C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


HSRPs: RLA running out of time
Has a tall order of affixing plates on 7.58 lakh vehicles before the April ‘15 deadline
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
Time is running out for the UT Administration that has a tall order of affixing high security registration plates (HSRPs) on around 7.58 lakh vehicles by April 2015. In a bid to meet the deadline, the RLA will have to affix around 1.26 lakh HSRPs every month, which works out to around 4,200 HSRPs per day. The figures available with the RLA reveal that only 1,41,159 HSRPs have been fixed till September 6 of the around nine lakh vehicles.

Going by the current speed of affixing 9,999 HSRPs every month, the RLA will not be able to affix more than 2.20 lakh HSRPs on vehicles registered in Chandigarh before the deadline ends.

As the Supreme Court deadline is inching closer, it is going to be a mammoth task for the RLA to affix HSRPs on all vehicles.

To meet the deadline, the RLA will have to start work on multiple series in one month for the next six months rather than sticking to a single series.

Kashish Mittal, RLA, said they had a limitation as they could not rope in more than one vendor for affixing the HSRPs. “We have written to the vendor to open more locations in the city in a bid to affix the maximum number of plates in the minimum possible time,” Mittal said.

While the RLA has streamlined the process of affixing HSRPs, vehicle owners have failed to turn up. Of the 9,999 numbers of CH 01 AG series, only 3,962 vehicle owners have got the HSRPs affixed. Similarly, in the CH 01 AJ series, only 3,498 HSRPs have been affixed.

Mittal said to meet the deadline, they were affixing high-security registration plates (HSRPs) on new vehicles being registered in the city and simultaneously carrying out the work on older vehicles.

The break-up

While till September 6, a total of 48,033 plates were affixed at the RLA office in Sector 42, 46,235 plates were affixed at the RLA in the Industrial Area and 35,733 plates at the RLA, Sector 17. Meanwhile, 11,158 plates were affixed at the State Transport Authority.



Resumption of properties having building violations
CHB notices leave allottees panicky
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has begun the process to cancel and resume residential properties having building violations, creating panic among hundreds of allottees. During the past few weeks, the board has issued show-cause notices for resumption or cancellation of allotment to at least 500 allottees. Clear instructions have been issued to the field staff to issue the notices to all allottees who have raised structures in violation of the rules within the allotted area.

CHB Secretary Mandeep Kaur said since the allottees had failed to remove the building violations, they were being given a final opportunity to explain why the allotment of their flats should not be cancelled under Section 17 of the Chandigarh Housing Board (Allotment, Management and Sale of Tenements) Regulations, 1979.

More such notices would be issued in the coming days. Of the 70,000 CHB flats, including 48,000 rehabilitation tenements, over 70 per cent have building violations.

Sanjay Tandon, president of the local unit of the BJP, said, “I have been approached by CHB allottees. I will take up the issue with the CHB Chairman tomorrow. We will implement what we have promised in our manifesto.”

The notices have been issued even as the issue of allowing need-based changes in the CHB flats is under the consideration of the Chandigarh Administration. “Since the Punjab and Haryana High Court has restrained the CHB from removing the violations till need-based changes are approved, the board has now taken the course of issuing the notices. The nature of the violations is such that in many cases, demolishing would mean pulling down the entire structure,” said a UT official.

In the show-cause notices issued under the Capital of Punjab (Development and Regulation) Act, 1952, and the Haryana Housing Board Act, 1971, the allottees are being given three opportunities to appear before the Secretary or the Chief Executive Officer.

Rajat Malhaotra, secretary of the CHB Residents Welfare Federation, said the proposed need-based changes would solve only 10 per cent of the problem. “In the wake of the nature of violations, the relief is nothing. We have been demanding the regularisation of the structures within the boundary line and within the skyline and giving ownership rights to the occupants of EWS houses,” he said.

