C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Major boost for UT police
859 posts to be created; 4 new SPs, 7 DSPs to improve working; proposal sent to MHA
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
Giving a major boost to the existing strength of the Chandigarh police, the UT Administration has accorded the nod for the creation of 859 posts for the police and has sent the proposal to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for approval. The detailed proposal has been sent keeping in view the growing demand of the city and the requirements of more posts in the traffic wing as well as the creation of new wings in the police.

The current sanctioned strength of the UT police is 5,996 and the new posts will comprise four new Superintendents of Police (SPs), seven more DSPs, 46 inspectors, 298 sub-inspectors and assistant sub-inspectors, 220 head constables, 217 constables and 67 other employees. The sanctioned strength of the UT police will be 6,858 once the new posts are created.

UT police officials say with a large strength needed for traffic duties, policing is affected at times when there is a VVIP visit to the city. Also, there is requirement for more strenght in separate wings such as the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) and the Women and Child Support Unit (WSCU).

According to the recommendations of the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR& D) study conducted in 2009, the MHA had sanctioned 1,591 posts for various ranks of the UT police in Phase I. However, the sanction of 859 remaining posts for the UT police in Phase II and III as per the study remained pending all these years. UT IGP RP Upadhaya has drafted a fresh proposal for these 859 posts which has been forwarded to the MHA last week after the UT Administration gave its nod to the proposal.

The new posts will also comprise as many as 131 police officers deployed at the police station at the Chandigarh railway station. Besides, 11 police posts have also been proposed for a unit, “Policing the Police”, which is an internal corrective mechanism within the police. As many as 291 posts will be created for the traffic wing and another 137 for the RTC as per the proposal.

New posts will boost working of police: IG

After the nod from the UT Administration, a fresh proposal for the creation of 859 posts in the police has been sent to the MHA. The new posts will boost effective working of the UT police as a considerable number of posts (291) has been proposed to be sanctioned for the traffic wing. Also, we have demanded a separate police station at the railway station catering to the Chandigarh jurisdiction and 11 posts for an internal corrective mechanism with the name “Policing the Police”
— RP Upadhyaya, UT IGP



Civic body seals two unsafe passages in Sector 17
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

A damaged pillar

A damaged passageway
A damaged pillar and ceiling of the passageway. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, July 6
Not waiting for another tragedy to happen due to a building collapse, the Municipal Corporation (MC), Chandigarh, has sealed two connecting passages adjacent to the General Post Office in Sector 17.

Barricading has been done around the passages to restrict the movement of people under these. The columns (pillars) and ceiling of the connecting passages have visible signs of deterioration.

Vendors, who used to sit in the corridors to sell products, have been strictly asked to stay away from the passages.

The passages, which are an integral part of the Le Corbusier’s design, were constructed to provide shade to people while walking across the commercial area in Sector 17.

MC Chief Engineer Mukesh Anand said both the corridors were unsafe due to which the area around the corridors had been closed to avoid any untoward incident.

Sources said it was yet to be decided whether both the passages would be demolished and reconstructed or would be repaired.

The National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research, Chandigarh, has recently conducted a test on the connecting passages in Sector 17. The physical and mechanical inspections of the structures and their non-destructive and semi-destructive tests were conducted.

The carbonation and corrosion tests on the passages have revealed that their concrete quality is deteriorating.

The MC’s engineering wing is also undertaking a feasibility study for having dedicated corridors for emergency vehicles, including fire tenders and ambulances. The firefighting operations during the June 8 building collapse at Sector 17 were hampered as the fire tenders could not reach the rear side of the ill-fated building due to the connecting passages. The MC is in the process of identifying the connecting passages which can be removed for making a way for emergency vehicles. 



Lodging FIR in Panchkula no child’s play
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 6
A 27-year-old widow, a resident of Sector 20, was allegedly raped by a person after holding her hostage on the pretext of providing her a job. She was allegedly beaten up and her hair was cut when she tried to seek help. The victim has been moving from pillar to post to get an FIR registered, but in vain.

Yesterday, she met the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) with the help of an NGO.

This is not the only such case. There are several cases where victims are finding it hard to get FIRs registered.

It has become a Herculean task to get an FIR lodged in Panchkula. During a reality check by Chandigarh Tribune, six cases came to light in which the Panchkula police were found reluctant to lodge FIRs, putting the complainants to a lot of harassment.

Interestingly, in one of the cases, police officials were assaulted and suffered serious injuries in a demolition drive, but the police have not lodged an FIR so far.

An advocate on the panel of the District Legal Services Authority, Manbir Rathi, said that at a recent camp at the Mansa Devi temple, around 400 complaints of police inaction were received in which the complainants alleged that the police were sitting on their complaints and not lodging FIRs.

“A common man finds it difficult to approach the higher authorities and apprise them of what police officials do. At least the accused go on the back foot and do not commit another crime if a case is registered. Do the police wait for a person to die and only then register a case,” asked Vishal Sood, a resident of Sector 19, Panchkula.

Tanya Oberoi, a resident of Sector 21, said, “Even if you give them proof, they refuse to lodge an FIR, saying that they are investigating the matter.”

Another resident of Sector 19 said on condition of anonymity, “I told the police that my cylinders had been stolen two months ago. They said they would arrange cylinders for me, but I would face a hassle if I get a case registered.”

