C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UT’s hopes dashed, share cut
City gets Rs 63.05 cr less than last year under Plan head Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
The Chandigarh Administration’s hopes of getting a huge share in the Budget under the Plan head for the financial year 2014-15 was dashed when Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley approved nearly the same amount as proposed in the interim Budget in February this year.

Jaitley only increased Rs 15 lakh under the Plan head and allocated Rs 813 crore. In the interim Budget in February this year, former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram had allocated Rs 812.85 crore to the UT Administration under the Plan head for 2014-15.

In comparison to the last fiscal, there is a reduction under the Plan head for the UT Administration. Under the Plan head, against the allocation of Rs 876.05 crore for the last fiscal, the Union Government has allotted Rs 813 crore. It is Rs 63.05 crore (7.2 per cent) less as compared to the last fiscal.

A senior official of the UT Administration said though the reduction was not much (only Rs 63.05 crore), if the rising inflation was factored in, shortage of funds would affect work on various projects, including construction of government hospitals, schools, community centres and housing projects.

Under the non-Plan head, against the allocation of Rs 2,615.56 crore for the last financial year, the Union Government has given Rs 2,730.25 crore, an increase of Rs 114.69 crore. The non-Plan allocation will go towards the committed expenditure on salaries and other recurring expenses borne by the Administration.

The major share of the UT Budget will go towards education (23 per cent), health (15 per cent), urban development (23 per cent), transport (15 per cent), housing (5 per cent) and social security, social welfare and empowerment of women (3 per cent).

UT Finance Secretary Saravjit Singh said the UT could demand additional budget, if required, in coming months .

shortage of funds won’t come in way of city’s development: kirron

The Budget is positive. Shortage of funds will not come in the way of the city’s development. The Centre will provide funds as and when required. I will take up the city’s requirement with the Centre strongly. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is committed to the overall development of Chandigarh
— Kirron Kher, MP

What’s there for the city

  • Rs 67.68 cr for infrastructural facilities at the GMCH-32
  • Rs 30.35 cr for roads and bridges under the Admn
  • Rs 25 cr for opening of 18 new schools, two new govt high smart schools and upgrading schools
  • Rs 23.30 crore for accommodation of government employees
  • Rs 20.50 crore for strengthening/upgrading power distribution
  • Rs 19.45 cr for strengthening GMSH-16
  • Rs 18.24 crore under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan
  • Rs 13 crore for the promotion of the Model Solar City Programme
  • Rs 13 crore for replacement of 50 condemned buses
  • Rs 7.92 crore for IT and e-governance



Union Budget a platter of surprises
The Budget has elicited a mixed response from residents in the city. While the higher income group has welcomed it and lauded the government headed by Narendra Modi on its endeavour, the lower income group and pensioners are disappointed at the outcome as their hopes have been dashed.

Budget spreads cheer among middle class

Anil Sharma with his family at their residence in Sector 44, Chandigarh, on Thursday.
Anil Sharma with his family at their residence in Sector 44, Chandigarh, on Thursday. Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari

Anil Sharma
Family income: Rs 60,000
Two earning heads
Wife earning, two children

For Anil Sharma, a senior technician in Panjab University, the budget is ‘good’ as far as the middle class is concerned.

Sharma, who has a nuclear family comprising his wife Sonia and two school-going children, Vaanya and Aryan, said, “The budget has provided us relief by increasing the income tax limit and savings limit (under Section 80C).”

“This way, every middle class family has been benefited with at least Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 per month. The ‘bitter pill’, which our new Prime Minister Narendra Modi has indicated to give to the people to improve the nation’s economy, has been compensated,” said Sharma. “The recent price hike in the rail fare, fuel and LPG has been remunerated in the budget,” he added.

His wife, Sonia, a commerce lecturer in a private college, is elated that several goods of daily use, including oil, medicines, soaps, packaged food, mobile phones, footwear and television, have become cheaper. “This is a welcome step”, said Sonia.

“Overall, the maiden Budget by the Modi government is a good one. It has made the middle class happy and relieved,” said the couple.

