C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Demolition drive turns ugly
Four cops among 9 hurt; mob stops train; residents given 2-day time to vacate area
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service
A broken windowpane of a vehicle at Gandhi Colony (left) and Colony residents stop a train on a railway track at the Mansa Devi Complex.
A broken windowpane of a vehicle at Gandhi Colony (left) and Colony residents stop a train on a railway track at the Mansa Devi Complex.

Panchkula, June 29
The demolition drive in Panchkula turned ugly when nine persons, including four policemen, were critically injured during pelting of stones by the mob in one of the oldest, Gandhi Colony of Mansa Devi Complex (MDC) in Sector 4 this morning. The injured were rushed to General Hospital, Sector 6, here.

After the pelting of stones by the protesters, the colony inmates went to a nearby railway track and stopped the Kalka-Ambala passenger train for over 25 minutes.

The drive was stopped mid-way after local politicians made the most of the situation and sat with the inmates jamming the MDC road. The traffic was diverted towards the IT Park area. The situation was brought under control after six and half hours.

The encroachment wing of the Haryana Urban Development Authroity (HUDA) had reached the colony, (consisting of 200 shanties which inhibits over 1,000 persons) with the police force at around 10 am. The team had just cleared 15 shanties and others were asked to take out their belongings, when the mob began pelting stones at the deployed police force.

Constable Sandeep Kumar, Head Constable Mukesh, Head Constable Joginde, ASI Dewaan Chand were among those injured. While Sandeep’s nose was injured, Dewaan suffered serious head injury. Policemen used canes to stop the protesters. In the process five persons from the colony suffered minor injuries.

The protesters kept pelting stones at the police for about 30 minutes when Assistant Commissioner of Police Mamta Sauda reached the spot with over 75 more police personnel. Seven persons from the colony were taken in to custody by the police and after politicians interfered they were let off.

“The residents of the colony were being told daily for the last five days to vacate the area. In fact, we had removed a few shanties in the nearby area and the inmates are aware of it that it is a government land,” said HUDA Estate officer Gurmeet Singh, who reached the spot along with the Tehsildar.

After the protesters stopped pelting stones at the police, the police again went inside with the HUDA team to carry out the drive when they got to know that a part of the mob had stopped the Kalka Ambala train on the track nearby.

“We have been living here for the last so many years. Why did they allow us to set up our shanties here when they wanted to remove us? They have not even provided us an alternative place. We will become homeless,” said Bimla Devi, an inmate.

A few local politicians, inlcuidng BJP district chief Vishal Seth and general secretary of the Haryana Mahila Pradesh Congress Committee Ranjeeta Mehta, reached the spot.

Over 500 protesters sat on the road in front of the MDC police station. After talks with the administration officials, the inmates were given two-day time to vacate the area. The drive will again begin after two days. 


10.08 am: HUDA team arrives

11.18 am: Pelting of stones begins, continues for 25 minutes

12.20 pm: ACP arrives with more force

1.25 pm: Force enters again with HUDA

1.31 pm: Train stopped

1.56 pm: Train allowed to go

3.10 pm: Political parties reach the spot; road blocked

4.50 pm: Ruckus over and two-day time given to vacate the area

Last drive was conducted during wee hours

There are seven colonies spread on about 15-20 acres of government land. The last major demolition drive was conducted at Azad Colony. There was no protest as the demolition drive was conducted by the HUDA team during the wee hours.

Illegal power connections detected in shanties

Plasma televisions, dish TV connections and refrigerators were found by the HUDA team from the shanties when the inmates were asked to vacate them. This brought to the fore that illegal power connections ware being used to run these appliances. 



Alternative road link between Chandigarh, Zirakpur proposed
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, June 29
In an effort to ease traffic congestion on the busy Zirakpur-Chandigarh stretch of the Chandigarh-Ambala National Highway, the Punjab government has proposed another link between the two urban conglomerates.

The proposed link will not only make travelling from the densely populated Zirakpur town to Chandigarh easy, but also for those coming from Baltana and Panchkula (Sector 19, Industrial Area, Sectors 20, 21 and neighbouring areas of Zirakpur and Panchkula).

The idea was given by officials of the Punjab Drainage Department at a meeting held by NK Sharma, local MLA, after the Punjab and Haryana High Court directed the government to frame a scheme to widen and brick-line the Sukhna choe by constructing embankments on its either sides.

During a brain-storming session by the top brass of the drainage and the irrigation departments, a plan was finalised to channelise the Sukhna choe so that rain water coming from Chandigarh, Panchkula and other catchment areas did not flood the low lying residential areas in Zirakpur.

Then there was an idea that the embankments of the choe could also become alternate road links from Zirakpur to Chandigarh which would also ease the traffic congestion on the highway.

