C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Habitual offender held again
Canada-returned youth behind several cases of thefts in city this year
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
The crime branch of the Chandigarh Police arrested a Mohali-based youth, Sahil Kaushal, for a spate of thefts in the city. The accused, who has done his BBA from Canada, has been arrested by the UT police several times in the past for snatchings and in drug peddling cases.

A resident of Phase VII, Mohali, Sahil was earlier arrested in an NDPS case registered at the Industrial Area police station. The crime branch got the remand of the the accused today and claimed to have solved three cases of thefts with his arrest.

The accused had stolen an Esteem car on January 2 from the parking of the Sector 34 police station following which a case was registered. In February this year, the accused had stolen gold ornaments, weighing 200 gm and worth Rs 6 lakh, from a house in Sector 38 (West). The accused had also stolen a UK-made revolver — Webley — from the house of a former Punjab IG in Sector 39 in March this year.

Crime branch sleuths said the youth had completed his BBA degree from Canada. Due to his habit of drug addiction, he started committing thefts in the city to fulfil his demand for drugs. He used to roam in the city to choose an easy target. He used to target houses locked during the daytime and break the locks with an iron rod to commit the thefts.

He was also arrested by the crime branch on May 9 for his involvement in thefts cases in the city and was later released on bail.

He has been arrested in 10 cases in the past — one case under the NDPS Act, six cases of snatching and three cases of burglary — registered at various police stations in the city.

He was produced before a court, which remanded him in 14-day judicial custody.



Suicide case: Over 500 bankers hold protest
Demand action against 2 officials named in suicide note
Tribune News Service

Bank employees hold a protest outside the PNB at Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Friday
Bank employees hold a protest outside the PNB at Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Friday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, July 4
A day after a 52-year-old banker allegedly committed suicide, over 500 employees from various banks here held a one-hour-long protest at Bank Square in Sector 17, demanding action against the officials named in the suicide note.

Ajay Sehgal, branch manager of the PNB, Sector 20, allegedly committed suicide on Wednesday evening by jumping in front of the Unchahar Express (14218) on the Chandigarh-Ambala railway line at Daria village, 2 km from the Chandigarh railway station.

A suicide note was recovered from the spot by officials of the Government Railway Police Force (GRPF).

A diary containing data related to his official performance was also recovered from the spot by the team. Sources said in his suicide note, Sehgal held Senior Deputy General Manger AK Gupta and Field General Manager JK Gupta responsible for forcing him to take the extreme step.

He had mentioned in his suicide note that the data which they were presenting to the higher authorities was not correct and they were misguiding the Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the bank.

The protesting bank employees alleged that they had been working under adverse conditions and needed better infrastructure.

“Strict action must be taken against the two officials who had been harassing Sehgal. We will continue our agitation. The future course of action will be decided tomorrow,” said Rajender Wali, a member of the PNB Officers Association.

Sources in the bank said on Wednesday, at a meeting of all senior officials in the main branch, Sehgal was insulted and humiliated by the two officials. Later, when one of his junior officials called Sehgal at 2 pm, he was depressed and said he was busy for two hours and would not come to the office. At around 7 pm, his colleagues got information about his suicide.

An official said two months ago also, he faced humiliation at a meeting of higher officials in which he was termed a non-performer.



suicide by Banker
Accused go underground
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula/Chandigarh, July 4
A day after the branch manager of PNB, Ajay Sehgal, committed suicide, the Senior deputy manager and Field general manager whom he has held responsible have gone underground, said the police.

The performance data can act as a vital evidence in the case since the police is browsing through the previous records.

“The two accused — AK Gupta and JK Gupta — are underground since the incident took place. They even left their official mobile phones in the office,” said Station house officer of the GRPF, Chandigarh, Inspector Aman Singh. Regarding data, he said, The suicide note by the victim mentioned the extent of harassment in the office. The police have also summoned the eight officials who were in the meeting on July 2. The family was called to record their statements .



