C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Now, Kala Kachha gang targets Zirakpur
Robs four members of a family at a mango orchard; a couple at place of worship
Tribune News Service

The victim, Dev Raj, who was injured after the members of the Kala Kachha gang attacked him.
The victim, Dev Raj, who was injured after the members of the Kala Kachha gang attacked him. 

Zirakpur, July 26
Close on the heels of three robbery incidents in Chandigarh and Mullanpur on Wednesday, the Kala Kachha gang now struck at a mango orchard, a farm house and a religious place located on the Sanouli–Kishanpura road on the outskirts of Zirakpur on Friday midnight.

The gang of nearly 12 to 14 masked robbers targeted a mango orchard and attacked four members of Banur-based contractor Dev Raj’s family with batons, robbed them of cash and jewellery worth lakhs of rupees and locked them in a room before fleeing with the booty.

The victim, Dharmo Devi, being treated at a hospital.
The victim, Dharmo Devi, being treated at a hospital.

The robbery came to light when a tempo driver reached the spot to ferry mangoes from the orchard this morning. He found blood splatter on the bedding of a cot lying in the open and the family members locked inside a room at a distance.

Talking to the Tribune, GS Grewal, Superintendent of Mohali Police (detective), said that armed with batons, the gang pounced on Dev Raj and his wife Dharmo Devi asleep at a distance from their son Binder and daughter in-law Reena in the open at about 2 am.

They left Dev Raj and Dharmo Devi critically injured while Bindal and his wife received lesser injuries, he added.

One of the victims, Binder said the assailants locked them inside a room after the attack and ransacked their luggage. They snatched gold and silver ornaments from the women and cash from his father, Binder recalled.

Dev Raj had taken the orchard owned by Parvinder Singh, a resident of Kathgarh village. The gang then struck a nearby farmhouse owned by Gurdas Bansal. They locked its main gate from outside and proceeded ahead.

It was the turn of a ‘dargah’, where the robbers opened the main gate and assaulted a couple – Ram Chand and his wife Palo Devi- living there, and snatched her jewellery and cash. They also took away two gunny bags full of wheat grains from the religious place, the SP said. Seriously injured Dev Raj, Dharmo Devi and Binder were rushed to Government Civil Hospital, Sector 6,Panchkula. Dev Raj and Dharmo Devi were referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, where their condition is said to be stable, the SP claimed.

Ram Chand and Palo Devi were discharged after treatment at a local hospital, a police officer said.

Meanwhile, the police have registered a case under Sections 365, 323, 148 and 149 of the IPC against over 10-12 unidentified assailants at the Zirakpur police station on the complaint of Binder. 

Cops’ alertness in question

  • The chain of robbery incidents just two days after the gang struck in Chandigarh and Mullanpur, has raised a question mark on the alertness of the Mohali police.
  • The police got information at about 10 am even though the robbers struck at about 2.30 am.
  • The robberies exposed tall claims of the Punjab Police of organising night patrolling and community policing (thikri pehras) for the security of general public.
  • Though the police pressed a dog squad at the crime scene, the sniffers failed to find any trace of miscreants.
  • In a nutshell, the Mohali police did not learn any lesson from the robberies committed by the Kala Kachha gang in Mullanpur and Chandigarh.

Senior cops visit site

After receiving the information, senior police officers, including Anil Sharma, SP, Dera Bassi, GS Garewal, SP (D), along with the area SHO, visited the mango orchard and recovered certain batons used by the assailants. Garewal, claimed to have alerted the police of Haryana and Chandigarh. The SP (D) said that the mango orchard and the ‘dargah’ were located in the remote area of Zirakpur and no one was suspecting that the robbers would strike there. 



Zirakpur-Patiala killer stretch claims Class X student’s life
Tribune News Service

The victim, Satish Kumar
The victim, Satish Kumar

Zirakpur, July 26
A pall of gloom descended in Chhat village soon after the death of a village boy in an accident on the ‘killer’ Zirakpur-Patiala highway near Bindra Farm last night. Satish Kumar who along with his cousin Parwinder Singh had gone to get the fuel tank of their motorcycle refilled never returned to the village.

The incident occurred at about 8 pm on Friday night when Satish Kumar, a Class X student, and Parwinder Singh were riding a motorcycle on the highway towards Banur and an unidentified vehicle rammed into their bike from behind.

The vehicle reportedly sped away from the spot after the accident.

Parwinder Singh, an eyewitness, recalled that Satish who was riding pillion fell on the right side after the unidentified vehicle hit their motorcycle and ran over his head. Satish died on the spot, revealed Parwinder.

Parwinder called his parents and subsequently Tarsem Singh, father of the deceased, was called. The news came as a bolt from the blue to the family and the villagers who rushed to the spot.

The villagers alleged that some passerby called at 108 for an ambulance. A police team and theambulance reached the spot almost 30 minutes after theaccident, claimed the villagers.

“The ambulance staff refused to carry the body to Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi, and returned,” claimed Parwinder.

