and animals.

Wg Cdr Jasbir Singh Minhas (retd), Mohali

Fine Municipal Corporation Change cannot be brought about if the Municipal Corporation does not initiate measures to solve the problem. The MC must be fined even if a single stray dog is seen in the city.

Opinder Kaur Sekhon, Chandigarh

Keep dogs in a kennel

The approach of the Municipal Corporation and Chandigarh Administration towards the stray dog menace has been half-hearted and incomprehensive. The increasing population of stray dogs and the menace of dog bites are different issues and should be dealt with separately. The dogs should be relocated to a suitable kennel farm.

Aeshvarya Thakur, Mohali

Stray dogs more precious than human lives

If the so-called People for Animals raise a hue and cry against the killing of stray dogs, then they should be asked to bear the cost of treatment of the dog-bite victims. It is a pity that the lives of stray dogs are more precious than those of humans.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

Set up shelters for street dogs

If immediate measures are not taken, the number of stray dogs will increase manifold in the city. There is a dire need to set up mass shelters for the upkeep of dogs in the city.

Ravinder Nath, Chandigarh

Stray dog menace continues unabated

It seems Sector 33-A has become favorite breeding area for stray dogs. Despite approaching the Municipal Corporation authorities a number of times, no action has been initiated by the corporation authorities.

Rupinder, Chandigarh

Animal Birth Control Rules need to be amended

The solution lies in the selective killing and mass sterilisation of stray dogs. For the limited killing of strays, the Animal Birth Control Rules need to be amended, which only the Municipal Corporation can do. The new MP, Kirron Kher, should push for this Amendment.

Col (retd) RD Singh, Ambala Cantt

Councillors should make their wards stray dog-free

To minimise the population of stray dogs, a ward-wise census of these dogs should be conducted frequently, besides ward-wise pooling shelters should be provided. The dogs should be given anti-rabies injections. The municipal councillor concerned should make his ward stray dog-free with all assistance from the Municipal Corporation.

Sharanjit Singh Kallah, Chandigarh

Kill stray dogs

Why do we even need stray dogs on the streets? To bite and kill innocent citizens? When we can kill birds and animals to feast on delicacies, why can’t we kill stray dogs that endanger the lives of people?

MPS Chadha, Mohali

Prevention is better than the cure

Instead of talking about remedial measures, we need to know the reason for the steady increase in the number of dog-bite cases in the recent years. One usually believes that animals, unless they are man-eaters, don’t attack human beings unless they are threatened or their existence is in danger. The scientists concerned and NGOs need to study whether there any evolutionary changes in these carnivorous animals regarding their food habits?

Dr Gurdev Singh, Mohali

Use surgical procedures for animal birth control

The number of stray dogs and cases of dog-bites have increased in the city. The mass sterilisation of stray dogs is one of the solutions for which the Municipal Corporation should hire more pharmacists and ward helpers in dispensaries. The civic body should also increase the number of transport vans to catch strays from roadsides and residential areas. The authority should also use surgical procedures for animal birth control prescribed by the Animal Welfare Board of India.

Sukhpal Singh, Chandigarh

Civic body has failed to initiate measures

The Municipal Corporation has failed to frame any comprehensive policy to curb the menace of stray dogs. At present, the so-called sterilisation and other related measures seem to be on paper only. This is evident from the increase in the population of stray dogs over the past few years, besides the rise in the number of dog-bite cases. The situation is alarming and needs immediate action. A mass campaign for the sterilisation of female dogs, which are less in numbers, should be initiated at the earliest.

PS Bajwa, Chandigarh

Civic body least bothered to address issue

The Municipal Corporation has failed to address the issue of stray dogs. Not only this, the civic body has also failed to complete all works assigned to it. It seems the MC authorities are least bothered to carry out works for the benefit of the general masses.

Sat Pal Kansal, Chandigarh

Effective measures needed

Sterilisation will only check the rise in population of stray dogs but not prevent dog bites. The danger is not from the dog but its bite. Why not resort to removing the teeth of all stray dogs. This may change their behaviour.