Infernos fail to wake up Fire & Emergency Dept
Yet to inspect fire-safety equipment in Sector 17 buildings that house offices & showrooms
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
It seems the inferno that gutted the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) building, which claimed the lives of two firemen, has failed to wake up the Fire and Emergency Department to inspect the fire-safety equipment installed in various buildings at Sector 17.

The second fire incident in less then a month at Sector 17, this time at the regional office of Syndicate Bank, is a grim reminder for the Fire Department to act against government offices and commercial establishments which have failed to install the fire-safety system in the buildings.

On June 8, when a fire was reported at the NIELIT building, the Fire Department did not have the building plans of the NIELIT. The fire-safety system was missing in the building. Firefighters continued the operation, presuming it to be a three-storeyed building. MC Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh said they would soon inspect the fire-safety system installed at government offices across the city. He said inspections were conducted at regular intervals in buildings, and the defaulters were served notices to comply with the fire-safety norms.

Procedure of ensuring fire safety in buildings tedious

There is a “long and tedious procedure” of ensuring fire safety in buildings under the National Building Code. A building is first issued a notice for a violation by the Fire Station Officer in the city and is given one-month time to remove it. The building owner then gets an extension of one month to get the violation removed. If the violation still continues, the case is sent to the Chief Fire Officer. He, too, issues a notice and can finally order the sealing of the property.

Fire Dept’s suggestions

* Gates/escape routes should be kept open during working hours

* Loose wires and temporary connections should be removed

* No record files should be kept at balconies, staircase, lobbies and corridors

* Automatic sprinkler system should be installed on all floors, according to the National Building Code, 2005.

* Use of heaters and gas stoves in offices should be prohibited

* Combustible material should not be stored in the basement of the building

* Fire extinguishers should be readily available.

Syndicate Bank records safe

The records stored at the regional office of Syndicate Bank, which was gutted in the fire on Thursday, are safe. The data related to the bank customers and employees was stored at the regional office. Amninder Singh, technical officer of the bank, said important data was saved from getting burnt. They also had a back-up of the data, which was stored in computers that got burnt. “The data stored at the regional office of the bank has a back-up at the head office and at the branches concerned,” he said. Bank officials said they had only suffered a loss of infrastructure. 


Residents get some relief from price rise
UT Administration sets up four stalls in City Beautiful to sell onions
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
Following exposure of stark contrast in prices of onion in the wholesale and retail markets and speculations on further increase in price, the UT Administration has set up four more stalls for selling onion at cheaper rates in the city.

Residents thronged in large numbers at four kiosks set up today, one each at Dhanas, Sector 46, 37 and Mauli Jagran. The onion and potato there were being sold at Rs 23 per kg.

The working hours of the kiosks are from10 am to 6pm. Each family can purchase maximum up to 2 kg per day, said an official from the UT Administration.

A visit to the kiosk in Sector 46 it was found that to verify authenticity of buyers and to check hoarding, addresses of buyers were being recorded at the kiosk. “The move is appreciable. But they should not put restrictions on the quantity. A bigger family will require larger quantity,” said one of the visitors.

Chandigarh Tribune had, four days ago, reported that how the cost of different varieties of onion — Nasik and Rajasthan — were being sold in retail market (Rs 40 and 35 per kg, respectively) at double the price in the wholesale market (Rs 22 and Rs 15, respectively).

The cost of potato in the wholesale market is varies from Rs 16 to 23 per kg, while in the retail market, the cost ranges from Rs 28 to Rs 30 per kg. 



Gastro infections on the rise in city
Health Dept yet to swing into action
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
Even as city hospitals and clinics are flooded with patients developing gastrointestinal infections-GI (food poisoning) after eating out, the UT Health Department is yet to wake up to the issue and check hygiene conditions at the restaurants.

In past six months, the food safety cell of the UT Health Department has not conducted any inspection across Sector 35, 26 that house most of city’s medium and large restaurants and hotels, going by records available with the department.

