C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU girl student jumps to death
Divya was a second-year MSc (Bio-physics) student; suicide note says no one to blame 
Tribune News Service

The spot (encircled) in Hostel No. 5 from where the student jumped to death.
The spot (encircled) in Hostel No. 5 from where the student jumped to death. Tribune photos: S Chandan

Chandigarh, June 11
A 21-year-old PU student allegedly jumped to her death from the sixth floor of Hostel No. 5 on the campus here this morning.

The victim, Divya, was a second-year MSc (Bio-physics) student and was depressed. She was a resident of Ropar.

She left behind two suicide notes in which she blamed herself for some “wrong things” and did not hold any one responsible for the extreme step.

She was staying in the PU hostel for the past two years. Divya jumped from the sixth floor at about 10.30 am with one of the two suicide notes clutched in her hand. The victim was staying at Hostel No. 1, but walked down to Hostel No. 5 as it was a six-storeyed building. The hostel in which she was putting up is a double-storeyed building.

Divya left her hostel at about 9.30 am and reached the other hostel on the pretext of meeting a friend, whose room was locked. Divya went up the stairs and jumped to her death.

She fell face down on the ground. Fellow girls gathered and were shocked to find her lying in a pool of blood. The university security rushed to the spot and informed the police. Divya was still breathing at that time and the police rushed her to the Sector 16 hospital, where she was declared brought dead by then. Divya was the youngest of five sisters.

A CFSL team also reached the spot and lifted blood samples. They also visited the room of the girl in Hostel No. 1 along with the police.

The police said they were trying to find out the reasons behind the girl taking the extreme step and had initiated inquest proceedings in the matter.

Two suicide notes found

The police have recovered two suicide notes. One suicide note was found in the girl’s hand, while the other was found in her room. In the suicide note found in her hand, she had written that her parents should be contacted after her death. She also mentioned the number of her roommate. She also wrote that her almirah should be checked in her hostel room for a note which she had left behind. The police recovered the second suicide note in which she held no one responsible and wrote that she loved her family. She also wished her sisters success in every field.



She was a bright student: Don
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
There was shock and despair among inmates of Hostel No. 1 and bio-physics students as soon as news of the suicide by Divya spread this morning.

Hostel room No. 143, Block C, where Divya was residing for the past four years, was the topic of discussion among students and the faculty today.

As soon as students of biophysics got the news about the suicide, they rushed to the hostel to confirm it. Inmates of Hostel No. 5 were enquiring from each other about who the girl was.

The hostel staff said she was a friendly and bold person, who used to help others.

An attendant said she used to visit a church in Sector 24 every Sunday for prayers, even though she belonged to a Hindu family.

Pastor Mahindra Peter said he was shocked over the news. She was a regular visitor to the church on Sundays. He said she never disclosed any of her family problems to him during her visits to the church.

In the suicide note, she had asked the pastor to inform her parents about her death. The warden of Hostel No. 1, Kuljeet Kaur Brar, said she was a sober student and no compliant was received against her during her four-year stay in the hostel. Even though special counselling sessions were conducted for girls, who had problems, no such issue came to light in Divya’s case.

PU biophysics department chairperson Ashwani Koul said she was among the bright students of the department. She was about to complete her thesis work for which she had come to the department last evening.

How Divya spent her last few hours

  • On Tuesday night, she came back after shopping for her elder sister’s children and had her meal in her room
  • She woke up early in the morning and prepared a few academic notes in her register and left her room for visiting the post office
  • Divya went to the hostel mess at 9.15 am and asked about the menu for the breakfast. She said she would be back in an hour from the campus post office and then have her meal
  • Before leaving the hostel, she did not meet any of the attendants at the gate which she used to do in routine.



Non-compliance of commission orders
Consumer forum orders 3-month jail for CHB CEO, Secy
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has convicted and sentenced Rodney L Ralte, CEO, Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), and Mandeep Kaur, Secretary, CHB, to three months imprisonment for non-compliance of court orders.

The two officers have also been directed to pay a fine of Rs 5,000 each. The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, in its order dated January 11, 2013, had directed the CHB to convert the complainant’s dwelling unit from leasehold to freehold and pay Rs 10,000 as compensation and Rs 5,000 as the cost of litigation. The order was to be complied with in 45 days.

Raj Kumar, a resident of Sector 45, had filed a criminal petition (under Section 27 of the Consumer Protection Act) alleging non-compliance of the orders of the commission.

Counsel for the CHB said Rs 15,649 towards monetary liability was paid to the complainant in May, 2013. However, the conversion could not be effected because no sanction was received in this regard from the Chandigarh Administration, in spite of repeated reminders to the Finance Secretary and Additional Secretary (Estates). “The directions for conversion are to be issued by the Chandigarh Administration and the CHB, on its own, cannot convert the property from leasehold to freehold,” the counsel said.

“The CHB has failed to put forward any just ground for not enforcing the order even after a period of one year and five months. The CHB has not complied with the order despite the pendency of this execution application since June 3, 2013, though it had ample time. The forum thus held the officers guilty of the offence of non-compliance of the orders under Section 27 of the Consumer Protection Act and sentenced them to imprisonment. In case the fine of Rs 5,000 is not paid, they would have to undergo further imprisonment of one month,” the forum said.

“Such conviction orders of high government officials will help establish the supremacy of consumer courts and the authority of their orders. The lackadaisical approach and devil-may-care attitude of the high functionaries of the Administration will certainly change for the better,” said Pankaj Chandgothia, advocate and president of the Consumer Courts Bar Association.



Inferno fails to wake up authorities from slumber
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
Seventy-two hours after the fire incident that led to the building collapse, which claimed two precious lives, the UT Estate Office and the Fire and Emergency Department of the MC has failed to put in place a mechanism to check major building violations in other such buildings in Sector 17.