Cases in which complaints are being hushed up and criminals roam free

  • In the BJP youth leader’s murder in Saketri, the family alleged that it had submitted several complaints to the police regarding threats to the leader from some persons before the crime, but no FIR was lodged. It was only after he was murdered that the police lodged an FIR.
  • Four policemen were hurt in stone throwing in a demolition drive in Gandhi Colony, but no case was registered. Sources said senior officials did not want a case registered for political reasons. The policemen are still awaiting justice.
  • A resident of Sector 19 met the DCP stating that she had lodged a complaint against her husband, who works with the Police Department, that he was in possession of 46 challan books, but the matter was hushed up and some police officials, including a senior official, were coming in the way of getting an FIR registered.
  • A boy, Subash, fell in uncovered drain in Sector 19 two weeks ago and iron rods pierced his body. He is still at the PGI. No FIR has been registered. Sources said he was under pressure to compromise with the contractor, due to whose negligence he suffered.
  • Eunuchs were critically injured in a brawl at the Chandimandir petrol pump. Poonam, a victim, said they had been trying for the past six months, but the police were not lodging an FIR.
  • Toll collector Tejpal thrashed at the Chandimandir toll plaza by two Punjab policemen, who refused to pay the toll. A complaint was submitted by the GM, but no FIR has been lodged despite CCTV footage.



Irate kin blame resident, damage his vehicles
Tribune News Service

The streetlight pole in Bapu Dham where the boy was electrocuted.
The streetlight pole in Bapu Dham where the boy was electrocuted.

Chandigarh, July 6
The death of an eight-year-old boy, Pradeep, due to electrocution at a park yesterday triggered a protest by relatives of the child and local residents, who damaged the vehicles of a local resident, holding him responsible for the death of the child last night.

The postmortem examination of the child’s body was conducted today. The report failed to provide any specific reason behind his death and doctors referred it to the CFSL for ascertaining the exact cause of the death.

Tara Chand, father of the deceased, alleged, “Local resident Hardev, president of the EWS Society, Sector 26, Chandigarh, used to dare local children to play inside the public park, saying it was not meant for playing. He is responsible for passing electric current at the entry gate of park, which claimed my son’s life.”

The protesters broke the windowpanes of Hardev’s residence and also damaged three of his cars. They alleged that despite informing the colony president about uncovered wires of electricity poles in the park, and requesting him to get these fixed, no initiative was taken in this regard.

However, a police official said Hardev had nothing to do with the death of the child and a DDR had been lodged in connection with the damage to Hardev’s vehicles.

The victim belonged to a poor family. His parents are vegetable sellers at the grain market in Sector 26.

Pradeep was electrocuted at around 7 pm yesterday.



Thieves ride high on Bajaj Pulsar
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
As cases of bike thefts continue to rise in the city, it is the Bajaj Pulsar bike that seems to have caught the fancy of thieves. As many as 549 motorcycles and 195 scooters have been stolen from different parts of the city since January 2013. Of the total number of motorcycles stolen, 121 (the maximum) are Bajaj Pulsars.

Going by the police records, the 150 and 180 cc models from the Bajaj stable are the favourite target of bike thieves. This is evident from the fact that every third motorcycle stolen from the city is a Bajaj Pulsar. Though the police are yet to establish the reason behind the rise in theft of this particular brand, sources attribute it to the huge demand for its powerful engine in the second-hand market and smuggling of parts to Bangladesh.

Police officials said a large number of stolen bikes are used for snatching purposes and are then found abandoned.

“To avoid detection, the thieves dismantle the bike soon after it is stolen. This considerably reduces the chances of recovery. While the engines are smuggled to Bangladesh, other parts are also sold in second-hand markets,” a police officer said.

Besides Bajaj Pulsar, thefts of other Bajaj bikes are also on the rise. As many as 32 Bajaj Discovers, 22 Bajaj Platinas and three Bajaj XCDs have been stolen since last year. Among the category of other bikes, 86 Hero Honda Splendors, 25 Bullet motorcycles and 15 Yamaha bikes have also been stolen from the city. 


GMCH-32 MBBS seats issue
Parents hold silent protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
Aggrieved over the lacking clarity on increase in seats for the MBBS course at the GMCH-32 from 50 to 100, 10 days after the first counselling, over 100 parents of MBBS aspirants carried out a silent protest in the city.

Disappointed over the Medical Council of India’s (MCI) decision of declining 50 additional seats to the GMCH on the basis of few shortcomings, the parents will be giving a representation to the Union Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan, and the MCI Chairperson, Dr Jayshree Mehta in New Delhi, on Monday. The parents today signed the representation. Member of Parliament Kirron Kher will accompany the parents.

Pointing out a few shortcomings, the MCI had on June 23, rejected the GMCH’s request for increasing the seats to the MBBS course from 50 to 100 this year, leaving scores of students in the lurch as they had left admission options in other colleges in the hope of securing a seat in the GMCH-32. Director-Principal, GMCH-32, Dr Atul Sachdev, had submitted a compliance report to the Union Health Ministry last week. However, there is no clarity on approval for increasing the seats till date. The second counseling is scheduled on July 18. “My daughter is really anxious. She has been spending sleepless nights”, said Amarjeet kaur, mother of a candidate who secured 45th rank in the general pool but could not get admission during counseling of the first 50 seats as only 32 seats were available for the general pool (out of 50). “Some of the private medical colleges in the area impart very poor training, yet they have been granted increase in seats, while the GMCH has not been allowed an increase”, read the representation of the parents.