Even bigger hotels, including the three CITCO hotels, have been conveniently exempted from inspections while the hotels in the periphery were raided. “We have been receiving many such cases where patient complain of loose motions and pain in the abdomen. Following the examination, it is found that they had eaten out the previous evening. Even those eating in reputed hotels have been coming with the problem,” said Dr Sandeep Dhawan, expert gastroenterologist, from Dhawan clinic in Sector 16. Dhawan added.

The city hospitals and clinics have been reporting 10 to 15 new cases every day since the past one month. A visit to a lane of restaurants across sector 35 revealed that vegetables were exposed to flies in the backyard of some restaurants, while another restaurant was found preparing food in the open. The hotels raided in the past six months, include those in villages, while 13 complaints were received against hotels from residents, but none were against any of the hotels in the above-mentioned sectors. 



Sector 17 parking lots
No dedicated passages for fire tenders
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
A fire at Sector 17 on any working day can lead to a major tragedy as the haphazardly parked vehicles and absence of dedicated passages for the fire tenders can prove a hinderance in carrying out the rescue operations.

On a visit to the parking lots in Sector 17 it was found that the vehicles were haphazardly parked not leaving much space for the movement of vehicles.

A yellow line demarcates fire zones in the parkings and no vehicle is allowed to be parked in that area, however, not even a single parking in Sector 17 had space demarcated for the fire tenders.

Interestingly, a day after the fire incident at the regional office of Syndicate Bank, the parking opposite the bank witnessed vehicles parked chaotically in the middle of the passage. Fortunately, the parking was empty on Thursday as the fire was reported in the morning or else the fire operation could have been hampered.

A fire official on anonymity stated that if the fire was reported in Sector 17 during office hours then it would be very difficult for the fire tenders to reach even close to the building, as the parkings were cramped up with the vehicles leaving very little passage for vehicles. “During emergency, precious time will be wasted in getting the vehicles removed”, a fire official stated.

As per norms, there should be parking attendants at every 50 meters in paid parkings to ensure systematic parking, however, hardly any parking attendant can be seen in the parking area.

MC Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh said the yellow lines have faded away due to the re-carpeting of parking lots. “We will ensure that a space is demarcated for the fire tenders in the parking lots so that the fire tenders have a clear passage at the time of emergency”, the Commissioner stated. 



Head constable injured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
A head constable deployed with the UT traffic police sustained injuries after he was hit by a car. Head constable Parminder Singh was deployed at a naka laid near the Sector 35-36 roundabout when a rashly-driven car (HR-29X-8762) was signalled to stop but the driver tried to flee from the spot and hit Bhupinder.

He was later rushed to the Government Medical Hospital and College (GMCH) in Sector 32.

The car was registered at Ballabgarh, Haryana, and a team has been dispatched to nab the accused. A case has been registered and the investigation is on.



Non-payment of salary
Protesting computer lab assistants lathicharged

Panchkula, July 4
Seven computer laboratory assistants of the Haryana Department who have been protesting since days suffered minor injuries when the Chandigarh Police today lathicharged them them on the Panchkula-Chandigarh border when they were trying to enter Chandigarh. The protesters had decided to go and meet the Chief Minister when they were stopped by the police force on the border.

A lab assistant, Dharmender, suffered serious injuries on his face. Another victim, Harjinder, also fell unconscious. Not only this, even the traffic route was diverted towards IT Park, inconveniencing commuters.

The assistants have been sitting on a hunger strike alleging that the government had not paid them salaries for the last 26 months. —TNS



150 examined at medical camp
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
Desh Bhagat University and Desh Bhagat Ayurvedic Hospital organised a free medical check-up camp in collaboration with Sangmeshwar Sewa Dal of Arunai (Pehowa) in Patiala.

A team of doctors headed by Director of the University School of Ayurveda Dr Kulbhushan, Dr SK Panda and Dr Surabhi Mishra with paramedical staff examined more than 150 patients at the camp.

Dr Kulbhushan said most of the patients examined by them were suffering from gastrointestinal disorders, heat-related illness, hypertension, leucorrhea, diabetes, joint pains, low vision, skin disorders and anaemia.