During Sunday’s inferno, it had been noticed that the firefighting exercise was hampered due to blocked entry and exit points, which had been stacked with material and furniture.

As a standard practice, the Estate Office and the Fire Department should have started an exercise to get encroachments removed and illegal alterations rectified. A majority of the showrooms in the area are full of such violations.

“We should not wait for another tragedy to happen. The exercise to identify all such violations should be started at the earliest,” said a senior official involved in the operation at the site.

Buildings in Sector 17, that houses various government offices, banks and offices of companies, have violations in corridors that have gone unnoticed by the Estate Office.

Alterations in the buildings to accommodate more people have been made. Wooden cabins have been constructed in the corridors. The corridors have been stacked with files and almirahs, blocking windows and doors to move out of the buildings in case of a disaster. The ill-maintained firefighting systems installed at a majority of the buildings are mere showpieces, as these have not been serviced since long.

The buildings even lack the basis fire-safety infrastructure such as sprinklers, smoke sensors and fire extinguishers.

Despite several violations made by the building owners, no campaign has been initiated by the UT Administration to check the violations and serve notices on the defaulters.

Officials, however, claimed that at present their priority was to bring the situation under control by ensuring that the fire was doused so that the debris could be removed without affecting the nearby structures.



Day 4: Firemen still in action at site
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
Smoke continued to billow out of the debris of the collapsed building in Sector 17 on the fourth day of the incident today. Firefighters kept on spilling water on the collapsed structure. The restriction on the movement of people in the area continued with the police deployed around the building.

A hydraulic ladder was also used to sprinkle water on the structure to ensure that it percolates down to the burning material. A firefighter said the exercise would continue for a few more days even after the smoke from underneath the debris stops.

Meanwhile, a civil defence team of the UT has been stationed at the spot to avoid any untoward incident.

Work in offices and business establishments in the buildings where the entry has been restricted suffered for the fourth day.

“We have no idea when the debris will be removed and we will be allowed to open our offices. Our business is already suffering. The Administration is not coming up with some immediate solution,” said a businessman.

Meanwhile, the power cut at a nearby building continued for the fourth day, affecting business. While some offices have hired generator sets, others have been suffering.



UT police record statement of building owners’ relative
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
The UT police today traced the close relatives of the owners of the building which collapsed due to the fire incident. The police recorded the statement of one of the relatives, Nitin Trehan.

Trehan said an agreement was signed between 10 shareholders of the property and one government organisation, which was later renamed as the NIELIT in 1977. Sources said Trehan had also produced some documents showing the agreement to police personnel.

The Estate Office record shows that all 10 shareholders of the building are residents of Timber Market, Sector 26. They are Anand Sarupa Trehan, Anand Singh, Ashok Trehan, Ashok Kumar, Arun KT, Arun Trehan, Sudesh Trehan, Madhu Trehan, Mamta Trehan and Shivani Trehan.



UT sits over NDMA recommendations
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
After a mega mock drill exercise conducted by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) with Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali in February last year, the UT Administration is sitting over the key recommendations to improve the disaster management system in the city.

The poor disaster management plan of the UT had come to the fore during the recent inferno in Sector 17.

After the exercise, the NDMA had recommended that disaster management plans be prepared at various levels. It was also recommended that a wireless communication system be put in place for Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali to deal with a disaster more effectively.

The NDMA had stressed the need for identifying the requirement of state-of-the-art equipment and systematic inventory of resources, both in the government and private sector, but so far, the UT Administration has failed to make any disaster management plan.

During a review meeting of the NDMA and officials of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali in 2013, shortcomings in the exercise were pointed out. However, the UT has failed to plug these loopholes.

Shortcomings such as failure of senior officials to operate wireless sets were pointed out during the meeting.

A senior official said after the mega mock drill exercise, the UT Administration did not finalise the disaster management plan. There was lack of coordination between Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali, and also between different departments of the UT Administration, he said. 

Key recommendations

  • Need for disaster management plans at various levels
  • Setting up of a wireless communication system to deal with a disaster more effectively
  • Need for adequate number of ambulances
  • Better road accessibility in case of a disaster
  • State-of-the-art equipment and systematic inventory of resources, both in the government and private sector



14-year-old girl ends her life at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
A 14-year-old girl, a resident of the PGI, allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan at her residence last night.

The victim, Anjali, was found hanging by her mother at 10 pm last night.

She is survived by her mother and two younger siblings. Her mother works as a domestic help. The police said her father, Ram Kishan, was a Class IV employee of the PGI and had died last year.

A suicide note was recovered from her room which was addressed to her siblings. The suicide note read, “Please forgive me; I am going close to my father.”

The incident came to light when her mother returned from work and found the room locked from inside. She called her neighbours, who entered the room from the backyard. She was rushed to the Emergency, where doctors declared her brought dead.


Janaagraha survey
City ranks last in urban development
The organisation evaluates performance of 21 cities, including 18 state capitals
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, june 11
The annual survey of India’s City-Systems (ASICS) by Janaagraha, a non-profit organisation, puts Chandigarh in the last position in parameters such as urban planning and design (UPD) and transparency, accountability and participation (TAP).

The organisation evaluates the performance of 21 cities, including 18 state capitals, on four parameters: urban planning and design (UPD), urban capacities and resources (UCR), empowered and legitimate political representation (ELPR), and transparency, accountability and participation (TAP). All these cities were given scores against global benchmarks of London and New York.

In the average score of all the four categories, the survey puts Chandigarh in the last position.

In parameters such as urban capacities and resources (UCR), Chandigarh ranks at the 12th position, while in empowered and legitimate political representation (ELPR), the city ranks 11th.

