C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


JEE (Advanced)
Panchkula lad bags 6th rank
Wants to join IIT, Mumbai; two other students from tricity also figure among top 100
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Continuing his winning streak, Panchkula lad Shubham Goel, son of an Army veterinarian, clinched the sixth all-India rank (AIR) in the JEE (Advanced), the results of which were announced today.

Three students from the tricity, Shubham Goel (AIR 6), Aryan Garg (AIR 71) and Gurtej Singh (AIR 80), figure among the top 100 in the country.

A go-getter, Shubham scored 315 out of 360 in the JEE (Advanced). He had scored 96.8 per cent marks in the CBSE Class XII exam.

“The urge to make it better every time is what keeps me going,” said Shubham.

Taking the achievement bar of the tricity to a higher level as compared to last year when the topper had bagged the AIR 27, Shubham said, “My seven-year-old sister gave me a piece of advice before the examination. She told me not to take pressure and not to waste time on questions that I wasn’t confident about. Her advice helped me sail through easily.”

The young achiever’s achievement list includes not only meritorious academic glories but also sports. He has been a district-level skater and swimmer.

Driven by a quest for knowledge and hunger to learn more, the young lad was recently selected to represent the country in the 46th International Chemistry Olympiad to be held in Hanoi, Vietnam, from July 20 to 29.

Elated over his achievements, he said, “At the chemistry-orientation camp that was held at the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, Mumbai, from May 27 to June 6, I was adjudged the best experimentalist and best theorist. My success has motivated me to do more.”

Such is the dedication of the young lad that to maintain his focus, for three years, he gave up social networking, watching TV and pursuing sports in order to make it to the IIT.

Confident about his ability and preparation, he had appeared for only four entrance tests — JEE (Advanced), Birla Institute of Technology, Pilani, Special Class Railway Apprentice and the Indian Institute of Science and, as he had anticipated, he got through in all four tests.

Giving credit to his parents and teachers, the tricity topper said, “Even though my father was posted in Leh, he supported me throughout.”

Shubham Goel

All-India rank: 6

School: Sri Guru Gobind Singh Collegiate Public School

Goal: To do computer science engineering from the IIT, Mumbai, and pursue research later

Success mantra: Target-based methodological approach in planning studies, self-discipline and sincerity

Stress buster: Reading fiction

Aryan Garg

All-India rank: 71

School: Guru Gobind Singh Senior Secondary School

Goal: To open a software company

Success mantra: Stay motivated and enjoy studies

Stress buster: Playing online games

Gurtej Singh Sohi

All-India rank: 80

School: Ajit Karam Singh International Public School, Sector 41

Goal: To become CEO of a renowned software giant

Success mantra: Dedication and focus

Stress buster: Playing cricket



Prashant Mittal tops in disabled category
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Disability could not come in the way of city lad Prashant Mittal’s big dream of making it to the IIT, Delhi, who topped the country in the “physically disabled category” of the JEE (Advanced).

Prashant, who was born with hearing impairment, braved umpteen odds to make it to the top and scored 210 out of 360 in the entrance examination for the IITs. He had scored 95.2 per cent marks in the CBSE Class XII exams, with a perfect 100 score in mathematics.

Prashant, who wants to clear the Civil Services examination, said, “My father has been my greatest motivator. He searched for the best teachers for me online.”

Prashant’s father, a steel trader, said: “There was a time when I thought that even if my son passes Class X, it will be an achievement. However, today he has made it to the IIT.”

He took coaching for the entrance exam. He said: “I never missed my school for attending tuitions. I made it a point to strike a balance between preparation for the board and entrance examinations.” He said regular study of eight hours helped him sail through.

Prashant, a cricket fan and follower of Virat Kohli, said: “To give my best to the exams, I did not watch cricket matches during my academic session. I missed the IPL edition as well.”

City lad bags 23rd rank in OBC category City lad Kritharth bagged the 23rd all-India rank in the JEE (Advanced) in the OBC category, while in the general category, his rank was 272.

A student of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, Kritharth, who also holds the Kishore Vigyanik Protsahan Yojana scholarship, credited his parents for his success.

He said, “To ensure better education facilities, my mother moved me and my sisters to Chandigarh when we were very young. My father, who had a clinic in Shamli in Uttar Pradesh, used to come to meet us every weekend.”

“My parents have scarified a lot for me”, he said.

Hoping to get into the IIT, Mumbai, he said, “It was daily study of eight hours that helped me achieve a good rank.”



Tricity improves performance
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Improving the performance level of the tricity in the JEE (Advanced) as compared to the previous year when only two aspirants from the city had made it to top 100, this year the tricity produced three candidates who figured in the top 100 positions along with the all-India topper in the physically challenged category.

Last year, the highest All-India Rank (AIR) bagged by the tricity was 27th whereas this year it has been 6th by Shubham Goel, a student of Lakshya Institute in Chandigarh.

While in the physically challenged category, Prashant Mittal, a student of FIITJEE, topped the country. The other top rank holders include Aryan Garg who bagged the 71st rank and Gurtej Singh Sohi who bagged the 80th rank, both of them are students of Allen Career Institute. Kritharth, a student of Waves Institute for Physics, clinched the 272nd rank while Hardik Verma of Allen Career Institute bagged the 413th rank, Ritwick Chaudhary clinched the 430th rank, while Vaibhav Gupta bagged the 494th rank.

From the tricity, around 1,900 students had qualified for the JEE (Main) and appeared for JEE (Advanced) for getting admission in 16 IITs, including IT-BHU and ISM-Dhanbad.

