C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Two youngsters drown in Ghaggar
* Had gone to take bath after completing religious ceremony
* Belonged to Faidan village in Jagatpura
Tribune News Service

Youths who had a narrow escape mourn their friends' death along with relatives
Youths who had a narrow escape mourn their friends' death along with relatives. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Zirakpur, July 30
A religious ceremony turned tragic for two youngsters of Faidan village in Jagatpura, who drowned in the Ghaggar near Bhankarpur village here this evening. The deceased have been identified as 19-year-old Sonu and 20-year-old Sukhwinder, aka Sukha. Both belong to migrant families. They knew how to swim, but were caught in slush, said the police.

Divers were summoned from Ropar and Gangakheri near Rajpura for the rescue operation. They recovered the victims' bodies around 50 metres from the spot.

Dera Bassi SDM Sanjeev Kumar Bansal, who reached the spot, said the bodies were found stuck in slush in a nearly 25-foot-deep ditch.

The incident occurred at around 3.30 pm, but the rescue operation, which lasted around 45 minutes, was started only at around 7.15 pm when two divers from Ropar reached the spot.

Mohali Senior Superintendent of Police Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti said the deceased, along with three friends, Abhishek (18), Dilbara (20) and Ajay (19), had gone to perform some religious ceremony at the Markanday temple, located on the bank of the Ghaggar near the village.

“After completing the ceremony, they went to take a bath in the river. Sonu and Sukha went to the middle of the river, where they were swept away by the strong currents,” said the SSP.

Seeing their friends drown, the remaining three youngsters raised the alarm, but to no avail. “We saw them swept away helplessly. Within minutes, they vanished from our sight,” said one of the youngsters. Mohali Superintendent of Police Anil Kumar Sharma, Dera Bassi Estate Officer Rajesh Sharma and fire brigade officials also reached the spot. Both bodies were revovered by 8 pm and sent to the mortuary at the Civil Hospital in Dera Bassi, said SDM Sanjeev Kumar. He added that the postmortem would take place tomorrow.

Temple priest warned youngsters

  • According to SDM Sanjeev Kumar, the priest at the Markanday temple had warned the youngsters against taking a bath in the river. He said a board had also been put up near the site, warning people against bathing in the river.

Six youths had drowned last year

  • On July 24 last year, 13 youths were swept away in flash floods in the Ghaggar in Panchkula. While seven were rescued, six had drowned.
  • The youths had come to celebrate the birthday of their friend in the Diwanvala area at Burj Kotian village in Panchkula. They decided to have fun in the Ghaggar when the tragedy struck. Birthday boy Akshay was rescued.



UT all set to get City Bus Service
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The City Beautiful is all set to get a new City Bus Service. With a proposed fleet of 400 buses, the bus service will run under the aegis of the Chandigarh City Bus Service Society. The society will be controlled by a governing body, comprising the UT Adviser as its chairman and heads of different UT departments as its members. The Director (Transport), who heads the CTU, will be its member secretary and CEO.

The bus service will function on similar lines as the CTU, which runs low-floor and semi-low-floor buses on city routes. The plan has attracted a protest from CTU employees, who see it as a move to wind up the ailing state transport undertaking that is struggling to run the service with the existing roadworthy fleet of around 200 buses on local routes. A senior UT official denied any move to wind up the CTU.

To run the service, a special purpose vehicle has been formed to operate and manage the buses, being procured under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

The UT has already placed an order for fabrication of 200 AC and non-AC midi-buses. The strength of the fleet will be increased to 600 buses. The operation of the buses, including drivers and conductors, will be outsourced. An exercise to work out the routes for the bus service is under way.

The society will initially set up its office on Plot No. 701, Industrial Area, Phase I (at present housing depot No. II of the CTU), indicating that the CTU’s set-up there could be shifted to other depots.

CTU struggling to keep fleet running

The CTU, with a fleet of 417 buses, including ageing low-floor white and blue buses, is struggling to keep the fleet running. After a long wait, the UT will soon get 40 midi-buses, to be run by the CTU. Recently, the process of recruiting 114 conductors and 246 drivers against regular posts had begun.

What is special purpose vehicle

The Special Purpose Vehicle is usually a subsidiary company with an asset/liability structure and legal status that makes its obligations secure even if the parent company goes bankrupt.

