C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Erring banks in for trouble
UT wakes up after Syndicate Bank inferno, orders survey of building violations
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
Banks located in Sector 17, which have violated building bylaws, are in for trouble.

Two weeks after the inferno at the regional office of Syndicate Bank in Sector 17, where the firefighting operations were hampered due to building violations, the UT has initiated a through survey of the building violations in all banks in the commercial sector.

A preliminary survey by the UT has revealed major building violations. A senior official said apart from the treasury branch of the State Bank of India (SBI) in Sector 17, adjoining the collapsed building of the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT), a number of banks at Bank Square had building violations.

Banks have blocked the emergency exit routes. They have made cabins and have placed waste material and stationery in the exit routes.

Assistant Estate Officer Balbir Singh Dhol confirmed that a survey had been ordered. “Based on the report, notices will be issued to banks found at fault,” he said.

Sources in the Administration said the staff of the SDO (Building) had been asked to submit the report within the next few days. Around 20 banks have their branches or regional headquarters in Sector 17. “The UT has swung into action after the fire at the NIELIT building and Syndicate Bank exposed building violations during the firefighting operations,” said a UT official.

Banks lack fire safety mechanism

Banks located at Bank Square, Sector 17, have been found wanting as far as setting up a fire safety mechanism to handle an emergency situation is concerned. Notices served on them by the Fire Department have failed to make an impact as the issue of building violations comes under the purview of the Estate Office.

Government offices spared

The UT has not adopted a strict approach in respect of building violations in government offices in Sector 17. Last year, UT Estate Officer Mohammed Shayin had initiated a move to get all encroachments in balconies cleared, but with little success. 



Major relief for traders
Coffee, pizza outlets exempted from installing oil & grease traps
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
Providing a major relief to traders in the city, the UT Administration has now exempted coffee shops and pizza outlets (not manufacturing/cooking the stuff), having a seating capacity of less than 20, from installing oil and grease traps.

Along with these shops, the Administration has also exempted food outlets being run from booths (not manufacturing/cooking the stuff), guest houses and dharamshalas without a kitchen.

The decision was taken at a recent meeting of the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee as traders in the city were facing a problem. The decision will give relief to more than 500 traders in the city.

Recently, the UT Administration had issued notices to a number of dhabas, food outlets, restaurants and sweets shops to install oil and grease traps. The Administration had also disconnected the water and electricity supplies of more than 80 such shops.

The Administration has also exempted some outlets (see list in the box) from taking “consent to operate under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981”. Earlier, the traders had to give a bank guarantee of Rs 1 lakh to the UT Administration before taking consent to operate. However, now there will be no need for a bank guarantee.

Earlier, the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal and a delegation of the Chandigarh BJP, headed by city unit president Sanjay Tandon, had met senior UT officials and opposed the UT Administration’s move to disconnect the water and electricity connections.

What is an oil and grease trap

An MC official said an oil and grease trap was a device used for removing oil and grease from waste water. On entering the sewer lines, grease and oil choke pipelines. The grease deposits reduce the capacity of the pipes, resulting in sewage outflow and stink. Notices were served on the owners of hotels, restaurants and eateries in the city and they were told to construct oil and grease traps and oil and grease choke pipes. A number of complaints kept pouring in from sectors housing restaurants, hotels and dhabas, he said.

The notification

According to a notification issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 2009, it was mandatory for hotels, restaurants and even service stations to have an oil and grease trap. Public notices were issued to inform the owners of the establishments stating that if they failed to install these, their water connections would be snapped.

Those exempted from installing oil and grease traps and also from taking consent to operate

* Coffee shops with a seating capacity of 20 people or less (not manufacturing

* Pizza shops (not manufacturing)

* Outlets selling only factory-packed processed meat products

* Fast food outlets being run from booths (not manufacturing)

* Guest houses without a kitchen

* Dharamshalas without a kitchen

Those exempted from taking consent to operate but need to install oil and grease traps

* Small dhabas/restaurants (area up to 150 sq ft)

* Sweets shops without a seating capacity

* Guest houses with a kitchen facility having less than 20 rooms

* Dharamshala with a kitchen facility having less than 20 rooms

* Fast food outlets being run from booths (manufacturing)

Traders happy

Traders are happy that the UT Administration has understood their problems and exempted small traders. We are hopeful that the Administration will also ease norms for seeking permission.— Charanjiv Singh, president, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal

It is a welcome step by the UT Administration. The Administration should set up a single window at Paryavaran Bhawan, Sector 19, to deal with all environment and pollution-related issues which concern traders and industrialists.— Mukesh Bassi, councillor and industrialist 



For city’s poor, saving Rs 300 costs 100 days of pain
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
The wait for relief from pain seems endless for patients at city government hospitals. For a mere ultrasound test, that is the basic diagnosis for most forms of pains in the body, a patient may save money but will have to wait for several days. At the GMCH, Sector 32, where the scenario is the worst, patients are being asked to come after three months for an ultrasound. At the PGI and the GMSH, Sector 16, the wait is relatively less, but it is still one week and 25 days, respectively.