Talking to the Tribune, Sharma said that the Drainage Department had already started channelising the Sukhna choe starting from the Chandigarh border.

The left embankment (that falls in Bhabhat village) of the Shukna Choe will be used widened and used an alternate link to Chandigarh, he claimed.

“I have discussed the proposal with the officials of the Department of Local Government, Punjab. The project will be taken up by the local municipal council. The road link, nearly 2 km long, will start from the Yadvindra Bridge on the Zirakpur-Panchkula road in Zirakpur till Raipur Khurd village in Chandigarh,” the MLA said.

NK Arora, Subdivisional Officer (SDO), Drainage Department, said that the Sukhna choe was being channelised as per specifications, which could be widened to make a permanent road. 



Chhatbir zoo a virtual rescue centre for big cats
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

ChhatBir Zoo, June 29
With nine big cats being lodged at the Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park, Chhatbir, the zoo has been virtually turned in to a rescue and rehabilitation centre for big cats that are being rescued from different places in Punjab and Haryana in the last few years.

The zoo management is in a catch-22 situation on the release of these carnivores in the same areas from where they were rescued as Punjab and Harayana have not declared any habitat for leopards or any rescue and rehabilitation centres for them.

As per the provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, a rescued wild animal must be released in the same area from where it was rescued because of its acceptability to the surroundings.

In the absence of any declared habitat for the leopards in Punjab, the Wildlife Department is exchanging these majestic animals, that fall in Schedule -1 of the Act and add to the inventory of zoo inmates, for acquiring exotic and rare animals and birds for an attractive display in the enclosures.

The major problem, being faced by the zoo authorities, is that a majority of the rescued leopards have broken canines and are unfit to be released into the wild.

As per records, nine leopards rescued from Sunam, Hoshiarpur, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Pathankot, Mansa, Nangal, Chhat Bir and Kalesar (Haryana) are caged in the zoo.

Some of them have broken their canines either during the rescue operation or during transportation to the zoo.

Wildlife experts are of the view that these big cats when released in the forest they look for soft prey like calves, sheep and goat.

Moreover, these animals also shift their bases to human habitation for easy hunts thus increasing the animal-human conflicts, claimed Gurmeet Singh, a former Additional Chief Wildlife Warden, Punjab, and president of the Nature Conservation society, Punjab.

When contacted, Dr Manish Kumar, Field Director, Chhat Bir Zoo, admitted to have seven leopards that were rescued from different places, in the past. In captivity, the animal becomes aggressive and tries to attack the rescuers. In the process, they bite the iron-rods of the cages which results in breaking of their canines and injuries, he revealed.

“We have provided them shelter and care is being taken in captivity. The decision to release them in the wild has to be taken at the government level,” claimed Kumar.

“As they are adding to the zoo inventory of leopards and belong to Schedule-1 animal of the Wildlife Protection Act, we are getting handsome animal-exchange offers from other zoos,” he added. 



Maruti cars hot favourite among vehicle thieves
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Theft of Maruti cars and Bolero jeeps has caught the fancy of thieves in Chandigarh as these continue to be stolen in huge numbers. With these vehicles having a good resale value, the UT police’s record of theft of these vehicles has reached an all time high.

Statistics available with the UT police reveal that as many as 172 Maruti cars, including 102 Maruti 800s have been stolen from different parts of the city since January 2013 till date. While stolen Maruti 800s continue to be the highest, 31 Maruti Esteems, 25 Maruti Zen, nine Altos and five Maruti Swift cars have also been stolen in this period.

After Maruti cars, it is the sturdy Bolero jeeps that have been stolen in huge numbers from the city and figures on top when compared to the rest of the SUVs that have been lifted from the city. As many as 59 Bolero jeeps have been stolen from city since January 2013 till date. The UT police have been able to recover only six of these stolen Bolero jeeps. Apart from Boleros, as many as 16 Tata Safaris, 10 Taveras, eight Scorpios and 6 Innovas had been stolen. Besides, thieves also swept away 23 Vernas and 20 Indigos in this period.

Police said the thieves rake in good profit by selling Maruti cars in the neighbouring states and in rural areas where they fetch good price. Last year, the police had arrested a car thief Parveen Kumar, a Sonipat resident, he revealed that Boleros had become the most sought-after cars for auto thieves as these had a ready market in the rural areas of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and HP. In 2012, the police had also busted a gang of vehicle thieves who were adept at stealing Bolero jeeps. The police recovered 21 Boleros from the kingpin of the gang Bhim Pattan.