As per the organisation members, the annual survey of India’s City-Systems does not focus on the dysfunctional aspects of Indian cities that stare out at citizens — potholed and dilapidated roads, lack of 24x7 water supply, round-the-clock electricity supply, green cover, unfettered proliferation of slum settlements or over-stretched public transport, but seeks to highlight and shed light on the flawed legislations, policies, processes and various practices that lie at the root of all these issues.

Why City ranks last

  • Chandigarh ranks last in TAP scoring 1.9 owing to its failure to put the Public Disclosure Law (PDL) and Community Participation Law (CPL) in place.
  • Despite being a ‘planned city’, Chandigarh ranks the lowest on UPD scoring a paltry 0.6. This is mainly because the city does not have a contemporary Planning Act and does not prepare a master plan at the metropolitan or the ward level.

What is Janaagraha

Janaagraha is a non-profit organisation based in Bangalore, India. It works with citizens and the government to improve the quality of life in Indian cities and towns. Founded in 2001 by Ramesh Ramanathan and Swati Ramanathan, Janaagraha started as a movement to enable citizen’s participation in public governance. This was their second survey report. Besides this, the organisation is carrying out various online and offline campaigns to improve the quality of life in various cities. 

The Jury members

The jury members include Arun Maira, former member, Planning Commission of India; Adi Godrej, chairman, Godrej Group; Baijayant Panda, Member of Parliament from Odisha; Dr M Ramachandran, former secretary, Government of India, and Ireena Mittal, former partner, McKinsey & Company.



No lessons learnt from Chandigarh fire incident
Panchkula Mini-Secretariat building in Sector 1 without the mandatory fire safety equipment
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

No fire safety arrangements inside the Mini-Secretariat building in Panchkula.
No fire safety arrangements inside the Mini-Secretariat building in Panchkula.

Containers filled with water and sand at the Mini-Secretariat building in Panchkula.
Containers filled with water and sand at the Mini-Secretariat building in Panchkula.

Panchkula, June 11
The Panchkula Administration seems to have learnt no lessons from the Chandigarh’s fire incident in Sector 17 recently.

The Mini-Secretariat building in Sector 1, which is one of the most important buildings of Panchkula, has no proper fire safety equipment.

Despite the fact that all senior officials have their offices in this building, no fire extinguisher is installed on the premises.

The administration had recently got all government buildings inspected and notices were served to the ones where the buildings lacked fire extinguishers.

SS Malik, fire officer of the district, said: “We have kept mud in buckets to douse the flames. Tomorrow, I will get fire extinguishers installed.”

The three-storeyed Mini-Secretariat building is the place where the Panchkula Deputy Commissioner, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate and other senior officials sit. An e-Disha centre for the registration of vehicles is also being operated from this building, which witnesses a huge footfall daily. Important records are also kept in the building.

“We have issued directions to the Fire Department. Fire extinguishers will be installed soon. Inspections of various buildings and hotels will also be conducted now,” said OP Sihag, executive officer of the MC.

“All official records can be destroyed due to negligence. Innocent people who visit here daily are oblivious of the fact that if any mishap takes place, there is not even a single extinguisher to douse the flames,” said Vishal, a resident of Sector 2, Panchkula.

“After the recent fire incident in Sector 17, Chandigarh, the Panchkula Administration should have checked all buildings. But they are not inspecting any sites,” said Honey, a shopkeeper and a resident of Sector 12, here.

Sector 9 rehri market most fire-prone place

The rehri market of Sector 9 is the most fire-prone place in Panchkula. No fire safety equipment are installed here. There are no arrangements to control fire. Gas cylinders are also kept in the market as eating joints are being operated from this place.

Fire in jungle area

Panchkula: Fire broke out in the jungle area of Sector 25 here on Wednesday evening. As many as three fire tenders were called to bring the fire under control. The fire broke out reportedly due to scorching heat. SHO inspector Arvind Kumar said the situation was brought under control and no loss was reported. It took about four hours to control the fire.



Beer prices shoot up in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, june 11
Due to the ongoing deadlock between the UT Excise and Taxation Department and the bottlers over the fixing of the ex-distillery price (EDP) of different liquor brands, the prices of beer have shot up in the city.

Against the reserved price of Rs 65 per bottle for light beer and Rs 75 for strong beer, the contractors have started selling the same for Rs 110 per bottle and Rs 120 per bottle, respectively.

The shortage of a popular brand of beer is being cited as the reason for the increase in the rates.

For the two weeks after the new excise policy 2013-14 came into force, the UT Excise and Taxation Department is finding it hard to ‘rope in’ liquor manufacturers to bring down the ex-distillery price (EDP) of different brands of liquor.

Till the EDP is not approved by the department, different brands of liquor cannot be sold in the city.

The bottlers of some of the popular brands are resorting to ‘arm twisting’ to gain the Administration’s approval for their rates.

The bottlers have been meeting the Finance Secretary and other excise officials in this regard.

To break the old practice of manufacturers increasing the EDP at their own will, the department had in the new policy, decided to approve only those labels wherein the ex-distillery price has been kept at par with Punjab.

It may be mentioned that over the last seven years, the UT Excise Department had been “systematically” allowing liquor manufacturers an ‘upper hand’ in annually increasing the EDP of different brands of liquor by over 45 per cent.

This resulted in the prices of different brands rising systematically over the years.

All the while, the same brands of liquor were being sold at comparatively lesser rates in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana.

costly affair

Against the reserved price of Rs 65 per bottle for light beer and Rs 75 for strong beer, the contractors have started selling the same for Rs 110 per bottle and Rs 120 per bottle, respectively. 



Parents keep away kids from crèche due to damaged roof
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, june 11
For the past one month, as many as 22 toddlers are not coming to the Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW) crèche, located in Sector 20, owing to the deplorable condition of the building.