‘Move to allow entry to private players’

It is a move to allow entry to private players. The same scheme has failed in Delhi, where buses procured under the JNNURM are still being run by the Delhi Transport Corporation. The scheme has also failed in different cities of Punjab

Ranjit Singh Hans, president, UT Subordinate Services Federation

We are opposed to the move. According to the Reorganisation of States Act, only the CTU can be allowed to run the bus service. It is a move to privatise the bus service. The CTU will run into a crisis. I have raised the issue at a meeting of the Advisory Council.

Devi Dyal Sharma, member, UT Advisory Council.

The city bus service has been planned for running modernised buses. The new service was mandatory to get funding. It will have a separate accounting system. The purpose is to provide an efficient bus service to people.

Bhawna Garg, UT Secretary (Transport)



Clash on PU campus: 2 student leaders arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Acting tough against trouble-makers on the Panjab University (PU) campus ahead of the student council elections, the local police today arrested two senior SOI leaders, Rashpal Hakuwal and Robin Brar, for their alleged involvement in yesterday's clash on the campus in which an ABVP leader was injured.

They have been arrested under Sections 323 and 341 of the IPC at the Sector 11 police station.

Rashpal was also involved in a clash on the campus that took place on July 1 in which the PU chief security officer and two other security personnel were injured.

On July 1, following a complaint submitted by the PU authorities, a case under Sections 147 (rioting), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of a common object), 332 (injuring a public servant on duty), 353 (obstructing a public servant from duty by means of assault) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC was registered at the Sector 11 police station. Sources said the police were in the process of preparing a list of all trouble-makers on the campus, but their priority was to screen the leaders of two parties, the SOI and the Gandhi Group Students Union, which were formed recently.

The sources said university officials had a special meeting with UT SSP Sukhchain Singh today, who asked them to prepare a separate list of trouble-makers and submit it to the police at the earliest.

It was also decided that a special meeting of student leaders, PU officials and the SSP will be held on August 8 to discuss all election-related issues and security issues

In 2011 too, the police had created a data bank of trouble-makers on the campus. The data included information about 30 suspected trouble-makers and 11 notorious leaders.

The same year, the Chandigarh police had launched "Mission PU" following reports of student leaders indulging in scuffles and also being allegedly involved in getting houses vacated by charging protection money.

special meeting

A meeting of student leaders, PU officials and the SSP will be held on August 8 to discuss all election-related issues.



Constable had planned murder, cops tell court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
As UT constable Anand Kumar was produced in court today, five days after he shot his wife to death at Government Multi-Speciality Hospital in Sector 16, the UT police told the court that they suspected that he had planned the murder and it was not committed in a fit of rage or due to a sudden provocation.

Pleading for a three-day remand for the accused, the police stated before the court that the constable had kept seven spare cartridges at his friend’s place which he had planned to refill in the 9 mm pistol, used to fire at his wife Dimple. The police suspect that he had planned to shoot his wife with seven shots and then refill the pistol so that he could show it to the police to escape from being charged in the case.

The police sought a three-day remand and said they had to recover the remaining cartridges for which his custodial interrogation was required. The court then remanded the constable to a day in custody.

The constable showed no signs of remorse and said he killed his wife as he was fed up of her. Constable Anand Kumar had pumped four bullets into his wife Dimple's body at the hospital on July 25. He had then shot himself near the shoulder in an attempt to commit suicide.


Upcoming five-star hotel in troubled waters
PNB, TFCI put up possession notice on hotel’s construction site for failing to pay Rs 57 crore
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The upcoming five-star hotel in the Industrial Area, Phase II, is in troubled waters as Punjab National Bank (PNB) and the Finance Corporation of India Limited (TFCI) has pasted possession notice, outside at the hotel construction site, for not paying Rs 57 crores.

The Joy Hotel and Resorts Private Limited is constructing 178 rooms five-star hotel in the Industrial Area, Phase II.

PNB officials said since the company had defaulted amount towards Punjab National Bank (PNB) Rs 31,09,46,343 and Tourism Finance Corporation of India Limited (TFCI) Rs 25,46,88,060, PNB and the TFCI had pasted possession notice outside the under construction site in plot no. 33-34 in the Industrial Area, Phase II. The public notice was also issued in newspapers in this regard, PNB officials said.

Arun Sadana, AGM, Punjab National Bank, Phase I, Mohali, said they had given enough opportunities to Joy Hotel and Resorts Private Limited to pay the defaulting amount but to no avail. Now, the bank had taken over the property. If the company would not clear the amount, the bank would auction the property, he said.

