C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UT Fire Dept lacks firepower
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
A limited number of fire-proximity suits, brand new vehicles purchased for use as fire tenders lying idle for several years and shortage of staff have marred the functioning of the UT Fire and Emergency Department.

The recent fire incident at the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT), that led to a building collapse, has exposed the ill-preparedness of the Fire Department.

The Fire and Emergency Department of the MC, that has a budget of several crores, only has nine fire entry suits. Sources said there should be at least 14 suits, two in each fire station.

The sources said there were proximity suits in each fire tender for firefighters. In the next shift, the same suits are to be used by the firemen. However, in case of a major fire, if firemen, who are not on duty, have to be called for the operation, a majority of them have to battle the flames in their normal uniform, putting their lives at risk.

Interestingly, the two vehicles purchased for use as fire tenders are lying idle.

Wireless sets of the Fire Department also need to be upgraded. The Fire Department also faces an acute shortage of staff.

Interestingly, for the past around 10 years, the post of Chief Fire Officer (CFO) is lying vacant. In the absence of the CFO, officials of the MC, who have no expertise on the functioning of the Fire Department, are looking after the charge.

There are seven fire stations in the city, each of which should have a Station Fire Officer (SFO) to coordinate the entire station at the time of a fire incident. However, surprisingly, there are only three SFOs.

There are supposed to be 21 sub-fire officers for three shifts in a day. However, the Fire Department has only four sub-fire officers, of whom two are serving on the post as additional charge.

One hotline not working

  • Of the three hotlines of 101, only two are working. The third is not in use due to unavailability of a telephone set. Hotlines are to ensure that more than one person can complain about fire incidents simultaneously.
  • Out of two landline numbers in the control room, the number 2703507 is not working for six months.

Dept short of 250 employees

  • Fire Department is short of around 250 employees at various levels
  • The uniform of a fireman does not include a raincoat

Improve firefighting infrastructure, Admn tells civic body

Two days after the fire incident in Sector 17, the UT Administration on Tuesday asked the Municipal Corporation to improve its firefighting infrastructure. The Administration also stressed the need for special training of firefighters and equipping them with the latest equipment.

Facing criticism over the ill-equipped Fire Department, UT Adviser KK Sharma, during a meeting with senior officers, directed the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation to fill posts lying vacant for the past several years.

Sources said at the meeting, the Adviser directed the MC officials to purchase new fire tenders, especially smaller ones which can easily enter narrow lanes.



Day 3: Smoke continues to billow out of debris
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
The operation by the Fire Department at the collapsed building of the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology continued for the third day today. Fire tenders were pressed into service to spill water on the collapsed building as smoke continued to billow out of the debris.

The entire area was cordoned off with no one except the firemen and police staff being allowed within a 150-metre radius of the building.

The firefighting staff remained deputed at the spot throughout the day to keep the situation under control.

Fire officials said they sprayed water on the debris and on the wall of the adjoining building to keep these cool and douse the fire under the debris. “As smoke is still coming out of the debris, there is suspicion that combustible material is still burning,” a fire official said. The official said since the time the fire was reported in the building, over 100 fire tenders had been pressed into operation to douse it.

Meanwhile, the UT Administration has decided to analyse the situation before removing the debris of the collapsed building. “It appears that the debris has given support to the adjoining building that has been damaged in the incident. Removing the debris may pose further risk,” said the official.

People working in offices housed in the adjoining buildings claimed that they were uncertain as to when their offices would open. “We have no option but to wait for the order of the Administration to allow us to start functioning from the building,” said an employee.

Restriction on movement

While there is a restriction on the movement of the public in a 150-metre radius of the adjoining buildings and no one is allowed to enter the premises of the adjoining building, a security guard was seen sitting inside the SBI’s treasury branch at SCOs 1 to 3, which is just next to the building that collapsed.



Punjab & Haryana Civil Secretariat
Fire safety a casualty
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
Politicians, bureaucrats and government officials are caring two hoots to the fire safety guidelines at the Punjab and Haryana Civil Secretariat here. Construction of illegal temporary structures at various floors, closure of corridors separating the Punjab part of the building from the Haryana at six floors, installation of private fire systems by some individuals and balconies converted into retiring rooms are some of the major violations that galore here.