The second and third spot holders from the city, Aryan Garg and Gurtej Singh Sohi gave credit to their parents and teachers for their success.

Son of an engineer, Aryan said: “My mother, a mathematics teacher, has been my motivator and pillar of strength.”

Aryan, who is also a movie-goer, claimed that for two years he did not watch any movie in theatre and rather used to put in 10 hours daily in his study.

His mother said when he was in Class XI she had met with an accident and had got bedridden for eight months. Though he had the pressure of studies and tuitions, he used to get his mother’s physiotherapy done regularly.

While Gurtej, whose father is a chemistry teacher, said his sister, a UIET pass-out engineer, motivated him to get into the IIT. A cricket fan, Gurtej, said: “For two years it was no cricket for me.”

Little disappointed by his rank, he said: “It was due to a few silly mistakes that my rank slipped. I had aimed to be among the top 10.”

Both toppers advised future aspirants by saying that “Maintain focus and remain sincere with your preparation.”



UT Administrator Patil, BJP leaders at loggerheads
Jain, Tandon walk out of AAC meeting over ‘sidelining’ of MP
Tribune News Service

City BJP president Sanjay Tandon and senior party leader Satya Pal Jain walk out of the AAC meeting at the UT Guest House in Chandigarh on Thursday
City BJP president Sanjay Tandon and senior party leader Satya Pal Jain walk out of the AAC meeting at the UT Guest House in Chandigarh on Thursday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, June 19
A meeting of the UT Administrator’s Advisory Council (AAC), which was held after a gap of 20 months, witnessed high drama as BJP leaders staged a walkout opposing Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator’s decision to hold the meeting without consulting newly elected MP Kirron Kher.

Former MP and senior BJP leader Satya Pal Jain, city BJP president Sanjay Tandon and district president (rural) Bhajan Singh Maru, members of the AAC, walked out of the meeting as the UT Administrator and the Administration did not consult Kirron before finalising the date for the AAC meeting.

Kirron had requested the UT Administration to hold the AAC meeting after June 27 as she was busy with her film shooting in Mumbai. However, the Administration had turned down her request and decided to go ahead with the meeting today.

At today’s meeting, Jain questioned the urgency of convening this meeting in the absence of the local MP. He pointed out that she had been elected by city residents.

Sources said Patil reportedly told Jain that the MP was one of the 34 members of the AAC and there was no need for him to take her consent before convening the meeting, following which BJP leaders got agitated. On this, Jain pointed that he was not talking about consent, but Administrator can consult the MP. Moreover, as per protocol, the MP’s position was second to the Administrator in the AAC and therefore she was not an ordinary member of the AAC.

Outside the meeting hall at the UT Guest House, Sector 6, Jain told mediapersons that the BJP would not tolerate such attitude of the Administrator.

Jain said initially the meeting was scheduled for June 16. “If they could postpone the meeting for June 19, why couldn’t they postpone it further so that Kirron could attend it,” he said.

City BJP president Sanjay Tandon said the BJP would take up the matter with the Union Home Minister. Patil and the Administration should give due importance to the MP, he said.

Later in the evening, the UT Administration issued a press note which stated, “Replying to a query raised by one of the members of the council regarding the urgency of convening this meeting in the absence of the local Member of Parliament, the Administrator clarifies that the matter pertaining to the Chandigarh Master Plan — 2031 is pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The Administration has already got a number of extensions from the High Court for the completion 
of the master plan. The Administration shall consider the suggestions of the local MP conveyed through any mode.”

Patil refuses to comment on resignation issue

On news reports regarding the Union Government asking Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil to resign from his post, Patil, while talking to mediapersons, said he did not want to comment on the issue. Meanwhile, on the AAC meeting, Patil said the Administration was working hard to finalise the master plan. Without naming Kirron, Patil said there were some members who could not turn up as they had some work. Such members could submit their suggestions to the Administration. Moreover, the Administration would hold a second meeting, where these members could give their suggestions. Of the 34 members, six were not present at the meeting.

150 cops were deployed for meeting

A total of 150 police personnel, including three Deputy Superintendents of Police and five inspectors, were deployed for the security arrangements around the UT Guest House where the meeting was held.

Kirron to attend June 30 meeting

Late in the evening, the UT Administration, in consultation with MP Kirron, decided to hold the next meeting of the Advisory Council on June 30. Kirron said she would attend the meeting.



Kirron Kher has a dig at Patil
Says she should have been consulted before fixing meeting
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Supporting the action of BJP leaders, who walked out the UT Administrator’s Advisory Council (ACC) meeting today, newly elected MP Kirron Kher said if Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil could consult bureaucrats before fixing the AAC meeting, he should have talked to her as she had been elected by city residents.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune over the phone from Mumbai, Kirron said it was sad that the UT Administrator was not ready to consult the MP before fixing the date for the AAC meeting.

Kirron said Patil was the Administrator of Chandigarh and before taking decisions that affected city residents, the Administrator should take the public and its representatives along. She said she failed to understand why the UT Administration was not serious about taking suggestions from the public. She was in favour of inviting sarpanchas and other village representatives to the AAC meeting, she said.

“If the Administration is not willing to consult public representatives, then it should be ready to face opposition. This is what happened at today’s AAC meeting. The party will take up the issue with the Union Home Minister,” Kirron said.