The villagers on the highway stopped a private vehicle to ferry the body to Dera Bassi, he claimed.

The police later registered a case of rash driving causing death due to negligence against the driver of an unidentified vehicle on the complaint of Parwinder Singh.

Meanwhile, the body was cremated in the village after a post mortem examination at the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi, this evening.

Tarsem Singh his wife and younger son Rohit were inconsolable. 



Lease row: Golf Club to move Supreme Court
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The management committee of the Chandigarh Golf Club (CGC) has now decided to move Supreme Court against the recent order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday had stayed the impugned demand made by the Chandigarh Administration, subject to deposit of 50 per cent lease amount.

Deputy Commissioner-cum-Estate Officer Mohammed Shayin had last week issued a notice to the president of the Chandigarh Golf Club for depositing Rs 8.59 crore within 15 days as lease rent from March 16, 2008, to March 15, 2014.

CGC president BS Gill said the committee in its meeting on Friday evening had decided to file a petition in the Supreme Court. They will challenge the order of the DC and the direction of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to deposit 50 per cent lease amount demanded by the UT Administration, which is around Rs 4.30 crore, he said.

Gill said the UT Administration should fix the Chandigarh Golf Club’s lease amount on the pattern of the Delhi Golf Club. The Delhi Golf Club paid less than Rs 6 lakh per annum as lease rent whereas the UT Administration was demanding Rs 1.68 crore from the Chandigarh Golf Club for 2013-14. Moreover, the Delhi Golf Club sprawls over 179 acres as compared to Chandigarh Golf Club, which is spread over 132 acre. The value of the Delhi Golf Club land is much higher than the land in Chandigarh, he argued.

Attempts earlier made by the High Court to sort out the lease issue between the CGC and UT Administration through mediation could not succeed. Justice Kuldip Singh was appointed as a mediator by the High Court to resolve the row over the renewal of lease between the GC and the administration. The High Court had earlier made it clear that it wanted the Administration and the club to put their heads together for resolving the row. 

How it all started

In November 2012, the UT Administration had fixed ~1.61 crore per annum as lease amount. Besides, the club was asked to pay ~9.27 crore, including interest, as rent for a period from March 16, 2008 to March 15, 2013. But last week, the UT Deputy Commissioner issued a fresh letter asking the Chandigarh Golf Club to deposit ~8.59 crore within 15 days as lease rent from March 16, 2008, to March 15, 2014.



Shooting incident
Family protests at GMSH-16 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
Family members of the 36-year-old woman who was gunned down by her husband, a UT police constable, staged a protest at Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, demanding action against the Sector 24 police post in charge for ignoring repeated complaints against the accused, Anand Kumar. The family also refused to receive the body, however, on the assurances by the police, the protesters called off their protest.

Anticipating protest, heavy police deployment was made in the hospital since morning. DSP (Crime) Jagbir Singh and DSP (Central) Ashish Kapoor were stationed at the hospital to control the crowd.

Kalasho, mother of deceased Dimple, claimed that they had approached Sector-24 police post in charge Lakhbir Singh with the complaints of her daughter being threatened by Anand, however, the in charge ignored her complaints. “Anand used to harass and beat my daughter but the police failed to act against him”, she alleged.

The agitated family members also blocked the road outside the hospital on Madhya Marg for around five minutes. Different leaders of employee unions also joined the family in their agitation. Later, a delegation from among the family members went to meet UT SSP Gill who assured them that a probe would be conducted. The family then decided to call off the protest. The family will take the body on Sunday.

Sources said DSP (crime) would be conducting an inquiry to establish any negligence on the part of the police, meanwhile, the DSP (central) would supervise the investigation of the case. 

Cops deployed in Male Medical Ward

Policemen were deployed on the fourth floor outside the Male Medical Ward of the hospital where accused Anand has been admitted. The entry to the ward was restricted.

Case registered against constable

The police have registered a case under Sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC and Sections 27, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act against constable Anand Kumar.

Patients inconvenienced

Patients and visitors to the GMSH-16 had to face inconvenience as family members of the deceased gathered outside the emergency wing.



Red Cross Society in the dock
DC orders special audit of funds utilised in past 10 years
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
Smelling a rat in the utilisation of funds in the UT Red Cross Society, the Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chairman of the society has ordered special audit of funds utilised in the past 10 years.

Audit officials have been asked to conduct detailed investigations into various aspects related to the maintenance of record and use of funds by the officials of the society.

Chairman Mohammed Shayin said he had ordered special audit so that the case could be studied in depth.

A preliminary audit of 2005-2006, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 revealed that two fixed deposit (FDs) of Rs 18.21 lakh and Rs 10.86 lakh were enchased before maturity and without any approval.

It also revealed that no physical verification report of the stock and fixed assets was done and the annual accounts were approved without proper ledger. Besides, the books of accounts were not authenticated by a society’s official.

The audit of 2003-2004 revealed that there was no reconciliation of around Rs 50 lakh in the bank deposits that were shifted from one bank to another.