‘Income tax exemption limit a welcome move’

Sushil, an IT professional, with his family at their residence in Sector 7, Chandigarh, on Thursday.
Sushil, an IT professional, with his family at their residence in Sector 7, Chandigarh, on Thursday. Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari

Sushil Kumar
Family income: Rs 75,000
Single earning hand
Wife, two children

Sushil Kumar (34), an IT professional working with Startup Firms Pvt Ltd, was elated on knowing about the increase in the income tax exemption limit from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh. Also, the tax saving through investment limit rising from Rs 1 lakh to 1.5 lakh will allow him to invest more money into savings.

“The money that went into income tax until last year will now go into our savings,” said Kumar. However, his wife, Reeta Kumari, was a little disappointed due to lack of clarity on the prices of commodities and services as she had hopes of spending lesser on fuel and services at salon, besides cosmetics. The family now looks forward to a CNG pipeline in the city to find alternative sources of energy for vehicles and cooking.

For this family of five, budget spells little hope

(L-R) Ramvati with her husband Ram Niwas and their children, Pooja, Aarti and Chandan at their residence in Abheypur village, Panchkula, on Thursday.
(L-R) Ramvati with her husband Ram Niwas and their children, Pooja, Aarti and Chandan at their residence in Abheypur village, Panchkula, on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

Ram Niwas
Family income: Rs 15,000
Two earning heads
Three children

Least concerned about the Union Budget 2014-15, presented by finance minister Arun Jaitley, Ramvati was busy preparing lunch in the kitchen. Her husband, Ram Niwas, who runs a tobacco kiosk in Abheypur village, and their three children wait for the food on a bed in the adjacent room.

The family has been living in a one-room rented accommodation on the first-floor of a house, located in the densely-populated village for the past over 15 years. While Ram operates a shack, Ramvati runs a small shop and sells cosmetics to help her husband makes ends meet.

Expressing her ignorance on the budget, Ramvati said, “What exactly is it?”

When told that cosmetics would become cheaper as per the new budget, she smiles and claimed, “But other goods are going to be dearer.” Ram, however, was of the view that following after the price hike, customers would rethink twice before buying cigarettes, tobacco-based products and pan masala. “This is bound to affect my business,” he said. “Those directly associated with the price hike and price reduction will be affected,” Ram claimed. The couple’s elder daughter, Pooja, a Class student of Class XII claimed, “We’ll have to plan our budget as per our earning now.”

‘Budget was full of ideas but lacked substance’

Nandan Singh Rautala with his wife Laxmi and daughter Anjali at his residence in Sector 43, Chandigarh, on Thursday.
Nandan Singh Rautala with his wife Laxmi and daughter Anjali at his residence in Sector 43, Chandigarh, on Thursday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Nandan Singh Rautala
Family income: Rs 44,000
Wife earning
One child (dependent)

The maiden Union Budget 2014 has failed to spread joy in the Rautala household. A retired government employee, Nandan Singh Rautala, claimed the finance minister announced a budget that was full of ideas but lacked substance.

Singh whose was taken aback with the budget announcement, said, “With the inflation already biting into our household budget, raising the threshold exemption limit from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh and investment limit under Section 80C from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh hardly makes any difference to us. We had high expectations.”

While commenting upon the income tax exemption being increased to Rs 3 lakh for senior citizens, the father of three, said, “I am a retired government employee but I still have to work to meet my household expenses. I can’t avail senior citizen benefits as I retired at 58 years.”

He said the government did not announce any benefits for retiring at the age of 58 years and paying tax. Nandan’s wife Laxmi said, “The sops that the government has announced are hardly of any benefit.”

Meanwhile, their daughter, Anjali, who is currently pursuing her MBA said, “How many LEDs or mobile phones does a regular household purchase? If the government wanted to decrease the prices, it should have been of fuel or daily commodities and higher education.”

Contributed by: Bipin Bhardwaj, Akash Ghai, Ritika Jha Palial & Mehakdeep Grewal



Shocker for Panjab University
No special package for PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
The Union Budget-2014 has left Panjab University faculty across the board a disappointed lot.

As the university was ranked 32nd in Asia in the Times Higher Education, the faculty were hopeful that a special grant would be released in the budget. However, Vice-Chancellor Arun Grover was less hopeful of any such announcement in the budget.

In fact, this year, the authorities had high hopes that the university demands will be the included in the main budget.

This is because in December 2013, a special meeting comprising heads of all departments of the university was called to list their demands.

Panjab University Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover also participated in the meeting.