Better Chandigarh
Apni mandi losing its meaning, intended purpose
Despite apni mandi operating in different parts of the city everyday, residents are missing out on the opportunity of buying fresh vegetables directly from farmers. The apni mandi, which was meant to be the farmers’ as well as customers’ own vegetable market, is losing its original character.
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service
Farmers sell vegetables at the apni mandi at Sector 29 in Chandigarh.
Farmers sell vegetables at the apni mandi at Sector 29 in Chandigarh. 
Tribune Photos: S Chandan

Chandigarh, June 29
In what turns out to be a major concern for the city, vegetable markets are fast losing their original character and sheen. Amid the neglected state of the Grain and Vegetable Market in Sector 26 here, the average resident of the city is now yearning to find the original concept and culture that existed at the apni mandi until a few years ago.

From shrinking number of farmers turning up to the increased presence of middlemen and small vendors at the apni mandi (vegetable market) everyday, the concept of providing the residents the fresh farm produce at the cheapest costs and a platform for farmers to realise direct incomes from customers is diluting.

As per officials at the Punjab Mandi Board, the body that regulates apni mandi, the number of farmers seeking identification cards for setting up their stalls at the apni mandi has come down to 300 now from over a 1,000 five-six years ago. Day markets were set up by the Municipal Corporation, a few years ago, allowing other vendors like snack sellers and small goods to sit at the apni mandi, which further gave rise to the unauthorised entry of middlemen and small vendors forming a majority at the mandi and sidelining the farmers. Also, sanitation remains a casualty at the mandi and the leftovers like rotten vegetables, used polybags keep lying in the apni mandi grounds for the next two-three days till MC workers clean them. Paramjit Singh, a resident of Sector 49, who is a regular visitor to the Sector 46 apni mandi, said even if officials of the Punjab Mandi Board are present at the mandi for the regulation of prices, they could not intervene in the prices fixed by the vendors. Despite having a good system of grievances redressal system for customers, these officials have their role limited to the complaint related to farmers.


* Better vigilance by MC, Mandi Board

* Proper cementing should be done on the ground

* Congestion in the mandi should be checked

* Proper segregation needed in day market and farmers’ mandi

* Licences should be made mandatory to sell goods in the mandi

* The entire market should be under one authority

* More mandis should be created in the market

* Farmers should be encouraged by the UT officials

* Prices charged by middlemen should be regulated by the Mandi Board

* Day market should be separated from the mandi

It’s nobody’s baby, says MS Gill

MS Gill, Rajya Sabha MP, who had introduced the concept during his tenure as the chairman, Punjab Mandi Board, between 1985 and 1988, expressed disappointment over the state of apni mandi now. “I had passion for the subject. My idea has not died in 30 years but it has apparently lost the perfection. After I left the board, it had no ‘mai-baap’ (apni mandi nobody’s baby). I feel sorry to see the state of affairs in a city like Chandigarh, which has so many bureaucrats but hardly anyone is having interest in checking reasons behind the rising cost of vegetables. As a solution, I feel at least one official needs to take the charge and improve the situation. By reviving the original purpose of the apni mandi - practice of direct selling and buying between farmers and customers - the administration can do wonders in fighting against the price rise expected across the country in coming months due to prediction of drought,” Gill suggested.

The original concept

In 1980s, the then chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board, MS Gill, introduced the concept of apni mandi on the lines of Saturday market in Cambridge where farmers used to sell their farm produce once a week directly and at the cheapest cost to the customers. Farmers from across 10 miles circuit around Chandigarh, having small farms measuring 2 acres to 7 acres, were identified and provided identity cards to set up temporary stalls at the apni mandi. As the concept gained popularity among residents in the city, it gradually increased to daily availability in different parts of the city. Currently, farmers come from Samrala, Banur, Rajpura, Khanna, Ropar, Maloya and Sarangpur to the apni mandi.

Reasons for diluting the concept

While big farmers readily sell off their produce to middlemen to save time, as their income is relatively stable, small farmers are sidelined by vendors at the market. The apni mandi, these days, finds a mix of vendors selling snacks, small household goods, a minimal number of farmers and a majority of the middlemen and vendors. Even as inspectors from the Punjab Mandi Board sit at the entry points throughout the day, having displayed costs of vegetables, fruits to check overpricing, their ambit is limited to regulate the farmers. Even as the MC claims of regular checking of overpricing at the day market, it has hardly any control over the middlemen and the vendors. As a result, the vendors have a free run in fixing the prices of vegetables and fruits at their respective stalls. The customer often ends up being befooled at the hands of the vendors who charge more money, said an official from the Punjab Mandi Board. These middlemen and vendors constitute a huge vote bank for politicians. This is also one of the factors responsible for the lack of vigil on the unauthorised occupation of space by the vendors in the mandi.


Customer pays more

There is no regulation of costs fixed by the middlemen and vendors at the market. Costs vary from one stall to next. Neither inspectors from the Punjab Mandi Board nor MC officials have any check or mechanism to regulate the prices defined by these vendors.