No decision on need-based changes

The Chandigarh Administration has not been able to take a decision on the implementation of the 40 need-based changes in dwelling units of the Chandigarh Housing Board, notified three years ago. The allottees were given six months to submit their revised building plans along with the violations. However, since the UT is not ready with the approved drawings, the applications of the allottees were kept pending.

‘Will try to meet Minister’

Over the years, the UT has not understood the problem of the allottees. We are trying to meet the Union Home Minister over the issue and are examining legal options. — Rajat Malhaotra, secretary, CHB Residents Welfare Federation



Police identify murder victim
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
Four days after a man was found murdered, the police have identified the deceased as Ram Kishan (42) of Mandi Gobindgarh. His body was handed over to his family members after a postmortem examination today.

The postmortem, which was conducted at the GMSH, Sector 16, hinted that Ram Kishan was assaulted badly, which led to his death. The body was recovered from the Sector 18/19/20/21 roundabout on September 10. The deceased is survived by his wife and three children. He was residing separately in Chandigarh. He was a native of UP. The police said Ram Kishan was an alcoholic and had separated from his family. He was working as a labourer in Chandigarh for the past nine months. His younger brother, Markandey, was residing at Baadmajra village in Mohali. The police claimed that Ram Kishan was apparently murdered with the intention of robbery as they did not find any valuables on the body.



Firms come forward to help J&K flood-hit
Tribune News Service

The Chandigarh Group of Colleges, Jhanjeri, collects aid for the Jammu and Kashmir flood-hit; and (below) the Ladakh Students’ Association, Chandigarh, holds a candlelight march to raise funds for the victims, at Panjab University in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune Photographs

Chandigarh, September 14
Max India Foundation (MIF), the corporate social responsibility wing of the Max Group, has pledged to support flood-ravaged people of valley. Mohini Daljeet Singh, chief executive, Max India Foundation, has handed over cartons of essential medicines to Maj Gen Rajveer Singh, Commandant of Command Hospital, Chandimandir Cantonment, at Command Hospital today. The cartons contained drugs such as biodipine, azee, ciplox, combiflam and broad spectrum antibiotics, anti inflammatory drugs, pain killers, anti-diarrhoea tablets and syrups. Next week, the MIF will make similar contributions through the Army in Delhi.

Prabhandhak sangathan sends aid to J&K

Chandigarh Samooh Gurudwara Prabhandhak Sangathan (regd), Gurudwara, Sector 34, donated essential commodities for the victims of Jammu and Kashmir flood calamity. The committee donated 600 quintals of flour, 25 quintals of rice, 20 quintal dal, 150 kg sugar, 50 kg tea, 25 boxes of biscuits, 100 boxes of mineral water, 600 blankets and medicine boxes. The goods were sent via two IAF trucks.

DC seeks contributions from public

Mohammed Shayin, IAS, DC-cum-Chairman, Indian Red Cross Society, Chandigarh, UT Branch, appealed to the general public to donate for the flood victims of Jammu and Kashmir. Balbir Singh Dhol, PCS, secretary, UT Red Cross, today flagged-off 1,500 kgs of non-perishable items. Food was also provided to 500 flood-affected persons at Chandigarh.

TVS Motor Company to provide medical aid

TVS Motor Company, through its CSR arm, Srinivasan Services Trust, has tied up with Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute (SRMC & RI), to provide medical aid to the flood victims in Kashmir. The TVS Motor Company authorities said they would provide medical aid worth Rs 1 Crore. Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute will be sending 40 doctors and also medicines worth Rs 30 lakhs.

School collects eatables

Tiny-tots’ Foundation School took an initiative to raise food supply for the people who are stuck at Jammu and Kashmir. The school collected eatables such as biscuits, maggie and other packed food which can remain fresh for more than 10 days at least.



Coffee table book gives a peep into roles of UT police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
Educating the people regarding the working and achievements of the city police, the 99 -page Coffee table book of the Chandigarh Police, released earlier this month, encompasses various roles of the UT police ever since its inception.