The inquiry officer also found that the recovery of rent from the canteen in the Red Cross building was deposited late and no penalty was charged.

As per the society’s practice, maximum cash limit on any given day is Rs 2,000 but during 2012, cash closing books showed funds to the tune of Rs 4 lakh in a day.

The officials doing the initial probe have recommended that annual accounts should be computerised, stock should be valued at the end of year and monthly audit be made mandatory. 



Royal Bengal tiger dies at Chhat Bir zoo 
Tribune News Service

Chhat Bir, July 26
In less than 10 days after the death of a white tigress, Dolly, Chhat Bir zoo suffered another setback with the death of a Royal Bengal tiger, Jimmy, here today.

Jimmy, aged about 20 years, was unable to move with anorexia two days ago. The big cat was in the off display area of an enclosure for the past two years along with two other cats.

The zoo veterinary doctor MP Singh said the animal was given special care with least exposure to public and other routine disturbances. Jimmy was given special diet with nutritional supplement regularly to maintain his general health in captivity, he claimed.

The carcass was burnt as per the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) guidelines after a postmortem examination.

Preliminary postmortem reports indicated multiple organ failure with generalised debility lesions. The samples have also been sent for detailed histo-pathological examination, Dr MP Singh said.

The average life span of a tiger in captivity is around 18 years. After the death of Jimmy now the Chhat Bir zoo is left with six Royal Bengal tigers and five white tigers including three cubs.



Construction of hotels on industrial plots
GMADA rejects all applications 
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 26
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) rejected applications of all those industrialists, who have applied to construct hotels or other institutes on their industrial plots. The Punjab government issued a notification last year in which it had relaxed certain norms in this regard.

According to sources in the department, around 15 industrialists, all from Mohali area, had applied to the authorities for required permission to construct hotels/hospital on their industrial plots after the state government has relaxed the conditions under the notification, dated August 20, 2013.

Under the notification in question, the state government has amended the norms for incentives to hospitals, multimedia centers and hotels and allowed to construct the same on plot size 1,000 sq yd to 2,000 sq yd with minimum frontage of 60 ft on at least 40 ft wide road; plot size 2,001 sq yd to 4,000 sq yd with minimum frontage of 90 ft on at least 60 ft wide road; plot size 4,001 sq yd and above with minimum frontage of 120 ft on at least 80 ft wide road.

Earlier, under the previous notification, dated January 11, 2008, the minimum required area for construction of these institutes was minimum 5,000 sq mts with at least 200 ft frontage on a minimum 80 ft wide road.

As no Change of Land Use (CLU) fee was being charged under the new notification, it (the notification) was termed as welcome step by the local industrialists.

“After the new notification, around 15 industrialists had applied for permission of constructing hotels and some other institutes but all the applications in this connection have been rejected,” said a senior official of GMADA on the condition of anonymity.

The plea, which the GMADA has taken for rejecting the applications, is that the last year’s notification was not applicable to Mohali Master Plan.

The GMADA official admitted that the last year’s notification seemed to have been issued in haste. “Industrial plots are quite cheaper than other plots in the area. With giving permission to construct the specific institutes on industrial plots without charging any CLU, we would do injustice to those businessmen, who have purchased the sites for the purpose in normal area,” said the official.

He also indicated that the authorities were now contemplating to write to state government to start charging CLU charges from industrialists. 



Defence Ministry gives nod to int’l operations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The state proposal for commencement of international flights and extension of watch hours at the Chandigarh Airport got clearance from the Union Ministry of Defence today.

In a communiqué received by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley apprised that Spice Jet and Indigo Airlines have already been accorded permission for international operations from Chandigarh. Furthermore, Jaitley wrote that at present, civil aircraft operations at Chandigarh were cleared from sunrise to 8 pm. Regular extension of watch hours beyond 8 pm was under process.

He also communicated that international flights would be facilitated beyond the existing watch hours as and when the international flights were finalised.

Earlier, the Indian Air Force (IAF) authority did not allow night landing or extended watch hours at the Chandigarh Airport as it oversees the airstrip and air traffic control there.

The matter was earlier raised by former MP Pawan Kumar Bansal. On October 13, 2013, he had written to the Minister of Defence, seeking extension of watch hours till 11 pm. He had also raised the matter for upgrading of Instrument Landing System (ILS).

The Punjab CM had written to the Union Ministry of Defence and had taken up the issue during his recent visit to New Delhi.



Water supply to be hit in Mohali 
Our Correspondent

Mohali,July 26
Following leakage in Phase III of the Kajauli waterworks, the supply of water will be adversely affected in parts of the town tomorrow. According to information available here, the water supply will be hit in Phases IX to XI, Sectors 70 and 71 and Industrial Phases I to V.

The morning water supply to these areas will be at low pressure. There will be no afternoon supply while the evening supply will be according to the availability of water.



Dairy farmers
CM Badal for one-time settlement of loans
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 26
To relieve dairy farmers of Milkfed from debt and to encourage them to usher in the “white revolution,” Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has asked Milkfed to explore ways and means for introducing a one-time settlement (OTS) scheme for them.