On the other side, Sushil Suri, Chairman, Joy Hotel and Resorts Private Limited, said promoters had invested 80 per cent amount and the bank had invested only 20 per cent. The defaulting amount was not huge and they would clear the dues in the coming days. The notice pasted by the bank is only a deemed possession notice and the property’s control is still with our company, he said.Suri further said after clearing dues they would complete the construction and soon the hotel would be operational in the City Beautiful.

178-room Sheraton Hotel to come up

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide had an agreement with Joy Hotel and Resorts Private Limited to manage the Sheraton Chandigarh Hotel. As per plan, the hotel will offer 178 rooms, five restaurants, a health club, a full-service nectar spa, swimming pool, business centre and more than 15,000 square feet of meeting space.

Plot converted in 2007 under UT’s conversion policy

The plot measuring 10694.44 square yards was converted under the UT’s conversion policy in 2007. The company had paid around Rs 31 crore as conversion money to the Administration. At present this property’s value is more than Rs 100 crore.



Self-certification to be made mandatory for building owners
MC to add clause in Fire Prevention & Fire Safety Rules
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Realising that inspecting fire-fighting equipment in all commercial buildings across the city could become a mammoth task, the Municipal Corporation (MC) has decided to incorporate the clause of self-certification by the building owners in the Fire Prevention and Fire Safety Rules 1991, according to which the owner will have to annually certify the building has all fire-fighting equipment in the working condition.

After witnessing four fire incidents at Sector 17 in less then two months in which two firemen died, the MC constituted three teams and decided to conduct inspection of the buildings in Sector 17, however, they realised that inspecting each and every commercial building across the city would not be possible following which it has decided to incorporate the clause of self-certification. MC Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh, during the General House meeting held recently, had informed the House that on the pattern of Delhi where the Fire Department takes self-certification from the building owners, the Chandigarh Fire Department would also follow the same pattern. A fire official said that the fire equipment installed by the building owners were hardly serviced following which after a particular time they stopped functioning. With the introduction of the self-certification, the building owners would have to ensure that the fire-fighting system in their building was in a working condition. Officials further said that the building owners apart from certifying that the fire-safety equipment were installed would also have to give an undertaking that the building did not have any kind of combustible material stacked in corridors and on the entry and exit points of the buildings. The self-certification would have to be given to the Chief Fire Officer. Sources said the MC after finalising the proposal would be sending it to the UT Administration for amending the Fire Prevention and Fire Safety Rules 1991, which is applicable to Chandigarh.



Soon, there will be no need to line up for lab reports at PGI
Patients to be intimated via SMS when reports are ready; printouts of tests can be taken at home
Ritika Jha Plial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The nightmare of obtaining a lab test report at th PGIMER by frequenting counters on numerous occasions and waiting for several hours in a queue will be over in three months time. Patients will then receive intimation via SMS as soon as the reports areout and will be able to access the reports from any corner of the world within 15 days of receiving the intimation.

The lab module, under the computerisation project of the institution, has already allowed online access to test reports prepared in the biochemistry lab to patients, will add reports prepared by all other labs to the online domain within three months from now.

Unlike the present system, wherein outdoor patients, including those neighbouring areas, suffer due to uncertainty on availability of the reports and are forced to frequent the counters, the online access will allow them to take print of the reports. They will then have to visit the PGIMER only to show reports to the doctors so that they can start the treatment.

While a majority of lab tests concerning OPD patients relate to the Department of biochemistry, six other labs conduct crucial tests.“It is crucial for all patients visiting the OPDs to provide correct mobile numbers at the time of registration as the intimation on availability of reports will be sent via SMS on that number and they will be given only a one-time password for accessing their reports on the PGIMER website,” said Dr YL Narayana, vice-chairman, computerisation monitoring committee, PGIMER. Over 6,000 patients visit PGIMER OPDs every day.

The new system

Few days after the sample collection, a one-time password will be sent to the patient on the registered mobile number along with a confirmation that the report is ready. The patients can then visit the PGIMER website www.pgimer.edu.in and view reports by entering CR no. (available on OPD card) and the one-time password. The reports will be available online only for 15 days after an
SMS intimation.

The current scenario

When a patient visits an OPD, he/she is asked to undergo tests. He submits fee and visits sample collection centre and gives sample and is asked to visit the centre tentatively after a week. For some tests, the patients are forced to shuttle between the new OPD and the research block (located 150 metres away). Then it becomes the patient’s responsibility to keep visiting the counters to check if the reports are ready.