  • On June 23, chaos prevailed during the counselling for the MBBS seats at the GMCH-32 as candidates — hopeful of 100 seats at the institution — did not apply in other private institutes. The candidates were disappointed over the last-minute announcement that the MCI had turned down the request for an increase in the number of seats.
  • The GMCH prospectus had mentioned that the seats were likely to be increased from 50 to 100 this year.
  • On June 27, the GMCH Director, Dr Atul Sachdev, submitted a compliance report on the shortcomings pointed out by the MCI

Shortcomings Pointed Out By MCI

  • No common room
  • Adequate toilets
  • No demonstration room
  • No gymnasium
  • No lockers



tenders for 86 public toilets
CBI sends reminder to Finance Secy
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which is investigating the complaint of alleged favour given to M/s Selvel Media Pvt Ltd in allotment of tenders for 86 public toilets and displaying advertisements on them between 2007 to 2012, has recently sent a reminder to the Finance Secretary(FS)-cum-Chief Administrator seeking some information related to inquiry that has not been provided to the investigating agency due to which the inquiry is pending.

Sources said a reminder in June was sent to the FS stating that the information as desired had not been furnished to the CBI due to which the inquiry into the case was pending. Through the reminder, the CBI has also sought the information whether the advertisement fee and advertisement tax were one and the same thing. The CBI earlier this year had sent questionnaires to the FS. The questions were related to the Chandigarh Advertisement Control Order (CACO), 1954, and the officers who were delegated the powers of the Finance Secretary-cum-Chief Administrator under CACO to deal with advertisements.CBI sources said OSD in MC AK Dadwal was also asked to appear before the CBI on June 24, however, he failed to appear as the meeting of the F& CC. 



Reporters Diary
Distracting calls during summer break

Government school teachers who had all plans to enjoy their summer break at the sought-after tourists destinations encountered an unusual problem. They were flooded with calls inquiring about admissions. The teachers rued that while the department gave them leave it did not inform them that they had put up their phone number on the official website. So instead of enjoying scenic beauties the teachers landed up answering admission queries and remained glues to their phones.

As Patil denied, Jain showed copies of 50 letters

During the Administrator's Advisory Council (AAC) meeting on June 30, former MP and senior BJP leader Satya Pal Jain, who is also a member of AAC, complained to UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil that letters sent to him were not acknowledged. Patil said that he did not receive any letter. After some time, Jain brought out copies of all those 50 letters and produced before the Administrator. Jain had complained that he had sent these letters to the Administrator over a period of six months. Patil reportedly said he would inquire why these letters were not delivered to him.

Casual babus

The casual approach of the UT babus literally sleeping over the files was again visible while handling the case of the building that stands adjoining to the collpased building of the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELT). Instead of taking a call on the basis of the report by structural experts on the building being safe, the officials handling the case are dithering from taking the final decision. As the officials take their sweet time to take the decision, the debris at the site could well become the source for another mishap, said an official to the sentinel.

Police drive causing traffic snarls

As a jam was witnessed on the road dividing Sectors 22 and 23 owing to a traffic police drive to challan drunken drivers, vehicles of some cops were also seen trapped in the snarl. Commuters swore that the challaning spree against drunk drivers had caused more harm than good as serpentine queues of cars were always clogged on the road as the traffic police tested and challaned drunk drivers.

‘Who doused the fire then?’

Additional Deputy Commissioner Tanvi Garg who reached the spot to inspect the fire operation after a fire broke out at a bank in Sector 17 was taken in for a surprise after an intern with a newspaper questioned her as to why the firefighters were not working. The fire had already been doused by the firemen. The ADC paused, turned towards the bank and then asked the intern who do you think had doused the fire then?" asked the ADC which left the young aspirant caught in his own question.

Late realisation

Protesters from various departments, who have been agitating against the Haryana government in Sector 5, got scared when they saw tear gas, anti-rioting vehicle of the police and a police force marching towards them. At once, they tried to flee but saw that the arrangements were not for them but for former MLA Venod Sharma. It was then that they realized their importance.

High profile protester

A high profile protester, who agitating surrounded by his security guards, was detained by the Panchkula Police for laying seize at the Haryana Staff Selection Commission (HSSC) office, in Sector 5, Panchkula, on July 2. The protester, Venod Sharma, a former cabinet minister of Haryana and an old frirnd of Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, protested against the Haryana government and was arrested. During the protest, his security guards were seen providing him cover to prevent him from getting hurt. While Sharma was taken away in a police van, his security guards maintained a distance.

Contributed by: Mehakdeep Grewal, Rajinder Nagarkoti, Rajmeet Singh, Aneesha Sareen, Amit Sharma, Hina Rohtaki and Bipin Bhardawaj



CHB employees likely to get pension soon 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
After refusing to allow pension for the employees of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) after being irritated over certain "unwanted" additions allegedly being incorporated in the minutes of a meeting relating to the pension scheme, the board's Chairman, Satya Gopal, today relented.

The Member of Parliament, Kirron Kher, has prevailed upon the CHB Chairman to resolve the issue.

The MP after taking up the issue with the Chairman, announced that the latter had agreed to resolve the issue of pension this week.

The pensioners issue would be taken up at the board's next meeting scheduled this week.

In February last year, the Chairman had objected to certain "unwanted" additions incorporated in the minutes of a meeting relating to the pension scheme for the employees of the Chandigarh Housing Board.