Badal was addressing dairy farmers of 1,024 milk societies affiliated to the Milk Union, Ropar, and the Milk Plant, Mohali, at a function held here yesterday for the disbursement of Rs 7.85 crore as bonus and dividend out of the earnings of the Milk Plant, Mohali, for the years 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13.

CM also inaugurated an automatic dairy plant installed at a cost of Rs 40 crore which would now enhance the existing handling capacity of the Milk Plant, Mohali, from 2 lakh litres per day to 5 lakh litres per day.

The Chief Minister asked Milkfed to work out the modalities for immediately putting the OTS mechanism in place on the same pattern as introduced earlier in the industrial sector by the state government.

Badal also asked the Milkfed authorities to work out a strategy for marketing Verka products in national and international markets. He said he would soon take up the issue with the Union Ministries of Civil Aviation and Railways to allow the sale of Verka products at all airports and railway stations.

Earlier, addressing a gathering at Fortis Hospital after inaugurating the Fortis Cancer Institute, the Chief Minister said in about a year’s time Punjab will be the best centre for the treatment of cancer and people from other countries will come to to avail facilities. 



Fire claims woman, son’s life in P’kula
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 26
Mystery shrouds the death of a woman and her seven-year-old son when their bodies were found charred in a shanty at Raipur Rani last night.

The victims, identified as Jaitoon and her son Sahil were rushed to General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula, where they were declared brought dead. Husband of the victim Munna claimed that the cause of death was a short circuit in the shanty leading to bursting of a cylinder, the police have not ruled out foul play. Suspicions have been raised as Munna said he along with his three other children including two daughters and one son ran out of the while Jaitoon and Sahil could not come out.

The postmortem examination also raised doubts when it revealed that the burns were ‘post mortem’ (after death). Dr Sunil Gambhir, forensic expert of the general hospital said, “It is strange that all the burns were after the two had died.”

The police said they were waiting for the postmortem reports and verifiying the statements given by Munna. 



Audio-video system launched

Pioneer India Electronics, the leading in-car entertainment systems company, introduced Pioneer AVIC-F60BT, its premium audio-video system equipped with the latest navigation maps and loaded with the latest technological features for users. Toshiyuki Shindo, managing director, said, “With the latest AVIC-F60BT, Pioneer, India, intends to revolutionise the in-Car Entertainment industry.”

Advantage Punjab

“Good quality life in terms of physical infrastructure, education as well as a peaceful and stable political regime, attract investors to Punjab,” said Karan Avatar Singh, principal secretary, investment promotion, Punjab, while addressing a session on ‘Advantage Punjab’ during the CII Invest North 2014 in New Delhi on Friday. Punjab Government has initiated the ‘Progressive Punjab Campaign’ that has led to fructification of 8 mega investment projects. — TNS



Deputy Mayor initiates development works
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
Deputy Mayor Davesh Moudgil had an interaction with residents of his ward over their long pending demands of Sector-48.
He also initiated the work of widening and carpeting of V5 road of Sector-48 A and B. “These roads are very narrow and will be widened up to 8 feet on both sides,” said the Deputy Mayor.

He also launched the work of laying 80 mm paver blocks at Industrial Area Phase–II, Chandigarh.

The work of beautification and shifting of railing at park in Sector 47 D was also initiated today.

A ‘Vanmahotsava’ at Janj Ghar, Sector 47 and Sarvhitkaari Society, Sector 48 was organized on the occasion. Deputy Mayor along with the area residents planted 100 saplings.

The Resident Welfare Association (RWA) initiated a tree plantation drive in Sector 40. MC Commissioner VP Singh started tree plantation drive by planting saplings of a coconut tree.

Area Councillor Gurbax Rawat and Mukesh Anand, Chief Engineer, MC, were also present on the occasion. 100 saplings were planted on the occasion.



Panic in Bank Square as cash van guard’s gun goes off accidentally
Accused Harjinder Singh arrested, released on bail
Tribune News Service

A police official questions Harjinder Singh after his gun went off accidentally while he was loading it in the parking lot of the Bank Square, Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Saturday.
A police official questions Harjinder Singh after his gun went off accidentally while he was loading it in the parking lot of the Bank Square, Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Saturday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, July 26
Panic prevailed at the Bank Square in Sector 17 as the .12 bore gun of a security guard accompanying a cash van went off accidentally. Nobody was hurt in the incident.

The police said the security guard, identified as Harjinder Singh of Dadumajra, was loading the gun in the parking lot in front of the Punjab National Bank when it went off accidentally. The other staff of the cash van had gone inside the bank at the time of incident.

Eyewitnesses said people at the parking lot rushed for cover behind cars on hearing the gunshot.

A police team rushed to the spot on getting the information and arrested the security guard, who was later released on bail after questioning.