During a visit to the crèche, it was found that there was a serious leakage in the building where the kids usually spent the entire day.

The staff at the crèche revealed that on May 18, a tree fell on the roof, damaging the water tank and causing serious damage to the building.

The staff said ever since the incident, they had been approaching the UT Maintenance Department to repair the building to prevent any threat to the lives of children.

However, their efforts have gone in vain as no official has visited the crèche till date.

The Chandigarh Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (CCPCCR) Devi Sirohi today made a surprise visit to the crèche.

The commission members were informed that no parent had sent their child to the crèche for the past 25 days owing to the deplorable condition of the building.

The staff also informed the commission that they could only make a request to the department concerned to direct the Maintenance Wing to repair the building on a priority basis.

The commission also objected to the installation of BSNL cell towers on the premises.

The staff members said they had made several requests to the BSNL authorities in the past 2 years to remove the towers but all in vain.

Rajesh Jogpal, director, UT Social Welfare Department, said, “The ICCW will be asked to repair the building at the earliest. The new cell tower policy will be reviewed to decide the removal of towers from the premises.”

A survey was also conducted by the ICCW about the installation of cell towers in crèches wherein it was stated that the cell towers installed by the BSNL were dangerous for the immune system of kids and hence should be immediately removed.

Meanwhile, the report further mentioned that the rays of cell towers were harmful, particularly for children. 



Mayor wants to replace councillor with another
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, june 11
City mayor HC Kalyan has written to the MC Joint Commissioner-cum-Secretary for replacing the name of a nominated councillor with another councillor in the House Tax Assessment Committee, nearly 15 days after the committee was constituted.

The mayor has sought that nominated councillor Anoop Sunny Gill be replaced with Surinder Bagha, who is also a nominated councillor. There are a total of nine members of the committee.

When contacted, Anoop Sunny Gill said he himself expressed the desire to opt out of the committee as he did not have much knowledge about the subject.

“I was never asked when my name was recommended for the committee”, said Gill.

Interestingly, the Mayor made a recommendation to replace the name on June 6, which was the last day of filing nominations for the elections of chairman and vice-chairman of the committee, though nobody filed their nominations for the post.

A councillor on the condition of anonymity said, “This is illegal as the notification for the date of elections was already issued before recommending a new name for the committee.”

“How can a member of committee be replaced after notifying the committee?”, said a councillor.

The civic body has various committees that are constituted for a period of one year and elections for the post of the chairman and vice-chairman are held. Both the elected and nominated councillors are members of these committees.

MC Joint Commissioner-cum-secretary Rajiv Gupta said they would check whether the rules permitted replacing the committee members after the committees are notified. 



20 nurses commissioned as Lieutenants
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
Twenty probationer nurses of the 45th batch of the School of Nursing at Command Hospital, Chandimandir, were commissioned as Lieutenants into the Military Nursing Service. The ceremony was held at the hospital today.

The officers will now move to their respective place of posting and resume their duties in the military hospitals. They were inducted in the school for training in the month of September, 2010. Besides, senior officers of Western Command and the hospital, parents and relatives of the newly-commissioned officers were also present on the occasion.

Maj Gen Atul Kumar Sharma, head of the Medical Branch at Headquarters Western Command, was the chief guest on the occasion. Sharma said nursing was a noble profession which embodied the qualities of humanism and empathy in providing selfless service towards alleviating the sufferings of the wounded and the sick soldiers. Stressing that excellence in healthcare depended upon the quality of nursing care provided, he called upon the young nursing officers to keep abreast of the latest trends in the healthcare delivery system in order to ensure optimum well-being of the patients.

The hospital commandant, Maj Gen Rajvir Singh, emphasised that military nursing required constant selfless devotion and preparedness to meet the demands of the armed forces.

Lt Meera Joseph was awarded the President’s silver medal for securing all-India first position in General Nursing and Mid Wifery (GNM) Examination. Lt Seema Yadav was awarded the silver medal for ranking second in the batch, while Lt Monika Karki was awarded the rolling trophy for the best all round cadet. Lt Shaela Mukhia bagged the rolling trophy for the best bedside nurse.



City hospitals continue to lack common telephone connectivity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, june 11
Even after decades of existence, government hospitals in the city still lack common telephone connectivity or common operating cell for information dispersal in case of an emergency.

This is evident from the recent incident of building collapse four days ago at Sector 17, wherein there was hardly any direct information exchange between GMCH-32 and GMSH-16 in making arrangements for the patients.

The officials on site were seen communicating through individual references in city hospitals and informing them about the casualties. Also, the absence of a common helpline connecting a person with all the three government hospitals — GMCH-32, GMSH-16 and PGIMER — in case of a disaster, exposes the ill-preparedness of the city hospitals to deal with a disaster.

In fact, this laxity was pointed out during a mega mock drill conducted in the city last year by a member of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). However, no steps have been taken in the direction.

There is no common emergency helpline for calling an ambulance. The emergency numbers are different for the PGIMER, Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, and Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32.

While the PGIMER and GMSH-16 have been functioning for the past four decades, GMCH-32 has completed 20 years of its existence.

Despite repeated attempts, UT Health Secretary, Anil Kumar, and UT Advisor, KK Sharma, could not be contacted.



Youth’s half-burnt body dug out in Sirsa
Deceased was shot, set on fire and buried; cops suspect land dispute
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Deceased Manjit Singh.
Deceased Manjit Singh. A file Photo

Panchkula, june 11
In a gruesome incident, the half-burnt body of a 27-year-old Chandigarh-based youth was found buried near a rivulet in Dabwali, Sirsa, this evening.

Deceased Manjit Singh, a resident of Sector 26, was first shot by the assailants and then burnt before being buried in a pit, said the police.

Deceased Manjit’s two sisters — one is an inspector and the other a sub-inspector with the Chandigarh Police, while his brother is a constable.