Tarsem Bhardwaj, Chandigarh

Start mobile anti-rabies vaccination & helpline

Dog bite is a serious problem and can eventually lead to rabies, which is a life-threatening disease. If the victim is not vaccinated in time, it can be fatal. The Municipal Corporation should constitute squads to capture the hounds and sterilise them, besides taking them to dog homes run by the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or the People for Animals, besides other NGOs, so that residents can venture out without being afraid. The civic body should start mobile units on Save Our Souls (SOS) basis to ensure that the victims of dog bite are treated on time.

BM Dhawan, Chandigarh

No strict laws for protection of people

The Supreme Court had on January 23, 2009, stayed a Mumbai HC judgment which had allowed the municipal authorities in Maharashtra to kill stray dogs causing nuisance. However, an appeal had maintained that unless the term nuisance was clearly defined, the order of the high court cannot be implemented. There are no strict laws for the protection of human beings — be it from dog bites, thieves or murderers. One should carry a stick to scare away stray dogs.

Rita Raina, Chandigarh

Open house question

There have been complaints of traffic police personnel misbehaving with motorists while checking them for drunken driving. What needs to be done to ensure that the police are polite with motorists while doing their duty. Write your suggestions in not more than 100 words along with a passport size photograph in JPG format to openhouse@tribunemail.com



Govt’s power surplus claim falls flat in Mohali

With residents complaining about long and frequent power cuts in Mohali, the tall claim made by the Punjab Government of a ‘power surplus’ state seems to have fallen flat. Three to four hours of power cuts are a routine in Mohali while in its periphery, the span of power cuts ranges between seven and nine hours. The story is no different in parts of Kharar, Kurali and other villages.

A free pass please...

While the UT police have failed to recover a whopping Rs 9 crore from the IPL organisers and the Kings XI Punjab management towards security, the police officials had been unofficially seeking free passes for T20 matches played at Mohali.

Religious ritual worked for Kings XI Punjab?

Finally, Kings XI Punjab co-owner Preity Zinta has something to cheer about! After seven long years, her team found a way into the final of the IPL. Wonder if the ‘hawan’ organised by her at the dressing room’s lawn in the PCA stadium brought luck to the dimpled girl!

MP’s spokesperson!

BJP councillor Arun Sood, while defending MP Kirron Kher by replying on her behalf, received a sarcastic remark from Congress councillor Subhash Chawla. “It seems Sood has been appointed as MP’s spokesperson, which is why he replied to the query posed to Kirron Kher,” was the remark.

Getting smoke for free

The PGIMER has initiated a practice wherein patients have to put tobacco products inside a box kept at gate before entering the New OPD building. Last week, a security guard at the new OPD block caught a man picking cigarettes and matchboxes from the box. While the person insisted that the products belonged to him, it was later found that he was neither a patient nor an attendant.

Defunct phone

To avoid any ‘pressure’ or ‘sifarish’ in selection of candidates during the interviews for posts in one of the UT departments, a selector is not getting his cell phone repaired intentionally. The tactic aims to avoid getting calls seeking favour during selections.

Three power centres in BJP

Though BJP has won the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat with a record margin and that too after a gap of 15 years, three power centres in the party’s local unit have kept the city residents in a fix. As people don’t know who calls the shot in the party after MP Kirron Kher, they are reluctant in approaching these leaders. A resident said if they bring their problems into the notice of one leader, the other two will never help them in resolving it. BJP leadership should clear the air as to who rules the party’s local unit, he said.

On cloud nine

With the BJP coming to power at the Centre with the full majority after a long gap, the state unit of the party is on cloud nine. Senior leaders in the Haryana BJP are not only enchanting “Namo Namo…” but alluring general public with a new slogan, “Dehli hui hamari hai; ab Chandigarh ki baari hai,” (We have won Delhi, now it is the turn of Chandigarh).

WhatsApp mystery

The UT police was baffled all these months on the person’s identity who was leaking information about drunken driving nakas on WhatsApp. However, it was found that a traffic marshal, who incidentally was the complainant, had been leaking the vital information and was even part of the WhatsApp group, which shared such information.