Farmers lose business

Small farmers, who alleged to have been sidelined by these vendors, said they had been losing their customers to the vendors as the latter occupy all prominent locations in the mandi where customer footfall remains higher.

Vendors bring old stock to mandi

Farmers bring fresh farm produce to the mandi everyday, while vendors, who stock vegetables and fruits on their rehri (movable) stalls for selling across the city, bring two-three day old stock also to the mandi.

What farmers say

Harassed by cops, MC officials

We are often harassed by policemen and also MC officials. It seems that there is a nexus between the vendors and the higher officials. Even if we complain of lacking cooperation from other vendors for space at the mandi, we are forced to surrender to the dominance of other vendors. — Surjit Singh, a farmer from Tasauli village (Banur)

Vendors occupy visible locations

These vendors often reach the mandi ground on the previous night or early in the morning and occupy prominently visible locations. This forces us to hunt for space in the corners. A customer, who is often in a hurry, would hardly come inside the market and prefer buying from vendors sitting at the front side. — Ujjagar Singh, a farmer from Buta Singh Walla village

No encouragement from officials

There is no encouragement for us from officials of the board. Earlier, farming used to be a good source of income for us. My income from the mandi has reduced in the past 10 years. — Gurbachan Singh, a farmer from Banur village

We blame it on drought and excess rains for rising prices. But has anyone bothered to look into the basics? It is the middlemen who are significantly responsible for the rising cost of vegetables. For instance: A farmer still sells a vegetable at Rs 1, but instead of the customer buying it at Rs 1, the middlemen buy it at that cost. Later, he sells it at Rs 10 to the customer even at the apni mandi. — MS Gill, Rajya Sabha MP

What residents say

Parking a major problem

Parking is the biggest problem in the apni mandi. The situation worsens during the rains. These markets should have cemented areas to set up the entire market. — Sunil Jain, a resident of Sector 41

No difference in veggie prices

Prices of fruits turn out to be much lesser at mandi when we compare them with that of retail markets. In vegetables, sometimes the cost turns out to be similar at the mandi and retail markets. Taking a full round of mandi to check prices is not possible always. — Nikhil Gupta, a resident of Sector 35


We keep checking overpricing or unauthorised presence of vendors in the mandi. But we have no role in deciding the prices of vegetables and fruits. That part is to be handled entirely by the Mandi Board. We cannot intervene in their matter. — Jai Pal Singh, executive engineer, day market (Municipal Corporation)

Our inspectors remain present from morning till 8 pm everyday at the mandi. We have a grievances redressal system for all kind of complaints. In fact, the rate chart displayed at the entry point of the mandi also mentions the cellphone numbers of officials for lodging complaints. A number of residents ring up to tell us about encroachments also. But we can only regulate the farmers but none in the day market. — Kuldeep Singh, secretary, Apni Mandi, Punjab Mandi Board

The schedule of apni mandi in different parts of the city

* Monday: Sector 45

* Tuesday: Sector 29

* Wednesday: Sector 15

* Thursday: Ram Darbar

* Friday: Sector 46

* Saturday: Sector 43

* Sunday: Sector 34



Day 2: RLA gets rich by Rs 18.20 lakh
186 numbers sold in auction; most of the numbers sold for a margin of Rs 1,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Special vehicle registration numbers with unique combinations such as ‘9999’ and ‘8888’ and those having auspicious value such as ‘ 0786’ were in high demand on the second day of the open auction by the Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA) here today.

A total 186 numbers were sold for a total of Rs 18.20 lakh on the second day of the auction.

Today’s auction saw the number ‘9999’ going for Rs 80,000 and number ‘8888’ for Rs 26,000.

The unique number ‘0786’ fetched Rs 61,000. Another unique number ‘7777’ went for Rs 52,000, while ‘1111’ went for Rs 40,000.

Other numbers such as ‘1313’ and ‘2222’ went for Rs 37,000 and Rs 32,000, respectively. Most of the numbers were sold for a margin of Rs 1,000.

Yesterday, the highest bid of Rs 5.75 lakh was attracted by the special number ‘0001’. There were four bidders for the special number.

Meanwhile, Kashish Mittal, in charge, RLA , said during the two-day auction, the RLA had earned Rs 75.88 lakh through the sale of 286 numbers.


During the two-day auction process, the Registering and Licensing Authority has earned an amount of Rs 75.88 lakh through the sale of 286 numbers. — Kashish Mittal, in charge, Registering and Licensing Authority 



Gul Panag’s VISTAR aimed at strengthening party base
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
As part of the national mission ‘VISTAR” , a programme of the Aam Aadmi Party, to strengthen its base on each booth level, Gul Panag, the local party leader, today inaugurated the programme at Dadu Majra colony here today.

