C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Investment agent found dead
Was missing since Tuesday; family says he was receiving threats, claims it’s murder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
The decomposed body of a 43-year-old man was found dumped in a nullah between Sectors 16 and 23 under mysterious circumstances today. The victim, Krishan Kumar, was missing since Tuesday evening and his family had also lodged a missing complaint with the police. His Alto car is also missing.

While the victim’s family claimed it was a murder, the police said the exact picture would become clear only after the postmortem report.

Krishan Kumar was working with a courier company and was also into selling products and worked as an agent with an investment company.

Krishan Kumar’s body was found lying face down and there was swelling on his face and neck.

The police said it appeared that the victim was pushed into the nullah. Family members of the victim claimed it was a murder and said they had received threatening calls from someone over a money dispute.

The body was found around 4 pm and there were no injury marks on it.

The police said Krishan Kumar, a resident of Khuda Lahora, went missing on July 15 evening and the last call he made was to his family from Sector 15 when he had asked them if something was needed from the market.

Before that he had met his friend Vinod Kumar in Dera Bassi. Krishan Kumar had told his friend that he was upset over the threatening calls he was receiving.

After he failed to return home and his mobile was switched off, his family lodged a missing report with the police and was hunting for him since the past two days.

His wife Prema Devi said her husband had called her on Tuesday evening and that was the last call received from him.

“My husband left home on Tuesday morning for a court case. In the afternoon, he went to meet a friend in Dera Bassi and called me in the evening, saying that he will back soon. He went missing after that,” she said, adding that his phone was switched off after that.

Krishan Kumar was working as an agent with a private investment company, ATRS. He had got the money of many city residents invested in the company. Company officials ran away after closing down their office in Sector 9 in 2011 and since then the investors had been calling him for their money.

Prema alleged that her husband was killed and she also named Kavi Malik and Suman, Krishan Kumar’s colleagues, who used to handle all investments.

The police are also scanning the CCTV footage of the routes leading to Sector 16 to get a clue about the car. Krishan Kumar is survived by his wife and four children, including a son. The police have kept the body at the Sector 16 hospital.

DSP Ashish Kapoor said the postmortem would be conducted tomorrow and only after that they would be able to conclude if it is a murder.

Victim was acquitted in molestation case

Police sources said the victim, Krishan Kumar, was booked in a case of kidnapping and molestation in 2011 on the complaint of a girl. However, he was acquitted of all charges in that case.



Head constable caught taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
The CBI today arrested a head constable with the UT traffic police while taking a bribe of Rs 1,500 near the PGI. Head constable Dalbir Singh was taking the bribe from the president of a local auto-rickshaw union as part of his “monthly bribe” for not challaning members of the union, the CBI said.

The bribe money was being accepted for not challaning auto-rickshaws for any violation in the area as most of these were plying without permits, sources said.

There are around 30 auto drivers at the rickshaw stand and the head constable had promised them that they would not be troubled over the jurisdiction issue as long as the monthly instalment was being received.

On receiving a complaint from the president of the Kranti Auto-rickshaw Union, Sector 22, the CBI laid a trap and caught the policemen while taking the bribe and the amount was recovered from his uniform.

The head constable was posted on duty near the PGI for the past one year.

According to the complaint, Dalbir had initially demanded a bribe of Rs 3,000 and later settled for Rs 1,500. He had divided the amount as Rs 50 from each of the 30 auto drivers.

The CBI said the head constable had earlier threatened the auto drivers that they would be challaned as they were registered in Mohali and were plying in the city without a permit.

The CBI arrested the head constable and took him to the law department of the PU for completing the formalities.

This is the third CBI trap this week, including two on the UT police. On July 14, the CBI had arrested an SDO of the UT Horticulture Department and two other employees in a bribe case. The same day, the CBI had arrested the head warder of Burail Jail.

A case under under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, has been registered against the head constable. He will be produced in the court tomorrow.



PU may not hold student poll this year
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Panjab University is not likely to hold the student council elections this year due to the precondition imposed by the authorities on student parties to form a committee to draft the pre and post-election code.

The authorities believe that such a code is required as the Lyngdoh Committee norms are applicable only after the announcement of the election date till the date of voting though parties often indulge in violent clashes and violations during the pre-election and post-election period as well.