The add-ons made in the minutes of the meeting of the board of members of the CHB, held in September last year has increased the fiscal liability of the board.

The CHB authorities have initiated a probe into the matter to find out how the changes were made before sending the minutes for approval of the Chandigarh Administration.

The glaring anomaly came to light when the approved minutes were circulated among board officials.

According to the terms and conditions agreed upon by the Administration, the CHB authorities and the CHB Employees Union, the board was to contribute Rs 125 crore for the pension scheme while the EPF contribution of the employees was to be diverted for the purpose.

In all, around 500 employees are to get pension.

Sources said the clause that the board would contribute to the pension scheme from its profit was the bone of contention.

Incidentally, the profit of the board was dipping as there was no auction for the past five years.

Water supply in Dhanas to be improved MP Kirron Kher said the Chairman had assured that the water problem in Dhanas would be solved soon.



Open House response
Govt agencies must coordinate to make market visitor-friendly
With poor sanitary conditions and encroachments, the Grain Market in Sector 26 is on the verge of collapsing. Parking problem and shabby look of the market has led to a fall in the number of shoppers. Traders are losing business to swanky malls and retail stores. Chandigarh Tribune asked its readers what should be done to revive the look of the market

If the Chandigarh Administration really wants to make the vegetable market a place where visitors don’t end up a harried lot, it should ensure coordination between the government agencies. For example, the MC encroachment staff comes without police force; if the police force arrives, it is without proper guidelines. Though there is a market committee, its officials fail to remove encroachments in the market, allegedly due to monetary considerations as one vendor had openly spoken about the practice of ‘hafta wasooli’ in the market.

Shishu Paul, Mohali

Municipal Corporation, Admn have to be proactive

The grain and vegetable market has become the most unhygienic and crowded place in Chandigarh. The market lost its sheen with the opening of bigger malls and retail outlets of fresh vegetables and fruits offering much better quality, lesser price and hygienic conditions. The condition of the Sector 26 market has worsened due to vendors, mostly migrants, encroaching upon the roads meant for customers and vehicles. The major reason for the sorry state of the market is the careless attitude of the Municipal Corporation and the Market Committee-26. The space constraints at the vegetable market can be removed by shifting the grain market to Sector 39. A proactive approach of the civic body and the Administration will go a long way in making the market as beautiful as the city is known for.

Wg Cdr Jasbir Singh Minhas (retd), Mohali

Ban entry of trucks, cars during peak hours

Over the years, the premises of the Grain Market as also the vegetable and fruit market have gone from bad to ugly. The remedy lies in banning the entry of trucks from 6 am to 9 pm and not letting four-wheelers enter the area during the peak hours. There should be adequate number of sanitation employees, who should perform their duties under the watchful eyes of a dedicated sanitary inspector.

SC Luthra, MHC, Mani Majra

Fence the market

For want of proper cleanliness and parking space, due to encroachments by vendors, the Grain Market has lost its aesthetic value. To make it visitor-friendly, steps should be taken to keep the market tidy and hygienic. A boundary wall should be built around it. The Municipal Corporation should take over the reins of the market. Further, the court order of shifting the Grain Market to Sector 39 should be immediately implemented.

Priya Darsh Growar, Mohali

Punish officials at fault

Officials in the Administration and the Municipal Corporation are responsible for the condition of the market. Wrongs cannot be committed until the vendors have a tacit understanding with the officials concerned. Things can only improve if strict action is taken against the officers responsible for lapses. Encroachments should not be tolerated at any cost. Surprise checks and imposing hefty fines on violators can help in maintaining order at the market.

Sat Pal Kansal, Chandigarh

Build mall on vegetable market site

Sabji Mandi days are gone. It is the age of modern shopping. If Sector 17 can lose footfall, one cannot expect the vegetable market to hold on to the number of customers it used to see in the past. Mall culture has firmly set in. People are ready to shell out more for a better shopping environment. Those in power must take note of it and replace the market with a mall that has fruits and vegetables as merchandise. The traders can have separate entrance to the mall, may be from the backside, while others can enter from the front door.

Opinder Kaur Sekhon, Chandigarh

Draw sanitation, anti-encroachment plan

The Municipal Corporation has failed in providing a solution to the problems ailing the Grain Market even despite its being a main supplier of vegetables and fruits in the city. Entry of vehicles could be banned in the market and sufficient space should be provided for parking of vehicles. The civic body should proper sanitation and remove encroachments. It should come up with a concrete sanitation and anti-encroachment plan.

Sanjay Srivastava, Chandigarh

Increase market space

The Market Committee, Sector 26, should ensure regular and timely cleaning of the refuse. The area in the vicinity should be added to the market. This will help in creating more space for movement of men and material. Besides, it will ensure restoring footfall in the market and regaining its lost glory.

Gurmit Singh Saini, Mohali

Privatise removal of encroachments

The Municipal Corporation authorities have miserably failed in checking encroachments. Since corruption is pervasive in the Municipal Corporation, the police, the Market Committee and the Estate Office, a solution to the problems at the grain market is a far cry. Even municipal councillors silently support encroachers for their vested interests. The Administration must privatise the job of removing encroachments. Four to five contractors can be assigned the job and they should send compliance reports to the Municipal Commissioner on fortnightly basis.