Teej Celebrations
Panel yet to decide on chief guest’s name
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The committee constituted to organise Teej held its meeting today to look into the arrangements of the function, but ignored the issue of finalising the name of the chief guest that had kicked up a row recently.

The Congress and BJP are at loggerheads over the name of the chief guest, who is to be invited for the function. While the Congress wants UT Adviser as the chief guest, the BJP wants local MP Kirron Kher to be the chief guest.

Congress councillor Gurbax Rawat who is the chairperson of the committee held the meeting today that was attended by various other woman councillors who are the members. Sources said that various quotations for hiring singers, musicians and expenses to be made on the arrangement of the function was discussed, however, the issue of the chief guest was not raised by anyone at the meeting.

Rawat said they were only asked to discuss the proposals approved by the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC).” We were not told to take a call over who should be the chief guest. Nobody even raised the issue or proposed any name that’s why no decision was taken during the meeting”, she stated.

Rawat further said Mayor HC Kalyan would be taking the decision on the issue.

The Mayor said it was the committee, which was supposed to decide on the name of the chief guest.

An official on condition of anonymity said that only three days were left for the function and the decision would have to be taken soon as the invitation cards also needed to be printed and distributed.



Jobless ETT teachers lock doors of govt office
Protesters want resumption of recruitment in schools under zila parishads; visitors, staff harassed
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 30
High drama was witnessed at Vikas Bhawan, which houses the Punjab Rural Development and Panchayats Department, when members of the ETT (TET-pass) Unemployed Teachers Union, Punjab, locked all the doors of the building at around 8 am today.

The protesters, around 150 in number, including women, locked all the doors of the building forcing several employees to enter the office through windows. They protesters demanded that they should be recruited for schools under zila parishads.

Raising anti-government slogans, the protesting teachers sat in front of the doors. “We did not allow any official to enter the office till our demand of restarting the process to recruit ETT teachers is met,” said the union’s state president, Jasbir Singh.

Mohali Superintendent of Police (City) Swarndeep Singh reached the spot to pacify the agitators but they did not budge.

In the evening, the police managed to open the side door of the building so that the staff could exit the office.

Notably, several members of the union are putting up on a water tank at Sohana village for past 14 days in support of their demand.

The doors of the building were found locked till filing of this report.



GMADA owes Rs 1,800 cr to banks
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 30
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) that is responsible for the overall urban development of the Greater Mohali area itself is in troubled waters. Once a cash-rich department, it is currently under the debt of a whopping Rs 1,800 crore, which it has taken from at least five banks.

“The department owes Rs 300 crore (for IT City) to Indian Overseas Bank, Rs 400 crore (for IT City) to Canara Bank, Rs 750 crore (for IT City and road infrastructure) to Dena Bank, Rs 200 crore (for Eco City II) to Vijaya Bank and Rs 150 crore (for Eco City II) to Corporation Bank.

Sources said the land of certain mega projects, for which it (GMADA) had taken loan, was also under mortgage.

Adding insult to injury, the Punjab Government has also mortgaged the building of PUDA/GMADA Bhawan to take a loan of Rs 500 crore.

“The department has already mortgaged its 1,700 acres, meant for the mega IT City Project, and 450 acres for Eco City II at Mullanpur Garibdass to a bank. Besides, GMADA has taken a loan of Rs 1,200 crore to complete the IT City project, Rs 350 crore for Eco City II project and Rs 250 crore for developing road infrastructure in Mohali and its periphery,” said the sources.

Now, with the slowdown in the property sector, the department has been finding it hard to earn revenue from auctioning its properties or its projects, most of which have already got delayed.

Notably, GMADA had emptied its coffers by spending several crores on construction of the ‘Fateh Burj’ at historical Chappar Chhiri village on directions of the SAD government.

The department is finding it hard to pay the price of land to landowners from whom it has acquired land for its various projects due to its empty coffers and it has been facing court cases in this regard.

The authorities concerned have faced embarrassment as the Mohali court has issued directions of attachment of the PUDA Bhawan several times to pay the landowners.



Road median in P’kula a bone of contention
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 30
A small road median in Sector 7 has courted political controversy in Panchkula and is high on the agenda of politicians. Candidates in fray for the post of MLA in Panchkula are making claims to get the median open, but in vain.