At a recent meeting of all student parties, which were in favour of holding elections, the Vice-Chancellor and the Dean Students Welfare had asked them to constitute an all-party committee to draft pre-election and post-election norms. At the meeting, the officials had clearly told the student parties that if the code of conduct was not drafted, there would be no student elections this year.

So far, no party has given the name of their representative for this committee.

PU Dean Students Welfare Navdeep Goyal said no party had come forward to set up this committee and the authorities had made it clear that if the code of conduct was not drafted by them, no student elections would be held on the campus.

Sources said the authorities would table this proposal at a special joint meeting of all city college principals and UT officials on council elections.

Records of the university reveal that the student elections were first held in 1997 and after that a special meeting of all college principals and UT officials used to be convened to give consent for the election date. However, for the past seven years, this practice had been discontinued. The authorities plan to start this from this year.

A senior official said in the past, the DAV management had requested the UT Administration to discontinue the student poll in colleges due to large-scale clashes during the poll.


e-Sampark Centres
UT starts 16 new services
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Now, city residents can apply for passports, renewal of arms license and can book community centres from e-sampark centres, for the UT Administration today introduced delivery of 16 new citizen-centric services though the e-sampark centres across the city.

The services were launched by UT adviser KK Sharma at a function organised at the e-Sampark Centre of Sector 21.

The initiative covers key services of the office of the Subdivisional Magistrate (SDM), the Deputy Commissioner office, Election Department and the municipal corporation. Residents will no longer be required to go to either the SDM’s office or the Deputy Commissioner’s office to obtain caste certificate, income certificate, character or residence certificates, as the same can be obtained from e-sampark centres by paying facilitation charges. The residents will also be able to apply for passports through selected e-sampark centres.

Sharma said timelines for each service had been fixed for timely delivery of the services and the status report would be shared with the departments concerned to ensure that there was no pendency. The citizens will be continuously kept informed about their application status through SMSes, he said.

Chandigarh has a network of e-sampark centres with over 38 branches spread across the UT, which includes gram e-sampark centres and e-sampark kiosks also.

Prerna Puri, Secretary, Information Technology, said, “This initiative will promote smart governance. This new paradigm has focused on the use of IT to bring public services to the doorsteps of the citizens. e-sampark centres facilitate better service delivery to the citizens in terms of timelines and quality, thus making governance more efficient and effective”.



Civic body’s claims fall flat
Area still waterlogged, but MC says problem solved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Callous attitude of the Municipal Corporation (MC), Chandigarh, towards resolving civic issues through the toll-free helpline can be gauged from the fact that a resident of Pipli Wala town, Mani Majra, who had complained about waterlogging in the area, received a message from the MC that the problem had been solved even when it still persisted.

Naveen Kumar, a resident of Pipli Wala town, said that, “I gave a complaint on the MC helpline on July 10 against which I was given a reference number 35064, a few days later, I got a call from an MC official that the complaint will be resolved soon, however, by July 16 nothing happened”, he said.

Kumar further stated that on July 16 he again gave another complaint on the MC helpline, after which he received a SMS saying that the problem had been solved. “I am surprised to find that the street is still waterlogged”, he added.

The residents of the area said the street gets waterlogged every time it rains. The MC had launched the toll-free helpline number on July 10 to deal with different civic problems across the city.



Paid parking lots
Contractors may lose work if found overcharging: MC
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Overcharging from commuters at the paid parking lots can land the parking contractors in trouble as the Municipal Corporation (MC) has decided to cancel the contract of contractors in case they are found overcharging.

The decision has been taken by the committee constituted to finalise terms and conditions of the paid parking lots in the city.

Congress councillor Pardeep Chhabra, who is also the member of the committee, said that several complaints had been lodged regarding overcharging by the paid parking attendants in different parts of the city. “The clause of cancellation of the contracts will be added to the terms and conditions of the paid parking contract”, Chhabra said.

SAD Councillor Malkiat Singh, another committee member, said that on receiving the complaint, the parking contractor would be served a notice and the contractor would be given a chance to represent his/her case before cancellation of the contract. “The decision to cancel the contract will be taken only if the complaint is established”, the SAD councillor said.