Moreover, junk stocked in open spaces around the staircases have also blocked the passages to the balconies. This can create a hindrance to firemen in dousing the flames and could lead to a tragedy in case of any major fire.

The 10-storeyed heritage building, which have six entrance gates, including two for VVIPS, needs more exit points in case of any major fire breaks out here.

Sunil Bhatia, Chief Fire Officer, UT Administration, claimed to have conducted a surprise check of the secretariat building and submitted a report to the Chief Architect. He, however, refused to comment on further enquiries.

The corridors of seven floors (1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th floors), which otherwise connect the Punjab with Haryana or vice-versa, have been denied access. Visitors have to take staircases, lifts and ramps to reach different offices located on various floors of the separated building.

The only VVIP exit point at the Punjab Chief Minister’s office has been closed for the public even if the CM was not there. Many balconies have also been converted into rest rooms by the ministers and bureaucrats, thus giving a go-by to the fire safety norms.

Including the offices of both Chief Ministers, Punjab ministers, NIC (Haryana), TCS (Punjab), the Punjab State Co-operative Bank, and certain others, have installation of private fire systems in their rooms.

This has been done even after the UT Electricity Department is taking care of the power supply to secretariat buildings and has set up a fire detection system.

The department has set up a fire control room at the first floor, which is manned round-the-clock.

To keep a watch on every nook and corner of the building, nearly 4,000 sensitive fire detectors have been installed, which are monitored by the employees of the UT Electricity Department at a control panel at the fire control room, claimed an engineer.

There was a major fire in the Haryana NIC, located at the 9th floor a couple of years ago. After the fire, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation had inspected the building and found major violation of the fire safety norms.

In case there is any fire, the employees of the Electricity Department have to inform the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel deployed for the security of the secretariat.



Legal frameworks & lack of transparency
Survey ranks Chandigarh worst Indian city
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
Chandigarh, which has the third highest per capita income in the country, has been announced the worst Indian city in the annual survey of India’s City-Systems by Janaagraha, a non-profit organisation, which was carried out in 21 major cities across 18 states.

Chandigarh has the lowest overall score of 2.5 due to its poor legal frameworks. It lacks a contemporary Planning Act, Public Disclosure Law and Community Participation Law, the survey report reads.

The report reads, “Despite being a planned city, Chandigarh scores the lowest among the 21 cities analysed, as it is has failed to legislate a contemporary Town Planning Act of its own and prepare metropolitan and ward-level plans.”

The Mayor’s one-year term also goes against the City Beautiful. The report states, “The list of cities that have a directly elected Mayor with a five-year term have been considered a huge positive. While a few cities have indirectly elected Mayors with five-year terms, larger cities such as Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Surat (2.5 years), Pune (15 months) and Delhi, Bengaluru and Chandigarh (one year) have indirectly elected Mayors with very short tenures, making the position potentially ineffective and ceremonial. A directly elected Mayor with a five-year term is not a panacea for all ills, but certainly equips cities and citizens with strong leadership”.

Janaagraha studied the 21 cities on parameters of urban planning and design, urban capacities and resources, empowered and legitimate political representation and transparency, accountability and participation, and ranked Kolkata the best and Chandigarh the worst Indian city.

There is an urgent need to focus on transparency in Chandigarh as it scores zero on open data.



City youth’s disappearance shrouded in mystery
Family says Hisar police told it he has been murdered
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Manjit Singh Chandigarh, June 10
Three days after a 27-year-old brother of a Chandigarh Inspector went missing, the family today received a call from the Hisar police that the victim had been murdered and his body thrown in a rivulet in Sirsa. The body has not been recovered. Divers will start the search operation tomorrow.

The victim, Manjit Singh, a resident of Sector 26 here, had gone to Hisar to appear for his law exam 15 days ago. Manjit, an international lawn tennis player, had got married two years ago and has a one-year-old daughter. At his native place Hisar, he had made his halt at his house, from where he was to take his exam in Rajasthan.

Vishwajeet, nephew of the victim, told the police that on June 7, he was resting when he heard some commotion on the ground floor. It was then that he learnt that Manjit had gone missing from his room and did not return.

“I got a call from the SHO today that my brother has been murdered. My second brother has gone to look for his body in the rivulet,” said Inspector Satya Bala, posted at the Sector 26 police station. Her sister is a Sub-Inspector with the Chandigarh police, while her brother is a constable with the Chandigarh police.