With attractive illustrations, the book comprises a chapter on the history of the City Beautiful and Le Corbusier’s illustration alongwith a quote by Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru Independent’s, India first Prime Minister.

“Let this be a new town, symbolic of freedom of India unfettered by the traditions of the past... an expressions of the nation’s faith in the future.”

The book goes on to remarkably illustrate the architectural marvel of the city and how and when the foundation stone of the city was laid.

Section II of the book explains the history of the UT police, its reorganisation in November 1966 and the creation of the posts of the SSP and the IGP.

The section also contains the first FIR of the UT police, again beautifully illustrated, the march by women cops, police parade on Independence Day in 1983 and also shows the order copy of the creation of the Chandigarh police station. The book gives a peep into different uniforms of the police, the history of the Chandigarh Police Headquarters, competitive crime statements between 1966 and 2013 as well as organisational structure of the UT police.

The book also describes the role of various IGPs who have headed the force till date. The book also contains description of the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh on August 31, 1995, at the Secretariat Complex. The chapter contains pictures of the spot where the blast occurred and the copy of the FIR, all narrated well through illustrations.

Section III of the book explains how the Chandigarh Police is a fair and friendly force with a modern mobile police station. It also highlights the people-friendly initiatives of the UT police.

The book ends with a chapter- “training for the future” which explains how the UT police imparts top-class training to its recruits. The book also celebrates women power, sporting success and carries descriptions of the Chandigarh police week.



High profile cases
SITs have failed Panchkula police
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 14
The Panchkula police have been forming special investigating teams (SIT) for nearly every high- profile case that is registered in the city, leading to no result. In the last one year, four SITs have been formed in high profile cases and questions are being raised on their functioning as they have been mere eyewash.

In the the Jyoti murder case the SIT was headed by the then Deputy Commissioner of Police, Ashwin Shenvi, which failed to bring culprits to book, there are several victims in other cases who are still waiting for justice.

In the death of advocate Saman Dhanak, grandson of former Haryana Minister Amar Singh Dhanak in Morni on April 20, after the family alleged that their son was murdered a SIT headed by an ACP-level officer was constituted by the Commissioner of Police. Rajender Dhanak, Saman’s father, then met Haryana Director General of Police (DGP) SN Vashisht and got the case transferred to the crime branch as he said that the SIT was not investigating properly. Similarly in the PNB banker Ajay Sehgal’s abetment to suicide case in July this year where he held the circle head AK Gupta and field general manager JK Gupta responsible for his death in a suicide note, the case was transferred to Panchkula from GRP for speedy investigations. A SIT headed by ACP Poornima Singh was consitituted but no arrests have been made so far.

In the brawl case of cricketer Yuvraj Singh’s father, Yograj Singh, again a SIT was constituted but to no avail.



They are no ordinary thieves!

Students collect donation for the J&K flood victims at Post Graduate Government College, Sector 11, Chandigarh. Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari

Theft of car-tyres might come across as a trivial crime, but the thieves are not ordinary ones. A clipping of CCTV cameras, installed in the house of a Sector 69-based victim, revealed that the thieves came in a swanky SUV to steal tyres of his Innova car. The incident occurred during the intervening night of Friday and Saturday when the miscreants target two sedans in the same locality. The other car, they had targeted was a Ford Endeavour.

Power unexplored

No matter whether the student leaders at Panjab University remain in power (in student council) or not, protest appears to be the only medium for them to have their demands met. Within two days after being elected to power (having one member in the panel of student council), representatives of the Panjab University Student Union (PUSU) staged a protest outside the Vice-Chancellor’s office raising demands to increase the number of hostels on the campus. Before the elections, protests were the most preferred medium to exercise power by the student leaders. Even after their election to Panjab University Student Council, they could be seen restricted to protests.

Scare of trap

With the buzz going around in police circles that the CBI will lay at least four more traps before Diwali, the policemen are being very cautious these days. To add to their woes, the SSP (Traffic) also announced that the traffic police would be on vigil and they would also lay internal traps and conduct sting operations. The traffic police are remaining extra alert.