Chandigarh Beopar Mandal president skips meeting in protest

As issues related to traders were “not solved” in the city’s master plan, which was discussed at today’s AAC meeting, representatives of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal did not attend the meeting. Mandal president Charanjiv Singh said there were long-pending demands of traders such as allowing commercial activities on upper floors of shops and reducing misuse charges from Rs 500 per sq ft per month but no problem was redressed in the master plan. Therefore, he did not attend the meeting.



Bus driver dies in freak mishap
Falls off after applying sudden brakes, crushed under rear wheel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
In a freak road accident, the driver of a Himachal Roadways bus died after he fell out of the window of his bus and came under its rear tyre following sudden application of brakes by him in Sector 49 today. The bus was crossing a green signal when the driver suddenly applied brakes after a Zen car being driven by a girl came in front of it. The police have booked the 18-year-old girl, Varinda Kataria, a student of a convent school in the city, in a case of causing death due to negligence under Section 304-A of the IPC. She was without a driving licence and was accompanied by her mother when the mishap took place. Varinda is a resident of Dev Society in Sector 49.

The mishap occurred at around 2 pm when the Himachal Roadways bus, being driven by 45-year-old Sushil Kumar, was coming from the Faidan side. The mishap occurred at the Sector 45/46/49/50 traffic intersection.

Varinda jumped the red signal and came right in front of the bus. The bus driver applied brakes. The jolt received as a result of the application of the brakes was so massive that the driver, who was not wearing a seat belt, fell out of the bus. He came under the rear tyre of the bus and his head was crushed.

The driver was taken to the hospital in a private vehicle where he was declared brought dead.

The police have arrested the girl. A case has been registered at the Sector 34 police station. She was later released on bail.

Driver wasn’t wearing a seat belt

The incident has once again brought to fore the increased need for road safety awareness among bus drivers. Had the driver been wearing a seat belt, he would have been saved from falling out of the window.



Chlorine intoxication
Fire at factory unit in Panchkula leaves 16 hospitalised
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 19
A major fire broke out in a water treatment unit of a factory in the Industrial Area, Phase II, here this morning, leaving 16 persons hospitalised. All of them were affected by “chlorine intoxication” after the water that was used to douse the fire reacted with chlorine granules lying in the factory that led to chlorine generation.

Material worth about Rs 1.5 crore was destroyed in the fire. The chlorine generation aggravated the flames, which could be controlled only after six hours of the incident. All victims, including six firemen, were taken to the General Hospital, Sector 6, where their condition is stated to be critical.

The reason behind the fire is yet to be ascertained, but short circuit may have caused it. The incident occurred at 6.45 am at Paul Water Treatment Services at factory number 213. The factory comprises three units — a shuttering unit, a water treatment unit and a gas stove unit. The water treatment unit belonged to Dharampal.

“At 6.30 am, the caretaker, Vimla, left the factory after opening the gate for workers when a guard of a nearby factory noticed smoke coming out of the front shed. He then noticed flames following which he informed us and the control room,” said the owner of the unit, Dharampal Singh.

Owner of the factory Jagdish Singh said, “I got to know about the fire at 6.45 am. Fire brigade officials reached late at around 7.30 am. Had they arrived on time, the fire could have been controlled earlier.”

When five fire tenders from Panchkula failed to manage the fire, two fire tenders were called from Kalka and two from Chandigarh.

The material comprised chlorine granules which are used in water purification. When the granules react with water, they generate chlorine.

“At around 9.45 am, water was being used to douse the fire, which reacted with the granules, leading to the generation of the gas. This aggravated the fire,” said Vishnu Goel, president of Haryana Chamber of Industries, who was at the spot. Caustic soda, bought by Goel, was used to reduce the impact of chlorine.

At 9.30 am, Deputy Commissioner SS Phulia and SDM Hema Sharma also reached the spot along with other officials of the administration.

The impact of chlorine generation was so strong that six firemen, including Mohinder, Jasbeer and Sunil, who inhaled it, fell unconscious. The DC called six ambulances to the spot. Ten volunteers of Dera Sacha Sauda, who had come to help the firemen, also fell unconscious.

The police have lodged an FIR against the unit owner for keeping inflammable substances and violating fire safety norms.



Admn’s preparedness for exigencies exposed
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 19
The third consecutive incident in the district exposed preparedness of the Panchkula Administration for such emergencies.

In yesterday’s wall collapse incident that took place in Sector 11 and left three persons, including a four-year-old girl, dead, the quick reaction team reached the spot after eight hours.

In the incident, chlorine gas had aggravated the fire and the firemen were not aware how to control it. It was a local industrialist Vishnu Goel, who was aware of eliminating the impact and rushed to get two bags of caustic soda.

The quick reaction team and ambulances reached the spot on getting a call from Deputy Commissioner SS Phulia, who reached the spot at around 9.30 am

The hospital authorities were informed to send ambulances and stay ready with emergency beds at 9.46 am, two hours after the incident took place, and physicians, surgeons and various doctors were sent to the spot.

“The ambulances and officials from the Health Department should have reached the spot immediately after learning about the incident. However, they were called by the DC after he had reached the spot,” said a factory official requesting anonymity.

The firemen didn’t have chlorine prevention masks and were using handkerchiefs. Six of them landed in the hospital due to intoxication.

Even the fire tenders of Panchkula were not sufficient. Two fire tenders were summoned from Kalka and another two from Chandigarh.

The administration also had to seek help from Dera Sacha Sauda volunteers. As many as 15 volunteers from Zirakpur reached the spot.

Deputy Commissioner SS Phulia has constituted a committee of officials of the Haryana State Pollution Control Board to check if there were any violations in the factory.