The test costs Rs 400 in private labs and Rs 100 in government hospitals.

Sample this: A visit to Area 24 in Block A (ultrasound unit) at the GMCH on Tuesday revealed that patients were issued the date of October 27 for the test (a wait of 104 days).

At the GMSH, a young male patient, who was suspected to have kidney stone, was asked to visit the hospital for an ultrasound on August 10 (after 25 days) while his pain was consistent. “My son is suffering for long. We won’t be sure whether he has any serious problem or not until August 10 now,” said Aruna Devi, mother of the patient.

Reflecting the poor planning of the administration, the staff at the GMCH force the patient to wait for over two hours before issuing the date for an ultrasound.

At the GMCH, a 40-year-old woman (name withheld), who had pain in the abdomen, kept waiting from 11 am to 1 pm till her turn finally came to meet the staff in Area 24. She was asked to come on October 27. “If they have to issue a far off date, then what takes them so long to decide it?” she said when this reporter accompanied the patient to Block A.

Reasons for the long wait

At the GMCH, three machines are available in the ultrasound unit and approximately 60 to 70 tests are performed per day. Sources said the unit was short-staffed and all four resident doctors were called for duty at the same time. A senior official said, “The operational hours of the unit can be extended by calling the resident doctors at different time slots for increasing the number of tests per day.”

Dr Suman Kochar, Head of the Department of Radiodiagnosis, GMCH, said the present staff was working under immense pressure as in their department (that runs the ultrasound unit), four posts of resident doctor were lying vacant, one resident doctor was currently on maternity leave, while two had just joined after maternity leave. The department had no junior residents and a lot of vacation backlog had to be cleared before issuing new dates. At the PGI, nearly 90 ultrasounds per day were being carried out with several times higher strength of doctors.

At the GMSH, there is only one ultrasound machine available for the daily load of over 1,000 patients. The alternative machine that was available at the hospital ealier, was shifted to a government dispensary in Sector 22. 

What officials say

We triage the patients and those requiring emergency ultrasounds and those admitted are given appointment early. We would like to reduce the waiting period but unfortunately because of the huge workload, we have not been able to do so.— Dr Atul Sachdev, Director-Principal, GMCH,

The waiting is long. We are planning to procure more ultrasound machines, but the process takes time.— Dr Vandana Gupta, Medical Superintendent, GMsH 



Road-cleaning machines sweep away civic body funds
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
The road-sweeping machines purchased by the Municipal Corporation (MC) in 2008 have turned out to be money guzzlers as an amount of Rs 2.45 crore has been spent on the maintenance of the three vehicles till May 2014.

The machines were purchased for over Rs 5.42 crore, that included a custom duty of around Rs 1.24 crore for importing these from Italy.

Purchased to ensure clean roads in the city, the machines are turning out to be a white elephant for the MC.

During the first five months this year, the MC has spent around Rs 14.50 lakh on the maintenance of the three machines.

The total expenditure of Rs 2.45 crore includes over Rs 90 lakh spent on the purchase of spare parts of the machines and Rs 1.54 crore spent on the comprehensive maintenance cost of the three machines.

This amount does not include the salaries paid to the drivers and cleaners. This also does not include the amount spent on the purchase of diesel for running the machines.

The sweeping machines have always been surrounded by controversy since the time the MC planned to purchase these. Before purchasing the machines, MC officials went on a trip to Italy on the company’s expense, which was criticised by councillors.

The utility of the sweeping machines has been questioned by the councillors time and again.

Deputy Mayor Davesh Moudgil, who has been opposing the hefty amount spent on the maintenance of these machines at general house meetings, said, “There is no need to spend such a huge amount on the maintenance of the sweeping machines, that are hardly seen on roads”.

He said the MC should instead employ safai karamcharis for the work, which will provide employment to a large number of people and at the same time ensure better cleanliness across the city.

BJP councillor and Leader of the Opposition Arun Sood said the machines were not economically viable for the MC.

Congress councillor Pardeep Chhabra said the road-sweeping machines were underutilised as these were used only in a single shift every day. These should be utilised in three shifts to ensure proper utilisation of the machines.

Machines came for a whopping Rs 5.42 crore

* Machines purchased in 2008 for Rs 5.42 crore

* Total amount spent on maintenance till May 2014: Rs 2.45 crore

* Over Rs 81 lakh spent on the maintenance of each machine in less then seven years



Suspect giving tough time to cops
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
Even as the Panchkula police suspect Paras Soni, a proclaimed offender and prime accused in the Tanishq dacoity case of 2011, to be behind the recent robbery at Rajat Jewellers in Panchkula, the accused has been giving a trying time to the police of various states all these years. Police officials said while there was a possibility he could be behind the robberies, they did not have anything concrete to establish their suspicion and were investigating.

The brain behind the Tanishq dacoity, Paras Soni, alias Pritpal Singh, has given a tough time to the police of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan since 1998. He fled from custody of the Punjab police last year in November.