Demolition man

UT Deputy Commissioner Mohammed Shayin seems to have earned the tag of the ‘demolition man’ after carrying out three major drives in the last one year. Beginning with Colony No.5, over 300 acres of prime land had been freed from encroachment while attracting the ire of politicians.

(Contributed by Akash Ghai, Ritika Jha Palial, Aneesha Sareen and Rajmeet Singh)



Open House response
Ban sans alternatives the bane of commuters

From November 1, only CNG, LPG and battery-operated auto-rickshaws will be allowed to operate in the city. Chandigarh Tribune asked its readers if banning the entry of diesel-run autos was a wise decision, given the poor public transport system.

Make alternative arrangements

Diesel-run autos are a source of pollution. However, a ban on these vehicles calls for the arrangement of a large number of LPG, CNG and battery-operated auto-rickshaws for commuters.

Mili Mahajan, Kharar

Cannot rely on CTU buses

The UT Administration should make alternative arrangements before imposing a blanket ban on the entry of diesel-run autos. After extending the date, which at present is November 1, the administration should provide interest-free loans at soft payback terms to all the affected operators so that they can buy CNG, LPG or battery-operated autos. People cannot depend on the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking that provides an erratic service, skipping routes unannounced.

Prabhpreet Kaur, Mani Majra

Will lead to hike in fares

With the ban on diesel-run autos, there will be a scarcity of means of commuting, leading to a hike in fares. Moreover, diesel autos are bigger in size and can carry more passengers.

IPS Anand, Mani Majra

Strict implementation need of the hour

It is a welcome move. However, everything will come to naught if officials fail to check its implementation. The State Transport Authority has alleged links with transporters.

Sat Pal Kansal, Chandigarh

Spare three-wheelers having PUC certificate

There might be some autos that are being run illegally. However, drivers who have the pollution-under-check (PUC) certificate must be spared as this is the only source of livelihood for them and their family.

Pradyumn Gupta, Chandigarh

Better late than never

It took six years to implement the ban. The UT Transport Department had signed the agreement, which allowed only LPG, CNG and battery-operated autos to ply on city roads, with neighbouring states in 2008.

KC Rana, Chandigarh

Putting the cart before the horse

The new proposal will create more problems for commuters than solving them. Therefore, it must be reviewed. Instead, the traffic police should regular check the PUC certificates and challan the offenders.

SC Luthra, Mani Majra

Fix a time limit for converting autos

A time limit should be fixed for diesel-run autos to be switched to CNG, LPG or battery-operated vehicles. Also, more outlets where these autos are available must be opened, before imposing a ban.

Ujagar Singh, Chandigarh

Just a temporary solution

This is just a temporary solution. If the Administration is serious about it, it must dismantle all existing diesel auto-rickshaws that have been running for more than 10 years. The government must also think about installing pollution-reducing devices to three-wheelers.

Shishu Paul, Chandigarh

Enforce ban strictly

The ban must be enforced strictly. This will also create a level playing field for autos running on CNG and LPG.

Charanjiv Singh, Chandigarh

Run more CNG buses

The Administration along with governments of Punjab and Haryana can introduce more CNG buses to cater to the increasing load of commuters. Diesel-run autos can also be modified to run on LPG and CNG to keep the environment pollution-free.

Wg Cdr Jasbir Singh Minhas (retd), Mohali

Provide easy loans to affected auto operators

The Administration should launch a scheme to provide easy loans to auto operators. This will help them buy non-polluting three-wheelers and continue to earn bread and butter for their families.

Sukhpal Singh, Chandigarh

Much needed respite

The move comes as a blessing for the City Beautiful that is being choked with pollutants. Why diesel-run autos were even allowed to enter the city?