No lessons learnt

Last year, a fire incident was reported from a factory in front of the one which went up in flames today. Even then, the Fire Department was ill-equipped.


Admn to provide land for education purposes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil today said that adequate land for educational and health requirements would be provided in the city along with land to meets requirements for legislative, Judicial and Executive functions of the state government of Punjab and Haryana.

UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil said this during the seventh meeting of the Administrator’s Advisory Council (AAC), which was held at the UT Guest House in Sector 6 today.

The meeting which was also attended by members like Former Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court, Justice SS Sodhi, educationist Chand Nehru, city Mayor Harphool Kalyan, Congress president BB Behl, BJP President Sanjay Tandon, Ex MP Satya Pal Jain, PGI Director Prof Yogesh Chawla and other members of the AAC.

During the meeting, which was called for discussion on the master plan, Patil said the Administrative Character of city should be maintained. He also appealed to all members for sending their considered opinion even if the same could not be raised today.

During the deliberations, Chand Nehru highlighted the adverse impact the high-rise constructions would have if they were allowed to come up in the north of Capitol Complex and hence suggested to take up the matter with the adjoining state government for not allowing any high-rise constructions which would have an adverse impact on its unique and heritage character.

The members also said that the Apartment Ownership Act should not be reintroduced in the city and registration in different name should be checked except in case of family division.

Harphool Kalyan recommended that houses especially for the LIG category should be condtructed in the recently vacated land from encroachments in Sectors 51 to 53. PGI Director Prof Yogesh Chawla requested for a special zone for disposal of the bio-medical waste.

The members also raised the demand for earmarking of auto market in the Industrial Area Phase I or II along with space for warehousing facilities. It was also discussed that the existing constructions beyond village abadi should be regularised and no further constructions should be allowed.

Adjoining state govts to be consulted

In the meeting, it was decided that the governments of adjoining states should be consulted before finalisation of the Chandigarh Master Plan and a request be made for making adequate provision for infrastructure in neighbouring towns.



house tax without penalty
Residents suffer as UT, MC fail to coordinate
UT yet to give nod to civic body’s decision to give extension to residents
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
A lack of co-ordination between the UT Administration and the Municipal Corporation (MC) has left city residents fuming, because despite the decision taken by the MC General House around six-months ago to increase the last date for submitting the house tax, the Administration is yet to give its nod to the decision. The delay has forced the residents to pay late charges and interest.

Giving relief to the residents who failed to submit the property tax within the stipulated time, the MC during the General House on December 19, 2013, decided to give a month’s extension to the residents for depositing the tax.

The MC then wrote to the UT Administration for an approval to deposit the tax, however, till date the MC has failed to get any communication from the Administration.

The residents were supposed to deposit the property tax between October 15 and December 15 at the rate of Re 1 per square yard. However, a majority of the residents had failed to pay the tax before the deadline. Following which the MC decided to give grace period to the residents since it was for the first time the house tax was introduced.

In the absence of any notification from the UT Administration, the residents at present have to pay late charges, i.e. 25 per cent penalty on the entire property tax and an interest of 12 per cent on the entire amount.

Federation of Sector Welfare Association (FOSWAC) Chairman Baljinder Singh Bittu criticising the Administration said that the Administration should take timely decision so that the residents don’t suffer. “The residents should not be asked to pay the penalty and the interest till the time the decision to give a grace period to the residents is pending”, Singh said.

The houses on the area less than 5 marlas and those in villages that fall within the Municipal Corporation limits have been exempted from the tax.



Work divided among three MC officers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
With the joining of Sarita Malik, an HCS officer, as the Joint Commissioner, Municipal Corporation (MC), various departments that were presently under Additional Commissioner Sunil Bhatia and Joint Commissioner-cum-Secretary Rajiv Gupta has been divided among the three officers.

The charges of enforcement branch, MC’s sub-office in Mani Majra, Apni Mandi, booking of community centre and open spaces, parking in the city, the building and planning branch, the colony licensing branch and the Section Officer mechanical branch head office, has been given to Sarita Malik.

Rajiv Gupta meanwhile will now be looking after the MOH branch,the agenda branch, the primary education and health and the tax branch.

Sunil Bhatia will now look after the establishment (a,b,c,d) head office, establishment group (a and b) of engineering wing, fire and emergency services, the IT branch, the legal branch, the UPA cell, the accounts branch and the house allotment branch.

Charges assigned

  • After the repatriation of Mahavir Kaushik, an HCS officer, to his parent state of Haryana, the UT Administration on Thursday assigned the charges of the Director Industries-cum-General Manager, District Industries Centre, Controller Weights and Measures, Secretary State Transport Authority, Nodal Officer State Agriculture Marketing Board, Joint Secretary State Agriculture Marketing Board, to Balbir Dhol a PCS officer, who also has the charge of Additional IG Prisons.
  • Mandeep Kair, an HCS officer, who at present holds the charge of the Secretary, Chandigarh Housing Board, has been further assigned the additional charge of the Director, Rural Development and Panchayats.



land acquisition by GMADA for Sectors 76 to 80
Owners ready to accept compensation with a rider
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 19
After around 13 years of fight in courts, the owners of disputed 102 acres in Sectors 76 to 80 are now ready to give their land to the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) on the condition that they should be given compensation as per the newly implemented Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013.

Confirming the development, GMADA law officer Harmail Singh said the landowners, around 108 in number, who had knocked the doors of the apex court in this connection, have submitted applications in the court stating that they were ready to take compensation against their land as per the new Act.