Other modalities of the clause to cancel the contract will be worked out before the implementation. Officials said the other terms and conditions, which were to be revised, would be taken up at the next meeting.

MC officials conduct surprise checks at different parking lots to check overcharging, however, still they have failed to ensure that the commuters are not fleeced.

Nikhil, a city resident, said that the MC should constitute teams to check overcharging by adding the clause of cancellation the contract will not solve the purpose. “The MC will have to be strict and conduct frequent checks which will act as a deterrent”, he stated.



Stray dog menace: Admn told to launch drive from Sector16
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the Chandigarh Administration to launch a special drive from Sector 16 to control the stray dog population in the city. Directing the UT Administration to start it as a pilot project from Sector 16, the High Court also asked the Administration to launch a cleanliness drive in the area so that the vulnerable spots, where stray dogs were found assembled most of the time, could be identified and cleaned up.

The court also asked the Administration to launch an awareness drive in the Sector, asking the residents not to throw eatables or other food waste in open areas of the Sector, so that the dogs could not gather near the heaps of garbage.

The court also asked the Administration to first carryout a survey of the Sector before launching the drive.

The Administration was further asked to submit its report within a month. The case will now come up on August 27 for further hearing. Earlier during the hearing, the corporation told the court that during the past five years, 7,141 dogs were sterilised; and the corporation was providing anti-rabies vaccination at subsidised rate of Rs 100. But it would now be provided for Rs 50. Nearly three months after a Sector 18 resident died allegedly due to rabies, the corporation claimed that the victim never visited the dispensary.



Tribune Follow-Up
Five ultrasound machines underutilised at GMCH-32
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
A day after Chandigarh Tribune highlighted the ordeal of patients at the GMCH-32, who are being forced to wait for over 100 days for diagnosis of pain at the ultrasound centre of the hospital, sources revealed that the institute had at least five additional machines, worth approximately Rs 90 lakh, which were lying underutilised.

These machines in five departments, other than radiodiagnosis, which runs the ultrasound centre, were purchased over past 4-5 years for the purpose of reducing load on the ultrasound centre (Area 24). However, records revealed that most patients from these departments are still being referred to Area 24, triggering long waiting period due to high load of patients from the OPD and emergency.

The departments include General Surgery, Gynaecology, Anesthesia, Pulmonary Medicine and Physiology. A senior faculty member on the condition of anonymity said: “The main reason for the lack of proper utilisation of the machines is that these five departments purchased the machines but they could never manage to have staff trained in handling the equipment, which is mandatory as per provisions in the law.”

Another faculty member said one of the reasons for long waiting at ultrasound centre is “extended lunch break” of senior doctors as official hours for lunch are from 1 pm to 2 pm but the centre remains closed till 3 pm mostly.

Long wait for ultrasound

On Thursday, Chandigarh Tribune highlighted that a visit to the Area 24 in Block A (ultrasound unit) at the GMCH-32 revealed that patients were issued the date of October 27 for ultrasound test (a wait of 104 days). In this long and compulsory wait, the poor patients were found to be the most affected as the test costs Rs 400 in private labs and Rs 100 in government hospitals. For saving Rs 300, they chose to suffer in pain.



White tigress dies at Chhat Bir Zoo
Tribune News Service

Chhat Bir, July 17
Conservation of wildlife suffered a major setback with the death of a white tigress, Dolly, at Chhat Bir zoo on Wednesday afternoon. Procured from Kanpur Zoo over four years ago, Dolly was a hot favourite among visitors here, and had given birth to a litter of three white cubs, last year.

Sources in the zoo said that Dolly’s(10) health deteriorated while she was in the house. Her keepers rushed her to the zoo hospital but veterinary doctors declared her dead.

Talking to the Tribune, Darinder Kumar, Chief Wildlife Warden (CWW), Punjab, said that the carcass was burnt according to the guidelines the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) on the zoo premises after a postmortem examination was conducted on Wednesday late night.

Preliminary reports indicated that Dolly died of heart failure and renal failure, said Kumar. “Samples have also been sent to Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) Ludhiana, for pathological examinations to find the exact cause of the death”, he claimed.