Golf cart service

The move of the Chandigarh Administration to charge Rs 10 per seat for ferrying passengers between Sukhna lake and the Rock Garden has invited criticism from tourists. The service should be free as it brings a good name to the city, feel the visitors.

Contributed by Akash Ghai, Deepankar Sharda, Amit Sharma, Ritika Jha Palial, Arti Kapur, Rajinder Nagarkoti, Bipin Bhardwaj, Aneesha Sareen and Rajmeet Singh



Soon, RLA to hold mock test for applicants
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
The Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA), Chandigarh, is soon going to hold mock tests for driving licence (DL) applicants before they appear for the mandatory computerised test. Questions that can figure in the test would be made available on the RLA website.

At present, applicants for learner’s licence have to take a computerised test, which is conducted at the office of the RLA. The test is conducted to ascertain the applicant’s awareness on traffic rules. Applicants have to answer a total of 20 questions appearing on a computer screen.

Sources said despite repeated attempts, applicants often fail in the computerised test.

RLA Kashish Mittal said they were in the process of revamping the RLA website, which would also have questions with answers related to the mock test.

“The results of the applicants who take the exam will also be updated on the website on day-to-day basis,” Mittal added.

The RLA said the residents would also be able to download all the forms from the department’s website. “Presently, all the forms for various services are not available online. However, we would soon upload them on the web portal. It would help save people the effort and time to visit the RLA office,” he said.

RLA officials said the check list of documents required for registration of vehicles, high security number plates, transfer of ownership and various other services would also be uploaded on the website to assist the applicants, who are generally targeted by middlemen who charge money for guiding them on how to apply and avail of the services.

Driving licence

  • At present, applicants for learner’s licence have to take a computerised test, which is conducted at the office of the RLA.
  • The test is conducted to ascertain the applicant’s awareness on traffic rules.
  • Applicants have to answer a total of 20 questions appearing on a computer screen.
  • Sources said despite repeated attempts, applicants often fail in the computerised test.



No. of pledged eyes up, but 1,000 await cornea transplant at PGI, GMCH-32
High awareness on pledging of eyes can’t bring immediate donations: Docs
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
A significant increase in the number of persons pledging their eyes at the PGIMER and the GMCH-32 in the recent past indicates rising awareness on the need for eye donation. However, the present reality seems harsh as about 1,000 patients have been awaiting corneal transplant at the two hospitals for the past couple of years.

Even as the number of eye donations has improved significantly at the eye banks in the PGI and the GMCH, it has been found that in most of the cases, donors are not shifted to the eye banks within the prescribed time for harvesting their eyes so that these are fit for cornea transplant.

Doctors said while the hospitals were well equipped and the cost of corneal transplantation was also affordable for most patients, still the latter had been suffering only due to paucity of donors.

“The number of people pledging eyes has increased quite a lot in the past couple of years. Apparently, the educated youth has taken the lead in coming forward for the noble cause. So, we hope to find enough donors after 20-30 years. But ironically, pledged eyes are some time not donated as the donor’s family fail to overcome their religious sentiments and the social stigma attached to eye donation,” said Prof SK Arya, corneal transplant expert at the GMCH-32 here.

Also, ensuring the utility of most of the donated eyes in cornea transplant continues to be a challenge for doctors. Awareness needs to be increased on taking donors to the eye bank within the prescribed time, said Dr Amit Gupta, Associate Professor, Advanced Eye Centre at the PGIMER, and an expert in cornea and refractive surgery.

Donations so far

  • About 6,000 eyes have been donated at the PGIMER since its inception in the 1960s while 1,500 eyes have been donated at the GMCH so far
  • Nearly, 5,571 people have pledged their eyes at the eye bank in the GMCH. The figure stands at about 40 to 50,000 in the PGIMER

Prescribed shelf life of eyes

  • For the purpose of eye donation, the body has to be shifted to the eye bank within 10 hours of death
  • In summers, the shelf life remains relatively lesser
  • The GMCH-32 runs a helpline number 9814821212. A deceased’s family can call up the helpline and request the officials to get the body shifted from their residence.