KC Rana, Chandigarh

Can’t do away with market

Due to a number of reasons, the grain market is in a mess today. However, we cannot dispense with it. Strict discipline has to be enforced and public has a role to play too. The aesthetic value of the market can be restored with joint efforts of authorities and public.

MPS Chadha, Mohali

Managing traffic can help

Decongest the market. Remove encroachments by vendors. Make it a ‘no vehicle’ zone as consumers can park their vehicles at a distance and walk to the market. Traffic management has to be introduced. There should be variable times for delivery vehicles/commercial vehicles and bulk buyers. Have a circular movement of traffic with entry and exit points in different directions.

Dharam Pal Wason, Chandigarh

Relocate market to a bigger area

The Grain Market in Sector 26 is today outdated and inadequate. To make it viable and inviting, it has to be relocated to a bigger area. The facilities also need to be modernised such as air-conditioned stores, grading and categorising agricultural produce, home delivery, snacks corners etc. There should be adequate parking space and safety of vehicles should be ensured. During rains, the market is inundated and full of slush. There has to be proper drainage system.

Colonel R D Singh (retd), Ambala

Shift auctioning of grains to Sector 39

The Grain Market, Sector 26, is the dirtiest and the most unhygienic place in the City Beautiful. Things turn ugly during rains. It would be better if shifting of auctioning of grains to Sector 39, as directed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, is done immediately. The existing market should be developed as fruit and vegetable market under the ambit of the Municipal Corporation. The encroachers are to be dealt strictly. The police’s help can be sought to ensure law and order.

PS Bajwa, Chandigarh

Seize material on encroached land

Four decades ago, the market was orderly and a clean place. The situation became bad when the retailers and wholesale traders started occupying near equivalent space in front of their outlets or illegally renting it out to small traders. The MC should confiscate the material on the encroached land, which will act as a deterrent to encroachments. Local traders can be taken into confidence and should be asked to cooperate for theirs and visitors interests. The original design of walkway and parking must be restored at all costs.

Tarsem Bhardwaj, Chandigarh

open house question

Commuting has become a headache for residents of different parts of Zirakpur, who have to travel to the city for work every day. To cover a distance of just five kms, it sometimes takes 45 minutes. What needs to be done to decongest the busy stretch on the National Highway? Write your comments to openhouse@tribunemail.com



Getting building plan sanctioned a Herculean task
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
Getting building plans sanctioned in a time-bound manner from the UT Estate Office still remains a jig saw puzzle.

Notwithstanding different directions issued by senior UT officials to cut down on the time in getting the plans passed, property owners find it hard to cut through the draughtsman-junior engineer ‘nexus’ in the building branch. Despite transferring of staff in the branch, the nexus is still well-entrenched.

As a result, building plans are pending for over six months. In some cases, the pendancy could be much more. From submitting building plans at the single window to getting the ownership verification and signatures of the draughtsman, it takes many days.

The real problem starts when the junior engineer of the area has to give his report of the spot inspection. In many cases, Form B is issued in connection with any violation found at the site. Some applicants complain that clearance of their files relating to building plans is delayed and the objection letters are not dispatched to them in time.

From the office of the SDO (Building), the file reaches the Plan Approval Committee before it is further sent to the Assistant Estate Officer and then the Estate Officer. Assistant Estate Officer Balbir Singh Dhol, who took over the charge recently, said efforts were being made to make the system smooth.

Pallav Mukherjee, a former nominated councillor and an architect, said there was a dire need to take people-friendly initiatives and the old nexus in the building branch should be broken.

Anomalies in the building plan detected

Recently, Estate Officer Mohammed Shayin had detected anomalies in the sanctioned building plans that led to sealing of several sites and action against the staff in the office of the SDO (Building).

The Estate Office had even written to the police to initiate a vigilance complaint against the erring officials. Now, the Estate Officer is learnt to have devised a mechanism to get suspicious building plans examined. “At times, it could delay the building plans but it is needed to check corruption,” said an official. 

Latest directions by Finance Secy Sarvjit Singh

  • The ownership details to be given to the applicant within a week of submission of application
  • Discrepancies in the building plans to be conveyed by email within 10 days
  • Communicate with applicant/architect through email
  • Site reports should not delay sanctioning of building plans
  • The plans to be sanctioned between 30 days and 60 days depending upon the size
  • Sanctioning of building plans not to be put on hold because of any existing structure



Panchkula General Hospital
Patients harassed as docs remain absent
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 6
Doctors were found missing from the Orthopaedic OPD of the General Hospital, Sector 6, leaving patients a harassed lot.

A reality check by Chandigarh Tribune for three days saw the doctors missing from their seat for over four hours during the day time and between 7 to 8 pm.

On Saturday at 11.45 pm, when posed as a patient the reporter visited the OPD, woman guard sitting outside said, “The doctor has gone to attend some patient. Even after two hours, no doctor was seen.”

The morning OPD is from 8 am to 2 pm while evening OPD is from 2 pm to 8 am. Four doctors are put on duty on rotation basis.

“We again came in the evening at 5.30 as in the morning we kept waiting because the doctor wasn’t here,” said Vidya Devi (name changed), who is in her late fifties.

A ten-year-old boy was also waiting in the queue for the same reason but the doctors were absent.

“ We are being told that the doctors have gone to attend patients. I have been coming for the last two days,” said another patient requesting anonymity. The senior officials at the hospital said they will look into the matter.