Interacting with mediapersons, Gul said, “The mission is aimed at strengthening the party base. This will allow better penetration at the lower level and provide a channel for airing the grievances of the common man.”

She said the target was to make 5,200 polling booths agents.

Gul further said the committee constituted at the booth level will play a crucial role in deciding the candidates for the Municipal Corporation elections.

Coincidentally, Gul Panag and BJP Member of Parliament from Chandigarh, Kirron Kher, were in the city today.

Kher is in the city to attend the Advisory’s Committee meeting tomorrow.

‘People can air their grievances’

The mission is aimed at strengthening the party base. This will allow better penetration at the lower level and provide a channel for airing the grievances of the common man. — GUL PANAG, LEADER, Aam Aadmi Party



PGI doc gets int’l fellowship

Chandigarh, june 29
Dr Shefali Khanna Sharma is working as a faculty in the Rheumatology Division, Department of Internal Medicine, PGIMER, Chandigarh.

She has been awarded the coveted International Fellowship for Training at Royal Free Hospital and UCL Medical School, London, by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). — TNS



Monsoon likely to hit city after July 5
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Good news is in store for residents reeling under the scorching heat.

The temperature is likely to remain below 40 degrees Celsius throughout the week.

The possibility of rainfall is after July 5, says the weatherman.

The maximum temperature recorded on Sunday was 34.5 degree Celsius (1 degree below normal), while the minimum was 26.4 degree Celsius (1 degree above normal).

The temperature is expected to remain in the same range in the coming week in the city.

Also, there is a possibility of rain and thunderstorm in the next three days.

“The monsoon is expected after July 5. Till then, the temperature will remain low,” said an official from the Chandigarh Met Department. 

n The temperature is likely to remain below 40 degrees Celsius throughout the week.

n Officials of the Weather Department say the possibility of rain is after July 5.

n The maximum temperature recorded on Sunday was 34.5 degree Celsius, while the minimum was 26.4 degree Celsius.



Residents discusses long-pending issues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
The CHB Residents’ Federation today took up the issue of the long-pending demands of colonies and rehabilitation colonies with the BJP leaders.

The memorandum was submitted following a meeting of the CHB Residents’ Federation, held in Sector 44-D, today.

Nirmal Dutt, chairman of the CHB Federation, said the main demands included getting houses regularised by changing the old bylaws, simplifying paper work/process of transfer of ownership, start the process of giving ownership to those who bought their houses before the lapse of 5 years, giving ownership rights to the residents of the tenement colonies, who over the last decade have bought their houses on the Power of Attorney and compound the need-based small additions made on small unused patches of land by one-room owners.

Meanwhile, Sanjay Tandon, local BJP president, assured the delegation of the CHB Federation that he would take up the issues and would soon get requisite relief from the authorities.



Banda Singh Bahadur’s life comes alive on stage
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
A play on one of the greatest and bravest warriors of Punjab — Banda Singh Bahadur — was staged at Punjab Kala Bhawan by the Punjabi Kala Kendra and Theatre Arts, Chandigarh.

The play, directed by Rajiv Mehta, recreated the historical episodes from the life of Banda Singh Bahadur on the stage.

The play was organised by the Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi. The music and shabad recitals added to the performance of the artistes.

The play, which was supported with visuals and powerful sound tracks, captured the pulse of the audience, as they stay glued to their seats.

The performance, which lasted two hours and thirty minutes, brought together 20 artistes on the stage.

The director of the play, Rajiv Mehta, who also played the role of Maulvi, said, “The production of the play took over two years before it could be staged.”

The play has completed 17 successful screenings. The director proved his mastery over the theatre craft by packing the script with meaningful dialogues and using lights to give a larger than life pulse.

The protagonist character of Banda Bahadur, played by Narinder Singh, remained the show stealer.

The actor with his perfect timing and superlative performance took the play to another level. Not only the play reflected the warrior side of Banda Bahadur, but also depicted his reformer and revolutionary side.

Historical note

The play, directed by Rajiv Mehta, recreated the historical episodes from the life of Banda Singh Bahadur on the stage. The play has completed 17 successful screenings.



Over 13k appear for UGC-NET held at 43 centres in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
A total of 13,034 candidates from the region today appeared in the UGC-National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET) to attain eligibility for lectureship and research fellowship for PhD.

The exam was conducted across 43 centres in the city today.

A total of 17117 candidates had applied for the examination.

The exam was conducted in three sets between 10 am and 5 pm. The results will be declared after three months.

The UGC-NET is held every six months and thousands of candidates clear the exam. However, for enrolling in fellowship at different departments of Panjab University, there remains a long-waiting list due to high demand. 



4,000 take railway examination in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Huge rush and chaos was seen today as over 4,000 candidates reached here to appear in an exam conducted by the Railway Recruitment Board.