Medicines were provided free of cost to the patients. Some tests were also done free of cost at the medical check-up camp.



Chief Secy reviews work at Suwidha Centre
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 4
Chief Secretary Sarvesh Kaushal and Parmod Kumar, Chairman, Punjab Governance Reforms Commission, visited and reviewed the work of the Suvidha Centre, the District Transport Office and the Police Station Outreach Centre (PSOC) in Phase I here today.

Kaushal said all departments had been directed to strictly implement the Right to Service Act, which pertained to 149 services in the state. He interacted with people to know their problems.

A show-cause notice was issued to a clerk at the Suvidha Kendra for delaying issuance of a birth certificate after a woman alleged that she was harassed in getting the certificate.

Later, the Chief Secretary along with Parmod Kumar reviewed work at the District Transport Office in the District Administrative Complex here. He also visited the PSOC in Phase I and reviewed the services there. He appealed to the public to get their work routed through these assistance centres as these were equipped with the necessary facilities.



General Hospital, Panchkula
Snakebite victim awaits antidote
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Sunita, a snakebite victim, at the General Hospital in Sector 6, Panchkula, on Friday.
Sunita, a snakebite victim, at the General Hospital in Sector 6, Panchkula, on Friday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, July 4
The General Hospital at Sector 6 here is out of anti-snake venom serum. Seven-month pregnant Sunita (25) was bitten by a snake in her hand while she was picking something at the farms in Isharnagar village here today. She was rushed to the hospital. She could be given only one dose of the serum and is now lying in the Emergency wing of the hospital as the anti-snake venom serum meant to counter the effect of poison has run out.

A staff nurse reportedly told the victim’s attendant, “You can take the patient to the Government Medical College Hopsital (GMCH)-32. The dose has just finished.”

When a doctor in the Emergency wing was asked, he said, “We can arrange the medicine in some time.”

Principal Medical Officer Usha Gupta said they had the serum in the hospital.

The victim lamented, “I am seven-month pregnant and in pain.”

With the onset of monsoon, snake bite cases are expected to rise. This is the first case of the season and the hospital has run out of the antidote.

During rains last year, over 20 cases of snakebite were reported at the city hospitals. 



Member flays SGPC functioning
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 4
The historical gurdwaras in Punjab and Haryana, except for those mentioned in the Sikh Gurdwara Act, should be brought under the management of local committees as described under Section 87 of the Act, demanded Hardeep Singh, an independent member of the SGPC, here today.

He said management by devotees and local committees would prove to be better than that of the centralised employee-based management system. Employees should be made answerable to the local Sikhs. He demanded that the Act should be amended for the purpose.

Rather than protesting against the Haryana Government, demanding intervention of the Central Government or ‘misusing’ Akal Takht to stop the formation of a separate committee, it was expected from the Akali Dal to advocate a national-level umbrella body of the Sikhs. In such a formation, Sikhs across the country could be brought together and the management of various gurdwaras should remain with the local committees.

Hardeep Singh said the “dictatorial attitude” of SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar and Akali leaders was responsible for the demand for a separate HSGPC. While running the management, 155 out of the 170 elected members were hardly consulted. Only the president, appointed with political intentions, was running the entire SGPC affairs through employees. That was the reason that “85 per cent of the Sikhs were unhappy with the working of the SGPC”.

Hardeep Singh appealed to his co-members in the SGPC to raise their voice for democracy in SGPC affairs.

The SGPC member said Sikhism was not going to get divided if the management of gurdwaras in Haryana went to the Sikhs there. It was wrong for the Haryana Congress to interfere in Sikh affairs, but at the same time interference of the Akali Dal and the BJP in Sikh affairs and the management of Sikh shrines in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and elsewhere could not be justified, he added.



Rs 1 entertainment store

Bharti Airtel’s Re 1 entertainment store offers music, video games, photos, videos and internet browsing packages for Re 1 or 3 MB data for Re 1 a day to access Facebook, Yahoo! Mail, Twitter and LinkedIn. Since its launch, it has been observed that 20 per cent of users were first time mobile entertainment users and 53 per cent came from rural areas.