Varsity officials said they were also expecting a plan in the budget through which the annual grant to the university will be released on time, which usually is inordinately delayed, affecting Panjab University’ functioning.

The authorities also expected that some funds would be allocated for the upgrade of infrastructure on the Panjab Universitycampus for the benefit of the student fraternity. 

Expectations not met

  • Special funds for infrastructure.
  • Action plan for timely release of grant to universities.
  • Increase of percentage of grant to PU.


This year, the authorities had high hopes that the university demands will be included in the main budget. This is because in December 2013, a special meeting comprising heads of all departments of the university was called to list their demands. PU Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover also participated in the meeting.Varsity officials said they were also expecting a plan in the budget through which the annual grant to the university will be released on time, which usually is inordinately delayed, affecting PU’ functioning.

PU ranks 32nd in asia

As the university was ranked 32nd in Asia in the Times Higher Education, the faculty were hopeful that a special grant would be released in the budget. 

‘University will take up matter with mhrd’

We were not expecting any special funds in this budget as the university had not given any presentation to the new government about its achievements. The university is taking up the matter with the Ministry of Human Resource Development to consider this ranking for releasing some special funds for Panjab University.



Speaking Out

The government has raised all important aspects in the budget. But housing is the most important area and there should be clarity on whether the rate of interest for housing loans will come down or not.
—Babita Hundal, school teacher

The fall in excise duty and boost for the manufacturing sector will bring down the cost of medicines. Also, with more hospitals coming up in the healthcare sector, facilities will be better.

—Nirmal Singh, senior citizen

It is great to see the government focus on health. Increased prices of cigarettes and aerated drinks with added sugar will lower down the consumption of these products.
-Dr Priyanka S Bhatia, dentist

It is good that the Union Government has increased the excise duty on cigarette and tobacco products in its first budget. The price of tobacco products should be hiked to a point beyond the purchasing capacity of people so as to discourage their purchase.
—Dr Raman Abrol, resident

An additional 5 per cent excise tax on aerated drinks with added sugar (cold drinks) and tobacco products getting costly as excise duty has been hiked to 72 per cent is the a welcome move. We as healthcare personnel should laud the development.
—Dr KS Dhillon, surgeon

Special focus on sports is a good step to attract youngsters to get involved in sports. The focus is now on individual games. Let’s see how much will be implemented.
—Husandeep Singh, athlete

Incentives for affordable housing, raising tax exemption limit and interest reduction in home loan will bring further momentum to the sector. Promotion of industrial development and growth of manufacturing sector will give a boost to Tier II and III cities.
—Mohit Goel, CEO, Omaxe Ltd

The new government should be lauded for presenting an inclusive and progressive budget. The budget is aimed towards expansion of the country’s economy.
—RS Agarwal, joint chairman, Emami Group of Companies

Just the fact that the finance minister used the word ‘warehouse’ more than 10 times indicates the focus on logistics.
—Vineet Agarwal, managing director, Transport Corporation of India



Rs 500-crore package for rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants draws mixed response
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
The announcement of a Rs 500-crore package for the rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants in the Union Budget for the region, has elicited a mixed response from migrants in the tricity. As many as 700 migrant families are currently residing in the tricity.

Hailing the move, a few families said the decision had given a glimmer of hope to them about returning to their birthplace, which they left more than a decade ago. On the other hand, a few others termed it a useless proposal keeping in view the safety and security conditions in Jammu and Kashmir.


Hailing the move, a few families said the decision had given a glimmer of hope to them about returning to their birthplace, which they left more than a decade ago. On the other hand, a few others termed it a useless proposal keeping in view the safety and security conditions in Jammu and Kashmir.



SHO accuses DSP of graft
Message on WhatsApp creates furore
Tribune News Service

A grab of the message sent on WhatsApp by the SHO
A grab of the message sent on WhatsApp by the SHO

Chandigarh, July 10
A WhatsApp message by the SHO of the Industrial Area police station levelling serious allegations of corruption against his immediate superior, a woman DSP, created a furore in police circles and took the entire UT police by a storm early this morning.

The message, which stated that the SHO wished to resign as he was being harassed to pay more and more money by the DSP (East), was sent on a WhatsApp group, headed by the UT SSP. The WhatsApp group, named “SSP city group”, comprises all area Sub-Divisional Police Officers (SDPOs), the ASP (City), certain DSPs and all area SHOs.