Sewak Banwait, Chandigarh

Commuters should not be at the receiving end

As the UT has announced a strict ban on the entry of diesel-run autos from Punjab and Haryana, commuters who travel by these vehicles will face a huge difficulty. The firms selling these autos should convert these into LPG or CNG-run three-wheelers, so that people are not at the receiving end.

Utkarsh Sharma, Mani Majra

A welcome move

It is a welcome move as it will help control pollution. At the same time, the number of LPG, CNG and battery-operated autos should be increased to make the life of commuters comfortable.

Priya Darsh Growar, Mohali

Decision being imposed in haste

The decision may be a good one, but it is being imposed in haste without considering the plight of commuters. Moreover, not only diesel autos but even other diesel-run vehicles should be banned from entering the city.

Sanjay Srivastava, Chandigarh

Strict action was must

The decision is in the interest of environment and public health. It is high time that we allow only non-polluting autos operate in the city. Enough time has been given to diesel-run auto operators to convert their vehicles to CNG, LPG or battery-run ones. Unless a strict action is taken, no one will listen.

Colonel RD Singh (retd), Ambala Cantt

Mass transit system needed

The decision is appreciable, but it will create problems for commuters. The UT and neighbouring states should introduce more local buses to ferry passengers from various points on the periphery. In the larger interest of people, the tricity authorities should introduce a mass transit system and encourage employees to carpool.

Ravinder Nath, Chandigarh

Public transport needs to be strengthened

The ban on diesel-run autos will make it very difficult for people to commute, especially in the morning and evening hours. The Chandigarh Administration should provide public transport services at affordable rates and at frequent intervals, covering various points in the city and its periphery.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Implement ban in phased manner

The ban will not only affect commuters due to inadequate public transport, but also render hundreds of auto-rickshaw operators, who cannot afford to convert their three-wheelers to non-polluting ones, jobless. The move should be implemented in phases. Diesel-run autos should be allowed to enter the city for six months, and thereafter continue to ply up to the Sector 43 ISBT till public transport service is strengthened.

Col BS Mathauda (retd), Mohali

A plethora of steps needed to control pollution

The Administration should make Bharat Stage-IV emission standards mandatory for all vehicles, including auto-rickshaws. Other steps that need to be taken include reduction in sulphur content in petrol and diesel, implementation of pollution norms, promotion of bypasses to avoid the entry of traffic in the city and strengthening of mass transport system.

Vikram Singh Saini, Mohali

Making City Beautiful commuter-friendly
Rajmeet Singh

The UT’s decision to ban the entry of diesel-run auto-rickshaws in the city is tantamount to putting the cart before the horse. Without putting in place an effective public transport system, the ban will leave commuters with little to choose from.

There is no denying the fact that smoke-billowing diesel autos add to the noise and air pollution. But the UT has failed to provide a public transport system that could take the load of commuters dependent on autos. The statistics speak for themselves. As per surveys conducted by RITES in 2008, the daily inter-city passenger traffic within the Chandigarh urban complex is 4.83 lakh trips. This includes trips by cars, two-wheelers and buses. As the state-run Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) with its inadequate fleet of buses caters to around 20 per cent of the commuters, the privately owned transport, be a four-wheeler or a three-wheeler, remains the preferred choice for commuting among residents.

Who is to blame for the state of affairs?

Call it lack of will to implement its own decisions or a lack of vision, the UT officials have over the past six years allowed diesel-run autos grow manifold. Today, around 10,000 such autos, registered in neighbouring towns of Mohali and Panchkula, run on city roads.

Sample this: The reciprocal inter-state agreement signed between Chandigarh and Punjab on June 4, 2008, clearly stated that only LPG, CNG and battery-operated auto-rickshaws with fare meters shall be allowed to ply between Chandigarh and Mohali after countersignatures by officials of both authorities. While other provisions of the agreement, such as allowing integral AC coaches of Punjab to run from Chandigarh to different parts of Punjab, were immediately allowed, the UT officials only made half-hearted efforts to enforce the provisions related to autos.