Sector 17 police station SHO Dilsher Chandel said a case under Section 363 (Act of endangering life and personal property of others) of the IPC has been registered against the security guard and an investigation into the case has been initiated. 



vijay diwas
Kargil martyrs remembered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
Commemorating the 15th anniversary of the 1999 Kargil war, a large number of ex-servicemen, members of their families as well as citizens from the tricity paid tributes to soldiers killed in the operation.

Wreaths were laid at the Major Sandeep Shankla War Memorial in Panchkula during a function organised by the local chapter of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement. Over 300 persons attended the function.

Among those who paid floral tributes were former Vice-chief of the Army Staff Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi, Lt Gen AN Aul (retd), who had commanded the 56 Mountain Brigade during the war, Cmde HS Maini (retd) from the Indian Navy and Air Cmde GS Brar (retd) from the Indian Air Force.

Lt Gen Aul, whose brigade captured Tololing near Dras, recounted his experience and the heroism of the troops who had fought under the most adverse conditions.

Ambala MP Rattan Lal Kataria, Panchkula MLA DK Bansal, Panchkula Mayor Upinder Kaur Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner SS Phulia, and Brig SC Rangi, secretary, Rajya Sainik Board, Haryana, also attended the function. A candle light vigil was also held at the war memorial in the evening.

A total of 527 Indian soldiers were killed during the operation and 1,363 were injured; some were rendered permanently disabled.



National commission slams realtor for ‘frivolous’ appeal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi, has imposed an unprecedented punitive damage of Rs 5 lakh on Emmar MGF Land Ltd for filing a ‘frivolous’ appeal before it challenging the orders of the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chandigarh.

Pankaj Chandgothia, president of the Consumer Courts Bar Association, said earlier, the state commission, headed by Justice (retd) Sham Sunder, had allowed the case of Karnail Singh and Harmeet Singh of Chandigarh and held the Emaar MGF guilty of failing to deliver the possession of a plot within the promised period.

Justice VB Gupta of the national commission ruled that the appellant received more than 95 per cent of the amount of the plot and was in its possession as well . On the other hand, the respondents after having paid a substantial amount of consideration for the plot were still empty-handed. Such an unscrupulous act on the part of appellant/builder, who utilise the money got from the purchasers but do not hand over the plot on one pretext or the other, should be dealt with a heavy hand. No leniency should be shown to litigants, who, in order to cover up their own fault and negligence, go on filing meritless appeals in different forums.

The national commission dismissed the appeal filed by Emaar MGF with punitive damages of Rs 5 lakh. The amount will be paid to the respondents in equal share.



house meet tomorrow
Municipal Corporation to mull insurance cover for its firemen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The MC House, during a meeting on July 28, will discuss providing insurance cover to firemen. The MC has proposed an insurance cover of Rs 20 lakh for its firemen in case of death during firefighting and Rs 10 lakh in case of 75 per cent disability.

The issue was tabled in the last House meeting also but it was not discussed as the meeting was adjourned due to a ruckus. In 2010, the MC House had passed a resolution to provide insurance cover to the operational staff of the Fire and Emergency Services. Now, after the June 8 inferno that claimed two lives, the MC has again mooted a proposal for providing insurance cover to the operational staff of the department.

The MC has proposed that in case of firefighter’s death, his family should be awarded compensation of Rs 20 lakh. Further, the MC proposed that the firefighter should get Rs 10 lakh in case of 75 per cent disability, Rs 7.5 lakh in case of 50 to 70 per cent disability and Rs 5 lakh in case of 20 to 50 per cent disability. 

On Agenda

  • Proposal to revise water tariff in the city
  • Introduction of electric rickshaws
  • Regular water connection to religious places and charging of water bill at the rate of Rs 50 per kilolitre 
    per month
  • Handing over operation, running and maintenance of renovated public toilets to market welfare associations
  • To consider hiring of ex-servicemen as firemen and drivers from Punjab Ex-Servicemen Corporation



MC to discuss job for dead IAF fireman’s kin
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The Municipal Corporation (MC), in its forthcoming general House meeting, will be holding a discussion on providing job on compassionate grounds to the fireman of the Indian Air Force (IAF) who died battling fire at the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) building in Sector 17 on June 8.

The deceased, Ravinder Kumar Sharma who was the leading fireman at the fire section, 3BRD, Air Force Station, Chandigarh, died along with Amandeep, a fireman with the UT Fire and Emergency Department, as the NIELIT building collapsed following fire.

In her representation to the MC Commissioner, Ravinder’s wife Savita Sharma has demanded a job for her 21-year-old son, who is a matriculate and has done a fire-fighting course. The representation also sought financial aid, including ex gratia.

Mayor HC Kalyan said the representation made by Savita Sharma would be tabled in the House meeting on July 28.