“We (the GMADA) have received their applications through the Supreme Court. However, the apex court has not issued us any notice or direction,” said Harmail Singh.

In 2001, the GMADA had acquired a total of 1,264 acres from around 3,000 landowners to develop Sectors 76 to 80. Then, about 300 persons had refused to give their land to the GMADA and approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

On April 19, 2011, the court pronounced verdict in GMADA’s favour , following which around 108 landowners filed Special Leave Petitions (SLPs) in the Supreme Court.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, DP Singh, the convener of Kisan Bachao Sangharsh Committee, said they would give their land to the GMADA only if the authority offered them compensation as per the new Act.

“Their (GMADA) officials are trying to take possession of the disputed land forcibly but we would give our land to them only if they fulfil our condition,” said DP Singh.

Meanwhile, the district administration and GMADA officials have started demarcating the land in the area as certain persons have been using the authority’s land for agriculture purposes. The demarcation of land also aims at identifying the disputed land.

Case so far

  • In 2001, the GMADA had acquired a total of 1,264 acres from around 3,000 landowners to develop Sectors 76 to 80.

  • Then, about 300 persons had refused to give their land and approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

  • On April 19, 2011, the high court pronounced verdict in GMADA’s favour, following which around 108 landowners filed Special Leave Petitions in the Supreme Court.

  • On August 22, 2013, the apex court gave relief to the landowners by announcing ‘status quo’ in the case.

  • Now, the owners are ready to give their land to the GMADA but on the condition that they should be given compensation as per the newly implemented Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013.



Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission
GMADA demands Rs 131 cr to install sewage treatment plant
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, June 19
GMADA has sought Rs 131 crore under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) for installing a plant for treating the sewage up to the tertiary level so that it can be used for irrigation purposes, despite of the objection by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) to discharge treated sewage by GMADA into a natural drain because it is unsafe.

Sources said PPCB had earlier objected to the discharge of the town’s sewage into a natural drain after which a sewage treatment plant (STP) was set up by GMADA in Sector 83 here. The PPCB now does not want GMADA to discharge even the treated sewage into the natural drain, which ultimately links to the Ghaggar river.

GMADA authorities, however, claim that the discharge of treated sewage did not reach the Ghaggar as farmers had installed pumps on the way to lift the discharge for irrigation purposes.

The objection by the PPCB has compelled GMADA to propose a plant for the tertiary treatment of five mgd of sewage and the use of the treated water for the irrigation of green areas and parks in various sectors of Mohali apart from agricultural land in the surrounding areas.

The components involved in the execution of the tertiary project include acquisition of eight acres, installation of a five mgd plant, the main pumping station, underground reservoir and the distribution network for the supply of tertiary treated waste water. The present STP, which has a capacity of 10 mgd, is based on the up flow anaerobic sludge blanket technology. The plant constructed on about 23 acres treats about seven mgd of sewage at present. The sewage treated at this plant is up to the secondary level and the biological oxygen demand being achieved for the treated sewage is in the range of 20-25 mg per litre. The treated sewage is being discharged into a natural drain passing nearby to which the PPCB has raised objections.



DSP BAins in dock
With ‘weak’ challan, case likely to fall flat
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 19
With the Mohali police having presented a very ‘weak’ challan, carrying several loopholes, in a corruption case involving DSP Gurbans Singh Bains, the case is likely to fall flat in the court.

According to highly-placed sources, the top authorities in the state government now wanted to revoke Bains’ dismissal. “That is why they (the police) have presented a ‘weak’ challan allowing the accused a number of escape routes,” claimed the sources.

The challan in the case was presented in the Mohali Judicial Magistrate’s court recently.

However, the police claimed that the investigations in the case were still on and a supplementary challan would be filed soon. “We are getting the details of the property of Bains and the co-accused NK Goel, a Chandigarh resident, from Ludhiana and Barnala. Since a huge amount was recovered from Bains’ bank lockers, the onus is now on him to show the source of income,” said a senior police official.

“The Mohali police did not take the mandatory approval from the Home Department before starting the trial against DSP Bains. This is certainly a big flaw,” said the sources, adding that the police also failed to establish that the recovered amount of Rs 61 lakh from bank lockers was received as graft.

“The other shortcoming in the challan is the area of jurisdiction. The amount in question was recovered from Ludhiana while the case in this regard has been registered at Mataur police station in Mohali. Technically, the case had to be registered in Ludhiana,” said the sources.

The next date in the case has been fixed for July 2.

The accused have also filed a bail application in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The hearing on it would take place on July 24.

Bains, who was posted as DSP (City 1) here, was dismissed from service by IGP, Zone 1, Patiala, on March 27. Then, the police had claimed that Bains had received a ‘hawala’ consignment of Rs 40 lakh through his wife at Ludhiana from NK Goel.

Bains had been dismissed from government service.

A case under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the IPC was registered at the Mataur police station while another case under the Arms Act was registered at the Patiala Civil Lines police station.



Pvt bus not reliable, resume govt bus service, say villagers
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 19
Residents of 12 villages of the Raipur Rani block are demanding restoration of government bus service as the lone private bus on the route skips the villages putting students and office-goers to inconvenience.

Lodging a strong protest against Khairwali Co-operative Society Private Limited, which plies the bus on the route, scores of villagers have written to the Regional Transport Officer (RTO), Panchkula, and the General Manager, Haryana Roadways, demanding regular government bus service to the villages.