The CWW revealed that white tigers are prone to infections as their immune system is no very strong like that of Royal Bengal tigers. The average life span of a white tiger is nine to 10 years and the cat does not survive in the wild, he added.



Hired agency captures 250 violations during trial run
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, July 17
As many as 250 photographs of bylaws violations and damage to the civic body’s property have been captured by the new ward-and-watch agency hired by the Municipal Corporation during a trial run of the new facility.

The private agency showed through photograph evidence that metal grills were broken in various parts of the town; streetlight poles were lying damaged at certain points; manhole covers were missing; there was water leakage in certain areas; and parks had been converted into parking areas by residents in some sectors.

It had given a live presentation of various shortcomings it had noticed during a survey carried out during the trial period. As it was satisfied with the agency’s services during the trial run, the corporation has decided to hire the agency for providing better services to residents.

The ward-and-watch facility is now scheduled to be inaugurated tomorrow by Prem Singh Chandumajra, MP.

Uma Shankar Gupta, Commissioner, said a time-bound solution to problems would be provided, though urgent matters like water leakage or road cave-in would be given priority. The new agency would basically be a reporting agency to the corporation. The employees hired by the civic body would be authorised to issue notices on behalf of the corporation. They would also be asked to issue notices to offenders who had dumped malba on roadsides and shopkeepers who had encroached on market verandhas. Gupta said if any offender failed to remove the malba within three days of the issuance of a notice, he would be fined Rs 500. If he failed to pay that fine, his water and sewer connections would be cut.



PSEB seeks criminal case against its accountant

Mohali, July 17
After putting their senior accountant Tarun Kumar under suspension for embezzling of funds two days ago, the Punjab School Education Board authorities today asked the Mohali police to register a criminal case against him.

A written complaint has been sent by the board’s finance and development officer-cum-inquiry officer Gurtej Singh to Mohali Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti in this connection.

Confirming the development, GS Batth, secretary of the board, said a communiqué in this regard had been sent to the SSP to register a criminal case against Tarun.

Tarun, who was posted in the board’s accounts branch, was suspended on Tuesday for embezzlement of funds worth lakhs.

“He used to make the salaries of board employees. He had defrauded the board of several lakhs while dealing in salary accounts of the employees and deposited the money in his personal bank account in a private bank at Phase 7,” Batth said. — TNS



Class XI Admissions
Administration Discretionary quota
250 more seats in general category
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
The Education Department has created 250 more seats under the general category for students seeking admission to Class XI in government schools of the city. As per information, these seats were earlier reserved for Administration Discretionary Quota, but have now been added to the general category, to be availed under merit.

The department’s move has brought cheer to many aspirants who did not secure admission in government schools of their choice during the first counselling.

While commenting on the decision, Education Secretary Sarvjit Singh, said, “Though no additional seats have been increased, only Administration Discretionary Quota of about 250 seats, out of the present 12,000, have been given for merit.”

The Education Department authorities said there are nearly 12,500 seats available, including 6,000 seats for humanities, 3,000 for science and 1,800 for commerce and vocational streams.

After the first counselling, around 4,000 seats were left vacant, most of which were under the humanities stream in the periphery areas.

Department officials said during the second round of counselling, over 3,500 forms were deposited regarding change of school/stream/option and 150 prospectuses were sold.

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

‘Will benefit students’

These seats were earlier reserved for Administration Discretionary Quota, but have now been added to the general category, to be availed under merit. The move will benefit many aspirants who didn’t secure admission in government schools of their choice during the first counselling.



PU non-teaching staff to go on pen-down strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
The Panjab University Non-Teaching Employees Association (PUSA), will be on a pen-down strike for an hour on July 21. The employees will stage a protest against the ‘interference’ of Senators in their day-to-day work.

This was decided in an emergency meeting called by the association president Deepak Kaushik today after receiving complaints from various wings of the university.

The association had also requested Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover to intervene in a recent case wherein Dr Yog Raj Angrish, a Senator, allegedly used derogatory words against officials of the Establishment Branch on the issue of transfer of a cleaner.

PUSA president alleged that the Registrar had asked Dr Yograj to visit his office to resolve the matter but he refused to do so.

When the Registrar contacted Dr Yograj, he inquired about the case but expressed his inability to take action in the matter.