The rush on roads increased after 12 noon when the candidates started leaving the examination centres.

The exam for recruitment for the posts of assistant locopilot was conducted across 17 centres in the city.

“We had introduced a special train between Chandigarh and Ambala for the convenience of candidates,” said Chandigarh Railway Station Superintendent RK Dutta.

Despite the special train running in the afternoon the rush could not be contained. Students were forced to run and board the train that departed at around 3 pm.

Students were seen sitting atop inter-state buses leaving the city in the afternoon.



Blood donation camp marks Doctors’ Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
On the occasion of Doctors’ Day on July 1, the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Chandigarh Branch, organised a blood donation camp on the premises of the Indian Medical Association House, Sector 35, here today.

The blood donation camp was organised with the collaboration of the Blood Bank, Government Multi Speciality Hospital, Sector-16. The volunteers included city doctors, residents and volunteers from local NGOs.

Dr G Dewan, president, Indian Medical Association, Chandigarh, said such camps will remain a regular feature of the IMA, Chandigarh, to boost voluntary donations to meet the growing demand of hospitals. 



300 attend health camp

Chandigarh, June 29
As many as 300 people attended a free health camp organised by Max India Foundation (MIF), the Corporate Social Responsibility Wing of the Max India Group, at Behrampur Bet village in Ropar district, yesterday.

The camp was organised in association with Max Super Specialty Hospital, Mohali, and Max Specialty Films, the production unit of the Max Group based near Ropar.

The underprivileged were examined free-of-cost. A team of doctors comprising of Dr VS Sachdev, Dr Harpreet Kapoor, Dr Sourabh Singhal and Dr Sushma volunteered services for a good cause. — TNS



200 patients given medical aid in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 29
The District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), Mohali, in association with the House Owners Welfare Society, Phase V, organised a legal awareness-cum-free medical camp at the Lok Sewa Kendar, Dharana Bhawan, Civil Dispensary, Phase V, today.

The Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-Secretary, DLSA, Tarntaran Singh Bindra, and Dr Sukhwinder Singh, Patiala Hospital, Phase IX, jointly inaugurated the camp after the chief guest, Prem Singh Chandumajra, MP, addressed the gathering.

Dr Navtej Pal Singh, Dr Kanwar Sidharath, Dr Saran Gill Kanwar, Dr Aman Navneet Kaur, Dr Suman Kamboj and Dr Manohar Lal examined the patients on the patients.

Dr SB Lal performed free sugar tests. The bone density test was also conducted free of cost. Free medicines were provided to the deprived by GS Sachar and Ranbaxy Laboratories.

Nearly 200 patients were given medical aid. 



Cultural extravaganza at Kalagram
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
The City Beautiful experienced a folklore extravaganza during the second day of ‘Punjabi Folk Music, Tribal Dance and Food Festival’ organised by the North Zone Cultural Centre, Patiala, at the Kalagram here today.

The key attractions of the event were folk songs by Meenu Atwal and folk ballad renditions by dhadhi singer Desh Raj and troupe. The performance left the audience mesmerised.

Another vibrant performance was given by young artistes who presented a folk theatre act ‘Saare Jahan Se Achcha’. Around 55 children showcased their acting talent on stage.

The organisers informed that the sole purpose of organising the festival was to revive the dying cultural folk, including dances, music and activities like kite flying.

For food lovers a wide range of cuisines was available.

Among the folk dances that were performed on the concluding day of the event included Konkani, Haryanvi, Rajasthani, and Gujarati and Uttrakhand tribal dances.

Rich in heritage and traditional culture, the fest offered something to every visitor, irrespective of age, interest and pocket.



Business news

Realtors honoured

The second edition of the two-day North India’s Real Estate Show 2014 by Estate Avenues concluded on Sunday with large number of investors visiting the exhibition at Himachal Bhawan. DLF bagged the top honours as the developer of the year while its dynamic executive director Ananta Singh Raghvanshi was awarded as real estate’s outstanding woman professional of the year. The top award for integrated township developer went to Ansal API, while DLF bagged the honours in the commercial segment and SARE Homes in the residential segment.

150 CA members attend seminar

The Chandigarh Branch of Institute of Chartered Accountants in India (ICAI) organised a seminar for CA students and aspirants on Issues in Concurrent Audit in Bank Branches to acquaint them with new provisions. The seminar was organised at Hotel Orbit. The seminar witnessed a participation of more than 150 CA members from the tricity.

Reliance insurance launches Claims Guarantee

Reliance Life Insurance Company (RLIC), part of Reliance Capital Limited, on Friday launched Claims Guarantee, a unique customer-centric service initiative to settle death claim payment in the shortest possible time. The company guarantees to pay claims within 12 working days of receipt of all required death claim documents from the nominee or claimant. — TNS



Reporters diary

Top cop’s crush for ‘candy crush’

A UT police DSP, seemingly addicted with playing candy crush on his computer, has found a novel way to ward off any unwanted guests in his office. He continues to play candy crush in the presence of his guests and says the game ‘relaxes’ him from daily stress! Some people go away thinking the officer is ‘working hard’ on his computer for some case!