He had earlier escaped from the custody of the Rajasthan police in 2003. Paras was missing since then and conned the police of three states, before he was finally arrested as the mastermind behind the Tanishq dacoity on January 16, 2011. He then again fled from custody in November 2013.

Paras was wanted by the Punjab police in 15 criminal cases, including murders, robberies and burglaries since 2001. The accused, who has studied only till Class VI, has committed three murders in the state and his name has featured in different crimes across the Firozpur belt, Zirakpur and Mohali. He was arrested for the first time in 1998.

Paras was arrested in a theft case by the Rajasthan police in 2003 and later when he was being produced at the Tibi court in Hanumangarh district, he escaped from the custody of the police by drugging

constables. He had mixed sedative in sweets offered to them. He also took the keys of the handcuff with him.

He was arrested in Ghaziabad in a murder case in 2007 and came out on bail in December 2008 and started a business of finance in Shalimar Garden for about nine months. He sold his truck and purchased a Tata 407 and started doing transport business.

While the Punjab police knew him as Pritpal Singh, the accused disclosed his identity to the UP police as Paras Soni. It is because of this change in name that the Punjab police as well as the Rajasthan police were unable to track him since 2003 even when he was arrested by the UP police in 2007, only to be given bail later. The accused formed new gangs before committing a major crime.

Criminal background

Hailing from Jalalabad village in Ferozpur, Paras has committed three murders with the motive of robbery.

Brief account of cases registered against him

* Along with Amrik and Subash, he murdered a person and snatched Rs 1.5 lakh from a tea businessman of Jalalabad. All were arrested in the case and Paras was declared a proclaimed offender in this case in 2004.

* He, along with Subash and Amrik Singh, a resident of Jodhwala, Ludhiana, murdered one person on the Sarwar Khuian road and snatched Rs 3.5 lakh from him in 2001. All of them were arrested in the case.

* In 2007, shot Shiv Kumar over a financial dispute.

* Stole seven gas cylinders from a residential area in Jalalabad in 1998. He was arrested by the Jalalabad police and was declared a proclaimed offender in April 2006.

* He, along with his associates, committed a robbery of Rs 70,000 in Khuian Sarwa, Ferozepur. He was declared a proclaimed offender in this case in 2001.

* Paras and his accomplice Subash stole Rs 50,000 from Adarsh Nagar. He was declared a proclaimed offender in this case in 2005.

* He and Subash snatched Rs 1.8 lakh from a cloth merchant near Lachuke Mandi.

* He and Krishan stole Rs 12,000 and a .12-bore gun from Jalalabad and they were arrested in this case.

Crimes committed in Zirakpur and Mohali

* Stole 200 DVD players from Onida Godown, Zirakpur. Guddu Singh was arrested by the Punjab police while Pritpal Singh was never arrested in the case.

* Paras and his brother Manav Soni stole mobile phones from a godown in Zirakpur. They were arrested in 2005 by the Punjab police.

* Committed a burglary in Punjab and Sind Bank, Mohali, along with Guddu and Gurbaksh Singh. All of them were arrested.

* Committed a burglary in Punjab National Bank, Malerkotla, along with Guddu, Harbans and Gurbaksh. Paras was declared a PO in this case.

* Committed a robbery in Punjab and Sind Bank, Patiala. Along with three accomplices, he looted Rs 4,12,800 and some gold from the bank locker. Paras and his brother were declared POs.



Little headway in robbery case
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 16
It has been four days since robbers struck at Rajat Jewellers in the Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 5, but the Panchkula police are still groping in the dark. Nothing substantial has been found by the police yet.

In the evening, the police rounded up two persons from Chandigarh. A team of the Panchkula police went to a village in Haryana for a combing operation.

“We are taking assistance from the cyber cell to nab the robbers,” said a police official.

The Chandigarh police also visited Rajat Jewellers today and spoke to eyewitnesses. One of them told the police that a woman, who was in the car, had pointed a pistol towards him when he tried to run behind the vehicle.

The police are working on several theories, including the involvement of the prime accused in the Tanishq heist, Paras Soni. Soni is on the run for the past nine months and was a goldsmith before entering the world of crime. After seeing the CCTV footage, the police suspected that Soni may be involved in the Rajat Jewellers heist.

Nothing is left with us now: Jeweller

“Money earned over 16 years through hard work was looted in just 16 minutes. So far there has been no breakthrough in the case,” said Rajat, son of Aashi Khanna, owner of Rajat Jewellers.

“Wer are not big jewellers like Tanishq or PC Jewellers. We are left with nothing now. By now, the accused may have fled with our jewellery,” said Rajat.

On Sunday, at least seven armed men attacked the showroom owner, Aashi Khanna, and his two employees. They fled with jewellery worth over Rs 50 lakh.

* 2 persons rounded up

Two persons have been rounded up by the police in connection with the robbery. 


UT set to regulate diesel-run autos in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
Six years after an inter-state reciprocal transport agreement was signed between Punjab and the UT, the State Transport Authority (STA) has decided to crack a whip on operators of the diesel-run autos from Mohali that are plying in the city without permission.