Superintendent of Police (SP) Hisar, Vikas Dhankad, confirmed that the body had been recovered.

“The body was found in a bad state. Our priority was to find it so that the last rites could be conducted. Our investigation is on and a few youths have been rounded up. Prima facie it appears to be a case of land dispute,” added SP Dhankad.

The day-long search operation by a team of divers went futile as they kept looking for the body inside the deep waters. It was after the local police along with the villagers conducted a simultaneous search near the rivulet that the body was retrieved.

The body will be brought to Hisar where a post-mortem will be conducted by a board of doctors tomorrow.

“It was a pre-planned murder. A pit was dug and Manjit was shot in the chest and stomach in Hisar. The assailants took the body to Sirsa, where it was burnt and buried,” said inspector Satya Bala, sister of the deceased.

As per the police, Manjit was shot near his residence in Hisar with his own licenced revolver, which is yet to be recovered from the accused.

Meanwhile, deceased Manjit’s two sisters met Haryana Director General of Police (DGP) SN Vashisht at his office in Sector 6, Panchkula, today.

They apprised Vashisht about the shoddy investigation conducted by the Hisar Police.

“We informed the DGP that a gang is responsible for my brother’s killing owing to a property dispute. My eldest brother was killed, my second brother was shot at but he survived, and now, Manjit has been killed,” said Bala.

Cops ignored threat complaints, alleges family

Inspector Satya Bala in a pensive mood in Chandigarh.
Inspector Satya Bala in a pensive mood in Chandigarh. 
Tribune Photo: S Chandan

The Chandigarh and Haryana Police failed to act despite the family, which has three members in the Chandigarh Police, informing them about an impending threat. “Had the police acted on our complaints, Manjit would have been alive today,” said the family.“ We know the functioning of the police. Whenever we would complain, they would take money from the other party and would not initiate any action. Because of them, we have lost our brother,” alleged Bala.

Case History

Manjit (27), an international player of lawn tennis, had left the city for Hisar 15 days ago to appear for a law exam. He has left behind his wife and one-year-old daughter. Vishwajeet, deceased Manjit’s nephew, said he was sleeping when he heard some commotion on the ground floor. Manjit went missing thereafter. Vishwajeet immediately informed the police. Blood stains were later found near the house.

Second murder in family

Manjit’s brother was killed in 1991, while the other, a constable in the Chandigarh Police, was shot at four times. However, he survived the attack.

Tenants rounded up

The tenants of Manjit’s house in Hisar, Kapil and Sandeep, have been rounded up, said the police. Sandeep had recently come out of jail in a five-year-old attempt to murder case involving Manjit’s brother.



Mohali reels under water shortage
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Low water pressure from a tap in Phase 3B-1, Mohali, on Wednesday.
Low water pressure from a tap in Phase 3B-1, Mohali, on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, June 11
With the shortage of around 12 million gallon per day (MGD) water, Mohali town continues to face water crisis.

The town gets almost the same quantity of water (13 million gallon per day) that was being supplied here around a decade ago. Since then, the population of the town has almost doubled (now around 3.25 lakh). The town has also grown manifold but it still gets the same quantity of water against the demand of around 26 MGD.

The town gets the lion’s share of its water supply (10 MGD) from Kajauli Waterworks through its four main pipelines - Phase I, II, III and IV. It gets the rest of the water supply (3 MGD) from tubewells, which are around 55 in number. These tubewells are being managed by the Public Health Department and the Mohali Municipal Corporation separately.

A senior official of GMADA said the water crisis would deepen in the coming days as new mega housing projects like Eco City, Aero City, IT Park, Medi City and several others were underway in and around the town.

“Within five years, the demand of the area will touch the mark of 50 MGD of water,” said the official.

Keeping in view the requirement of water in future, GMADA has been laying new pipelines, Phase V and Phase VI, to get more canal water from Kajauli Waterworks. But before getting the water from the new pipelines, the dispute over water sharing between Punjab and Haryana has to be solved.

“Though work of laying new pipelines is underway, the picture is not so rosy,” said Kuljeet Singh Bedi, a former councillor, who had also filed a PIL in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in connection with water crisis in the town.

Bedi claimed that the High Court had given its decision in the favour of Punjab. “But the problem does not seem to be solved in near future. GMADA has started the project of laying pipelines of Phase V and Phase VI, which will be completed in a few months, but it (GMADA) has not finalised the site to construct water treatment plant for the new pipelines,” said Bedi.

The demand of water is being increased substantially with every passing day but the solution is not seen anywhere, added Bedi.

Mohali gets four-hour water supply daily

During this sultry season, the town gets hardly four-hour water supply in a day and that too with low pressure. In several parts, residents here complain that water could not reach upper floors due to low pressure. “Getting adequate water to meet daily requirements is nothing less than winning a battle in our area,” said H Sharma, a resident of Phase XI.



HUDA gives clean chit to Five Degrees restaurant
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 11
The controversial eating joint, Five Degrees, at Nirjhar Vatika, Sector 5, here, has been given a clean chit by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA). It has been unsealed by HUDA.

The eating joint remained in the news after Jaipal, a gunman of senior Punjab cadre officer KBS Sidhu, suffered gunshots on the New Year’s Eve when he was accompanying Sidhu’s son.

“The owner of Five Degrees moved an appeal to the HUDA administrator. On the basis of the enquiry, it has been unsealed,” said Gurmeet Singh, Estate Officer of HUDA.

“In an enquiry conducted by the Vigilance Department of the HUDA, the three points mentioned by the then Estate Officer, Vandana Disodia, while it was sealed have gone in our favour,” said Sandeep, authorised signatory of M/s Hot Beans, the company that runs Five Degrees.