SHO of the police station concerned in Hisar, Inspector Mukesh Kumar said, “When Vishwajeet enquired from his tenants Kapil and Sandeep, alias Gori, with whom the family has a property dispute, they said they had killed him and thrown his body in a rivulet in Sirsa.” He said, “Today, we found blood stains at a distance from the house and have rounded up two persons. On the basis of preliminary investigations and some clues, we have registered a case under Section 302 of the IPC.”

Gori had recently come out of jail. He was imprisoned in connection with a murder bid on Manjit’s elder brother. His brother, Daljit Singh, a constable with the Chandigarh police, was shot at four times in Hisar five years afo, but survived. The eldest brother of the victim was murdered in 1991.

IGP, Hisar Range, Haneef Qureshi said, “We have called for divers and the search operation for the body will begin tomorrow. Our priority is to find the body so that the last rites can be performed.”

The case has been registered on the complaint of Vishwajeet, nephew of Manjit.

Manjit was getting threats

Manjit had stated on the morning of June 7 that he was getting threats.

In 2011 and 2012, Bala had lodged complaints with the Chandigarh police that her brother was getting threat calls over the land dispute. UT IGP RP Upadhayay said, “ I will look into the matter and check if complaints were lodged in Chandigarh.” “The SHO said that my brother has been murdered and we should find the body in the rivulet ourselves. My second brother has arranged divers and is himself also looking for the body. We brought the matter to the notice of the IG, Hisar, who is now getting the official search operation conducted tomorrow,” said Bala.



Health Secy orders action against 8 doctors found absent
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
Accepting the recommendations of the inspection committee that found eight doctors absent from duty during a surprise inspection at 13 dispensaries recently, UT Health Secretary Anil Kumar today ordered action against the doctors.

The Health Secretary has asked the UT Director, Health Services, Dr Nirlep Kaur, to repatriate the doctors (who were on deputation from neightbouring states) and serve a show-cause notice to the others who were found absent.

A team of the UT Health Department, led by Joint Health Secretary SK Setia, had found most of the doctors at dispensaries missing from duty during a recent inspection. Sanitation was a casualty at all dispensaries. The report of the inspection, which was submitted to the UT Health Secretary 15 days ago, stated, “In all dispensaries, it was found that most of the doctors were on leave without getting their leave sanctioned from the competent authority.”

“We need to set an example by taking action against those who have not been performing their duties sincerely,” said Anil Kumar.

“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.

The team inspected 13 health centres (dispensaries) a few weeks ago.

Key findings

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


Fire tragedy: Cops question suspects
Statements of four employees of the company maintaining the AC plant in NIELIT building recorded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
As part of the investigation to identify the accused responsible for the fire incident at the National Institute of Electrical and Information Technology (NIELIT) in Sector 17 that claimed two lives and injured four others, the UT police today questioned four suspects in the case.

The statements of four employees of the company entrusted with the maintenance of the AC plant at the building were recorded today at the Sector 17 police station.

The police are still in the process of identifying the accused responsible for the cause of fire in the basement of the NIELIT building. Yesterday, the UT police had registered a case against unidentified persons under Sections 288 (negligent conduct with respect to pulling down or repairing buildings), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 304-A (causing death due to negligence) of the IPC at the Sector 17 police station.

Police sources said the work for maintenance of the AC plant was entrusted to an AC-manufacturing company, whose employees were responsible for the repair of the plant.

As per the FIR, there were two to three blasts in the basement of the building, which resulted in fire engulfing the entire building leading to its collapse.

“Investigations have revealed that the persons responsible for the repair and proper maintenance of the AC plant installed in the basement of the building have been negligent in performing their duties and it is because of their negligence that two lives have been lost in the fire incident,” reads the FIR.

Give list of notices issued to NIELIT: Police to MC

As part of their investigations, the UT police have written to the fire and electrical wings of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC) and asked about the number of notices issued to the National Institute of Electrical and Information Technology for violation of building bylaws and fire safety norms.



Fire safety: Traders in congested city markets not ignited minds
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
Even as fire reduced congested markets in the city to ashes in the past, most markets in the city are not observing fire safety norms. Ironically, these markets seldom pay heed to the notices issued by the authorities concerned in this regard.