Precious stone collection

Shree Raj Mahal Jewellers introduced a precious coloured stone collection, including necklaces, rings and earrings in sophisticated designs. The jewellery is tastefully crafted with precious stones such as emerald and topaz set in yelow and white gold.

New fungicide to save paddy from sheath blight

Punjab’s paddy farmers, who are busy sowing kharif crop, have a new solution to the menace of sheath blight disease in a Japan-patented fungicide, Pulsor, marketed by a leading agro-chemical firm, Insecticides (India) Limited. Pulsor contains thifluzamide, which is a protective and curative new generation patented fungicide. It is highly effective against sheath blight that is caused by rhizoctonia solani. Punjab, known as the food bowl of India, contributes approximately 25 per cent of rice to the central pool.

‘Eat helathy to live healthy’

With hectic lifestyles, junk food has become a norm in daily meals. “Stacking nutritious food in your refrigerator is the best way to stay healthy,” says Kanika Malhotra, senior clinical nutritionist, HealthCare at Home. Diet counselling at home provides an opportunity to patients and their families to have a tete-a-tete with a nutritionist who can answer their queries and make recommendations. The nutritionists evaluate intake of food items, calculate nutrient needs and develop individualised meal plans.

Binatone offers 3G data card with portable Wi-Fi hotspot

Binatone, a global leader in communications technology, has launched its “3G data card with Wi-Fi hotspot” having a direct USB power plug in feature, which offers anytime-anywhere internet connectivity. The device allows multiple users/devices to simultaneously access the internet.

TVS Motors sales up 23%

TVS Motor Company recorded 23 per cent growth in sales during the month of June 2014, with total primary sales increasing from 1,64,128 units recorded in the month of June 2013 to 2,02,177 units in June this year.

Beauty product launched

India’s leading natural beauty brand Lotus Make-Up has introduced a colorkick kajal (kohl), a 100 per cent harbal and waterproof kajal. Enriched with botanical extracts of almond oil, the kohl lasts upto eight hours without smudging. Its waterproof formula makes it all-weather product. — TNS



BBA course may see higher cut-off
Applications received by city colleges are four times the number of seats
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
There is a huge demand for the BBA course in the city colleges. The applications received are around four times the number of seats available in the colleges for this course. As a result, the cut-off percentage is expected to increase by 8 per cent to 10 per cent this year.

Records of various colleges revealed that last year the cut-off for this course was between 65 per cent and 70 per cent. However, this year it might touch 90 per cent to 95 per cent keeping in view the number of applications.

Similarly, a few city colleges have received a large number of applications for the BCA course.

As per the data, SD College has 120 seats in the BBA course this year. However, it has received around 1,000 forms. Similarly, the authorities have received 441 applications under the general pool and 591 applications under the UT pool in two government colleges where the number of seats is 240.

SD College principal Dr Bhushan said: “The number of students applying for each course offered by the college was much higher than the available seats. Owing to the huge demand for our courses, the cut-off percentage is also quite high. The cut-off percentage for BBA is 95 per cent for non-commerce and 90 per cent for commerce students”.

The faculty of government colleges said as compared to last year, Government College for Boys, Sector 11, and Government College for Commerce and Business Administration, where BBA course was available, would have cut-off percentage between 90 per cent and 98 per cent.

Government colleges have received 634 applications under the UT pool and 389 applications under the general category against 280 seats for the BCA course. The government colleges, which offer BCA course and have 80 seats, are Post Graduate Government College for Girls and Boys, Sector 11. However, Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 42, has 80 seats and Post Graduate College, Sector 46, has 40 seats for the BCA course.

The cut-off percentage for the BCA course, which was between 60 per cent and 65 per cent, will increase from 65 per cent to 70 per cent this year. The cut-off for the BCA course will be around 79 per cent at SD College this year.



BCom-I admission
Around 50% UT pool seats filled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 4
About 50 per cent of the BCom-I UT pool seats were filled on the second day of the counselling today. GGDSD College, Sector 32, was the first preference for the students, who are seeking admission to the city colleges under this category.