Zirakpur bus stand contractor comes under scanner
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, July 6
The quality of newly constructed bus stand at Zirakpur has come under a scanner as the imported tensile roofing sheet over a steel structure failed to bear the first showers of pre-monsoon.

Imported from Germany, the tensile roofing sheet was reportedly torn off on Wednesday thus bringing the functioning of the Punjab Public Works Department (PWD) and the contractor under doubts.

The PWD had hired a Chandigarh-based company —Krishna Builders — for constructing the shed at the bus stand. Sources in the PWD department revealed that the tensile roofing sheet worth Rs 85 lakh was imported by the contractor from Germany.

Soon after the tensile roofing sheet got damaged, senior officials of the PWD including the executive engineer, contractor and representatives of the Germany-based company, who supplied the roofing material, visited the site and took a stock of the situation.

Sant Lal, sub-divisional engineer, PWD, claimed that directors of Krishna Builders have agreed to replace the damaged roofing. The new sheet would be fixed shortly at the shed, he claimed.

“The company representatives have asked their seniors at Germany to send another sheet that will reach Chandigarh in a day or two. It would be sent to Bengaluru for sticking and the fitted on the steel structure at the bus stand. The sheet is yet in guarantee period,” a director of Krishna Builders claimed.

Apprehending use of substandard construction material by the contractor in connivance with the authorities, city residents Narinder Goel, Naunihal Singh Sodhi and Dr BS Walia, have demanded a vigilance inquiry.

Meanwhile, opened on trial basis by the Punjab Roadways Transport Corporation (PRTC) nearly a month ago, the newly constructed bus stand is still not ready for buses and passengers.

Come up on nearly two acres at a cost of Rs 5 crore, the bus stand has been dedicated for local buses commuting between Chandigarh-Ambala and Patiala-Panchkula besides some other nearby towns.

The complex has been constructed by the Punjab Public Works Department (PWD) in an effort to provide all facilities for the passengers with an ultra-modern sheds at the bus counters.

Even after its opening, buses owned by the PRTC and some private transporters are entering the bus stand for dropping and picking up passengers. The buses plied by the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) and Haryana Roadways are evading their entries.

A visit by Chandigarh Tribune team revealed that just a few private buses apart from the PRTC buses were using the bus stand as a transit halt while CTU and Haryana Roadways avoid halt there.

The construction work for setting up of counters, fixing chairs for passengers, and some other minor jobs is still going on. Sources in the PRTC revealed that the corporation officials are finding it hard to establish the newly opened bus stand due to alleged non-cooperation of their counterparts. Highly placed sources in the PRTC revealed that the top officials of the corporation have written to their Haryana and Chandigarh counter parts asking them to use the bus stand as a transit halt for local buses. 



20-hour power cut in Kharar locality, residents suffer 
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 6
Hundreds of residents of Guru Angad Dev Colony (Block A and Block B) in Kharar were left a harassed lot due to 20-hour long power cut.

According to the agitated residents, the electricity remained suspended from 11 pm last night (Saturday) to 7 pm (Sunday).

“Despite our repeated requests to the electricity department, officials did not react efficiently and we were forced to bear the scorching heat for 20 hours,” lamented the residents.

Surinder Kaur and Hansraj Singh, residents of Ward number 10 in the locality, said inverters also gave up today morning and they were forced to go to a relative’s house in Mohali.

“The long power cut virtually disturbed the entire schedule of our Sunday holiday. We have to go to our relatives’ place at Mohali as our children were unable to bear the scorching heat,” said Surinder Kaur.

The long power cut also affected the water supply in the area.

“We did not get drinking water till afternoon today. One can easily guess the condition of the residents here, who were forced to remain without a single drop of water in this weather,” said Karamjit Kaur, who lives with her family in the colony.

According to an official of electricity department, the transformer of the area was burnt which resulted in suspension of power there.

“We have installed a new transformer following which the power supply could be resumed,” said Mandeep Kumar, SDO, power department.

He added that overloading is major problem in the area due to which such problems occur time to time. 



Suicide by banker: Lawyer files complaint in NHRC 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
A city-based lawyer has filed a complaint before the National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi, in connection with the suicide of Ajay Sehgal, PNB Branch Manager.

The complaint has been filed against the Secretary, Ministry of Finance, New Delhi, the Governor, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Chairman and Managing Director, Punjab National Bank (PNB), Head Office, New Delhi, the Regional Chairman, PNB, Chandigarh.

In his complaint, Pankaj Chandgothia has demanded that the PNB management be directed to immediately suspend the officers concerned and present them before the investigating officers and the bank management be directed to grant a compensation of Rs 5 crore to the family of the victim, “as he had committed suicide because as he was being victimised by his seniors and the bank authorities had failed to address his problem.

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.

Over 500 employees from various banks here held a protest at the Bank Square in Sector 17 on Friday demanding action against the officials named in the suicide note.

A suicide note was recovered from the spot of death 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.

Transfer of those officials no solution: Bankers’ body

Two accused officials have been transferred to other locations, however, bankers association members said that “transferring was no solution” and demanded suspension of both the officials. Bankers in different branches of PNB in the country will hold protest on Monday demanding suspension of the accused officials. The protest was held in Chandigarh on Friday and will not be held on Monday, said an official. 