During a visit to a number of congested markets of the city, including Sector 15, 19 and 22, it was found that none of the shops was equipped even with a fire extinguisher. Most of them do not have proper ventilation. Encroachments in the corridors are ubiquitous thereby narrowing down the passages.

These markets, which have shops selling dress material, are prone to fire mishaps. Food stalls and dhabas situated in the market only raise the risk.

In Sector 15 and 22 rehri markets, it was found that encroachments not only cause inconvenience to visitors but are also a threat to human lives and property. In some areas, electricity wires were found hanging.

A senior officer in the Fire Department remarked that it was strange that the Municipal Corporation failed to impress upon shopkeepers to install fire-fighting equipment. He stated that the Fire Department should hold routine checking in ‘sensitive’ markets of the city.

The official said the department had organised a number of fire drills in these markets to make the shopkeepers aware of the safety norms. However, in the absence of follow-up, the efforts went in vain. The official added that the Enforcement Wing of the MC and the Fire Department should start a joint drive to remove encroachments in the market and ensure installation of fire-fighting equipment.

Mishap-prone markets

  • Rehri markets of Sector 15, 19, 20 and 22
  • Furniture market, Sec 54



combustible material
SCO owner files plaint against NIELIT
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
The owner of SCOs adjacent to the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) building has sought a legal action against officials of the institute for storing combustible material in the basement of showrooms occupied by the institute.

In his police complaint, Rajbir Singh, who has rented out the basements of his SCOs 1 to 3 to the NIELIT, stated that the officials have endangered his property and human lives with their negligent act of storing combustible material.

As per building bylaws, only incombustible material can be stored in basements.

“On a number of occasions, I asked the NIELIT officials to remove the combustible material from the basement. Had the officials taken my view on fire risks seriously and removed the combustible material not only from my building but from all the premises occupied by the institute, including the one that collapsed, the tragedy that occurred in SCOs 114-116 could have been avoided or controlled on time and precious lives could have been saved,” Singh mentioned in his complaint.

He demanded action against the NIELIT officials under Section 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter) of the IPC.



power supply snapped
Office work, business hit in nearby buildings
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
The fire incident that led to the collapse of a building in Sector 17 has left the offices, food joints and other commercial establishments in the nearby buildings of SCOs 60 to 70 on the receiving end as the power supply to these buildings is snapped for the last two days.

A shopkeeper said the power cut has led to loss of business, adding: “The sale of soft drinks and mineral water has been hit hard in the absence of power.”

An employee of an insurance company in a nearby building said for the last two days, they had not been able to work in the office since there was no electricity. “The entire work at our office is computerised. In the absence of electricity, the work has come to halt,” he added.

It is uncertain as to when the power supply to these buildings will be restored. Some offices have hired power generators to resume work. Shop owners said they have made several complaints to the Electricity Department but action on them was awaited. “The Electricity Department should have a back-up plan ready for situations where power supply has to be shut down following some mishap in a nearby building,” added a shopkeeper.



Tragedy waiting to happen at PGI
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
The PGIMER is awaiting a tragedy. Leaking roofs of wards and operation theatres, huge cracks in buildings, seepage in the offices of the faculty and frequent short-circuits courtesy over 50-year-old power cables suggest so.

Even after lapse of three years since the Union Health Ministry granted funds for complete renovation of the Nehru Hospital, in view of the miserable condition of the building, the institute is yet to even repair a patch. The standing finance committee is reportedly sitting over a rehabilitation plan for vacating the hospital building to conduct repairs.

At any given point of time, the hospital houses over 1,000 persons, mostly patients admitted to different wards, post-operative care units, private rooms, ICUs and the emergency wing. In addition, about 1,000 PGI employees do various administrative jobs during the daytime.

Also, the hospital has all major operation theatres, which have autoclave units and other electricity-run equipment.

“Though the fire safety routes and extinguishers are in place, the building’s strength has been a cause of concern for the past couple of years since the proposal for renovation of the building was mooted. In case of a mishap or blast, it will be difficult to wheel out a large number of patients quickly,” said a PGIMER official, requesting anonymity.