Deputy Mayor Davesh Moudgil said the MC should also consider the case of fireman Amarjeet Singh Mavi, who died on duty in 2008 while dousing flames at a house in Sector 22.



health notes
World Hepatitis Day

‘Hepatitis – Think Again’ is the new slogan for the World Hepatitis Day – 2014, which will be celebrated on Monday. World Hepatitis Day was launched by the World Hepatitis Alliance in 2008 in response to the concern that chronic viral hepatitis did not have the level of awareness, nor the political momentum, seen with other communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria. This is despite the fact that the number of people chronically infected with, and the number of deaths caused by, hepatitis B and C is on the same scale as these conditions. The new slogan on this World Hepatitis Day is our chance to call for a change in attitude towards viral hepatitis.

War heroes remembered

To commemorate the 15th anniversary of Operation Vijay, the youth wing of the Bharat Vikas Parishad in association with the Market Dealers Association, Sector 18, on Saturday organised a blood donation camp, which received an overwhelming response. A team from the Blood Transfusion Department of the PGI conducted the camp and collected 118 units of blood. Municipal Corporation Commisioner VP Singh inaugurated the camp. Members of the parishad and the market committee were among those others present. Donors were felicitated with gifts and a certificate of appreciation on the behalf of the PGI. — TNS



tricity scan
Baldev Goel is CBC president

Chandigarh: The Chandigarh Business Council (CBC) elected its new president, Baldev Goel, in an unanimous decision at its governing body meeting. Goel is the founder member of the CBC and served as its general secretary and adviser for many years. 

He was the mandal president of the BJP from 1996 to 2004. He had also served as the district vice-president of the BJP. At present, Goel is the state convener of the investor cell of the BJP, Chandigarh.

Reduce collector rates: Federation

A deputation of Property Federation, Chandigarh, headed by its president, Kamaljit Singh Panchhi, submitted a memorandum to Finance Secretary Saravjit Singh to reduce collector rates. Members demanded that the UT Administration should conduct a survey and then go ahead to review the collector rates of all types of properties. The rates should be reduced on the pattern of Mohali and Ludhiana. — TNS



Eminent doctors of tricity honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
The Senior Citizens’ Welfare Association, Manimajra, organised a special awards function to honour eminent doctors of the tricity at the Sri Guru Gobind Singh College for Boys, Sector 26, here today. Maj-Gen Atul Sharma was the chief guest. Earlier, around 50 students from the Institute for the Blind, Sector 26, played the band to welcome the doctors.

The association is observing July as doctors’ month. Doctors and specialists from various fields of medicine and various specialties were felicitated for their exemplary work in the field of medicine and service to mankind.

Dr Manuj Wadhwa, Dr Sananda Bag, Dr Sudheer Saxena and Dr Seema Wadhwa from Max Super Speciality Hospital, Mohali, Dr Ankur Luthra from AIIMS, Dr Ashwani Kumar from CGHS, Dr Sunil K Arora and Dr Santosh Kumar from the PGI, Chandigarh, Col Sashivadhan and Lt-Col Manoj Prasher from Command Hospital, Chandi Mandir, were honoured.

A special award was conferred on Jaswinder Kaur, Principal, College of Pharmacy, Guru Gobind Singh College, Chandigarh. 



Remain connected to inner soul, youth told
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
Swami Satyeshananda, secretary of the Sri Ramakrishna Mission, addressed participants 
of the Startup Weekend at the EDC here today on success and the inner connect.

Organised by the Startup Accelerator Chamber of Commerce and the Chandigarh Administration, Department of IT, at the EDC, 89 participants were working ultimately in 17 teams on their respective projects.

Swami, a doctor by profession, asked the youngsters to pursue material goals, but always remain connected to inner soul and the innate goodness that prevails within each one of us.

The final presentations would be made tomorrow before a jury to select three winning ideas. 




More hostels for students needed

Chandigarh is a hub of education for students from across the country. With the introduction of new courses in educational institutions of the city, the intake of students has also increased. However, the number of hostels to accommodate them has not increased accordingly. Therefore, a large chunk of students has to opt for paying guest accommodation and pay hefty rents for the same. The UT Administration and the educational institutions should construct some more hostels for the students so that they are not ‘cheated’ by those taking advantage of the situation.
Gursimranjit Kaur,

Road-sweeping machines prove to be white elephant

This refers to a news report, ‘Road-sweeping machines sweep away civic body funds’, published in these columns recently. How sad and shameful it is that the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, had purchased three road-sweeping machines at a huge cost of Rs 5.42 crore in 2008 from Italy for cleaning the roads of the City Beautiful. These machines have proved to be a white elephant as an additional amount of Rs 2.45 crore has been spent on the maintenance of the three machines till May 2014. It is shameful that some of the officials had gone on a official tour for enjoyment to Italy in order to purchase these. But one wonders on which roads have these machines been used in the past six years. The expenditure on diesel, salary of drivers and cleaners have not been included in the expenses mentioned above. It would have been much better if some sweepers had been recruited by the MC for cleaning roads. It would have saved money and provided jobs to a number of persons.
RK Kapoor



School Brawl
Student, kin demand reinstatement
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
One of the rusticated students, who were involved in the Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 35, brawl incident, today protested along with his family and classmates demanding his reinstatement. They carried out a protest march from the school to the Sector 35 market.