The median on the road separating Sectors 7 and 8 was closed two years ago by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) after getting recommendations from the Police Department. The police had stated that the part of the road was becoming accident prone, following which it should be closed.

The closing down of the median invited the ire of shopkeepers in Sector 7, who said their business had been affected. The same had also invited protests.

“Many leaders have tried to take benefit from the situation by saying that they will get the median opened. But none of them has helped us out till now,” said a shopkeeper on condition of anonymity.

Two Congress leaders had even written to the Police Department over the matter and HUDA but to no avail.

“After finding that if the median is opened, Congress leaders will get support from residents, the opposition started making efforts that the same remains closed,” said another shopkeeper.

Two years ago, the police had identified certain accident-prone spots and had asked the HUDA authorities to close the same.

The shopkeepers had claimed that in order to enter Sector 7 from the side of Sector 8, customers had to take the entire route from the roundabout following which they avoid taking this route.



City sees 57% rain deficit this season
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
During this monsoon, the city received 57 per cent less rainfall than the normal. As per the Met Department, monsoon season commences from June 1 and this year, the city has recorded only 192.2 mm of rainfall, which is 202.3 mm less than normal.

Met Department director Surinder Pal Singh said improvement in the monsoon was unlikely in the coming days.

He said in the past, the city had deficit monsoon in years 2002, 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2012.

As per the met forecast, there is possibility of light rain over the next three days. The city recorded the maximum temperature of 35 degree Celsius, which is two degrees above normal, and the minimum temperature of 26.8 degree Celsius, which is three degrees above normal.



Mentally challenged youth goes missing from P’kula
Tribune News Service

KunalPanchkula, July 30
A 27-year-old mentally challenged and speech impaired youth went missing from a temple in Sector 25 here. On July 27, Kunal, a resident of Sector 22, Chandigarh, had come along with his family to pay obeisance at Hanuman temple here.

“He went for washroom and did not return. We searched for him but in vain. He can’t speak and hence, would not be able to tell anyone our address or contact number,” said Pooja, the youth’s mother.

Pooja, who runs an NGO for mentally retarded children in Chandigarh, added, “We showed his photo to people in the area and someone told us that he was seen at Nada Sahib. We have pasted posters carrying his photograph in nearby areas.”

Meanwhile, the Panchkla police have alerted their Chandigarh and Mohali counterparts. The police are checking the CCTV footage of the temple from where the victim went missing.



landslide-hit village
Chandi Kotla residents await rehabilitation
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 30
Despite repeated demands from the affected residents, there is no rehabilitation plan in sight for residents of over 75 houses in Chandi Kotla village here. BJP leader Virander Singh Bhau, who is also a former president of Zila Parishad here, has taken a strong note of the ruling party’s ‘failure’ to rehabilitate the residents of the village.

In a statement issued here today, Bhau said residents were forced to leave their homes in the wake of half-hearted relief operation.

“The Haryana Government and the Panchkula Administration have been apathetic to the problems being faced by the residents. The situation has only worsened over the years with cracks on the hill deepening,” he said.

With the onset of monsoons, residents are living with fear as chances of landslides grow strong during rains, said Bhau.

In August last year, residents had to be evacuated from the area as some houses had caved in due to heavy rain and more than 50 houses had developed cracks.



Prayer hall handed over to Christian Community
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
City Mayor HC Kalyan, today handed over the keys of the prayer hall of the Christian Cemetery to the Christian Community in Sector 25. The Mayor, area councilllor and former Mayor Subhash Chawla, other councillors and senior officers of the MC, Chandigarh, were present on the occasion.

Spread in the area of over 25,000 sq ft, the buildings has been constructed at a cost of around Rs 48 lakh. The building has two halls including a prayer hall, a record room and an office.



IAS officer K Narsimha to join UT Admn

Chandigarh, July 30
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued transfer orders of 1991 batch UT cadre IAS, K Narasimha, from Delhi to the UT Administration. Sources said Narsimha was likely to join the UT Administration next week.

The Administration would give the charge of Additional Secretary (Home) to Narasimha. Presently, the post is with UT cadre IAS Prerna Puri, who has been transferred to Mizoram but not relieved yet.

Recently, the MHA had issued transferred orders of four UT cadre officers, namely Satya Gopal, Tanvi Garg, Prerna Puri and Rodney Ralte. The Administration has already relieved Satya Gopal while Tanvi Garg will be relieved on July 31. — TNS



tricity scan

Chandigarh: Anil Vohra was unanimously elected as the president of the Market Welfare Association, Sector 44 D, during the association’s general body meeting. The chairman of the association-cum-election in-charge, KC Goyal, said now, Vohra was authorised to constitute his panel. At present, Vohra is also the general secretary of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM). He is the president of the market association since 1995.