As per the inter-state agreement, only LPG, CNG or battery operated autos registered with the Mohali Transport Authority but are plying in Chandigarh can be countersigned by the STA, Chandigarh. The diesel-run autos cannot be countersigned by the UT, said UT officials.

Since it is an inter-state issue, the UT officials have been desisting from taking action against the diesel autos coming from the neighbouring states in the past. A senior official said that this time, a strategy was being worked out to regulate the diesel autos.

10,000 autos ply in city

On the one hand, there are around 10,000 diesel-run autos plying in the city, which are mostly registered in Mohali and Panchkula. On the other hand, there are around 5,000 LPG autos registered in the city. In December 2009, around 2,600 LPG autos were given the road permit for Chandigarh. Apart from them, more than 3,000 LPG unregistered autos and another 5,000 diesel autos from the neighbouring states are running on the roads of the City Beautiful.


Diesel-run autos are found plying without registration documents. Under a multi-pronged strategy, the STA in a proposal sent to the Transport Secretary had sought action against the diesel-run autos coming to the city and gave directions to the police to impound such vehicles.



DC checks admn’s efficiency
TPS Sidhu calls up people to get first-hand information from them 
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 16
Gurpreet Singh, a farmer of Nanu Majra village and Viney Kumar, chief manager of State Bank of India, were in for surprise when they got phone calls in which the caller was inquiring whether or not the duo has faced any harassment at the hands of government officials while getting their work done at different government offices in the district.

The caller revealed his identity as Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu, DC,Mohali, and asked, ‘Are you satisfied with behaviour and efficiency of the dealing hands at the office; Did you face any kind of harassment there while getting your work done’.

“Firstly I did not believe that the top brass of the district was making such queries. But I answered all his queries,” said Gurpreet Singh, who had recently visited the Mohali sub registrar office for some registration work.

Expressing similar views, Viney Kumar said he was surprised when the caller gave him his introduction. “Firstly, it came to my mind that it must be some prank but I gave answers to all the questions,” said Viney Kumar, who visited the Kharar Tehsildar office recently for some work.

While expressing happiness over the DC’s initiative, the duo said they faced no harassment at any level while getting their work done.

DC Sidhu said he and the additional deputy commissioner have started making random calls to pubic for past few days to check the behaviour of their staff and incidents of corruption, if any.

“So far, around 60 such calls have been made to various persons, who had recently visited the government offices. Fortunately, not even a single complaint of harassment has been made by any of residents,” claimed Sidhu.

The telephone numbers of the visitors are being noted down by the dealing hands as per the orders of the deputy commissioner.



Railways fines food contractor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
The Northern Railways headquarters imposed a fine on the contractor who had served food in the evening Shatabdi plying from New Delhi to Chandigarh yesterday. Insects were found in the food of passengers aboard the train.

The Ambala Division Commercial Manager, Parveen Gaur Devidi, said samples of the food had also been sent to the laboratory for testing and after the receipt of the report by the division, action would be taken against the contractor.

On Tuesday, the passengers commuting in Coach No. 3 of the evening Shatabdi plying from New Delhi to Chandigarh complained about insects in the food served to one of the passengers.

An insect was found in the food of Ganga Parsad, one of the passengers, aboard the train. Taking swift action on the complain, the train was halted at the Ambala station and senior officials of the Railways inspected and sealed the samples of food served to the passengers to take further necessary action.

This is not the first incident, as records of the Ambala Division revealed that various complaints had been received from various trains, including that from Shatabdi Express on the quality of food and services served in the train. The authorities of the Ambala Division had also received complaint about the unhygienic condition in the pantry of the afternoon Shatabdi.



Commuters inconvenienced as protests lead to traffic jams 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
Chaos ruled the city roads after the Punjab Youth Congress protested in Sector 15, while anganwadi women workers camped at the Housing Board light point in Mani Majra.

In Sector 15, the Punjab Youth Congress members staged a walk towards the Vidhan Sabha, but were stopped by the Chandigarh Police outside the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee office. The police also resorted to using water cannons to disperse the crowd. The members were protesting against drug menace and power cuts in Punjab.

The police detained more than 70 protesters under preventive action and were released later. The protest led to a traffic jam in Sector 15,11, 16 and parts of the Madhya Marg.

The traffic also suffered near the Housing Board Light points after about 200 women anganwadi workers descended to protest. The traffic was halted for about two hours on the busy road leading to Panchkula. The transport light point in Sector 26 was also choked.



Advanced laparoscopic surgeries at Mohali Civil Hospital soon
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 16
Surjit Jiyani, health minister, Punjab, while inaugurating the first live advance laparoscopy surgical workshop, being organized with the collaboration of renowned surgeon of Max Hospital Dr K S Dhillon, said Mohali Civil Hospital, Phase 6, would soon start performing advance laparoscopic surgeries.

“Everything needed for the infrastructure would be provided by the state government”, said Jiyani.