The accused, a student of Class XII of the humanities stream, alleged that the Education Department and the police had not carried out a proper investigation in the case. He was accused of bashing up his junior, a Class X student.

The protestors alleged that the victim had falsely implicated the accused. The school had rusticated him without conducting a fair probe.

The accused said: “My future has been put at stake. At a time when I should be studying, I am shuttling between police stations and the Education Department seeking justice.”

He said: “The victim and his friends had bashed me up, not vice versa as told by the victim.”

The incident took place last Thursday when the victim, Sachin, was returning home after the school hours and his seniors allegedly bashed him up in the market. Following the incident, the school authorities expelled two accused students.

The protestors said until their side of story was heard, they would continue their protest.

Manmeet, sister of the accused, said: “We will continue to fight till my brother is not reinstated in the school. We, along with other students of the school, will protest outside the school, Sector 17 and outside the DPI office on Monday.”

the case

The incident took place last Thursday when the victim, Sachin, was returning home after the school hours and his seniors allegedly bashed him up in the market. Following the incident, the school authorities expelled two accused students.



Mohali school celebrates Teej
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 26
Teej Utsav was celebrated with fervour at Smart Wonders School, Sector 71, here today. Students performed various traditional dances on folk songs to mark the occasion. The school wore a festive look. An exhilarating dance performance by students on Punjabi, Gujarati and Rajasthani songs left the audiences mesmerised.

While speaking on the occasion, principal Anu Dhingra said: “The world has become a global village and celebration of all such festivals in the school helps in keeping alive the traditions and preserve cultural diversity of our country”.

The parents also came dressed in traditional attires and competed for the titles of “Teej King”, “Teej queen” and “the best Teej couple”. 



Panjab varsity to continue with two-year LLM course
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
Panjab University, which was all set to introduce one-year LLM (Master of Law) course at the Department of Laws from this session, will have to continue with the existing two-year course as per the fresh University Grant Commission (UGC) guidelines.

In a communiqué issued by the UGC dated July 10, 2014, and the Government of India gazette notification dated July 5-11, 2014, it has been clearly stated that the duration of LLM degree is prescribed as two years instead of LLM one-year course (as advertised or notified earlier) for the 2014-15 academic session.

Ranbir Kaur, chairperson, PU Law Department, said the department had prepared to start one-year LLM course from this session, but after this notification they were withdrawing the decision.

“Last year, the UGC had asked for options from the university as to whether we want to shift to one-year LLM course,” she said.

Records of the university revealed that in February 2014, the Syndicate approved the proposal of one-year LLM course under which there will be two semesters rather than four in the previous course. The dean had also proposed to start the LLM course in the evening shift rather than in the morning.

Sources said the UGC had issued directions for the introduction of one-year LLM course in the universities. Following the instructions, some of the national law universities have already started the LLM course of one-year duration.

The sources said the proposal was mooted in the Syndicate meeting held in May last year. But as the session had already started, the authorities kept it pending for the next session.

Reason for one-year LLM course

In Europe and America, LLM course is of one year, while in India students have to spend two years for the same course. Keeping this fact in view, the UGC also introduced one-year course last year.

Counselling date for two-year LLM course

The PU has announced admission schedule for LLM (two-year course) first semester (session 2014-15). The interview for admission to LLM (two-year course) first semester (session 2014-15) for all categories (general and reserve) will be held on August 4 in the Department of Laws, Panjab University.



Visually challenged students launch musical group
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
Amway Opportunities Foundation in association with the National Association for the Blind organised a musical event to remember Helen Keller at Aasha Kiran (vocational training centre for differently abled) in Sector 46-D here today.

At the event, a musical group of around 20 visually impaired students, including the vocalist and all instrument players, was launched.

The group that gave three-hour scintillating renditions left the audiences mesmerised.

While showcasing their astonishing musical talent, it presented ghazals and Punjabi songs.

They said the group had been trained by Prof Murlidhar Swami, who also enthralled the audience with his ghazal rendition.

Director, Social Welfare, Rajesh Jodpal, was the chief guest for the event.

Navjot, the band vocalist, said: “All our band members have been friends for the past couple of years, and its our passion for music that has kept us together.”

He said the band was planning to launch a musical album soon.

Flutist Romi said, “Our disability has never deterred us from our love for music and our dream to take music to new heights.”

Talking about the launch of the group, Vinod Chaddha, president of the National Association for Blind Students, Chandigarh, said: “In case of visually challenged persons, each one of them is closely related to music. This is the first musical group in the tricity in which all members are visually challenged.”

“The motive to launch the group here is to provide a platform to them so that they can start availing the opportunities in the field of music,” he added.

Teachers from various government and kendriya vidyalayas were among those others present.



College notes
Induction day ceremony

Chandigarh: The MCM DAV College for Women organised induction day ceremony on Saturday to welcome freshers and introduce them to the virtuous value system of the college. The event was enlivened by the presence of the recent college alumni achievers.