Inspector Yashpal Vinayak, SHO of the Industrial Area police station, wrote on the WhatsApp group that the SDPO (East), DSP Anjitha Chepyala, was harassing him for reasons best known to her. He went on to write that he got an AC fixed, booked an air ticket and also paid Rs 5.35 lakh from his pocket for the repair of her house and she was asking him to pay Rs 50,000 per month to oblige her.

The message was sent at 6.15 am.

DSP (East) Anjitha Chepyala reacted to the message sent in the group at 8 am and wrote that all allegations against her were false and baseless. Addressing her message to the SSP, she wrote that it was an attempt to malign her character for doing her job in an upright manner and demanded an impartial inquiry into it.

UT SSP Sukhchain Singh Gill then wrote in the group that this was not the right platform for any complaint. “Both officers should be warned for using this channel of communication unautherisedly, which is strictly meant for exchanging information pertaining to law and order. Complaints should be filed using the proper channel and not through SMS or wireless.”

All members of this particular WhatsApp group were then asked to delete these messages through a call from the police control room. However, the message had already spread by then and was the hot topic of discussion in the police passing-out parade in the evening too.

Internal politics to the fore

The incident has one again highlighted the internal politics within the police. In 2012, the SHO of the Sector 26 police station had complained to the CBI about SP (City) Desraj Singh asking for a Rs 1 lakh bribe from him. Desraj Singh was then arrested in the corruption case which is currently in court. Today’s incident, too, has raised a question whether the allegations are a result of a war between the deputationists and officers of the Chandigarh police. DSP Anjitha Chepyala is on deputation in the city from the Delhi police.

Charges baseless: DSP

I had opened a departmental inquiry against the SHO and recommended action against him for his misconduct in a case. It is for this reason that he is now venting out his grudge by levelling false and baseless allegations against me and maligning my character.
— Anjitha Chepyala, DSP (East)

Not the right platform to air grievances: IG

The SHO has not used the right platform to air his grievances. A social networking platform is not the apt channel for complaints. Action will be taken against the SHO for not using the correct platform. We will probe the matter on receiving a complaint in writing.
— RP Upadhyaya, UT IGP


Impetus to MSME a boon for job seekers: CII
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
The impetus to the Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector will be a boon for job seekers in the country, experts from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here said, while analysing the Union Budget today.

“To encourage MSMEs to grow and graduate to the next level, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has announced the technology centre network to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and agro-industry”, Zubin Irani, Chairman, CII Northern Region & president - Building & Industrial Systems (India), United Technologies Corporation India Pvt Ltd said.

“Further promoting a conducive eco system for the venture capital in the MSME, he proposed to establish a Rs 10,000 crore fund to act as a catalyst to attract private capital for the start-up companies. The announcement related to revision for reviewing the definition of the MSME for a higher capital ceiling and programme for facilitating forward and backward linkages with multiple value chain of manufacturing and services delivery would be beneficial for the sector,” Amarbir Singh, Vice Chairman, CII Chandigarh Council, said.

Harish Chavan, Vice Chairman, CII, Punjab State Council, shared that the announcement in the budget regarding multi-skill programme called “Skill India” was a paramount step to enhance the employability and the entrepreneurial skills of the youth.

On the goods and service tax (GST), the government will do away with state-specific taxes and bring costs of all services and commodities across the country at par, the experts said. They further elaborated that the GST was very critical for streamlining of the tax administration and the Finance Minister had indicated to find a solution within this year.



Safety measures for women
It’s a welcome step, say women in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
The announcement in the Union Budget to allocate funds for increasing safety measures for women in large cities has been welcomed by residents in the City Beautiful, which otherwise ranks second after Delhi in crime against women.

Till July this year, the UT police have registered 63 cases of kidnapping of girls. Another 25 cases of rape have been registered. One case of dowry death, 59 cases of cruelty by husband and in-laws (section 498 of the IPC). Besides, 57 cases of molestation have also been registered.

Even as per the 2013 figures released by NCRB, Chandigarh has been ranked second after Delhi in crime against women and children among the seven Union Territories (UT) in India.