City docs discuss implications of Clinical Establishment Act
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
After cities such as Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai —where the medical fraternity expressed its resentment over the provisions of the Clinical Establishment Act (CEA) — the Medicos Legal Action Group (MLAG), here also discussed implications of the Act today. The legal awareness session took off with Dr Neeraj Nagpal, convener, MLAG, delivering a talk on the subject.

Dr Ranjeet Khanna said, “It is unfortunate that when the entire country is moving towards reducing government interference and control, the medical fraternity is being subjected to re-introduction of the Inspector Raj.”

Dr Neeraj Kumar said the CEA would empower the authorities to shut down any clinical establishment.

Dr Dhirender Soni and Dr JPS Sodhi, MLAG trustees, said, “The doctors are already reeling under the PC PNDT Act, Consumer Protection Act, Drugs and Cosmetics Act, Indian Medical Council Act, Biomedical waste management rules and others.

The minimum standards prescribed under the CEA have a list of 27 or more licences, which will be needed by a small 10-bed hospital and even clinics.

Dr Ravi Sachdeva said, “The standards prescribed will not be met by any government hospital or dispensary and will create problems while delivering healthcare in compromised conditions in which the Indian doctors work in.”

Dr RS Bedi, another trustee of MLAG, alleged that the Act was sponsored by the corporate lobby to eliminate competition from small and medium healthcare establishments. Meanwhile, the UT Administration is all set to begin compulsory registration of clinical establishments here.



Possession of flats
Buyers lodge complaint
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, June 1
Struggling to get possession of their flats, in a housing project —Vishranti — on the Kalka-Ambala Highway for the past two years, over 150 buyers had been running from pillar to post for justice. A group of nearly 25 buyers today held meeting with one of the directors of Mount Kailash Land Base Private Limited, a construction company, to get possession of their flats but faced disappointment.

Following which the buyers moved a complaint to Zirakpur police accusing the company of cheating. They have also sought requisite action against the directors of the company.

In a joint complaint, the victims – Pratap Singh, Sumit Ghosh, Rajesh Gupta, Jatinder, Rakesh Kumar, Naveen Rai, Rohit Rajput, Vipin Tiwari, Shravan, Rajiv Bhandari, Atul Sood and Raj Kumar- complained that the builder was not providing them possession of the flats.

The company had promised them possession of their flats on December 2012 but till date they were not able to receive the documents.

The company directors are making excuses in one context or another for the past nearly two years, the complaint reads.

The complainants claim that they came to know that neither the building plans of these flats were approved from the competent authorities nor the company could get the sale deed (of the land where the flats have come up) registered.

“The company has deceived and betrayed us. The directors are keeping us in dark over the actual status of the project. Repeated efforts to contact and hold meetings with the directors failed to yield results,” alleged Atul Sood, a buyer.

The directors of the company Mount Kailash Land Base Private Limited including Amit Dua was not available for comments.



12 days on, no headway in Shergill murder case
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 1
More than 12 days have passed but the Mohali Police have failed to get any lead in the blind murder of Kharar-based Congress leader Rajwant Singh Shergill. Shergill’s decomposed body was found dumped in an Ertiga SUV (bearing registration number PB65U-6066) in a residential locality of Sector 69 here on May 21. The police had recovered two cellphones (one of them in the damaged condition due to heat in the vehicle), an album containing photographs of the victim with a girl, Sandeep Kaur of Sector 69 here, a ladies purse and a soft drink bottle from the car.

Now, the police are waiting for the forensic reports of the cellphone, which was found in the damaged condition, and the soft drink bottle.

“As the post-mortem report of the victim had revealed the presence of some poison in his body, we want to ascertain whether the victim was given poison through the soft drink,” said Swarndeep Singh, Superintendent of Police (city), Mohali.

The SP said the victim had sent some SMSes to Sandeep Kaur through the cellphone (in damaged condition), the details of which the police wanted to know to get any lead, if any.

“Sandeep had deleted those messages from her cellphone”, said the SP.

On the day of the recovery of the body, the Mohali Police had claimed that the murder mystery would be solved within 24 hours. Then the police had also rounded up Sandeep, who had confessed during cross questioning that she was in a relationship with Rajwant Singh and her divorcee husband Gurpreet Singh, a history sheeter.