As many as 800 students from the city were invited for the counselling today, of which 665 students took admission to the course. Of the total 1,362 seats in the UT pool, 694 seats have been filled.

For 212 seats available under the UT pool at SD College, the students did not give option for any other college in the city.

There are two other colleges, Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, and GGS College for Women, Sector 26, where no one has yet taken admission under the general and UT pool categories. There are no takers for the PG Government College for Girls, Sector 42, under the UT pool category.

The cut-off today went to 100.2 per cent in the UT general pool for admission to GGDSD College, Sector 32, here.

The counselling for merit ranks from 801 to 1,600 will be conducted tomorrow.



PU Notes
Applications invited

Chandigarh: Panjab University has invited applications for Bachelor of Homoeopathic Medicine and Surgery at Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Sector 26, here. The PU would conduct entrance test on August 9 for admission to this course. PU spokesperson said the students could submit online applications till July 21 and the details of the course and the entrance examinations were available on website http://www.cetbhms.puchd.ac.in/index.php.

PU VC delivers talk in Bengaluru

Panjab University Vice-Chancellor Prof Arun Kumar Grover on Friday delivered an inaugural talk at the Mid Year Meeting of the Indian Academy of Sciences in Bengaluru. Prof Grover was invited as part of the series, where leading academician or scientists are invited to deliver special lecture to the celebrated scientific audience on the topic of their choice. Prof Grover spoke on the topic of “Spin-Ferromagnets with Zero-Magnetization - Novel Functional Materials and their Physics”.

Workshop from July 10

In order to enhance the entrepreneurial spirit in the youths, the University Innovation Cluster in Biotechnology (UIC-B), Panjab University, will organise a two-day workshop on bio-entrepreneurship from July 10. The workshop entitled “stimulating bio-entrepreneurs talks” will be organised in association with the Biotechnology Industry Research Assisted Council, Government of India, and the Association of Biotechnology-Led Enterprises. The workshop will be held at the seminar hall. — TNS



From Schools
Students, faculty members honoured

Chandigarh: Twenty-three students of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, here, who have passed Class XII CBSE examination and fall in the top .1 per cent bracket from all over the country, PGT faculty and the principal of the school were appreciated and recognised by Minister of Human Resources and Development Smriti Zubin Irani via individual letters received on Friday. The ministry congratulated the staff for the performance of their students in the 2014 Senior School Certificate Examination of the Central Board of Secondary Education. The ministry also awarded appreciation certificates to the teachers. The teachers expressed gratitude and said the recognition had boosted their morale. Principal Anujit Kaur expressed happiness on the recognition of the staff and students by the minister and said this was the result of the dedication of the teaching faculty.

In-house training for teachers

Tribune Model School organised an in-house training/workshop for teachers. Sejal Modi was the resource person on the occasion. The school authorities said the workshop was held to enrich the teaching-learning experiences with procedures towards effective lesson planning and techniques. Modi provided hands-on learning experiences to cater to different class settings in invidualised needs during the two-day workshop.

Workshops for teachers

Ryan International School, Sector 49, here, under the guidance of its chairman Dr Augustine Francis Pinto and managing director Grace Pinto organised two workshops on the school premises for teachers. The first workshop was conducted by Pridarshini Kelkar, while the second was conducted by Rajshree Sharda. The resource person suggested various methods to remove the phobia of mathematics amongst students and to create their interest during the first workshop. She encouraged divergent thinking and suggested good activities to make mathematical teaching more interesting. Meanwhile, Rajshree Sharda in her session focused on class management and laid stress on good parenting to shape the proper personality of the child. — TNS



Students have fun at pool party

Panchkula, July 4
Sky World School today organised a splash pool party for playway students. The students enjoyed water games in the splash pool with their friends. 

The students brought special tiffins to the school and enjoyed the rhymes in the class. The school authorities said the party was organised to beat the heat and make the students enjoy and play together. — TNS



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