Besides this, dealing officials of other branches have also reported alleged misbehaviour by other Senators on certain issues.

PUSA requested the VC to issue instructions that the Senators and other officers should not contact the dealing officials directly and should follow the hierarchy to avoid such incidents.

PU Registrar AK Bhandari said he had sought a reply from Dr Yograj on the issue and after receiving it, a decision would be taken on the issue.

Meanwhile, Senator Dr Yograj, said, “I always follow the hierarchy for administrative work and have never interacted directly with any official. In this case too, I contacted the PU Registrar and he further directed the staff to issue the orders related to the decision.” 

‘I follow hierarchy’

I always follow the hierarchy for administrative work and have never interacted directly with any official. In this case too, I contacted the PU Registrar and he further directed the staff to issue the orders related to the decision.

— Dr Yog Raj Angrish, senator



ETT teachers climb water tank
Want recruitment process completed on priority basis
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 17
The local administration and police officials were on their toes when several members of the ETT (Tech 1) Pass Unemployed Teachers Union climbed on a water tank at Sohana village and threatened to jump off it this morning.

The officials had a hard time pacifying the protestors who were demanding to complete the recruitment process of the ETT teachers on a priority.

Earlier, a large number of members of the ETT (Tech 1) Pass Unemployed Teachers Union gathered at the village early in the morning and sat on a dharna there.

Union state president Jasbir Singh Bhullarheri and local president Gurwinder Singh said the recruitment process was started early this year.

“Later, the government halted the process after releasing the merit list and put the matter in cold storage,” said the leaders.

“We will intensify our protest if our demands were not met,” said the protestors.



Plantation drive held in school
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Government High School (Smart School), Sector 50 B, conducted a tree plantation drive on its campus today. The drive was organised by the Education Department in collaboration with the CII Northern Region and the Nanhi Chhaan Foundation.

Mayor Harphool Chander Kalyan was the chief guest on the occasion.

He lauded the efforts of teachers and students. Ankita from CII, Chandigarh, also joined the drive.

Meanwhile, fresh plant saplings were planted by the guest and the school staff on the occasion.



Students campaign for greener planet

Chandigarh, July 17
The students of St. Vivekanand Millennium School today campaigned for a greener planet along with Chandigarh Traffic Police officials as part of the Vanamahotsava month celebrations.

The students gifted saplings to people and informed them about the hazards of pollution. They also urged them to plant more tress and protect the existing ones. The students also adopted a few Chandigarh police booths to make them look greener under their initiative “We care for planet.” — TNS



Inter-school business quiz held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
St John’s High School organised an inter-school business quiz ‘Coalesce 14’ on its campus. The students were tested on their knowledge about business personalities, logos, acquisitions, mergers and the banking sector.

As many as 18 schools of the tricity took part in the quiz. Chartered accountant Chitranjan Aggarwal was the quiz master.

Meanwhile, GMSSS-16 was declared the winner of Coalesce 14 and the second position was bagged by Vivek High School.



Learning activity

Chandigarh: UKG students of DAVPS, Sector 8-C, were educated on the water cycle and formation of clouds by experimentation today. They formed clouds in a jar with the help of warm water and ice cubes. The concepts of evaporation, condensation and precipitation were explained to them.

Vanamahotsava Week

On the fourth day of the vanamahotasava week celebrations at Guru Teg Bahadur Public School, Sector 15-C, various activities were organised. The students recited poems on nature. Principal Ritu Sharma motivated the children to plant more trees.

Traffic awareness

A lecture on traffic awareness was held at GMSSS-44 by the Traffic Department. Students were given tips on road safety. Chief Marshal Gurnam Singh addressed the students and stressed upon the need to be cautious and wear helmets while driving.

World Paper Day

World Paper Day was celebrated at Bhavan Vidyalaya Junior, Sector 33, today. The children presented a play, ‘Paper Bags-The need of the hour’ highlighting the use of soft paper bags and the harmful effects of polybags. A poem was also recited by Riya of Class III-C.

Splash pool party held

Mohali: The Tiny-Tots’ Foundation School organised a splash pool party in the school today. Students from play group to KG classes took part in the activity. The students were told about the importance of water. They were also told about maintaining hygiene in the swimming pool. — TNS



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