Led by Dharam Pal Sharma, a senior Congress leader from Tikkar Tal village, over 50 villagers from Raipur Rani, Palwala, Taprion, Bhoor, Trilokpur, Pounta, Plasra, Khadoom, Bangar and Solon villages met the RTO, SS Kundi, and told him that the bus being run by the society often give their villages a miss putting students and office-goers to a great hardship.

They alleged that the society obtained a permit to ply a bus to the villages during the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) government in 2000. The then government discontinued the government bus after giving the permit to the society, alleged Sharma.

Since 2000, the villagers are at the mercy of the society, which operates the bus on its own rules and regulations, he alleged.

The RTO reportedly assured the villagers that action would be taken against the society if the bus was found missing the route.

Despite repeated attempts, officials of the society could not be contacted for their comments.



Villagers seek protection against Ghaggar fury during monsoon
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, June 19
Apprehending floods during monsoons, residents of scores of villages located on the banks of Ghaggar river are up in arms against the authorities for turning a deaf ear towards their problem.

They demand channelising of water as well as construction of bundh to safeguard their lives, crops and property from floods.

Residents of Bhankharpur, Bakarpur, Paragpur, Bahora, Karkaur, Amlala, Ibrahampur and some other villages lamented that the river had been leaving trails of destruction every year during monsoons, but the government had failed to find a solution to prevent river water from washing away villages.

The swirling river water not only inundates acres of land and damages crops every year but also claims human lives, the villagers complained.

The residents complained that during every election, leaders promise solution to the problem but forget honouring them once the elections are over.

Sampuran Singh, Sukhdev Singh, Jagdish Singh, Jatinder Singh and Jagjivan Singh of Ibrahampur lamented that a temporary bundh raised along the river to prevent floods has weekend and may get washed away during rains. “The river had been eroding the bundh on the outskirts of the village for the past couple of years. With the bundh weakened, there is a possibility of gushing river water entering the village during monsoons this year,” feared Sukhbir Singh, a nambardar.

The villagers said on August 13, they had given a representation to the Deputy Commissioner, Mohali, who subsequently asked his subordinates to look into the matter. However, the situation remained the same till date, they added. They also claimed to have taken up the issue with the area MLA, NK Sharma, but to no avail.

Dera Bassi SDM Sanjiv Kumar claimed to have sent a proposal for construction of a strong bundh at the site and was awaiting a reply in this regard.



Onion prices up by Rs 10 per kg
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Prices of onions have shot up by Rs 10 per kg in city markets. Reason: the recent rain in various parts of the country has affected its supply. Speculations are on that the supply will be further affected in the coming months.

The cost of onion has increased from Rs 20 per Kg, last week to Rs 30 per kg today in retail, wholesale markets and Apni Mandi.

“The supply of onion has come down by 30 per cent. During the rainy season a majority of crops get damaged and during transit the problem is further aggravated. This year too, the situation is likely to be the same,” said a member of the Market Committee, Sector 26, today.

“This is the worst season for us as we lose out on customers because initially they tend not to buy onions on learning about the increased cost. They first check the prices in other markets and then buy in small quantities. During this time, the stocks do not last fir long,so we need to dispose them off at the earliest,” said Devnarayan, a vendor in Apni Mandi, in Ram Darbar today.

“For the past couple of years the prices of onion have been severely affected during the rainy season. We need to be very calculative during these few months,” said Ashok Taneja, a buyer in the Sector 46 market today.

The prices of seasonal and other vegetables have been stable.



Mohali farmers all smiles with bumper onion crop this season
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 19
In contrast to the recent rise in onion prices, farmers in the area have claimed that there was good production of onion crop this season in comparison to last year.

Corroborating the fact, official figures reveals that this season, Mohali district witnessed a total production of 1,155 tonne more onion crop in comparison to the total production in 2013.

“This season there has been a yield of 17,840 tonne onion crop whereas the figure in the last season was 16,685 tonne”, said Tarlochan Singh, Horticulture Development Officer of Mohali.

He said that the area of land under cultivation had also increased this year.

“In 2013, a total of 575 hectare land was used for onion harvesting. This year, the area under onion cultivation was 615 hectare”, said Tarlochan Singh.

During a random survey in local villages, including Nadiali, Dyalpura and Alipur, the Tribune team talked to several onion growers who were happy and satisfied with the good onion production this year.

“The onion crop was good this season”, said Chuhar Singh of Nadiyali village, Bhag Singh of Alipur village and Dev Singh of Dayalpura village.

Expressing surprise over the increasing rates of onion with every passing day, Chuhar Singh said that all the onion growers made good money due to the bumper crop.

When asked at what rate, he had sold his yield in the market Chuhar Singh said this year the farmers sold onion at the rate ranging between Rs 850 and Rs 1200 per quintal (depending on the quality of the crop).

But a large quantity of the crop goes to cold storages, added Chuhar Singh and others.

“We sell the crop to certain persons, who take it to cold storages. This way we save ourselves from all kind of botheration in ‘mandis’ (markets)”, said the farmers.

On being asked whether the onion growers hoarded the yield to which most of the farmers denied. “No, the farmers here do not hoard their yield”, said Dev Singh.

On the other hand, a senior official of the Agriculture Department admitted that a large quantity of yield (onion) had been stored into the cold storages of the area.



Feasting on chicken cheaper than paneer
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Chicken lovers have a reason to feast. A kg of chicken now costs nearly half the price of an equal quantity of paneer (cheese).