Introducing special buses for women under the project is a welcome step.



one-rank, one-pension scheme 
Ex-servicemen term it eyewash
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
Ex-servicemen were left discontented with the Budget of Rs 1,000 crore allocated for the one-rank, one-pension (OROP) scheme. The retired military personnel alleged that the Budget announced was mere eye-wash.

The defence personnel criticised the Budget and claimed that the BJP government in its manifesto had committed to the armed forces personnel that they would implement OROP in its true form, however they failed to do so.

As per the defence personnel, the OROP policy should grant same pension to two pensioners irrespective of the date of their retirement provided they comply with two conditions, the first being that the persons should have same rank and secondly their length of service should be the same.

The Budget allocated for OROP is a joke. The Finance Minister has bluffed us for this amount is not enough.
— Brig (retd) Harwant Singh, president, All-India Defence Brotherhood

The government has played into the hands of bureaucrats. Though the definition of OROP is very clear, yet the government has failed to allocate the needed Budget for it. Over three decades, the ex-servicemen have repeatedly sought the government’s support on the issue .

— Brig (retd) Kuldip Singh Kahlon, president, All-India Defence Brotherhood,
Punjab Chapter



MC gets only Rs 136.60 crore under Plan head
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
The Municipal Corporation (MC), Chandigarh, didn’t get much of the plan head approved by the General House in February this year that was sent to the UT Administration.

Out of the total plan budget of Rs 345.70 crore the MC has got Rs 136.60 crore.

Some of the areas where the MC failed to get enough Budget are primary health and primary education. For primary health, the MC had demanded Rs 22 crore. However, they got only Rs 2 crore. Similarly, for primary education, the MC got Rs 3 crore against the demand for Rs 15.40 crore.

Mayor HC Kalyan said that since the MC had been allocated lesser budget, they would be spending the money in areas depending on the Budget available. “We will try to manage within the Budget available with us, if some area require more funds then we will send a demand for additional Budget to the UT administration”, the Mayor said.



Panchkula HCCI a happy lot 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 10
The Haryana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI), Panchkula, has hailed the Union Budget terming it a balanced one with two parts — one is corrective measures which have been taken to reduce the litigation and increase trust and the second part is to focus on sustainability.

Vishnu Goyal, chairman of the HCCI, claimed that the Budget was focused on promoting manufacturing sectors, developing infrastructure, ports, airports, gas pipe lines, e-visas for tourisms, new airports, single window, e-clearance for fast track projects, focus on solar, power, real estate low cost housing, smart cities and wind power.

An increase in housing interest deduction is very appreciable, Goyal claimed.



non-functional streetlights in southern sectors
MC to outsource maintenance
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
Facing public ire due to the non-functional streetlights in different parts of the city, the Municipal Corporation (MC) is soon going to outsource the maintenance of streetlights in southern sectors.

Admitting that streetlights in various parts of the city were non-functional, MC Chief Engineer Mukesh Anand said due to staff shortage, the MC was unable to maintain streetlights. “The maintenance of streetlights on the V-3 roads (roads separating the sectors) will be outsourced,” the Chief Engineer added.

MC officials said there were only two sub-divisional engineers and one XEN to look after maintenance of around 30,000 streetlights across the city.

MC Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh said theft of electricity wires was another reason that adds to the problem. “The wires, particularly in southern sectors, get stolen. Due to this, we have decided to go for outsourcing so as to ensure that streetlights are properly maintained,” the commissioner added.

Vivek Pratap further said to ensure that the company that woudl be allotted the contract properly maintains the streetlights, daily inspections in defined area would be conducted. “The companies would be paid on the basis of their performance,” he added.

The agenda regarding outsourcing the maintenance of streetlights is expected to be brought in the upcoming General House meeting.

Welcoming the MC move, Shashank Bhandari, a Sector 48 resident, said the issue of maintenance of the streetlights in southern sectors was long pending. “A majority of southern sectors face the problem of non-functional streetlights. It is unsafe to drive on roads in the absence of streetlight,” he added.



Anti-rabies centre to come up in Sector 35
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
To deal with a growing number of dog bite cases, the Municipal Corporation (MC) has planned to set up an anti-rabies centre in Sector 35. Presently, the city has only one anti-rabies dispensary, which is in Sector 19.