HUDA had sealed the eating joint on January 10. A three-member committee under the supervision of superintending engineer NK Verma has been constituted to carry out a fresh inspection and submit a report to seniors.

In the reasons given earlier, it was stated that no agreement had come into execution and despite that, the eating joint was being run illegally.

“In the enquiry, it came to fore that we were not at fault and had already sent two sets of agreement copies completed and signed. It was due to HUDA’s delay that they didn’t sign the agreement. Otherwise, every formality was completed by us as per the conditions,” said Sandeep.

It was also mentioned that Five Degrees had done modifications and made a boundary wall illegally, which wasn’t allowed.

“However, in the reply we had stated that the glass was for beautification and customer-friendly environment and the boundary wall was constructed in order to check thefts, which were approved by HUDA,” said Sandeep.

Regarding the liquor, it was stated that Five Degrees had the permission to serve it for that particular day. The liquor was not being served on the rest of the days.

Electronic gadgets stolen from eating joint

The Five Degrees authorities were shocked to see that theft had taken place in the eating joint. They found five CCTV cameras and many other items from kitchen and restaurant missing. “I took LCD TVs to my home when the eating joint was being sealed. But cameras, speakers and kitchenware were kept on the premises. Speakers were heavy so the thieves couldn’t steal them. But they took away cameras and kitchenware,” said Sandeep.

The case

The eating joint remained in the news after Jaipal, a gunman attached to senior Punjab-cadre IAS officer KBS Sidhu, was injured while he was reportedly accompanying the bureaucrat’s son, Sehaj Sidhu. After the incident, the Punjab Police had also ordered a probe and had withdrawn Sidhu’s security.



Hospital told to pay relief for deficiency in service
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 11
Finding deficiency in service on the part of senior functionaries of ESIC hospital, the Mohali District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has asked the ESIC authorities to pay compensation of Rs 20,000 each to four complainants in different cases for harassment and costs of litigation.

The complainants - Anu Prabhakar, Ravinder Singh, both residents of Mohali, Jasveer Chand from Thathiala Bet village in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar district and Vijay Singh from Chandigarh - filed different complaints of a similar nature under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, in the court, alleging that the ESIC authorities were not reimbursing their medical bills.

The complainants alleged that they were regularly depositing ESI contribution @ 1.75 per cent from their respective salaries along with their employer’s contribution @ 4.75 per cent.

Anu Prabhakar, one of the complainants, alleged that after his treatment from a private hospital in Mohali, he had submitted his bills of Rs 36,587 on March 27, 2012, to ESI dispensary for reimbursement. Similarly, Ravinder Singh, Jasveer Chand and Vijay Singh also claimed to have submitted their medical bills of Rs 45,773, Rs 18,080 and Rs 45,975, respectively, to the ESIC. Despite pursuing their cases several times, the bills in question were not reimbursed, alleged the complainants.

Advocate Jasbir Singh, counsel in all cases, said after the court’s order, the reimbursement of the bills was made by the opposite party in the court.

“Giving further relief, the court ordered two of the total three opposite parties - Social Security Officer, ESIC local office and Senior State Medical Commissioner, ESIC, - to conduct an enquiry and fix responsibility of the delinquent officials, who delayed the payment to the complainants and should recover the amount of compensation from the salary of these officials. The court has also asked the officials to update it about the result of the enquiry and the action taken thereon within two months from the date of the receipt of a certified copy of this order,” said Jasbir.

The case

The complainants - Anu Prabhakar, Ravinder Singh, both residents of Mohali, Jasveer Chand from Thathiala Bet village in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar district and Vijay Singh from Chandigarh - filed different complaints of a similar nature under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, in the court, alleging that the ESIC authorities were not reimbursing their medical bills.



Beware of roadside beverages this summer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
Intense heat wave that leads to an urge to consume beverages being sold on the roadside is fast resulting into infections and diarrhoea among the city residents.

Dr Sandeep Dhawan from Dhawan Clinic, Sector 16, here, said four to five new cases of diarrhoea were being reported every OPD.

“Eating cut fruits and intake of unpacked beverages must be avoided during this season. Bacterial infections remain on the higher side during the summer season. Prepare juice and beverages at home and consume these fresh,” Dr Dhawan said.

Dr Neeraj Nagpal from Hope Clinic, Sector 21, here, said: “Do not shy away from carrying a bottle whenever outdoors. It is to avoid direct exposure to the head from the sun.”

Also, the number of patients with skin problems has risen in the skin OPDs in the tricity.

“Due to excessive sweating and dust, one is more likely to suffer from problems like summer rashes, tanning, skin infections, sunburn, rosacea and acne on the face as well as back. So, it is vital to exercise extra caution during this summer season to prevent an irreversible damage to the skin,” said Dr Vikas Sharma, chief consultant, dermatologist, National Skin Hospital, Mansa Devi Complex.

140 senior citizens attend health talk

Over 140 senior citizens attend a ‘free talk’ on “how to combat skin problems in summer” organised by Fortis Hospital, Mohali. “To avoid skin infections, wash your pillowcases regularly as fungal infections and other skin diseases can spread rapidly from unhygienic pillowcases. This becomes even more important in summers as we tend to sweat a lot,” said Dr Harmandeep Kaur Sidhu, consultant, dermatology, Fortis Hospital Mohali.

Advisory for protection of skin and body

  • Consume 1-2 litres of water per day.
  • Increase intake of fresh juices, lemonade, seasonal fruits (melons).
  • Avoid unpacked beverages, cut fruits from outside.
  • Protect head from direct exposure to the sun and keep it covered.
  • Wear loose cotton clothing.
  • Avoid stepping out between 12 noon to 3 pm as harmful UVB rays are at the peak.
  • Do not immediately go out in the sun after applying fragrances and hair colours.
  • Use a good sunscreen with SPF 30+ whenever you are stepping out in the sun.
  • To prevent sunburns, consume food rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and E.