Councillor writes to Arun Jaitley

Congress councillor Gurbax Rawat has written to the Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley requesting him to reconsider the proposed FDI hike in the insurance sector. Rawat, in her representation, mentioned that during the course of Budget speech, it was announced that the foreign equity limit in the insurance sector would be raised to 49 per cent. However, the decision to increase the foreign equity is not in the interest of the Indian economy, claimed Rawat. “Interestingly, the BJP had opposed the proposal during the UPA-II government,” Rawat mentioned in her representation demanding withdrawal of the proposal.

Panel announced

The newly elected president of the Chandigarh Business Council (CBC), Baldev Goel, on Wednesday announced his team. Among the office-bearers are Jagdish Arora as chairman, Neeraj Bajaj as chief patron and Arvinder Pal Singh as senior vice-president. In a press conference, Goel said he would strongly take up issues pertaining to conversions of plots from leasehold to freehold, and misuse penalties imposed by the UT Administration on traders and industrialists. Besides, he would also ensure proper representation of traders in every important committee of the UT Administration and the Municipal Corporation, he added. At present, Goel is the state convener of the investor cell of the BJP, Chandigarh. — TNS



Currency chest branch inaugurated

The Central Bank of India on Wednesday inaugurated a well-furnished premises at the Ambala City Branch with currency chest. Rajeev Rishi, Chairman and Managing Director of the Central Bank of India inaugurated the branch. Rishi said: “We are committed to provide all innovative and traditional banking facilities with courtesy to all our customers and the public.” Field general manager of the Chandigarh Zone DS Saahi was among others present.

Insurance plan launched

Max Bupa has introduced the new edition of the Heartbeat Health Insurance Plan, offering individuals, nuclear and extended families comprehensive health insurance plan. There are many features like international cashless treatment for nine major critical illnesses, worldwide emergency medical evacuation, flexibility in sum assured ranging from Rs 2 lakh to 1 crore and many others. Manasije Mishra, Chief Executive Officer, Max Bupa said: “The new Heartbeat Health Insurance Plan offers exclusive benefits to families like international treatment, reduced waiting periods and comprehensive coverage up to Rs 1 crore.”

‘Mobile for Good Awards 2014’

The Vodafone Foundation announced the 4th edition of ‘Mobile for Good Awards 2014’, a flagship initiative, which recognises and supports emerging talent and innovative mobile solutions from NGOs/NFPs that facilitate community empowerment and inclusive growth. Applicants from NGO/NFPs can submit their mobile application ideas at http://www.vodafone.in/mobileforgood. The application process will be open through the portal till August 31.

Celkon launches ‘Millennium Vogue Q455’

Celkon Mobiles on Wednesday launched Millennium Vogue Q455 smartphone. Celkon has designed its latest Millennium range of advanced smartphones.

5-day programme on diamonds

Gemological Institute of America (GIA), a non-profit institute which considered as a world leader in gem and jewellery education, is conducting a practical five-day programme on diamonds in Ambala from August 18. — TNS



Panjab University Council Elections
Ban SOI from poll: Student parties
ABVP, PUSU activists stage protest on campus; SOPU, NSUI keep away but say they ‘share’ opinion
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Several incidents of clashes and attacks on student workers of other parties in the past one month have rung alarm bells among the student fraternity. In view of this, two student political parties have sought a ban on the Student Organisation of India (SOI), student party of the Akali Dal, from contesting the forthcoming Panjab University Council Elections.

Up in arms against the SOI, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), and the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU), today staged a protest on the university campus and sought a ban on the SOI to prevent such incidents during the elections.

Even though the Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU), and the National Students Union of India (NSUI), did not take part in the protest, they ‘share’ a similar opinion regarding a ban on the SOI.

The ABVP and PUSU leaders, who staged a dharna, said, “Students who are not joining the SOI or have left the party due to some reason are receiving threats and being attacked by senior leaders of the SOI.”

The PU Dean Student Welfare Office also received complaints regarding threats by the SOI to various student party groups.

PU Chief Security Officer Jatinder Grover said, “If all student parties raise this issue and give a representation against the SOI, strict action can be taken against the party.”