According to the police, the victim had affairs with some other women also. “Investigations are on. The case will be solved shortly,” said SP Swarndeep Singh.



Reports on smoke-free Punjab released at PGI

Chandigarh, June 1
As the School of Public Health, PGIMER, celebrated World No-Tobacco Day on Saturday, Vini Mahajan, principal secretary, health, Punjab, released two reports — Journey towards smoke-free Punjab and Smoke-free compliance assessment guidelines during the function.

She highlighted the role of the School of Public Health in planning and conducting compliance monitoring studies in Punjab. The ‘Smoke-free compliance assessment guidelines’ is the second edition wherein the detailed steps of carrying out compliance studies to declare a ‘Smoke-free jurisdiction’ is briefed and was released on May 31 across the world.

Dr Rajesh Kumar, Head, School of Public Health, said every health care provider should inform the patient about quitting tobacco.

Dr Rakesh Gupta, state nodal officer (tobacco control), Punjab, spoke about the efforts of the Administration, Health Department and NGOs to make 17 districts smoke-free. — TNS



Lotto launches new fabric

Sportswear Lotto Sport Italia today launched its SS14’ apparel collection, using the Deep Dry Tech Fabric (new technology) at Lotto Store here. Deep Dry Tech Fabric is a sandwiched construction makes it very resistant and ideal for frequent use.

Monthly journal launched

Indian Banking Service today unveiled IBS Quest, a monthly journal, which will empower the aspirants of Bank PO and SSC. Over 60 managers and academic heads of IBS centres from all over India attended the meeting held in Panchkula today. The experienced academicians from Delhi, Bhuwneshwar, Jalandhar, Bareilly, Kolkatta, Bhagalpur, Jammu and other cities of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal discussed the course curriculum and strategy to help an average student in cracking the exams. — TNS



All-India Institute of Medical Sciences entrance
Aspirants, parents face inconvenience
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
Parents of All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) aspirants, who accompanied their wards to the city for the entrance test today, alleged that no seating arrangements had been made for them at examination centres due to which they had to spend their day on roads and pavements.

The entrance exam for admission to MBBS was held across 18 cities in the country. The examination was conducted for admission to 72 seats in Delhi AIIMS and 100 seats each in six AIIMS-like institutions - Rishikesh, Bhopal, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur and Bhubaneswar.

Ruchit Singla, a medical aspirant, said: “The authorities did not allow us to carry wristwatches inside the examination halls due to which keeping a track on time was difficult.”

Singla said in the examination centre at Government Senior Model School, Dadu Majra, stray dogs were roaming freely inside the campus, which further added to the woes of aspirants.

The entrance examination was held from 10 am to 1:30 pm. However the reporting time mentioned on the admit cards was from 8:30 am onwards.

While elaborating on the format of the question paper, Maitri Jindal, a medical aspirant from Jalandhar, said: “The biology section was not entirely NCERT based. There were a significant number of questions based on diagrams.”

She said the physics section was difficult as it was mostly numerical based and many questions involved lengthy calculations.

Meanwhile, local PMT trainer Dr Arvind Goyal said: “The reason-assertion-based questions and GK questions make the AIIMS exam quite unpredictable. The students are not allowed to take home the AIIMS question paper after the exam is over. So, they cannot assess their performance in any way.”

Moreover adding to the plight of aspirants and their parents who had come to the city from outside stations, three-wheeler drivers overcharged them with hefty fares. As against the stipulated fare of Rs 50 to the bus stand, they were charged up to Rs 150.



Cerebral palsy no deterrent for this city lad
Scores 94.8 per cent marks in CBSE Class XII examinations
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
Braving all odds, city lad Avtansh Behal, who was born with cerebral palsy, made his parents and school, Bhavan Vidyalaya, proud by scoring 94.8 per cent marks in the CBSE Class XII examinations. Avtansh, a commerce student, is not only a meritorious student but is also an articulate speaker and debater.

While stating his credentials list of co-curricular activities he said: “I was awarded with high commendations for representing the Saudi Arabia delegate at the Indian International MUN held in Mumbai last year. I was also awarded the best delegate of France at National Law School, Bangalore MUN, held in April this year. I also got many other awards at various Model United Nations seminars.”