State of affairs

  • Huge cracks are visible towards the Nehru Hospital’s renal unit and the rear side of the building. Iron rods protrude from the cracks.
  • Electricity and water lines are 50 years old at the hospital and short circuits due to overloading are frequent here.
  • The Health Ministry had allocated ~200 crore in 2011 and another ~200 crore this year for conducting repairs.
  • So far, the PGIMER has not obtained estimates for complete renovation of the Nehru Hospital.
  • At any given point of time, the hospital houses over 1,000 persons, mostly patients. In addition, about 1,000 PGI employees do various administrative jobs during the daytime.



Braveheart Ravinder’s family seeks job for his son
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
The family of 46-year-old airman Ravinder, who died in the inferno in Sector 17 three days ago, today requested the Chandigarh Air Force Station and the UT Advisor to provide job to his 21-year-old son.

The family has requested the Air Officer Commanding (AOC), Chandigarh Air Force Station, SK Indoria, and UT Advisor KK Sharma to accommodate his son in the force to ensure financial security to the family.

While an official confirmation is awaited from the authorities, sources said the IAF was contemplating to employ either Ravinder’s wife or son and also recommend his (Ravinder’s) name for a bravery award.

The incident has shattered the family completely. Loud cries and mourning rocked the deceased airman’s house. An air of insecurity prevailed as Ravinder was the guardian as well as sole breadwinner of the family.

“None of us knows whether he held any insurance policy. He had been managing all responsibilities single-handedly and made everyone’s life smooth,” said Rajpal Sharma, his younger brother.

“The officials have assured us that they will extend their full support. They said as he (Ravinder) died on duty, his family is liable to be compensated with a job opportunity in the forces,” Rajpal added.

Ravinder died during the building collapse after a major fire broke out at the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology office in Sector 17 on Sunday night. His charred body was retrieved from the debris.

UT Advisor KK Sharma said, “Appropriate (monetary) relief as per the family situation would soon be decided.”

Satprakash Aggarwal, area councilor, Dadumajra, said, “Ravinder did a heroic act. He is a martyr. The family needs monetary compensation and his son should be immediately provided with a job in his place. I will visit the family again tomorrow and take their request forward.”



Building bylaws violated in civic body’s building
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
The Municipal Corporation (MC) office in Sector 17 does not abide by the building bylaws. The basement of MC building, which is meant for parking of two-wheelers, accommodates offices with nearly 20 employees.

The offices of the road division and the electricity wing are functioning from near the parked vehicles in the basement of the building.

Official records made of combustible material are also stored there.

Further, a large number of almirahs kept in the corridor on the second floor of the building, which has the office of Chief Fire Officer (CFO), narrows down the passage. In case of a mishap, it can hinder evacuation as well as fire control operation.



Violations galore in UT Secretariat

Furniture and waste material lying dumped in the balcony of the UT Secretariat in Chandigarh
Furniture and waste material lying dumped in the balcony of the UT Secretariat in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Rajinder Nagarkoti

Chandigarh, June 10
Fire safety violations galore in the UT Secretariat building in Sector 9, which houses offices of the UT Adviser, Home Secretary, Finance Secretary and other senior officials.

In the passages of the UT Secretariat building, almirahs and office records have been kept. However, as per fire safety rules, no record files should be kept at balconies, staircase, lobbies and corridors. Besides, broken chairs, waste material was also dumped in the balconies of the building, which should be kept open.

In some passages, employees were using heaters for the preparation of tea, which is prohibited under the fire safety rules.Besides, office records in various rooms in the UT Secretariat was also kept in such a manner that it was in contact with loose wires and switchboards. Temporary partitions have been made in some rooms to create office space for the staff in violation of the building bylaws and the approved plans. — TNS



20 months on, UT Advisory Council to hold meeting on June 16
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
After a gap of 20 months, the UT Administrator’s Advisory Council (AAC), which is responsible for advising the Administration on development issues and policy matters affecting the city, will meet on June 16.

The last meeting of the council was held on November 30, 2012.

Meanwhile, newly elected MP Kirron Kher and a former MP and senior BJP leader Satya Pal Jain have been made new members of the council. Earlier, former MP Pawan Kumar Bansal was a member of the council.

It is learnt that the agenda for the upcoming meeting would be distributed among the members in the next two-three days.

It is worth mentioning here that till date, the council has failed to serve the purpose for which it was formed.

Only six meetings have been conducted since it came into being.