2,267 appear for PU MEd entrance test
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
As many as 2,267 candidates from across the country today appeared for the MEd entrance test for admission to MEd (Regular) in the Department of Education, Panjab University (PU), and affiliated colleges of education situated in Chandigarh and Punjab, MEd (Correspondence) in the USOL, PU (for in-service teachers only).

PU Controller of Examination Prof Parvinder Singh said 89.04 per cent students appeared in entrance examinations today. As many as 2,267 students out of the 2,546 appeared for the test.



PGI to celebrate its foundation day today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
Dr K Vijay Raghavan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, GoI, will address the PGI fraternity during the institute’s foundation day tomorrow at the Bhargava Auditorium.

“Challenges in scaling quality research in the country and possible directions” will be the topic of Dr Raghavan’s address.

Seven PGI employees will be recognised for their meritorious service on the occasion.

PGIMER completes 51 years of its existence and enters the 52nd year on Monday. Conceived in 1961 with the concurrence of the Planning Commission, the Institute started functioning in 1962. It was formally inaugurated on July 7, 1963, by the then Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

Within a short period of four years, the PGI was declared as an ‘Institute of national importance’ by an Act of Parliament on April 1, 1967 (Act 51 of 1966). The first batch of postgraduates was admitted on January 1963.

The seven employees to be honoured on Monday include Surat Singh, laboratory attendant, Department of Nuclear Medicine; Rajesh Kumar Kaushal, dark room assistant, Department of Radiodiagnosis; Gurvinder Singh, stenographer, Department of Transfusion Medicine; Mahipal, sanitary attendant, Department of Medical Microbiology; Rajinder Kumar, sanitary attendant, Department of Biochemistry; Harish, sanitary attendant; and Sewa Singh, hospital attendant, Sanitation Department.

Sunita Devi, who had been awarded the Florence Nightingale Award by the President this year, will also be felicitated.



CCA third best architecture college in country: Magazine survey
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
The Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA), Sector 12, has been ranked the third best architecture college in the country in a survey conducted by a magazine.

The institute, on a scale of 1,000 involving parameters like selection process, individual interface, placements and infrastructure surpassed many popular colleges in bigger cities such as the Faculty of Architecture and Dkistics, New Delhi, (ranked seventh) and The School of Architecture, RVCE, Bangalore, (ranked 10th). (see box)

“As CCA principal, I feel proud of the achievements of my students, who have performed extremely well nationally and internationally both in academics and extra-cultural domains. This is for the third straight year that the CCA has been placed at No. 3 position and establishes the supremacy of the institute not only in the region but globally. I thank the Chandigarh Administration for their support at all levels and our efforts now will be to attain the numero-uno position next year,” said Pradeep Bhagat, Principal of the college.

The institution was rated third best this year and last year as well, following Sir JJ College of Architecture, Mumbai (first) and Department of Architecture, IIT Roorkee, (second).

Established on August 7, 1961, the CCA is famous for research and education in the field of architecture. Every year, the college trains 200 undergraduates.



Mohali to witness world’s biggest disco party
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 6
Mohali would witness the world’s biggest disco party, scheduled to be held on July 12 at Dussehra Ground, Phase 8.

This is what the officials of the organizing company Looger Epash Events claimed while making an announcement of the event here today.

The five-hour long event will begin at 6 pm on the scheduled date. “It would be an alcohol-free event in which the participants have to pay entry fee and can be part of this biggest dance party,” said the organisers.

For couple entry, the fee has been set Rs 500 while for the stag entry the participant has to pay Rs 300.



Unapproved weights seized by officials
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
Following speculations about vegetable vendors indulging in malpractice amidst rising cost of onions in the city, an inspector from the UT Weights and Measures Department today raided the Sector 26 Grain Market and seized unapproved weights from three vendors.

The inspector, Kamal Sareen, seized weights of 500 grams and one kg. “We will continue with inspections in the coming days. These weights will not be returned,” said Sareen.



Counselling for UT pool seats for all colleges ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
No seat in for B Com-I is left for the UT pool now as all remaining 98 seats in Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, Chandigarh, and Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26, Chandigarh, got full today on the third day of counselling at Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh.

The cut-off was 85.6 per cent and 1,785 ranked girl student was the last rank in the UT general pool to get admission at Dev Samaj College for Women. The cut-off was 84.4 per cent and 1,859 ranked girl student was the last rank in the UT general pool to get admission at Guru Gobind Singh College for Women.

Counselling for the reserved category as well as all other categories started at 2pm today, which was continued till last reports came in at 7pm. Counselling for physically challenged, grand children of freedom fighters, riot victims/terrorism victims in the UT pool and sports, defence, one girl child, Ward of displaced Kashmiri migrants, cancer/AIDS/Thalassaemia patients of the common pool was conducted today.

For more details, the students may update themselves on the university website - http://bcomadmissions.puchd.ac.in/.



CBSE fails to comply with HC orders 
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has failed to comply with the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s order, which stated that the board had to act on the representation regarding six ambiguous errors in the biology section of the All-India Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Test (AIPMT) within a one-week span of receipt of certified copy of the order.

As per information, the court had issued the order on June 18 while on June 20 the copy of the high court judgment was sent to the CBSE and on June 23, the speed post delivered the court orders at the CBSE office.

The one-week time frame for the board to reply got over on June 30 and even around seven days after that the board has failed to reply.

The writ petition was filed by local academician Dr Arvind Goyal.

Earlier on April 30, the court had directed the CBSE to invite objections. Following the court’s directions, the board had invited objections for erroneous questions on May 17.