 Garima Singh (IRS) and Sushma Popli (teacher), who were felicitated for their exceptional feats, expressed gratitude for the college and emphasised the importance of the most contemporary training at the MCM in imparting wings to their dreams. Punnet Bedi, principal of the college, said the event, which was an annual feature of the college, was an effective medium of communication with the new members of the MCM contingent.

Vijay Divas observed

The 15th Vijay Divas was observed at DAV College, Sector 10, here to commemorate the 15 anniversary of the Kargil War at the Sharurya Bhawan. Principal Dr BC Josan and the staff members paid floral tributes to the martyrs of the college - Major Sandip Sagar, Captain Vikram Batra and Captain Vijayant Thapar - at their memorial at Sharurya Bhawan.

Seminar held

Immigration experts from the World Wide Immigration Consultancy Services (WWICS) conducted a seminar here on Saturday to apprise immigration aspirants of various opportunities of living, working, studying or doing business in the country of their choice. The seminar was addressed by an expert panel. They shed light on the opportunities for businesspersons, investors, skilled workers, professionals and students to live, work, study or do business in their dream destinations. — TNS



Sacked CCET professor to be reinstated

Chandigarh, July 26
The Chandigarh Administration has decided to reinstate the sacked professor of the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology (CCET). The staff of the college has been holding a protest against his the termination of his services for the past two days. The authorities have decided to revoke the termination order of the professor.

A delegation of the CCET Association met the UT Adviser yesterday regarding the termination of services of one of the assistant professors on a contractual basis. The professor was working in the institution for the past five years. The employees also demanded that the Chandigarh Administration should frame a comprehensive and secure policy for the regularisation of services by absorbing or adjusting the existing 100 per cent teaching, non-teaching and outsourcing staff working on sanctioned post like in Punjab, and Haryana. — TNS



Indefinite fast
Condition of ETT Teachers Union’s chief deteriorates

Mohali, July 26
The condition of ETT Teachers Union, Punjab, president Jaswinder Singh Sidhu, who has been sitting on fast unto death for the past seven days here, is deteriorating. Today, doctors examined him and found that he was losing weight. Sidhu, along with other members of the union, has been protesting in front of the Director General School Education, Punjab, office here.

The union leaders said they would start burning effigies of the state government at various places from July 28.

“Later, they will gherao ministers and intensify the protest,” said Harjit Singh Saini, general secretary of the union. The main demand of the union is to bring the ETT teachers and the school, which also come under zila parishads, under the Punjab Education Department. — TNS



Students educate people on safe driving

Chandigarh, July 26
Students of Manav Mangal High School, Sector 21-C, here organised a “live safe” campaign against reckless teen driving at Sector 17 Plaza, Chandigarh today.

The school authorities said the campaign was held to educate people on safe driving, bringing to light the recent tragic car accident by a 14-year-old boy in Ahmedabad. The students also lit candles and observed a two-minute silence to pray for the departed souls. They asked the people to be more responsible and observe traffic rules. — TNS



15 schools take part in techno minds contest

Mohali, July 26
Shemrock Senior Secondary School, Mohali, organised a “techno minds” inter-school competition for Classes VIII, IX, and X, (Group C, B, A).

The school authorities said around 15 schools of the tricity participated in the competition. They said “convergence of technology for the betterment of education”, “cyber crime” and “rise of APPLE” were the topics for Classes VIII, IX and X, respectively.

 Esha Verma and Asavari of Shivalik School bagged the first spot, while Chetan Kamal and Dilnawaz Kaur Walia of Sacred Souls were adjudged second and Prankush and Isha of DPS Chandigarh got third position in Group C. Avneet Kaur and Jashanpreet Kaur of Sacred Souls clinched the first spot, Ishan Singh and Saloni of Anees School stood second, while Ishmeet and Saher of DPS Chandigarh got third position in Group B. Anmoldeep Benipal And Veerpal Kaur Walia of Sacred Souls secured first position, Abhay and Yash Kashyap of Shishu Niketan got second position, while Karanbir and Muskan of Shemrock stood third in Group A. — TNS



NSUI members hold protest
Highlight anomalies in the functioning of dental college
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 26
NSUI members staged a protest in front of the entry gate of the Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital at Panjab University here today.

The reason behind the protest was various problems faced by students and anomalies in the functioning of the Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital.

They also submitted a memorandum to the PU Vice-Chancellor, director of the BDS Department and the Dean Student Welfare (DSW) highlighting the problems.

The DSW, chief security officer, and the BDS director came to meet the agitating students.

The DSW ordered to form a committee that will meet on Monday. The students lifted the agitation following an assurance that their demands would be met at the earliest after the meeting on Monday. The students said they would be forced to sit on a dharna and lock the department if their demands were not met.

The students said they pay Rs 16,000 as breakage charges. Even after that, if any student breaks any apparatus during practicals, he/she had to pay extra charges.

While doing laboratory work or practicing with patients, students have to bring their own material.

The hospital does not have a generator set for power backup. Interns and patients have to suffer due to power failure. The condition of washrooms is also pitiable.



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