Paneer, sold both in packaged and loose forms in city markets, costs Rs 300 per kg while chicken costs Rs 170 per kg.
Chicken: Rs 170 per kg
Paneer: Rs 300 per kg

The cost of chicken in the wholesale market in Sector 21 is even less (Rs 160 per kg). Sellers in the meat market, Sector 21, the largest supplier of non-vegetarian food items (mutton, chicken, eggs and others), said the total demand for chicken per day in the city was over 12,000 kg in the current season.

“The sale of chicken in the entire market in one day varies from 12,000 kg to 15,000 kg. It does not include the items sold to restaurant owners,” said Mahipal, owner of Chandigarh Meat Shop.

The most popular brand of paneer being sold in the market is the 200 gm packet of Verka. The packet now costs Rs 60. Other brands had also increased their prices recently.

The prices of milk products such as ghee and paneer are likely to go up further in the coming months due to rising demand, said market sources. “The price of a packet of Verka (200 gm) paneer has increased a lot in the past one year. A year ago, it was priced at Rs 40. Now, the price has increased to Rs 60. No wonder it may touch Rs 100 in a year’s time,” said Paramjeet Kaur, a resident of Sector 23, while purchasing paneer today.

According to the sources, the procurement cost of milk is rising consistently due to which the cost of its byproducts is also increasing.



surprise check
Minister inspects printing press
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 19
Punjab Jail, Tourism, Cultural Affairs and Printing and Stationery Minister Sohan Singh Thandal today conducted a surprise check at the Government Printing Press here to assess its working.

During the checking, one officer was found absent.

The minister, accompanied by senior officers of the department, reached the printing press at 10 am. He was surprised to see heaps of printed material in the form of booklets, pamphlets, government gazettes and published technical information which had been stocked on the press premises for a long time.

He was told by officers that different government departments had placed orders for the printing but the material had not been lifted from the press as yet. The minister instructed the officers to ask the respective departments in writing to lift their materials at the earliest. He also sought a compliance report in this regard.

Thandal had a round of the area where printing machines had been installed. He found that most of the printing machines were obsolete and technically unsupportive. He directed the officers to furnish a detailed report within a week on the possibility of the installation of new machinery to increase the capacity and working of the press.

He also instructed the officers and employees of the printing press to be punctual and to work with full dedication.


  • Absence of an officer
  • Stock of heaps of printed material
  • Obsolete and technically unsupportive machines



‘Public help needed to end drug menace’
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 19
To make SAS Nagar a drug-free district and for effectiveness of the special campaign initiated by the Punjab Government against the drug menace, awareness at the grassroots level is required as well as help from the public is needed. This was stated by secretary, Housing and Urban Development, A Venu Prasad while addressing a meeting of senior officials presided over by him and Shashi P Dwivedi, IG (Crime), at the district administrative complex here today to review the activities being undertaken to stop drug distribution in the district.

Mohali SSP Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti said the district police had started a drug helpline (number 81460-12345) and more than 60 calls were received from various places on the first day.

He said the district police had seized over 2.5 kg of poppy husk so far and 20 cases had been registered. “As much as 3.662 kg of opium had also been seized and 10 cases had been registered. Besides, 5.5 kg of ganja has been recovered and two cases registered,” the SSP said.

Bhatti said the other seizures included 361 gm of heroin, 78 gm of smack, 3.4 kg of sulpha, 9,200 drug tablets, 1,892 drug capsules and 25 gm of charas.



FIFA World Cup dream comes true for Abhiraj

Chandigarh: Abhiraj, a six-year-old, has earned the distinction of being the first child from India to set his foot on the football pitch at a FIFA World Cup Match in Brazil. This has become possible through McDonald’s India’s inaugural FIFA World Cup Player Escort Programme. Abhiraj realised his dream from nearly 30,000 children who participated in McDonald’s world famous programme’s first edition in India. He would be the first Indian child amongst nearly 1,400 plus children from across the world who has won participation at the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil. He will escort one of the world’s best football players, hand-in-hand to the pitch during a FIFA World Cup match to be held on June 28.

DLF City Centre celebrates its sixth anniversary

DLF City Centre Mall celebrated its sixth anniversary. Caroline Dangwal, mall manager, took out a voucher from a box containing more than 500 lucky draw leaflets and announced the winner. Fifty-eight-year-old Naveen Chander Sharma from Panchkula won the bumper prize- a Harley Davidson Street 750 bike- worth Rs 4, 10,000. — TNS



3 yrs on, Education Dept yet to pay rent to PSEB
Dues rise to nearly Rs 5 crore, education board paying power, water bills of the building as well
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 19
The Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) authorities have been running from pillar to post to recover outstanding rent from the Education Department, Punjab, which has been using the board’s premises at Phase VIII here for around three years now.

The outstanding amount has soared to a whopping Rs 5 crore but the department seems to be in no mood to pay it. “We have been sending reminders to the top officials of the department for the past several months but in vain,” said PSEB chairperson Dr Tejinder Kaur Dhaliwal. She added that the matter would soon be brought to the notice of the state’s new education minister Dr Daljit Singh Cheema.

Adding insult to the injury, the PSEB has to pay the electricity and water bills pertaining to the rented building as the Education Department authorities are not paying them. The monthly bills of electricity and water run in lakhs, said sources.

Notably, the offices of Director General School Education, DPI (Secondary Education), DPI (Colleges), DPI (Elementary) and SCERT are being run from the building after their shifting from Chandigarh around three years ago.

The rent amount has been fixed at Rs 23.35 per sq ft as per the rates fixed by the Public Works Department here. The offices of the Education Department have been occupying an area of around one lakh sq ft on the board’s premises.