Though a majority of the autos registered in city were converted to LPG, the UT was not able to convince the neighbouring states to work jointly for shifting to friendly fuel for autos. Unless UT works jointly with Punjab and Haryana to convince diesel-run auto operators to shift to LPG and also make provisions for subsidies, there will be little headway.

At the same time, the final answer lies in adopting an effective public transport system on the model of countries such as Singapore where 65 per cent of commuters use public transport. By doing this, there will also be reduction in the level of air pollution and the number of private vehicles on city roads. The UT needs to work on a war footing to convert all autos to LPG or CNG and adopt different forms of mass rapid public transport system to make Chandigarh a commuter-friendly city. (*The writer is Chief City Reporter)



Deteriorating law and order situation worries FOSWAC members
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
The executive committee meeting of the Federation of Sector Welfare Associations of Chandigarh (FOSWAC) was held today at the Community Centre, Sector 8, under the chairmanship of Baljinder Singh Bittu. The chairman expressed his concerns regarding increasing crime and deteriorating law and order in Chandigarh.

Bittu emphasised that there was an increase in encroachments by various street vendors who did their business alongside roads, which obstructed the free flow of traffic which further led to accidents. “These vendors even obstruct the pathway and force the residents to walk on the road. The municipal corporation and the police authorities have failed to curb the menace”, he stated.

The issue of unauthorised eateries that have come up in various sectors during evening was also raised during the meeting.

The chief spokesperson of the federation, Hitesh Puri, told the house that the Chandigarh Housing Board should immediately withdraw the notices issued to the residents who have made need-based changes.

He criticised the Chandigarh Police for not checking the begging menace on the traffic light points.

Pardeep Chopra, a member of the federation, highlighted the poor functioning of the Garbage Plant. “There is a foul smell in the city when the plant is processing the garbage”, Chopra said.

He further added that the Chandigarh Pollution Department must check the air pollution caused by the garbage plant on a regular basis.



Training programme concludes

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) conducted a free pre-exam training for SC/ST and OBC candidates, in addition to the disabled students. The initiative has been taken for the upliftment of reserved and backward caste candidates. The training imparted to 113 students concluded at AAA-Bright Academy, Sector 15, on Sunday.

CMAs meet Finance Minister

The Cost and Management Accountant (CMA) Rakesh Bhalla, past chairman, NIRC, Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI), along with CMAs DS Grewal, GS Saini and Anil Sharma met the Finance Minister of Punjab, Parminder S Dhindsa, and discussed in details about the contribution of a Cost and Management Accountant in the growth and development of Punjab. Punjab government is in search of professionals who can help in enhancing revenue without increasing tax rates, the minister said.

Advanced motor oil launched

Shell Lubricants announced the launch of next generation motor oil, Shell Helix Ultra with Shell PurePlus Technology-the company’s most advanced motor oil ever, featuring base oil designed from natural gas.

Cadbury Glow to be launched in India

Mondelez India Foods Limited, announced the launch of its luxury chocolate gift offering, Cadbury Glow. Cadbury Glow is the new luxury gifting brand from Mondelez International and is being introduced first in India.

Finance school announces scholarships

Global Financial Education (GFE), a digital platform that provides financial education solutions to universities, schools, corporations, libraries and individuals, announced scholarships for Indian students. It is also offering discounts from 50 per cent to 70 per cent on all its courses from September 15 to 1 November. — TNS



Vanity numbers
RLA earns Rs 17.47 lakh from auction on Day 2
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
The fad for vanity numbers among the vehicle owners fetched Rs 17.47 lakh for the Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA) on the second day of the open auction for the numbers of CH 01 AZ series. The vehicle numbers from ‘0101’ to ‘9999’ were auctioned today.

Various numbers that attracted impressive bids included ‘1313’, which was auctioned for Rs 1.1 lakh against the reserve price of Rs 5,000.

The number ‘1111’ also fetched a relatively good amount from a Sector-35 resident buying the number for Rs 85,000.