New Panchkula DCP takes charge
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 11
The new Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Panchkula, Y Puran Kumar, took charge today. He has replaced Ashwin Shenvi.

Puran is a 2001-batch IPS officer and was posted as the Superintendent of Police (SP) in Kurukshetra.



PGI mourns Asst Professor’s death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
A condolence meeting was held under the chairmanship of Prof Yogesh Chawla, Director, PGI, today to pay homage to the departed soul of Dr RK Sharma, assistant professor, Department of Hospital Administration, who passed away at PGI, on May 30.

Tributes were paid by Prof. Yogesh Chawla, Prof Amod Gupta, Dean, PGI and Prof AK Gupta, Head, Department of Hospital Administration, PGI. Many heads of departments, faculty members, the administrative staff and the resident doctors joined to mourn his death. Dr Sharma died of cardiac arrest. He worked in PGI for 17 years. "He had lent administrative support in running the services in New OPD Block and Advanced Cardiac Centre. This included shifting of all the Cardiac services from Nehru Hospital to the New Centre," said PGIMER officials today. 



Theatre fest: Love transitions take centrestage on Day 3
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
A play titled ‘Dhup Ka Tukda’ was staged on the third day of the ongoing Solo Theatre Festival at Punjab Kala Bhawan today.

The play was organised by Citi Entertainment Network, in association with Theatre Arts Chandigarh. The play has been written by Nirmal Verma and directed by Ashish Sharma.

A park provided a dramatic backdrop for the play where a middle-aged woman, sitting all alone, recalled her married life.

The character of the protagonist was played by Suvneet Kaur. She revealed how her happily married life had changed with due course of time and how instead of love, loneliness had seeped into her relationship.

The play opened up with the protagonist recalling her initial romance days, where her lover used to wait for her in the same park.

The script, however, started gaining momentum when the actor recounted her bitter experiences of married life and the fact that for years she lived in misery of confinement and loneliness. The only time she felt happy and peaceful was the time when she was alone in the park.

Towards the end of the play the actor claimed that her married life experience had enabled her to look at any other couple and know the course of their relationship.

The play filled with emotional twists and turns kept the audiences glued throughout.



Heat wave claims life 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 11
A 68-year-old man died of scorching heat at Kalka, here today. The victim has been identified as Naresh, hailing from Ghazibaad in Uttar Pradesh.

According to information, Naresh had just arrived on the Kalka railway station when he fell unconscious. The by-standers rushed him to the Civil Hospital, Kalka, where he was declared brought dead.

The police have informed his family in Uttar Pradesh.



Business News
Decathlon opens store

Decathlon, a French sports equipment and sportswear company, opened its latest 25,000 sq ft store along with 9000 sq ft of play area at The North Country Mall, Mohali, Punjab. This is the first store in a mall setting.

Brand store for Tata Safari Storme

Tata Motors and eBay India (www.ebay.in), e-commerce marketplace, have announced the launch of a brand store for Tata Safari Storme (www.ebay.in/safaristorme). Through this association, customers across the country will be able to purchase Safari Storme branded merchandise on eBay India.

Intel channel symposium

Intel hosted first Intel channel symposium in Chandigarh on Wednesday. The symposiums will be organised across the country and will focus on new personal computing. — TNS



School admissions: 11.5K forms sold on Day 1
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
Over 11,500 prospectuses were sold out at the six designated schools on Day 1 of the Class XI government schools admissions.

Though the official time for buying the prospectuses was set at 9.00 am, applicants made the beeline for buying prospectuses around 5.00 am.

Principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 37 B, Ravi Raj Kaur said the police control room had allegedly failed to respond to the school’s request for deputing police personnel to avoid any untoward incident.

Ravi Raj said, “From 8.45 am to 9.20 am we kept making calls on the emergency PCR number 100, since some students were creating ruckus. The police, however, responded to our calls very late.”

The school authorities said they had to start with the selling prospectus before the scheduled time.

Though the official time for availing the prospectus was from 9.00 am to 1.00 pm, but in most of the schools the prospectuses were sold out by 11.30 am.

Education Department officials said over 20,000 prospectuses were printed, out of which majority were sold on the first day.

Vipin Joshi, an applicant, said, “I had to stand in queue for almost two hours before I finally got the admission form.”

Educationists believe that a large number of students were shifting to government schools due to cheaper education.

One of the officials said, “Students prefer to spend money on their tuitions rather than school fees. Hence, after Class X, students prefer to take admissions in government schools.”

Tikshan Dogra, another applicant, said, “There are more subject combinations and also more choices to opt for vocational streams available in government schools which prove a boon for students.”

Various pamphlet distributors of various coaching classes /centres were also seen distributing the pamphlets to students.

Even the helplines remained busy throughout the day. Principal of Government Senior Secondary School, Khuda Lahora, Asha Rani said, “We have been getting basic query calls regarding fees structure, counseling dates since early hours. There were also queries about various streams.”

The prospectus will be available till June 20.



Fulfilling CSR: School enrols students for free film-making course 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
St Kabir School, Chandigarh, as a part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR), adopted and enrolled students of Government Public School, Mauli Jagran, in Young Filmmakers Academy.

The authorities informed that the academy is run by a Mumbai-based company ‘Purple People Labs’ on the school premises.

While elaborating the aim behind adopting the students, administrator of the school Gurpreet Bakshi, said “One of the most significant indicators of the social progress is education and it is an opportunity of equal development. Realising this need, we enrolled the students of the government school free of cost at our ongoing summer camp. It will give students hands on experience on filmmaking.”

The authorities said the students of both the schools were shooting a film titled ‘Niptaara’, based on a true story. It has been scripted and directed by students and focuses on the problems of water pollution in the city. 