After inviting objections, the board had cancelled three questions - two from chemistry and one from biology section - and allotted 12 grace marks. However, the other six erroneous questions of biology were not corrected, which accounted for highest marks in the examination.

On the board failing to comply with the orders of the court, petitioner Dr Goyal alleged that it was unfortunate to see that the CBSE had not bothered to rectify the errors even after the high court directions.

He further stated that the CBSE should take the matter seriously as the future of thousands of students is at stake.

“Considering the fact that the first round of counselling has already taken place at the state level and all- India level, the CBSE should give top priority to the issue. All errors pointed out by us are crystal clear and we have attached references of standard text books along with each error,” the petitioner said.

Dr Goyal claimed that he would move the court for contempt of court proceedings.

Repeated attempts to contact CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi failed as he remained uncommunicative.



Education Dept on transfer spree
In the past two months, 30 teachers have been shifted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
The UT Education Department seems to be on a spree of transferring teachers as in the past two months around 30 teachers had already been transferred .

According to information, in the previous academic session not a single transfer was done. However, this year the department has already started transfers of teachers and is carrying out the process rapidly for both contractual as well as regular teachers.

Sources revealed that in the past months nearly seven Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) teachers, along with around 24 regular Junior Basic Teachers (JBTs) and Trained Graduate Teachers (TGTs) have been transferred. The department authorities said the transfers that were carried out were only of those teachers who had applied for transfers on personal grounds. However, sources revealed that the department had plans for carrying out transfers on a large scale in the pipeline.

Moreover, the higher authorities added that they were waiting for the admission process to get over and then depending upon the student-teacher ratio in schools. They would carry out the transfers as per requirements. With the department planning for a major exercise of transfers, many educationalists will face the axe.

As per the transfer policy of the department, principals/ headmasters/headmistresses shall be transferred after five years of completion of stay, while lecturers/masters/mistresses C&V, teachers, JBTs may be transferred after 10 years of stay.

When DPI (S) Kamlesh Kumar was contacted on the matter, he said: “The transfers were carried out only of those teachers who had applied for the same.”



from schools
Best participating school

Panchkula: The National Science Talent Search Examination (NSTSE) conducted by the Unified Council declared Holy Child School as the ‘Best participating school’ for the NSTSE 2014 in the country. The school represented by its principal Neena Trehan was felicitated by Telengana Minister for Information and Technology (IT) and Panchayat Raj KT Rama Rao during a function held at Hyderabad. The school authorities said Holy Child School, Panchkula, surpassed 11 schools from across the country which were in contention in the same category.

Seminar for teachers held

Mohali: Shemrock Senior Secondary School organised a seminar for teachers. Counsellor and therapist Dilbagh Singh conducted a counseling session. He shared tips on how to empower children with the tool of education in the right way. He motivated teachers to hone their communication and teaching skills. He also apprised them of the latest technology and courses available to update themselves to the present scenario. He focussed on empathy as a genuine feeling of care for child’s situation and ability to accurately perceive the child’s experience both intellectually and emotionally. During an interactive session, the counsellor listened to the problems of teachers and also guided them. Principal Air Comd (rtd) SK Sharma said joint efforts of parents as well as teachers were required for the overall development of the students, besides instant solution for the teachers must lead to positive results.

Workshop on CCE

Ashmah International School, Mohali, organised a workshop for its teachers on continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE). The school authorities said the workshop emphasised on the CCE in both scholastic and co-scholastic areas to strengthen its implementation in its true spirit. The training session included lectures, examples and exercises to provide skills, encourage participation and exchange information. In the interactive session, they discussed about their problems, queries to make teaching more effective and interesting. The organisers said for primary teachers the main focus was on challenges faced by the teachers in classrooms and to make teachers aware of their roles as mentor, guide and coach.

Inter-house competitions held

Gem Public Senior Secondary School, Mohali, organised inter-house rangoli making, salad dressing and mehndi competitions on its premises. The school authorities claimed that the competitions were conducted to promote aestheticism and innovation among the children. They exhibited their creativity in all competitions. The theme of the rangoli competition was ‘Save Earth’, which senisitised the students about the environment while the salad dressing competition aimed at inculcating healthy eating habits among the children. The Ajit House bagged the first prize in the Rangoli-making competition, while the Jujhar House was adjudged first in both salad making and mehndi competitions. Principal Veena Bakshi congratulated the students.

Faculty development programme

Holy Wonder Smart school organised a two-day faculty development programme on its campus. The school authorities said the main motive for organising the programme was to hone academic excellence, using pedagogical practices. Principal Premjit Grover said: “We aim at enhancing teaching and research capabilities of educators. Such programmes enable participants to develop competence in general management, understand recent advances in management research, learn to improve pedagogies, effective presentation techniques, and behavioral skills to be an effective faculty.” She said these activities were designed to improve the quality of classroom instruction; enable individuals to grow professionally; introduce practitioners to the practical applications of research-validated strategies so that students could be successful in this competitive era. — TNS



Varsity declares results

Chandigarh, July 6
Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh, has declared the results of BSc (General) First Year. The result is available on the PU website - http:// results.puchd.ac.in/.

PU Controller of Examinations Prof Parvinder Singh said 51.88 per cent students have passed the BSc (General) first year examinations. As many as 9,315 students had appeared for BSc-III examinations and of them, 4,832 have passed. — TNS



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