Dr Andesh Kang, SMO, Civil Hospital, Mohali, said four live advance laparoscopic surgeries were performed in front of the participants of the workshop.

“We have facility of laparoscopic surgery which requires to make three to four holes in the patient’s body. The advance laproscopic surgery will be performed with making one hole in body,” said Dr Kang.

Laparoscopic surgery is cut-free and stitch –free and the patient can go home on the same day and resume his/her normal routine next day, said Dr Kang.



Youth Cong wants BJP govt to come clean on Vaidik row

Chandigarh, July 16
Youth Congress workers today burnt an effigy of the BJP government at Congress Bhawan in Sector 35 here.

Chandigarh Youth Congress president Maninder Dhillon and vice-president Harmail Kesri jointly condemned the meeting of columnist Ved Pratap Vaidik with the 26/11-mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan. They said it was a matter of grave concern if the Indian High Commission in Pakistan did not know about the meeting.

They said the Centre must come clean on the issue. It is suspected that the Prime Minister’s office may have a role in arranging the meet, they alleged. — TNS



Ahead of poll, Hooda govt takes to rap to woo youth
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 16
The Hooda government is going the rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh’s way to connect with the youth.

Ahead of Assembly elections in the state, rap songs on Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and his developments have become a buzz among the youngsters.

The songs are ‘Mhaara Haryana’ inspired by singer Alisha Chinoy’s ‘Made in India’ and ‘Sabse aage Haryana’.

“We just wanted to connect with the youth. So, we added rap to the traditional songs boasting about Haryana as the No. 1 state,” said an official close to the CM while requesting anonymity. He added, “We might get more such songs.”

“We don’t even know the ABC of politics and are least interested as to who will win. But the tune of the song has amused us,” said Vikas, a student who had come to the Government College, Sector 1, for some admission-related query.

The song is also being shared on WhatsApp and Facebook, the social networking media.

The rap in the songs speaks about the government’s achievements in allowing pension to improving the state of education and roads, offering agricultural loans to other development issues.

Rap sings paeans to Hooda Govt

Hooda sahib ne kare prayaas, ek neeyat se kiya vikaas,Yo! Banaya hamara Haryana khaas.

Sabse kam bijli k daam, sapno ke bhi badhe hai daam, sabse zada pension deke badhaya buzargon ka maan.

MGNREGA mein rate hai high, gareeb bachhon ki muft padhai, nayi nayi university laa ke, shiksha ki bhi jyot jalai.

Hum sab ne ye thana hai, na kadam humne hatana hai, aage badhte jaana hai

Yo! Aage badhte jaana hai.



MIA submits memo against power cuts
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 16
The members of Mohali Industries Association (MIA) submitted a memorandum to the state government opposing the regulatory measures of Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL).

“Under the measures, the authorities have imposed long power cuts, which would have an adverse affect on the industry,” said Gurkirpal Singh, president, MIA, while giving the memorandum to DC Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu.

It’s a complete failure on the part of the state government as it was clear that the monsoon would be weak and still no adequate measures were taken to ensure adequate power supply to the industry, added Gurkirpal Singh. We were looking forward to a pleasant summer with adequate power but because of the gross mismanagement of PSPCL/government we are facing this crisis today stated the memorandum.



PSPCL techies hold protest over demands
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 16
Members of the Technical Services Union, Mohali circle, of Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd staged a protest in support of their demands here today.

On a call given by the PSEB Employees Joint Forum, the union staged the protest in front of the office of the Deputy Chief Engineer, Distribution circle, Mohali.

The protesters demanded implementation of the agreement signed between the forum and the Powercom on February 24 this year. They said the agreement pertained to their demands, including scrapping of outsourcing and contract systems, removal of anomalies in grade pay and pay band, regularisation of the services of bill distributors, meter readers and cashiers and withdrawal of the policy on nodal complaint centres.

The protesters said their stir would be intensified if the agreement was not enforced.



Pensioners to hold protest today

Mohali, July 16
To expose anti-pensioner policies of the Punjab Government, members of the Punjab Government Pensioners Association will participate in a state-level protest on July 17. Mohan Singh, general secretary of the association, asked all members of the association to gather near Phase 7 petrol station in Mohali at 11 am to participate in the protest. Mohan Singh said the government had failed to keep the promises made before the Lok Sabha elections.

The demands of the pensioners include DA on the pattern of the Central Government, 10 per cent instalment of DA with effect from January 1, 2014, 25 per cent increase in allowances. He appealed to all pensioners to participate in the protest. — TNS



Alleging police inaction, suicide victim’s kin seek CBI probe
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 16
Members of the family of a man, who allegedly committed suicide following a land dispute in Kharar, have demanded a CBI inquiry into the incident.

Gurdial Singh had allegedly shot himself at Shivalik Avenue in Kharar on May 30.

During a press conference held in Chandigarh today, the deceased’s wife Gurmeet Kaur, son Baljinder Singh and daughters claimed that Gurdial Singh, after selling his ancestral land, had purchased a piece of land at Dhoor village in Patiala and elsewhere along with Hardial Singh and his son Sukhwinder Singh.