MC Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh said they were in the process of acquiring the equipment for the centre. Soon, doctors would complete the requisite training. “Another anti-rabies facility will lessen the burden on the Sector 19 dispensary,” he said.

During the House meeting on May 30, BJP councillors had also brought a table agenda regarding the stray dog menace in the city. The councillors had demanded that four more anti-rabies dispensaries be opened in the city and free treatment be provided to dog bite victims.

According to the affidavit submitted by the MC in the court, 8,199 dog bite cases were reported at the rabies vaccination clinic in Sector 19 from January 2013 to April 2014.

The commissioner said on the pattern of Nashik, the Chandigarh MC has decided to invite tenders to hire an agency for sterilisation of dogs in the city.

Presently, the People for Animals, an NGO, is sterilising dogs here. “On an average, around five dogs are sterilised every day in Chandigarh. However, with another agency roped in for the purpose, around 15 dogs will be sterilised in a day,” the commissioner stated. 



Mayor lists his achievements in six months
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
The Municipal Corporation (MC) has re-carpeted 116 kms of roads and developed green belts in Sectors 17 and 45, Mayor HC Kalyan told mediapersons today while listing out the development works carried during the first six months of his tenure.

“The green belt in Sector 17 which is spread on around 1.5 acres is ready for inauguration. Similarly, another green belt in Sector 45 (A) has also been completed,” the Mayor said.

MC Chief Engineer Mukesh Anand said they had also started re-carpeting roads in Sectors 27, 28 and 18. Anand said the MC has also undertaken reconstruction of community centres in six sectors.



SIT to interrogate accused officials today
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 10
The special investigation team (SIT) in the PNB manager Ajay Sehgal suicide case has summoned the two accused bankers for interrogation tomorrow.

On July 3, the Chandigarh Police had booked senior deputy general manger AK Gupta and field general manager JK Gupta for abetment to suicide following a complaint by the deceased’s wife Rama Sehgal.

In her complaint, she had alleged that her husband’s superiors were pressuring him to do certain illegal works, which were not acceptable to him. Following harassment by the superiors, he took the extreme step, she had alleged.

While talking to The Tribune, Assistant Commissioner of Panchkula police (ACP) Purnima Singh, who is heading the SIT, claimed that the deceased wife’s statement was the same as in the FIR. “Meanwhile, we have summoned both the accused for interrogation,” added the ACP. 



Chd Admn to start mobile van service for selling onions today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
Owing to a stark contrast in the price of onions in the wholesale and retail markets and speculations about further increase in the price, the UT Administration will start a mobile van service to sell onions at reasonable prices from Friday.

Two vans will be stationed at identified locations for two hours slot from 10 am till 8 in the evening. The locations will vary daily so that all areas in the city are covered within a week, said Danish Ashraf, Joint Director, UT Department of Food and Supplies.

Onions and potatoes will be sold at through the vans for Rs 23 per kg and the maximum quantity allowed per family will be 2 kg.

Last week, four kiosks were set up — one each at Dhanas, Mauli Jagran and Sectors 46 and 37 — to sell onion and potatoes at the same rate. The working hours of the kiosks are from10 am to 6 pm.

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

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



Missing official was not harassed: SBoP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
The State Bank of Patiala (SBoP) today claimed that the missing bank official, Rajeev Sharma, was never harassed by the bank authorities as alleged by his family members.

A communication sent by the bank stated that during his service, he had been posted near his native place in Sangrur. The bank spokesperson stated that Sharma was promoted to MMGS Scale-III and was tansferred to the Daryaganj branch in New Delhi as per the bank’s policy.

The communication stated that he was transferred from Panchkula on May 24, 2014, and was advised to join the Daryaganj branch after availing of the joining period. He joined the Delhi branch on June 3. Sharma proceeded on leave on medical ground from June 14 to 21 and sent an email seeking extension of the leave till June 19. A doctor’s prescription was also attached with both the leave applications. As such, he is on leave since June 14.

There was no information that Sharma had met any senior bank official at Patiala on July 4. The allegations by his family members are baseless and untrue, said the spokesperson.



class xi admissions
Second round of counselling on July 16
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
The Education Department has invited applications for the second round of counselling for Class XI in government schools today.