Hydraulic ladder at  Governor’s service

At times, the hydraulic ladder with the UT Fire Department — which is often seen in action while controlling flames in high-rise buildings — is used for extending undue favours. On Friday, the hydraulic ladder from the Sector 17 fire station was requisitioned to the Punjab Raj Bhawan. It was not to attend any fire call, but to attend to some special work that required the services of the special truck.

No business

During the chaos that took place at the counselling venue for MBBS admissions for GMCH-32 last week, with parents raising objections over the miscommunication, the person at the helm of affairs was found to have no business in the counselling process. Upon being asked by the officials as to whether he was among parents of the aspirants for seats, he said, “I have only come to drop the parents of one of the aspirants.” On learning this, the officials reprimanded him for the entire chaos, while not daring to say a word to the angry parents.

Who will pay ‘invalid’ MC House meeting expenses

Though Municipal Corporation Mayor Harphool Kalyan has termed the June 25 MC house meeting — chaired by BJP’s Senior Deputy Mayor Hira Negi after ‘hijacking’ the Mayor’s seat — as invalid, the question is who will pay the expenses incurred on the meeting, including catering, tea and lunch, which amounts to Rs 1.25 lakh. While the Mayor and MC are planning to pay the expenses from the MC’s budget, the BJP-SAD has already warned the Mayor that if he declares the June 25 meeting as ‘invalid,’ then all the expenses incurred will have to be borne by the Mayor. Let’s see, who wins!

Taxi operators also  in waiting

Not only local residents, but taxi operators are also waiting for the day when international flights from the Chandigarh Airport become operational. The taxi business at the airport has been affected as there are only domestic flights that, too, on limited hours.

Varying versions

The common merit list for admissions to Class XI in government schools has raised questions over the seriousness of the Education Department. While the online updated merit list on the department’s website had accommodated students even with 3.6 CGPA, the official press released by the department showed the cut-off only till 4 CGPA. Even the grand total of the students varied at both the ends. The officials, on the first day answered the press release and on the second day, said, “It’s the website account!”

Race for memorandum in student parties

A race is going on between various student political parties on the PU campus to submit the maximum number of memorandums to Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover these days. It has become an agenda of all student parties to daily submit a memorandum to the VC on various issues faced by the students. Mediapersons are frequently receiving calls from student leaders to confirm from them about issues being raised by the leaders of other parties.

Contributed by Aneesha Sareen, Rajmeet Singh, Ritika Jha Palial,  Rajinder Nagarkoti, Deepankar Sharda, Mehakdeep Grewal and Aarti Kapur



Tricity scan

Club awarded

Chandigarh: For the second time in a row, Rotary Club of Chandigarh won the running trophy for the Best Club among 79 clubs in Rotary District 3080 here on Sunday. The trophy was presented at the district annual awards function, ‘Abhinandan’, and was received by the club president Hassan Singh Mejie, secretary Desh Deepak Khanna and other members. The Rotary District 3080 comprises Chandigarh, parts of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand and Uttar Pradesh.

Charter nite

Lions Club Chandigarh Greater celebrated its 36th Charter Nite under the chairmanship of Sushil Kapoor, the president of the club, at the Lions Bhawan in Sector 30, Chandigarh. Former international director, KM Goyal from Delhi was the chief guest on the occasion. He lauded the efforts of the club in helping the poor in the tricity through its various projects, including weekly free medical clinic, daily free sewing and stitching classes, a bi-weekly homeopathy dispensary and a daily dental clinic. — TNS



60 pc applicants are compartment cases
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 29
The state of education in Panchkula district can be gauged from the fact that 60 per cent of the application forms received in the most sought-after college, Government PG College, Sector 1, pertain to compartment cases.

Resultantly, the cut-off percentage in the college is likely to go down as compared to the last year. In 2013, the highest cut-off, only 55 per cent, was in BCom course.

The college authorities said as Panchkula district had put up a poor show in the Classes X and XII examinations in Haryana, the same had a bearing on college admissions.

College principal SP Singh said, “We even get left over cases because those students who could not get admission in Chandigarh colleges come to us. The cut-off for BCom in our college is 60 per cent only when we get applications ten times the number of seats. ”

“The admission process is underway and most applications are of ‘result awaited’ cases,” said Rajni Bhalla, a senior professor at the college.

The situation has worsened with the online process that has been implemented in Haryana for the first time. According to students, the website servers remain down most of time.

As per the Department of Higher Education, Haryana, the college has, so far, received only 216 applications against 400 seats in BA course.