The family said the father-son duo later allegedly refused to either hand over the possession of Gurdial Singh’s land or pay rent against it. Upset over this, Gurdial became upset and allegedly took the extreme step. The family members said the police had registered an FIR against Hardial Singh and Sukhwinder Singh under Sections 306 and 34 of the IPC. They alleged that the two suspects were influential persons and had political links. The Mohali police had failed to arrest the suspects even one and a half months after the incident, they alleged.

The police had still not verified the writing in Gurdial Singh’s alleged suicide note in which he had named the two suspects.

The family claimed that the police was not taking action due to alleged political pressure.



4 months on, UT notifies sub-committees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
Almost four months after Mayor HC Kalyan constituted sub-committees of the Municipal Corporation, the UT Administration finally notified the committees today.

For the last few months, the nine committees were lying defunct due to delay in their notifications by the Administration due to which no meeting of the committees could be held.

These committees can approve fiscal matters up to Rs 15 lakh. The committees are constituted as per the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act 1976. The tenure of the committees is one year.

The sub-committees that have been notified includes, the Fire and Emergency Services Committee, Electricity Committee, Environment and City Beautification Committee, Slum Colonies and Village Development Committee, Sanitation Committee, Apni Mandi and Day Market Committee, Women Empowerment, Art and Culture Committee and Enforcement Committee.

SAD councillor Malkiat Singh said due to the delay in constituting the committee various developmental works have suffered. “I hope the committees will meet more often and take up all the pending development works”, Singh added.



MC challans 136 defaulters

Chandigarh, July 16
Continuing their drive against encroachments in the city, the enforcement wing of the MC today issued 136 challans to violators.

The drive was conducted in Sectors 37, 38, 40, 41, 42, Attawan and Mani Majra. MC Inspector (enforcement) Sunil Dutt said 30 challans were issued to the encroachers at Mani Majra and the rest of the challans were issued to the encroachers in other parts of the city. — TNS



Student electrocuted in Sec 22
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
A 21-year-old student was electrocuted at his residence in Sector 22 today.

The victim, Inderjeet Singh, was trying to attach a cable wire to the television set while watching TV when he was electrocuted.

He was rushed to the Government Multi Specialty Hospital in Sector 16 where he was declared brought dead.

The police have ruled out any foul play. Inderjeet was a third-semester student of the Chandigarh Group of Colleges in Landran. The police said he was not wearing his slippers when he went to attach the wire and died on the spot.



High Court blood contributors’ club honours donors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
The Punjab and Haryana High Court Blood Contributors Club, in collaboration with the Rotary Blood and Bank Society Resource Centre, today organised a function to felicitate 100 blood donors from the legal fraternity.

The donors comprised the Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice, other judges, lawyers, employees and clerks of the High Court. The donors voluntarily participated in a total of six blood donation camps organised on the High Court premises in a span of three years, between December 8, 2010, and December 4, 2013.

The donors included Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Justice Hemant Gupta, Justice SS Saron, Justice Mahesh Grover, Justice Rajesh Bindal, Justice Jatendra Chauhan, Justice Augustine George Masih, Justice K Kannan, Justice Paramjeet Singh, Justice Rameshwar Singh Malik, Justice Gurmeet Singh Sandhawalia, Justice Mahavir Singh Chauhan and Justice Navita Singh.

In addition, 15 donors who donated blood in each of the six camps, 36 five-time donors and 36 four-time donors were honoured. All the donors were presented certificates by Justice Kaul. At the function, former Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court, Justice SS Sodhi was also present.

While addressing the gathering, senior advocate ML Sareen, who has been the backbone of the movement since its inception, said, “We started the camps here in 2004 with a commitment to donate1,000 units of blood every year. The programme has been going on very well. So far, we are the only bar association in the country to have donated around 6,000 units of blood.”

He also said that valuable contributions of the legal fraternity must be recognised and so we organise felicitation functions on a regular basis.

Chief Justice Kaul motivated the donors and said “When we donate blood we do a service to society, so we should feel proud about doing so.” 



Alert cop helps nab snatcher
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 16
Alertness on the part of a policeman led to catching a criminal.

Kuljit Singh, a resident of Begpur village in Hoshiarpur, has been arrested on the charge of snatching a purse from Balwinder Kaur, a Phase-XI resident.

Mohali SSP Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti said Assistant Sub-Inspector Balraj Singh got suspicious on seeing the accused carrying a lady purse near Shishu Niketan School at Sector 66.

“When the cop enquired about it, the accused confessed to having snatched the purse. The accused had snatched it from Balwinder Kaur near her house at around 8.15 pm on July 15,” said SSP Bhatti.

A case under Sections 379 and 356 of the IPC has been registered against Kuljit Singh at the Phase XI police station.