Department officials said the candidates who have already taken admission in one of the government schools now want to submit request for change of school/stream/option. All such candidates would need to fill the form “Form for change of school/stream/option”. It will be available at the six designated schools - GMSSS, Sector-10; GMSSS-20, GMSSS-46, GMSSS-37, GMSSS, Modern Complex, Manimajara; and GMSSS-28 and also on the website of the department i.e. www.chdeducation.gov.in.

The officials added that the candidates who had applied for admission during the 1st round of counselling but did not take admission for any reason or were not allotted any seat will also need to submit/apply on form “Form for change of school/stream/Option”.

The candidates who did not apply for admission earlier can now apply on the “registration form” available in the prospectus that can be purchased from any one of the six schools.

The authorities added that in case a candidate could not get a seat in the school/stream of the first option, his/her name will be included in the ‘waiting list’ of that schools/stream (1st option). This list will be valid up to August 6. In case, name of the candidates does not figure in the waiting list of school/stream of 1st option, his/her name will be included under waiting list of the school/stream given under 2nd option provided he/she has not been allotted seat of 2nd option and so on. Similar procedure will be applied for candidates who are applying admission for the first time.

List of vacant seat after the second round of counselling and subsequent vacancies (category wise/ stream Wise) will be displayed by all schools on every Monday in August. List of selected candidates from the waiting list will also be displayed. Each school will display information relating to their own school.



Street play highlights issues related to population control
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
On the eve of World Population Day, 15 students of Dikshant International School today staged a street play, ‘Hum Honge Kaamyaab’, here at the Plaza.

The play, directed by Sudesh Sharma, Bhavsheel Singh, Ishwar Thakur from a Chandigarh-based theatre group, Theatre for Theatre (TFT), highlighted the peril of increasing population in the country and its impact.

It portrayed various issues that are faced due to population growth. It focused, particularly on the hindrances that fall in the way of development of a nation. The students touched various aspects from environmental to economical impacts.

The play contained many satirical moments.

The organisers said the aim of staging the play was to spread awareness among the masses and educate people about various adverse effects of rising population and measures of birth control.



Minister: Campaign against sexual crimes in schools soon
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 10
Punjab Education Minister Daljit Singh Cheema batted for special drives in schools to educate schoolchildren against sexual crimes.

“The schoolchildren need to be aware so that such crimes should be checked on the premises of schools effectively. They should be given proper awareness of laws on the issue,” said the minister while addressing participants of a special workshop on Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) by the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) at Manav Mangal Smart School, Phase 10, here today.

Terming the rape incident in a government high school at Sunet village in Ludhiana ‘very shameful’, Cheema said steps had been taken so that such act would not repeat in the schools.

“The drive would be started in the schools soon. Teachers should also be given lessons of morality under the campaign,” said the minister.



SD College opens in Rajpura

Chandigarh, July 10
GGDSD College, Sector 32, is coming up an alternative for students to study commerce and management subjects in its sister concern at Kheri Gurna, near Banur, in Rajpura tehsil. It is affiliated to Punjabi University, Patiala.

The aim is to provide a good alternative to students who could not get admission in GGDSD College, Chandigarh, despite scoring high marks. It offers the same environment as was offered by colleges under the SDCC brand, said Upkar K Sharma, president, GGDSD College Society. Bhushan K Sharma, Principal, GGDSD College, Chandigarh, said the application to seat ratio of SD College, Chandigarh, hovers around 20:1. It prevents many students from getting admission here. — TNS



Workshop on bio-entrepreneurship begins
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
A two-day workshop on bio-entrepreneurship started today at Panjab University (PU) here. The workshop stimulating bio-entrepreneurs talks is being hosted by the University Innovation Cluster in Biotech- nology (UIC-B), PU, to enhance and promote the entrepreneurial skills in youngsters.

The workshop is being organised in association with the Biotechnology Industry Research Assisted Council (BIRAC) of Government of India and the Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE).

Noted international entrepreneurship expert from USA K Vijayraghavan addressed students and motivated them for promoting the entrepreneurial spirit among them.

In his unique interactive style of lecture, Dr Vijayraghavan referred to the examples of Toyota, Google, iTunes and various other successful entrepreneurs.

He said good entrepreneur challenges the status quo.

PU Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover said the PU had been given many national responsibilities recently.

It had been producing good graduates and good research. Now, time had come that youngsters should be encouraged to learn entrepreneurship, Professor Grover added.



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