Along with pursuing his academics, the young achiever has also been pursuing the French language.

He said: “I have already done eight levels of French. I have also recently completed French teachers training course.”

With an aim to pursue BCom (Honors) from Delhi University, he said: “I believe in achieving one goal at a time and the only way to do it is by being focused.”

While giving credit to his parents for their unconditional support, Avtansh said: “My parents are my support pillars and ideals. I drive strength and courage from them.”

The go-getter, who has a passion for learning foreign languages, said: “The more I learn about different cultures the more my horizon broadens. It’s my hunger for knowledge that keeps me going.”



Ministry yet to give nod to 81 posts of student counsellor
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
In gross violation of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) guidelines on the mandatory provision for a full-time student counsellor, government schools in the city have been functioning with makeshift counsellors. These counsellors visit some schools fortnightly and some schools once a month depending upon their availability of time and the urgency of the school authorities.

In most of the schools, teachers themselves are helping students cope with exam stress apart from career guidance.

The severity of the situation can be gauged from the fact that in some areas per cluster, which include five to seven schools, there is only one counsellor available for all.

The school authorities claimed that despite the growing demand, the role of the school counsellors within the Education Department remains an ambiguous one.

The UT Education Department had sent a proposal for sanctioning 81 posts of counsellor in government schools. However, the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) did not give approval for the same. According to officials, the proposal has been lying pending with the ministry for over a year now.

Rakesh Sachdeva, principal of DAV School, Sector 15, and also a CBSE counsellor, said for the past decade, the CBSE had been telling the schools to have permanent counsellors. However, the schools have not taken the issue with the needed intention.

Sachdeva said: “School-going age is the most fundamental time period as a student comes under different kinds of influences, which may impact her/him both physically and psychologically”.

“These days children have too much of exposure. The counsellors are not only needed for career guidance, but also for discussing the social and domestic issues of the students,” she said.

Lakwinder Kumar, headmaster of Government High School, Sector 50, said: “The counsellors visit our school once a month. In case of any urgency, we call the counsellor whenever required.”

Nikita Brar, a senior school counsellor at St John’s High School, while highlighting the problems of the students, said students in the age group of 11 to 18 years face a lot of stress-related problems.

She said: “In view of the rising incidents of violent behaviour among children, there is a need to provide proper guidance to them.”

Meanwhile, Director Public Instructions (DPI) Schools Kamlesh Kumar said: “There is a need of counsellors in the schools. Right now, we have engaged them on an outsourcing basis. Till we get the approval from the MHRD, the present arrangement will continue.”



From Schools
World No-Tobacco Day observed

Chandigarh: Government High Smart School, Sector 50/B, observed World No-Tobacco Day on its campus. The students along with the headmaster and teachers organised a rally. The school authorities said the aim of the rally was to raise public awareness about the negative effects of smoking and tobacco consumption. The students marched along the streets raising slogans like “nasha chodho sawasth jiwan jio”. Some students also shared their personal experiences about their parents who are tobacco consumers. Headmaster Lakhwinder Kumar said the aim of observing the day was to spread awareness about the ill-effects of tobacco consumption and encourage a day of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption.

Splash pool activity

Panchkula: SMD Little Champ School organised a splash pool activity for summer camp students. The school authorities said the children were agog with the excitement of splashing water in the pool as music played out in the background. The students were exposed to various fun activities, including art and craft, gift wrapping, handwriting improvement and personality development, at the camp. Director Naresh Gupta said the splash pool activity was refreshing for students.

Students honoured

DAV Senior Public School, Surajpur, honoured Class XII students who performed well in the Class XII board examinations. The school authorities said out of 105 students, 72 students passed with first division.

Telecommunication Week concludes

Mohali: Saupin’s School, Sector 70, came alive with a spectacular performance staged by Class VII students. The fun-filled class show was held to observe Telecommunication Week. Headmistress Goldie Kapany addressed the audience and shared her vision of promoting the culture of information and new skills. The role of communication in everyday life was showcased by the students of Class VII. The show began with a parody, depicting the old ways of telecommunication. It was followed by a dance performance on technology.