Business news

Convenio stores opened at Indian Oil outlets

Indian oil recognizes the expectation of customers to get daily need items while visiting the retail outlets. To fulfil this expectation, Indian Oil has opened convenience stores at four retail outlets of Chandigarh. Godfrey Philips India Ltd is operating the 24X7 convenio stores at Indian Oil retail outlets of Sector 21, 33, 34 and 7. Indrajit Bose, executive director, Retail Sales, IOCL, inaugurated the convenience store at Sector 21 retail outlet.

Tata Docomo launches unlimited data plans

Tata Docomo has announced irresistible range of unlimited data plans for its new and existing postpaid customers across its entire Photon portfolio. The postpaid subscribers can browse and enjoy unlimited plans on Photon - Photon Max WiFi, Photon Max and Photon Plus product categories.

Perfect smile with invisible braces

For perfect smile, now Invisible braces facility is available with Axiss Dental, India’s leading multi-specialty chain of dental clinics. “Invisible braces are no less than a blessing for those who are looking for a solution, but are not open to traditional braces. The treatment process is also less painful and is convenient when it comes to brushing and flossing,” said Dr Sandeep Dev, senior orthodontist consultant, Axiss Dental, India’s leading multi-specialty chain of dental clinics. In the West, the concept of invisible braces is very popular and it is fast catching up in India as well with people growing more conscious about their looks.

National scholarship programme

Lore India Foundation Scholarship Trust announced the launch of a pioneering scholarship program that will identify, assess, reward and mentor the brightest young minds in India. The program is open to school students from classes X, XI and XII from across India and is the nation’s largest scholarship program and national benchmarking initiative. More than 100 of the most brilliant students will be identified through a scientifically evolved Learning Aptitude Test (LAT), designed by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) with the help of acclaimed education scientists.

Maui Jim launches Wanderer collection

Maui Jim has launched Wanderer, a classic double bridge aviator style sunglass, inspired by the 1961 song ‘The Wanderer’. A sleek new modified aviator, which is extremely comfortable and light weight, is a perfect companion for every kind of lifestyle. Priced at Rs 15,800 Wanderer sunglasses provide comfort and style and is available at all leading optical stores in the city. — TNS



To curb outsiders’ entry, PU plans to change election date
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
To avoid any untoward incident during the Panjab University Student Council elections, the authorities are planning to alter the date of elections this year.

Sources said the authorities recently held a meeting wherein a proposal was mooted that the elections be conducted in mid-September, rather than in the last week of August or first week of September, as has been the practice earlier.

A senior official said the authorities were mulling to hold the elections after the completion of the admission process on the campus.

PU Dean Student Welfare Navdeep Goyal said the authorities were planning to implement the proposal as it has been observed that outsiders entered the campus during the elections without any security check on the plea of admission and hence, the staff could not deny them entry.

“Due to this, the authorities are planning to go for the council elections after the admission process is over on the campus,” said Goyal.

He further said though there was tight security on the campus during elections, a ban on the entry of notorious students would help the authorities check anti-social activities. 


The authorities were planning to implement the proposal as it has been observed that outsiders entered the campus during the elections without any security check on the plea of admission and hence, the staff could not deny them entry.— Navdeep Goyal, Dean Student Welfare , PANJAB UNIVERSITY



Chaos reigns as 5,000 throng schools
Heavy rush at six institutes as students apply for changing stream, school or option
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
As many as 5,000 students bought forms to change their school, stream or option during the second counselling round for admission to Class XI at six designated government schools in the city today.

The students started thronging the school as early as 6 am.

Following this, counters — selling prospectuses and forms for the change of school and stream — became functional before the official time, which was 9 am.

Chaos was witnessed at the Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 37, as students and their parents made a beeline for forms.

The school authorities immediately summoned the police to control the students from creating ruckus on the campus.

The students alleged that chaos was caused as they were unaware whether they needed to purchase new prospectuses or fill other forms for the second counselling.

Manisha Sharma, an applicant, alleged, “I was not aware that I could apply for the second counselling by filling a form, which was free of cost. I ended up shelling out Rs 130 for the prospectus again though I had bought it during the first counseling session.”

The GMSSS-37 authorities informed that more than 2,300 students had brought forms to change their school, stream and or option on Wednesday.

Though the school had been provided with only 1,800 forms by the Education Department, owing to the heavy rush, the authorities printed 400 photocopies of the forms on the spot.

A large number of students had missed their school and classes in order to buy the forms from the designated schools.

Ragni, a student of GMSSS, Sector 46, said, “The authorities should have made the forms available at the schools were students were enrolled after the first counselling. A majority of the students missed their classes to avail the forms from the six designated schools.”

Ravi Raj Kaur, principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 37, said, “More schools should be created as centres so that the crowd is more manageable.”

‘Students confused about buying forms’

The students alleged that there was chaos at schools as they were not aware whether they needed to purchase new prospectuses or fill other forms for the second counselling. The students started thronging the school as early as 6 am. 

Forms available till July 18

Forms and prospectus are available at GMSSS-10, GMSSS-20B, GMSSS-46, GMSSS-37B, GMSSS, Modern Complex, Mani Majra, and GMSSS-28 till July 18.