The AAC, under Administrator Shivraj Patil, was first constituted on April 1, 2010, for a period of two years. After its first term ended in 2012, Patil had directed to extend the term of the advisory council by one year, which ended on March 31, 2013.

Thereafter, in November 2013, the UT Administration reconstituted the council.

At present, the AAC has 34 members. The previous council had 42 members.

As per the guidelines framed by the Administration, the members of the adivsory council are nominated by the UT Administrator from amongst the persons belonging to different sections of the society, generally residing in the union territory of Chandigarh.

Council ineffective?

The advisory council had discussed various issues, ranging from traffic, transport, education, health, civic works and security of the city, in the past but did not come out with any proper solution.



MC chief in spot
President of 3B2 market association accuses civic body head of threatening him with implication in a false case
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 10
Mohali resident Jatinderpal Singh, president of Mohali Phase 3B2 Market Association, lodged a complaint to SSP against Mohali Municipal Corporation Commissioner Uma Shankar Gupta of issuing him threats of implicating in false cases by using his official power, here today.

In his complaint, JP Singh alleged that the commissioner threatened him of dire consequences if he continues his protest against the MC drive of removing the display boards from shops in Mohali. “He threatened me of implicating me in false cases by using his official power. Now I and my family feel insecure,” alleged JP Singh in his complaint.

Terming the allegations false and baseless, MC Commissioner Gupta said he did not issue any threat. “JP Singh has been protesting against the drive. We are just obeying the orders of Punjab and Haryana High Court. Today, he came to the MC office and told me that he will not allow us to remove the display boards. Only then I told him that we can take action if he continues obstructing the drive, which is being conducted as per the orders of the High Court,” said MC Commissioner.

Mohali SSP said “I could only comment on the issue after going through the complaint,” said SSP Bhatti.

Notably, the Mohali MC had been continuing its drive of removing unauthorized display boards from the shops for past few days in the town.



It’s Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar, not Mohali: DC
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 10
‘It’s Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar, not Mohali or Ajitgarh or SAS Nagar’, said Mohali deputy commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu today. Issuing fresh directions in this connection to all government, semi-government, private and other institutes, Sidhu clearly asked them to use Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar as name of the town, not anything else.

“If some government or semi-government institute, department or their official found using wrong name of the town, disciplinary action will be taken against them,” cautioned the deputy commissioner.

Sidhu admitted that even different government departments use different names of the town. “Some departments use Ajitgarh, some SAS Nagar while some mention it as Mohali. Even different names of the town are being used in different newspapers. This certainly creates confusion not only among the locals but visitors also,” said Sidhu.



Mohali police launch security mobile app
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 10
The Mohali police today launched ‘smart 24X7 security mobile application’ for persons in need of support during any emergency. Mohali SSP Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti, who formally launched the mobile application today afternoon, said the smart technique will help in providing immediate help to persons in danger and get direct feedback from the residents about unsafe locations in the area with just a tap on mobile phone.

“Only the users of smart phones having android could use this facility by downloading the application free of cost,” said SSP Bhatti.

After successful downloading, the application will show the user a ‘panic’ key on the phone, which the person in need of any kind of help has to tap in emergency. “As soon as he/she taps the panic key, the victim’s exact location with an alert will be flashed in the police control room. An automatic voice recording and automatic clicking of photos by the mobile phone of the victim will also start immediately. This way, the official at the control room will be able to sent help, even medical help, at the exact location of the victim within two to three minutes,” said SSP Bhatti.

The user can also give two numbers of his/her relatives to whom danger alert will be sent along with the police.

Notably, special training had been given to cops, around 20 in number, to handle its special high-tech helpline on smart mobile phones efficiently.

The application could be downloaded on smart mobile phones from Google Play/Windows Store/App World free of cost. After installation of the application on mobile phone, one has to fill in the required mandatory information including name, e-mail id, phone number, address, date of birth, gender, city, state and blood group. The application will work only in Mohali town.



De-addiction centre comes up at Civil Hospital
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 10
With the appointment of a psychiatrist at the Mohali Civil Hospital, Phase 6, the health authorities today made its de-addiction center functional at the hospital. SMO Dr Andesh Kang said a special ward with 15 beds was created at the hospital. To help Dr Sidhu, two psychologists from NGOs have also been arranged by the authorities.