Recent incidents

  • On Tuesday night, Abhishek Luthra, ABVP President of the South Campus, was allegedly attacked by a SOI leader, Rashpal Hakuwal, outside hostel number 8 on the South campus. An FIR was registered against Hakuwal on Wednesday.
  • On July 1, PUSU senior vice-president Kushdeep Singh, who was beaten up by SOI party leaders, alleged that five SOI leaders passed comments and tore his clothes while ‘forcing’ him to join the SOI.
  • In June, the SOI had heated arguments with a NSUI student leader.

‘Action can be taken against soi’

Commenting on the recent attack on the ABVP leader on the Panjab University campus, PU Chief Security Officer Jatinder Grover said, “If all student parties raise this issue and give a representation against the SOI, strict action can be taken against the party.”


A three-member disciplinary committee has been constituted by SOI party president Yadwinder Singh Dhaliwal to probe the alleged involvement of a party leader in last night’s incident. The committee includes Yadwinder Dhaliwal, Vicky Middukhera and Simranjit Dhillon.

“We are looking into the reasons behind the incident and if any party member is found guilty, strict action would be taken against the student,” said Yadwinder.


Neither the authorities nor the police are taking any stringent action against the SOI leaders, who are involved in the clashes.

— Manvir Singh, LEADER, PUSU

Parties, which create ruckus on the campus, should be banned with immediate effect to avoid bringing a bad name to PU.

— Sukhjot Singh, PRESIDENT, ABVP

Outsiders are responsible for the clashes at PU. The authorities should ban their entry on the campus to prevent such incidents.


The party is mulling to take action against those who are involved in such incidents.

— Vicky Middukhera, LEADER, SOI

Various leaders are receiving threats from the SOI. The culprits should be dealt with strictly.

— Amninder Mann, President, SOPU



Strengthen security on varsity campus, ABVP tells VC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Lodging their protest against the attack on Abhishek Luthra, president of the South campus, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), today submitted a memorandum to the Vice-Chancellor to strengthen the security apparatus on the campus.

Luthra’s guardians were also present at the spot when the ABVP leaders met the PU officials today.

Luthra was allegedly attacked by a leader of a SOI leader, Rashpal Hakuwal, outside hostel number 8 on the South campus last night.

His guardians alleged that no PU official informed them about the incident and they got wind of it through newspapers.

The ABVP leaders also raised a serious question mark on the security staff deployed at the hostel gate, where the incident took place. “Stern action should be taken against the security staff,” demanded the leaders.

The university authorities have sought assistance from the Police Department to deploy a PCR in front of hostel number 8, where the incident took place, as several complaints about heated arguments between student leaders have been received by the authorities.

no pu official informed us about attack, alleges family

ABVP leader Abhishek Luthra's family alleged that no Panjab University official informed them about the incident and they got wind of it through newspapers. Luthra was allegedly attacked by a leader of an SOI leader, Rashpal Hakuwal, outside hostel number 8 on the South campus last night.



NSUI starts indefinite hunger strike at PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The National Students Union of India (NSUI), today started an indefinite hunger strike in front of the Vice-Chancellor’s office in Panjab University. The students were forced to sit on an indefinite hunger strike due to the indifferent attitude of the authorities in addressing their pending demands.

Headed by party president Hardeep Singh, the students raised the issue of BSc and MSc courses in the varsity.

The students demand revision of the rule for promotion from BSc III year to MSc I year, which is currently 100 credits. The rule should be changed and the credits should be lowered to 90 credits for promotion, as it was in the past. Also, 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 earlier.

A special chance of examination was also demanded by students for BSc honours and MSc honours school, so that students, who are lacking in their credits can get promotion. This will also help those students whose degrees are stuck and they want to clear their exams.

On July 16, NSUI activists had submitted a memorandum for the above mentioned demands. The students said they would continue their hunger strike until their demands are met.



GMCH MBBS Admission
NRI candidate given provisional admission to ‘disputed’ seat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, today granted provisional admission to an NRI candidate on a seat, reserved for Scheduled Caste-NRI candidates. Earlier, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had put a stay on the orders of reservation.

On the directions of the UT Home Secretary, Anil Kumar, the seat — originally reserved for NRI candidates in the MBBS course at the GMCH-32 — was reserved for a SC-NRI candidate. After an NRI candidate challenged the move in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the decision of the GMCH-32 was stayed.