The number ‘0123’ was auctioned for Rs 60,000 against the reserve price of Rs 5,000, while ‘0786’ went for Rs 50,000.

A total of 177 numbers were auctioned on the second day.

RLA Kashish Mittal said that the Department earned Rs 71.16 lakh by auctioning total 265 vanity numbers. The auction of numbers from ‘0001’ to ‘0099’ on day one had fetched Rs 53.69 lakh.

RLA officials said that the vehicle owners could buy the numbers of their choice by visiting the RLA office. “The numbers which are left can be picked up against the reserve price.



Leisure trip turns nightmare for Panchkula family
BJP leader and his family return home from J&K, were forced to take shelter at a university for six days
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 14
A BJP leader and his family spent six days in a classroom at Kashmir University due to the floods. Sanjay Ahuja, a resident of Sector 10, had gone for a leisure trip to Srinagar with his family, including two children. They reached their hotel near Dal Lake on September 6.

The family came back to Panchkula last evening.

Recalling the horrendous experience, Ahuja said, “We were sleeping in our room at the hotel, when we heard hotel staff asking the people to rush out as the water had seeped in on the premises. We did not know what to do. So, we just lifted our suitcases and rushed out of the hotel.”

The water level in the hotel had reached the third floor. People managed to come out and took shelter at the nearest venue, which was Kashmir University.

“I know how we spent our nights in the university. We took shelter in a classroom at the varsity. Hundreds of families had taken shelter there,” added Ahuja.

The family survived on tea, biscuits and bread. People just had one blanket to ward off the cold.

“My children kept asking me as to why we were sitting in a closed classroom but I had no answer,” said Amita Ahuja, Sanjay’s wife.

Shanti yagya at Mansa Devi Temple

Meanwhile, a shanti yagya was organised by a few BJP members at Mansa Devi Temple for all those who lost their lives in the Jammu and Kashmir floods.



Suicide: Parents identify deceased couple
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, September 14
A young couple, who had jumped to death before a moving train on the Kalka-Ambala Railway lines in Gajipur Sanian village on Saturday evening, were identified as residents of Dhanas village in Chandigarh here today.

Rashpal Singh, in charge, Government Railway Police (GRP), said parents of the couple reached the Dera Bassi hospital and identified their children. The boy has been identified as Laalu (18) while the girl has been identified as Pooja (17). They were in a relationship and wanted to marry against their parents’ wishes, said Singh.

Kaalu, father of the boy, and Maan Singh, father of the girl, along with their relatives had reached the hospital after receiving the information, the police said.

The couple committed suicide by jumping before a train in Gajipur Sanian village near here on Saturday late evening.



Admission to medical institutes
MCI introduces online monitoring system
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
In order to bring in transparency in admission to medical colleges and institutions, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has introduced an online monitoring system where all government and private colleges have been instructed to provide the details of all vacant and filled seats.

The MCI has also set fixed criteria and date for admission to the MBBS course.

The circular issued by the Medical Council of India states that the initiative has been taken to ensure faithful adherence to the norms of admission laid down in the regulations and promote transparency and accountability in the medical education.

As per the circular, all medical colleges are required to ensure that admissions to the courses of the medicine fall within the purview of the Indian Medical Council Act - 1956. The admissions are strictly in accordance with the merit and are made in a transparent and fair manner as envisaged in the regulations. Any violation will lead to discharge of the student concerned from the courses and such action will be taken against the medical college/institution concerned as per the law.

All medical colleges and institutes have been instructed to submit the admission details latest by October 7, beyond which the colleges/institutes would not be allowed to enter the details of the students into the entry system for this current academic year. Non-receipt of the information within the stipulated time would reflect on the recommendation to be made by the council to the Central Government for grant of permission/recognition to the colleges/institutions for that academic year and or subsequent academic years.