“With availability of most of facilities and medicines, we can treat any kind of drug addiction cases—liquor, opium, synthetic drugs. Usually, it takes four days to two weeks for treatment but it also varies from patient to patient,” said Dr Sidhu.

Though the special ward is yet to receive any patient for admission, the hospital authorities have written to Mohali SSP to provide security at the ward.



Three post offices switch over to CBS

Chandigarh, June 10
Three post offices in the city switched over to Core Banking Solutions (CBS) yesterday. These includes the ones at the PGIMER in Sector 12, Sector 9 and Sector 11. The migration of the sub-post office on the PGIMER campus was inaugurated by Manisha Bansal Badal, Director Postal Services (HQ), Punjab, and Chandigarh.

Anil Kumar Gupta, Medical Superintendent, PGIMER, were among those others present. Manisha Bansal said by the end of July, all head post offices of the Punjab circle and all sub-post offices in Chandigarh would be migrated to the CBS.

The, GPO, Chandigarh, has already switched over to the CBS pattern in May this year. She added that an ATM would also be set up at the GPO by the end of the next month. — TNS



Light rain expected on June 13: Met
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
Relief from the scorching heat is around the corner as there are chances of the city experiencing light rain. As per the Met forecast, there will be a dust storm along with light rain in the city on June 13, which will bring down the temperature. At present, the mercury is hovering around 44 to 45 degree Celsius.

The maximum temperature recorded today was 44.3°C, five degrees above the normal, and the minimum temperature stood at 26.7°C, two notches above the normal. The heat wave conditions will continue over the next two days and the maximum and minimum temperatures will be 44°C and 27°C, respectively.



Class XI admissions begin today
Details of courses, admission schedule and procedure will be mentioned in prospectus
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
The admission process to Class XI — for all Government Senior Secondary Schools of Chandigarh — will commence from June 11. The prospectus will be available at six government schools of the city for Rs 130.

The registration form, attached in the prospectus, can be deposited at any of the six schools. Also, the forms can be filled online on the website www.chdeducation.gov.in.

The prospectus along with the registration form can be downloaded from the same website and the printout of the online registration form can be deposited in the six schools along with Rs 130.

The last date for the submission of registration forms is June 20 (1 PM).

Meanwhile, the details of various courses/subjects available in schools, schedule of admission and admission procedure is also mentioned in the prospectus for the convenience of students.

  • Fill forms online on www.chdeducation.gov.in.
  • The form can also be downloaded and the printout can be deposited in the six government schools along with Rs 130.

Prospectus available at six govt schools

  • Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10.
  • Government Girls Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 20.
  • Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 28.
  • Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 37.
  • Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 46.
  • Government Model Senior Secondary School, Modern Housing Complex, Mani Majra.

Schedule list

  • Availability of prospectus: June 11 to 20 (9AM to 1PM).
  • Last date for submission of forms: June 20 (1PM).
  • Display of common merit list and others: June 27 (4 pm), particulars for verification at www.chdeducation.gov.in
  • Submission of objections (if any) at GMSSS-16 or GMSSS-19: June 28 (2 PM).
  • Display of list indicating the allotment of school and stream: July 1 (11am).
  • Deposit fees in school: July 2 & 3 (9AM to 1PM).
  • Commencement of classes: July 4



college admissions
Volunteers to help students submit forms online
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
To provide assistance to students in the online submission of forms — to seek admissions in colleges — the UT Education Department is mulling to appoint 20 volunteers each in all government colleges of the city.

The volunteers will be deployed from Wednesday in all government colleges where help desks have been set up.

An official of the UT Higher Education Department said the volunteers were students of computer application courses in their respective colleges.

Initially, 20 volunteers have been appointed in each college. But if the flow of students increases, more volunteers will be called by the college management as a number of computers are available in the laboratories of each institute.

An official of the Education Department said, “On Day 2, as many as 2,000 forms were submitted online.”

Sources said students had also started utilising the e-sampark facility where they pay Rs 25 for the online submission of admission forms. A large number of students thronged e-sampark centres for the submission of their forms.

The colleges where the online submission of forms is underway include the Post Graduate Government College, Sector 11; Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11; Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 42; Government College of Commerce and Business Administration, Sector 42; Post Graduate Government College, Sector 46; and Regional Institute of English, Sector 32.