Kurron Singh Sekhon, the NRI candidate, who had challenged the reservation of the seat for SC candidates, was allowed admission today.

“The honourable high court today clarified and directed that the stay meant reverting to the status as it existed prior to the impugned order. Hence, we have given provisional admission to the student. The final admission will be subject to the final decision of the high court in the case,” said Dr Harsh Mohan, officiating Director-Principal, GMCH-32.

Out of the 100 MBBS seats at the GMCH-32, a total of six were reserved for the NRI candidates.

Last month, citing representations, the UT Home Secretary had directed the GMCH to further reserve one of the six seats for a candidate, who is an SC-NRI, and accordingly, a corrigendum was issued by the institute.

The corrigendum was stayed by the High Court.

‘stay meant reverting’

"The honourable high court today clarified and directed that the stay meant reverting to the status as it existed prior to the impugned order. Hence, we have given provisional admission to the student. The final admission will be subject to the final decision of the high court in the case."

— Dr Harsh Mohan, officiating Director-Principal, GMCH-32



Bhavan Vidyalaya students shine

Panchkula, July 30
The Students of Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 15, clinched the top four positions in the Spellathon competition held at Daffodils organised by the Spell Genie for different age groups.

Kabir of Class IV bagged the first prize along with the cash prize of Rs 15,000; Aarti Purantagi of Class IV got the second prize with a cash award of Rs 5,250; Drishika Makkar of Class III and Sonali Das Gupta of Class IX received a cash award of Rs 1,775. — TNS



from schools
Teej celebrations

Chandigarh: Aanchal International School celebrated Teej festival with fervour today. The children beamed with joy. To highlight environment issues, the children were dressed up as flowers, butterflies, animals, trees etc. The highlight of the function was the ramp walk by the students of kindergarten, who came dressed in traditional costumes. This was followed by a folk dance. Principal Manju Sood sensitised students on the environment.

Dance competition

An inter-section dance competition was organised at the Doon International School. The children came dressed in different attires on Punjabi culture and salsa dance form. They danced to foot-tapping music. The function started with a Shabad Gyan.

Rangoli competition

On the occasion of Teej, a rangoli competition was held for the children of Petals, primary wing of PML SD Public School, Sector 32. The children used waste material to make rangolis and decorated them with mirrors and sparkles etc. Prizes and certificates were given to the winners.

Play staged

The children of Bhavan Vidyalaya Junior School staged a play “Idgah” written by Munshi Premchand. The children brought sewaiyan from home.

Go Green Day

The students of Government Model High School, Sector 38 West, organised a tree plantation drive and celebrated “Go Green Day”. The teachers and students plated saplings of palm, rose, tulsi and amla.

Story-telling competition

A story-telling competition was held at AKSIPS-45. The aim was to enhance the moral, general and civic knowledge of students. The students of classes I to V took part in the competition.

Teej celebrations

The students of Moti Ram Arya School, Sector 27-A, celebrated Teej in the school auditorium. Various inter-house competitions were organised such as mehandi, folk dance and folk song. Director S Mahajan lauded the efforts of teachers and students.

Awareness event on TB

Godwin Education Society, an NGO, in collaboration with the State Health Society (RNTCP), Sector 34, organised an ‘Awareness programme against TB’ at Government High School Hallo Majra. Magician Ved Parkash entertained the students.

Skit on child labour

A special assembly was conducted by the students of Class IX at the Tribune Model School on the Theme ‘child labour’. The plight of students working as housemaids, flower sellers, labourers was demonstrated through a skit. The aim was to make the children aware about the menace. School principal Vandana Saxena suggested ways to help children in distress.

Tree plantation drive

A tree plantation drive was organised at Government Model High School, Sector 34. PK Sharma Ex DPI (S) and Kamlesh Kumar Bhadoo DPI (S) were the chief guests. The event began with the tree plantation drive.

Blue Bird High School

Panchkula: Teej festival was celebrated at Blue Bird School. The students sang songs and recited poems. They gorged on delicacies.

Environment Week

Mohali: The colourful show was held to conclude the Environment Week at Saupin’s School, Sector 70. A spectacular show was staged by the students of Class IV. The headmistress, Goldie Kapany, addressed the students.

Workshop on CCE

A workshop was conducted on the CCE – the recent evolving approach adopted by CBSE at Mind Tree School, Kharar. The two SA terms and their constituent FA terms were discussed.

Teej festival

Teej festival was celebrated at New Angels Public School, Zirakpur. — TNS



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