Yoga camp held

As part of its silver jubilee celebrations, a six-day yoga camp was organised for the parents of students of St Xavier’s High School. The parents were taught various ‘asanas’ by Yoga teacher Pravendra Naithani.

Summer camp concludes

The six-day summer camp concluded at Edustar School, Kalewal. Around 250 students from Classes IV to VI took part in the camp and learnt different activities, including, Yoga, instrumental music, English speaking, dance, art and craft, theatre and hand stitching. On the valedictory function, parents of the participants were invited and a cultural programme was held. An exhibition on art and craft and hand stitching items was also organised in the school. Principal Anu Sharma appreciated the efforts of the teachers who prepared the students for different activities. — TNS



Class XII exams: CBSE lays down guidelines for re-evaluation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has laid down guidelines for the re-evaluation of senior secondary-level examination (Class XII). According to the new provision introduced, there will be three steps which the students would have to follow in case they want to get their answer sheets re-evaluated and the whole procedure had been made online to bring in transparency.

According to the guidelines, the provisions for the verification of marks and obtaining the photocopy of evaluated answer book(s), which are already in existence, have now been interlinked with the re-evaluation process.

While elaborating the process for re-evaluation RJ Khanderao, regional director of the CBSE, said: “Candidates applying for the verification of marks will only be eligible to apply for obtaining the photocopy of the evaluated answer book. Those obtaining the photocopy of the answer book will only be eligible to apply for re-evaluation.”

Khanderao said no candidate would be permitted to make a request for providing the photocopy or photocopies without following the procedure of verification of marks. In the same way, no candidate would have the right to challenge the answer(s) without the verification of marks and getting photocopy of the evaluated answer book.

“The whole process has been made transparent now. For the connivance of the students, it has been divided into three steps,” he said.

The subjects for re-evaluation include English Core, English Elective, Functional English, Hindi Core, Hindi Elective, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Business Studies, Economics and Accountancy.

While welcoming the CBSE’s new initiative, local academician Dr Arvind Goyal said: “We congratulate the CBSE on setting a benchmark in making the examination system transparent. It is good to see that biology has also been added to the list of subjects for re-evaluation.”



Human Powered Vehicle Challenge
Gharuan varsity team wins laurels

Chandigarh, June 1
The team of Chandigarh University, Gharuan, comprising seven budding engineering students, did the country proud by its performance in the 2014 Human Powered Vehicle Challenge (HPVC) organised by the American Society for Mechanical Engineering (ASME).

The seven-member team from Chandigarh University, Gharuan, has been adjudged first in Asia. Among all teams from the world, it stood fifth during the international-level championship, 2014 HPVC, held at the University of Central Florida, Florida, and Santa Clara Valley, California, US.

Team Fateh-designed MPV has been 100 per cent sponsored by Chandigarh University and is part of the university initiated research projects for which it has earmarked an annual budget of Rs 3 crore.

Teams from SRM University, NIT Rourkela, Santa Clara University, San Jose State University, University of British Columbia, Arizona State University were among the 26 teams from all over the world who took part this year during the annual ASME HPVC competition.

Led by Prof Gurjeet Singh, “Team Fateh” comprised of Sahib Sood Singh as the team leader and other members - Subegh Singh, Palash, Tanya, Nikhil Verma, Guntas Singh and Sanchit. — TNS



Teachers’ strike enters sixth day
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 1
The hunger strike of the protesting members of the Inclusive Education Resource Teachers (IERT) Union, Punjab, in front of the office of the Director General School Education (DGSE) in Phase VIII here entered sixth day today. Varinder Vohra, president of the union, said they would continue their strike till their demands were met.

“On Saturday night, the condition of one of the women protestors sitting on the hunger strike deteriorated. She was immediately shifted to the Civil Hospital, Mohali. Her condition is stated to be stable now,” said Vohra.

He warned the state government that if anything happened to any member, then the state government would solely be responsible for it.

The demands of the union included full pay grades on a par with teachers of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and summer and winter vacations with full pay.



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