20 volunteers have been appointed in each college. They will be deployed in the colleges from Wednesday, where help desks have been set up. Officials say if the flow of students increases, more volunteers will be called by the college management as a number of computers are available in the laboratories of each institution.



Despite odds, she set a precedent
Mentally challenged Jasmeet Kaur scores 50% in Open Board
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
She overcame life’s struggles with determination and proved that a mental disability could not deter her from achieving her goals. Jasmeet Kaur (19), secured 50 per cent marks in the Class X Open Board Examinations, the results of which were announced here today.

A resident of Ludhiana, Jasmeet has been living at the Samarth Residential Care for Mentally Challenged Society, Sector 15, under the supervision of experts from the last five years.

Jasmeet, who loves to dance and has also bagged many medals for her performances, secured the percentage in her first attempt.

Jasmeet’s siblings — a brother and a sister — are also mentally challenged. She lost her father a few years ago, while her mother is also suffering from the same illness.

Experts attending on her say she is the only borderline case of being mentally challenged in her family.

“She is a bright student and passed her exams in the first attempt. A social activist spotted her talent and asked us to ensure that she received good education. Primarily, she was given vocational training, including painting and other similar activities. But this year, she has excelled in academics. We want that she should get government aid to pursue her studies further and a government job,” said Pooja, president of the society.

Despite facing odds, Jasmeet secured marks in social science, home science, Punjabi and painting.

On receiving the news about her achievement, Jasmeet called up her grandmother in Ludhiana to celebrate her success.

“I will continue my studies and read books,” said a beaming Jasmeet.



LLB examination leak
NSUI seeks inquiry, re-test
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
In the wake of rumours of an alleged paper leak in the Bachelor of Law (LLB) entrance examination, the National Students Union of India (NSUI), today submitted a memorandum to Vice-Chancellor Prof Arun Kumar Grover seeking a probe into the matter.

The exam was conducted by Panjab University on Monday.

NSUI president Hardeep Pannu Lalli along with other leaders submitted the memorandum.

“The news of a paper leak spread like wildfire across the region. This is bringing a bad name to the university. Scores of students are feeling cheated,” said Lalli.

He appealed to the VC that an independent inquiry must be conducted and a Joint Action Committee be constituted to look into the matter.

Lalli demanded that the entrance exam be conducted again as thousands of students had studied hard to secure admission into the premiere institution.

“The VC should look into this discrepancy and conduct the entrance exam again,” he added.



ABVP submits memo to VC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
A delegation of students of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) along with Shri Dhanwantary Ayurveda College Association (SDAC), today met Vice Chancellor Prof Arun Kumar Grover regarding the conduct of examinations.

In their representation, the students stated that the exam for the 2009 batch, as per the college authorities, was scheduled for February 7, 2014.

However, till date, no decision had been taken by the authorities.

The students also submitted a memorandum to the Vice Chancellor in this regard.

The officials assured that the matter would be resolved by Friday.

ABVP president Vikas said, “If the issue is not resolved till Friday, the students of SDAC will approach Human Resource Development minister Smriti Irani on June 16 in this regard.”



UGC-aided summer school begins
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
A UGC-sponsored summer school today commenced at the University School of Open Learning (USOL), Panjab University (PU). The 21-day-long summer school is being organised on the theme of ‘Higher education: national repository of human capital.’

As many as 39 participants from different universities and colleges across the country are attending the programme.

Prof Sudhanshu Bhushan from the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), New Delhi, delivered the inaugural address and Panjab University Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof Arun Grover chaired the session.



UIFT & Vd courses
Interview, counselling schedule announced
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
Panjab University (PU), has announced the interview and counselling schedule for the Department of University Institute of Fashion Technology & Vocational Development (UIFT & VD), PU.

Students can submit the duly filled forms at the UIFT & VD till July 2.

The aptitude test for BSc-I will be held in the department at 9:30 am on July 8. The interview-cum-counselling will be conducted on July 9.

The aptitude test for MSc-I will be held at the UIFT & VD at 9:30 am on July 10 and the interview-cum-counselling will be held on July 11.

A PU spokesman said the aptitude test would be conducted by the institute to assess the skills of candidates in free hand drawing, sketching, designing, creative and general ability needed for the course.



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