Sources said the amount outstanding against the office of DPI (Secondary) was Rs 2.42 crore followed by Rs 1.22 crore against the DGSE office, DPI (Colleges) office (Rs 1.15 crore), SCERT office (Rs 60.54 lakh) and Rs 53.17 lakh against the office of DPI (Elementary).



PU VC for liberal funding of varsities
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Indian leading universities should be given liberal funding to help them compete with their international counterparts. Prof Arun Kumar Grover, Vice-Chancellor, stated this while he was addressing the a one-day summit ‘University Ranking: an Evolving Landscape for India’ at New Delhi today.

The summit was organised by the Planning Commission, GoI, in collaboration with the British Council, Times Higher Education and Thomson Reuters.

He said funds could be used to provide basic financial support and requisite infrastructure to bright students so that they could be retained in Indian institutions and did not go abroad for higher education. Professor Grover spoke on the topic of global university rankings relevance and applicability to the Indian context.

The PU was declared top-ranked university in the Asia University Ranking 2014 by Times Higher Education in its survey released today.

Prof Grover suggested that students getting enrolled in the school system should be provided scholarship so that their creative energies could be used for enhancing research output.

Small change in NET and JRF examinations would motivate good students into getting enrolled in Indian universities, he added.

The VC stressed for more funding to performing universities on the pattern of the Centres of Advanced Studies. He said leading national institutions of Chandigarh have come together under the umbrella of the Chandigarh Region Innovation and Knowledge Cluster to share their facilities.



from pu & Colleges
PU prof to present paper at global conference

The Department of Public Administration of Panjab University (PU) Chandigarh, Prof Ramanjit Kaur Johal is going to present a paper (co-authored), ‘The Social environment: A perspective on change and the 21st century in India’, at the International Conference of Academic Disciplines.

The conference, organised by the International Journal of Arts and Sciences’ (IJAS), will be held from June 30, 2014 to July 3,2014, at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy.

The International Conference of Academic Disciplines also be a forum for experience sharing and forging links with academics across institutions worldwide, in keeping with her mandate of promoting enrolment and facilitating a fruitful academic experience of international scholars at Panjab University.

3 PU students excel in NIPER JEE

Three students - Navpreet Kaur, Sumedha Sharma and Madhav Gautam - who recently appeared in the BPharm final year examinations of the University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Panjab University, have secured the top three positions, respectively, in the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research Joint Entrance Examination (NIPER JEE) held on June 8, 2014.

The University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Panjab University has crossed many landmarks of accomplishments during its long and glorious sojourn of over six decades.

UGC-NET: Roll numbers uploaded

The roll numbers of all candidates of the UGC-NET examinations for Junior Research Fellowship and Eligibility for Lectureship scheduled to be held on June 29, 2014, have been uploaded along with centres on the Panjab University website - http:ugc.puchd.ac.in/.

The candidates should write the name of their centre on the admit card.

As many as 17,117 candidates will appear at 48 centres set up at Panjab University and local colleges of Chandigarh. Candidates belonging to the visually handicapped category, if have not requested the coordinator for a scribe may do so by June 24, 2014, so as to make available appropriate scribes for them.

PU MEd entrance test: Website reopens

Panjab University has re-opened the website of the Panjab University MEd entrance test, 2014, - http://medadmissions.puchd.ac.in - till June 22, 2014, for those candidates who had deposited their fee for the PU–MEd Entrance Test-2014 well in time but could not complete their forms online.

The candidates are requested to visit the website and complete their forms so that they can download their admit cards.

Institute to introduce new courses

The Doaba Group of Colleges, is planning to introduce new programmes in the next academic session.

The college is introducing a diploma programme in food technology. There will be two programmes, including a three-year course and a one-year course.

The eligibility criteria will be Class 10. Another professional course will be BCom. The course is a three-year degree programme after Class 12 (commerce).

The Doaba Group has also decided to open a degree college with affiliation from Punjabi University. — TNS



from schools
15-day summer camp concludes on a high note
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
The 15-day summer camp, organised by AKSIPS-41 Smart School, concluded here today. The authorities claimed that the camp was conducted to achieve overall development of students by polishing their talent. The activities held during the camp included dance, English workshop and basketball, handball and cricket training. Students from KG to Class X participated. They said the English workshop focussed on skits, conversation, improvisation mime, speech exercises poetry, theatre, story-telling and drama. On the concluding day, a grand finale was held where the participants gave a presentation in front of their parents.

Mohali Public School

Mohali: A summer camp, organised by Mohali Public School, Phase X, Mohali, concluded with a colourful function on Thursday. Children between the age group of 3-16 years participated in the camp. The authorities claimed that besides the school’s own students, children from adjoining schools also participated in the camp. Activities, including yoga, meditation, drawing, painting and dance (both folk and western) were held. Students were also imparted with knowledge of the English language and computer education. The key attraction of the summer camp was splash pool activities. Tiny tots had a good time dancing and singing rhymes.

Ashmah International School

Ashmah International School, Mohali, organised a summer cool party for students on its campus. Tiny tots enjoyed the splash pool, which was organised to beat the heat. The students played in the swimming pool wearing crowns displaying different summer fruits. Teachers explained the importance of fruits, juices, lassi and yogurt to the students and advised them to take these daily. School’s director JS Kesar appreciated the efforts of the little ones. The authorities said the motive for organising the event was to create an environment that was conducive for the general growth and development of young minds. Kesar said it was important for the education authorities to ensure that students were not over burdened with the school curriculum and are able to devote sufficient time for the overall personality development. — TNS



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