Pending demands: Teachers’ union on indefinite fast
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 11
Resuming the protests, the president of Inclusive Education Resource Teachers Union, Punjab, Varinder Vohra, sat on fast-unto-death in front of the office of the Director General School Education (DGSE) at Phase VIII, today.

Vohra said earlier the members of the union had sat on hunger strike for 10 days. “Now we have decided to hold fast-unto-death to press our demands,” said Vohra. The president of the union claimed that a snake had bitten him a day before yesterday while he was sleeping in the open, during the continuous protest.

“I was taken to a private hospital where I availed the treatment,” said Vohra, while adding that all the members of the union have been putting their lives at risk due to the protest. “Last Saturday, condition of one of the women protestors on the strike had deteriorated due to intense heat,” said Vohra. He said if anything happens to any of his union members, then the state government would be solely responsible for it.

The demands of the union include full pay grades at par with the teachers of SSA and full pay during summer and winter vacations. 



Suicide moves Panjab varsity to hire counsellors
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
Another suicide by a girl student Divya of hostel number one, Panjab University, has finally woken up the authorities from their slumber to hire professional counsellors for providing counselling to the students. Interestingly the proposal which was hanging fire for the past six months with the various departments for hiring the professional counsellors was approved today by the vice-chancellor Arun Kumar Grover.

In the month of December, PU Dean Student Welfare, women, Nandita had mooted this proposal after a suicide case of a dental college student came to light on December 2. A special committee was constituted which principally approved the proposal to appoint professional counsellors for each hostel.

Nandita said a communication has been received from the vice-chancellor’s office that they should hire two professional counsellors from tomorrow.

Source said as this incident happened in the morning, the authorities came into action in the afternoon and orders were issued to hire one counsellor each for boys and girls which should be available in the Dean student welfare office for two hours every day.

Sources said this proposal was lying for the approval of board of finance and syndicate. Recently the board of finance had approved the proposal but green signal from the syndicate was awaited for its execution.

The special committee had proposed in December last year that as a pilot project the counsellors should be hired for the girls’ hostel. The demand of the professional counsellors in the hostels was mooted by the wardens to the PU.

In the communication to the authorities, wardens mentioned that every year after the admission of the fresh students in the first year of any course, a number of cases came to light about the depression or loneliness of the girl students. In fact few wardens referred the cases which they received last year to the professional counsellors to guide them.

Sources in the university revealed that the wardens also demanded that a post of professional counsellor be sanctioned for the hostels, may be on part time basis depending on the requirements. In the meeting it was pointed out that on an average around 350 to 360 girls were residing in each hostel and deployment of part time counsellors will help in studying their cause of depression or loneliness which was otherwise totally ignored by the new friends or roommates.

Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh, vice-chancellor (VC), Prof Arun Kumar Grover has condoled the sad demise of PU student Divya, who died in a tragic incident today. He also met the family members of the deceased student and conveyed his condolences.

PU Dean Students’ Welfare Prof Navdeep Goyal said that the whole PU community is saddened with the incident. He informed that PU is in process of appointing two Counsellors for the students. The proposal has already been approved by the PU Board of Finance in last meeting. PU VC Prof Grover has already decided to allow the appointment of the Counsellors in anticipation of approval by the PU Syndicate and the Senate. The appointment would be made before the start of the next academic session, he further informed.

Past incidents:

  • On December 1, 2013, a 22-year-old second year student of the institute, Ankurita Tripathi, was found hanging from a ceiling fan at her residence in ITBP Complex in Sector 32. The Chandigarh Police have booked a teacher of the Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital, Panjab University, for abetment to suicide.
  • On May 24, 2013, Amandeep Singh Dhaliwal, a fourth year student of the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), Panjab University, reportedly committed suicide by tying his legs with an iron chain and electrocuting himself with a heater wire in his hostel room.
  • On May 15, 2013, 22-year-old V Thurhil Sanga, a fourth-semester student of MA (economics), resident of hostel number 6, found dead in his hostel room under mysterious circumstances.



PU declares BCom-I results
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh, has declared the results of B Com-I. Students may check the results on- http://results.puchd.ac.in/.

PU Controller of Examinations Prof Parvinder Singh said 55.56 per cent students have passed the examination.

As many as 10,845 students had appeared for the examination and 6,026 have passed. Naveen Shreshtha of Post Graduate Government College, Sector 11, Chandigarh, has topped with 474/550 marks. Vibhu Gambhir of MCM DAV College for Women, and Rahul Gautam of Post Graduate Government College, Sector-11, Chandigarh, have secured the second and third positions with 469 and 467 marks, respectively.

Students can check the results on- http://results.puchd.ac.in/PU Controller of Examinations Prof Parvinder Singh said 55.56 per cent students have passed the examination. As many as 10,845 students had appeared for the examination and 6,026 have passed. 



Students hold candlelight march
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
Himachal Students Union (HIMSU), Panjab University, held a candle march and 2-minute silence prayer session for the students of Andhra Pradesh who died in the Beas river tragedy, Mandi.

HIMSU will soon write a letter to the government of Himachal Pradesh regarding the placement of instructions and signboards at all the danger zones near the rivers in the state. Government and Administration must inform the tourists about do’s and dont’s at such sites, said union members. 



PU online admissions from June 13

Chandigarh, June 11
Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh, has asked the qualifying candidates of the CET-2014 to submit online admission forms from June 13 onwards.

The candidates will be applying for B Pharmacy and BSc (Hons school) in anthropology, biophysics, biotechnology, botany, chemistry, geology, maths, maths and computing, microbiology, physics, physics and electronics and zoology. Online admission forms will be available on- http://cetug.puchd.ac.in. Last date for the submission of online application is June 30. — TNS



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