List to be displayed on July 24

The list indicating the allotment of school and streams will be displayed on July 24 at 11 am. The students can deposit their fees at the allotted schools between July 25-26.

‘Create more centres’

More schools should be made as centres so that the crowd is more manageable. — Ravi Raj Kaur, principal, GMSSS, SECTOR 37



ABVP activists stage protest 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
High drama was witnessed at the Dr SS Bhatnagar University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology (UICET), Panjab University, as the ABVP representatives staged a protest on extending the date of certificates for the categories of defence, SC and ST for the counselling of engineering colleges.

The students informed the Joint Admission Committee (JAC), that as the last date of certificates fixed by them was July 13, which was a Sunday, many applicants had failed to get their certificates issued.

ABVP leader Harmanjot Singh said they had asked the committee to extend the date so that the certificates are issued to the students.

US Shivhare, head of JAC and director of UICET, said, “The admission process was online and there was no holiday till July 13. All forms were entertained till then by the department.” “The students knew about the schedule of admissions. There is no reason to extend the dates.”

The counselling of the UICET Chandigarh, Hoshiapur, Punjab Engineering College and Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology is on at the UICET. 



SOI seeks conduct of exam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
The Student Organisation of India (SOI), today submitted a memorandum to Panjab University Vice-Chancellor Arun Grover demanding that the exam of the 2012 batch of the Dhanwatary Ayurvedic College be conducted.

The party also demanded adequate parking space on the campus. The SOI also sought the roll back of hike in the hostel security fee, which had put a financial burden on the students.

The students also demanded opening of a shooting range at the earliest.



NSUI submits memorandum to VC 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16
The National Students Union of India (NSUI), today submitted a memorandum to the Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, Prof Arun Kumar Grover, regarding science departments having BSc and MSc courses.

The delegation headed by NSUI president Hardeep Singh handed over the memorandum to PU Dean Student Welfare Navdeep Goyal. It has sought revision of the rule for promotion from BSc III year to MSc Ist year, which is 100 credits.

The rule should be changed and credits should be lowered to 90 for promotion as it was in the past, the party demanded.

“The rule for promotion within BSc courses for the first three years, which is 80 per cent, should be lowered to 50 per cent credits, as was practiced earlier,” they said.

The party also sought a special chance of examination for students of BSc honours and MSc honours, so that those lagging behind in credits could get promotion. This would benefit students whose degrees are stuck.


The party has sought revision of the rule for promotion from BSc III year to MSc Ist year — which is currently 100 credits. The rule should be changed and credits should be lowered to 90 for promotion as it was in the past.



PU & college notes

NSUI launches website

The Punjab wing of the National Students Union of India (NSUI), today launched the first phase of their six-month campaign ‘Saada Haq a fight for student’s rights’. The website nsuipunjab.in and Facebook page was launched by Harish Chaudhary, secretary, All-India Congress Committee and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Partap Singh Bajwa. The team of Punjab NSUI and Panjab University NSUI was also present.

Biotechnology meet

The Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises conducted the first session of the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council supported series of Stimulating Bio-Entrepreneurs talks at Panjab University.

Implement norms: ASA

The Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA), has said it would protest against educational institutes for ‘improper’ implementation of the Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme for SC students. In a meeting at Panjab University, it reviewed the scheme’s implementation and the High Court judgment allowing educational institutes to charge fees from eligible SC students covered under the scheme. — TNS



From schools

Tree plantation drive

Chandigarh: ‘Nanhi Chhaaon,’ a tree plantation drive week was observed by the CII Northern Region at the Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 37-D, today. The drive was held under the guidance of CII representative Ashima and school principal Neeta Sandhu with the help of the Bharat Vikas Parishad and SMC members.

Vanamahotsava celebrated

Vanamahostava was celebrated at AKSIPS, Sector 45. The school authorities claimed that the celebrations were marked to sensitise the students on trees.

Value of trees discussed

Vanamahotsava was celebrated by the eco club at the Government Model High School, Sector 41 D, Badheri, in collaboration with the CII. Counsellor of Badheri village, Malkiat Singh, Prof Harvinder Cheema, and Ankita, counsellor, CII, presided over the function.

Inter-house quiz held

Blue Bird High school conducted an inter-house science quiz for Classes VI and VII on the campus. Yellow house stood first, red house second, green house third and blue house came fourth.

Student bags laurels

Arushdeep Singh, as student of Class VII of Government Model High School, GMHS-43, participated in the fourth national painting competition on “Water Conservation-2013’’ held by the Ministry of Water Resources at New Delhi.

Blue Day

Blue Day was celebrated in the kindergarten block of St Joseph’s Senior Secondary School, Sector 44-D.

Vanamahotsava week

Guru Teg Bahadur Public School, Sector 15-C, celebrated Vanamahotsava week on the school premises. A slogan and rhyme competition was organised for the students of kindergarten. Manisha, Ashima and Navneet bagged the first, second and third positions, respectively.

Book fair

A book fair, Scholastic India, was organised at the Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 31, today. — TNS



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