Only 41 students have applied against 60 seats in BCA (Bachelor of computer applications). No student has applied for admission in BBA course, which has 60 seats.

The college authorities were expecting good response for the BCom course but only 336 students have applied against 240 seats and most of the applicants are compartment cases.

Only four students have sought admission in PGDCA against 60 seats.

There are four government colleges in Panchkula district, namely Government PG College, Sector 1, Panchkula, Government College for Girls, Sector 14, Panchkula, Government College, Barwala, and Government College, Kalka.

Tomorrow is the last date for submission of applications. The counselling for admissions will start from July 1.

Fact file

* The college has, so far, received only 216 applications against 400 seats in BA course.

* Only 41 students have applied against 60 seats in BCA.

* No student has applied for admission in BBA course, which has 60 seats.

* Only four students have sought admission in PGDCA against 60 seats.

* Though the college authorities were expecting good response for the BCom course, only 336 students have applied against 240 seats.



PU declares results of CET for PG courses 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Panjab University (PU) today declared the result of Post Graduate(PG) Combined Entrance Test (CET) of 38 courses offered by the university and other colleges in the city.

As many as 13,427 candidates had appeared for the test to get admission in various courses. The result is available at http://results.puchd.ac.in under the head ‘Entrance Test 2014’.

Now, the candidates would have to apply upto July 2, directly to their respective institution, department or centre in which they want to seek admission.

Application forms along with the handbook of information is available at the PU sale counter in the Administrative Block on cash payment of Rs 550.

The admissions will be based on the relative merit of the candidates as determined by the marks obtained in the qualifying degree examination and the result of the entrance test held in the year of admission, subject to reservation and weightage, as prescribed in the rules of admission of the university department, institution or centre concerned. The final merit for admission shall be computed by the department concerned after taking into account the relative weightage.

The entrance test and degree qualifying examination would have weightage of 50 per cent each for MCA (Master of Computer Application), MA (Journalism and Mass Communication), Master in Public Health, MA (English), MTech (Instrumentation), MTech (Nanoscience and Nanotechnology), ME (Chemical), MTech (Polymer), MSc (Industrial Chemistry), Regular Programmes for ME Electrical Engineering (Instrumentation & Control), ME (Electronics and Communication Engineering), ME (Computer Science and Engineering), ME Civil Engineering (Construction Technology & Management) and ME Mechanical Engineering (Manufacturing Technology), MBE, MCom (Business Innovation), MBACIT, MPEd (Master of Physical Education), BPEd (Bachelor of Physical Education), MSc (Hons. School) for Biochemistry/Biophysics /Computer science/Mathematics/Microbiology and Geology, MSc Bioinformatics (being offered in the colleges affiliated to PU), Environment Science/

Human Genomics /Nuclear Medicine/System Biology and Bioinformatics and Microbial Biotechnology/ Medical Physics/Physics & Electronics and MSc (Hons. School/two year course) for Biotechnology/Botany/Chemistry/Physics/Zoology.

In LLM (Master of Laws),entrance test and degree qualifying examination would have 80 and 20 percent weightage, respectively.



Four yrs on, UT to sell damaged rice
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, June 29
Finally, the UT Education Department has woken from its slumber to get rid of 4,500 kg of kinki/damaged rice that it procured for mid-day meals after spending lakhs of rupees over the last four years.

The department has invited quotations for the sale of 4,500 kg of kinki/damaged rice procured from the Food Corporation of India’s (FCI) Kurali godown at the cost of Rs 5.65 per kg.

According to information available, the department had sold 296 kg of kinki rice in the year 2010 at Rs 3 per kg to poultry farmers.

Officials said the department was selling off the damaged rice, which had been collected over a period of four years.

Deputy District Education Officer Shiv Kumar said, “The grains are the residue waste of rice that cannot be used for human consumption.”

However, the authorities failed to inform as to how the rice had been damaged and why the department had been collecting and storing it over the years.

Sources said the damaged rice had been declared unfit for human consumption after an inspection committee had found insects and stones in it. They said the rice was edible only by poultry.

As per norms, the department procures foodgrain from the FCI of fair average quality.

Around 74,590 students are covered under the mid-day meal scheme in the city.

The quotation, which the department has uploaded on its official website, states that the highest bidder shall be supposed to deposit a demand draft of Rs 5000 and the balance amount is to be deposited with the department at the time of lifting of kinki/damaged rice. Sample for the same can be seen at the MDM store in GMHS-22-C, Chandigarh.

Mid-day mea

* The damaged rice was declared unfit for human consumption after an inspection committee found insects and stones in it. Now, the rice is edible only by poultry.

* The authorities failed to inform as to how the rice had been damaged and why the department had been collecting and storing it over the years.



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