While welcoming the move of the Medical Council of India, local academician and PMT trainer Arvind Goyal said: “The move will bring in more transparency in the MBBS admissions. It is absolutely mandatory that only meritorious students and those with some defined academic standards should be taken in for admissions to medical colleges.”

He said the MCI should definitely have good control over the standards of medical college admissions both in government and private colleges. The Medical Council of India should also put a cap on the tuition fee for the MBBS course in private medical colleges.



Demolition drive
Good news for Madrasi Colony students
To get special chance to appear for first semester examinations
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
Even in the unfolding tragedy of a demolition drive at Madrasi Colony, there is something to cheer for 11-year-old Kajal and several other schoolchildren like her who had missed their first semester examinations during the demolition drive on Friday. Education Secretary Sarvjit Singh has decided to conduct special examination for all affected students.

There is a ray of hope for students who had thought that their future had been put at stake after their houses were razed to ground.

The Education Secretary said: “We will make the best possible efforts to get the affected students back to schools and ensure that there are no dropouts.”

He said all affected students would be accommodated in the neighbouring areas wherever they have shifted.

During the demolition drive, government schoolchildren had whined that they had missed their examinations in order to help their family members in collecting valuables and making every possible effort to save their houses.

Kajal, a meritorious student of Government Model High School (P), Sector 26, was still trying to retrieve her valuables from the debris. The news of getting back to school came as a breather for her today.

Kajal said: “Me and my siblings are not sure whether we will be able to continue our studies or not. Our family is still searching for a roof.”

Though a few families having failed to find any rented accommodation moved back to their villages, there are many who continue to spend their nights in the open. They can be seen selling off bricks of their demolished houses to earn livelihood.



From Schools
Honour for Chandigarh school

In the Annual Education World India School Rankings, Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, Sector 26, Chandigarh, has been ranked No. 6 in the category of “India’s Most Preferred Girls Day Schools”. The school was ranked No. 2 in the state ranking. On the occasion, Principal Sister Nisha Lobo said: “The school has put sustained efforts to ensure that the girls receive world-class education. The students excel not only in academics but also in sports and extra-curricular activities. They are nurtured to develop into sensitive and socially aware citizens”. She said the school was actively involved with the local community in Chandigarh with students engaged in several social service projects.

Art and craft exhibition

Saupin’s School, Sector 70, Mohali, organised an art and craft exhibition on its premises. The entire room came to life with a kaleidoscope of various colours. The creative and neat orderliness display of beautiful handmade craft items left the onlookers spellbound. Paper-quilling jewellery, nameplates, pots, glass painting and designs on a glass were put on display. The hard work and dedication with which the exhibits were made was quite evident. Parents appreciated the creativity of the children. The Electronic Club was also part of the exhibition.

Eye check-up camp

An eye check-up camp was organised at Shemrock Wonders Preschool, Kharar. It was organised in association with Grewal Eye Institute, Chandigarh. The camp was an initiative of the “schoolchildren vision screening campaign” to spread awareness about eye care. During the camp, the students were told how to take care of their eyes everyday and to avoid watching too much television and playing games on computers or I-Pads. The school authorities said: “The camp was held in the school to ensure good health and hygiene for the children so that we get healthy and fit citizens for the future”. — TNS



Arts & heritage festival ends on a high note
Tribune News Service

Students of various colleges take part in a heritage walk in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, September 14
The concluding day of the 6th Chandigarh Arts and Heritage Festival witnessed a scintillating performance by danseuse Purvadhanashree from Hyderabad at Tagore Theatre here today.

In her rendition, the artiste presented three choreography compositions. She began her performance with “Vinayak Prathanka”, wherein she paid tributes to Lord Ganesha. Followed by a remarkable piece, Purvadhanashree performed “Shlok Pushpanjli”. Her concluding act, “Jathi Swaram”, was a pure dance form without emphasis on expression.

The highlight of the evening remained “Varnamam”, which was a combination of expression and pure dance. It was based on “Raag Bairaag” of Karnataka. The piece was beautifully choreographed and dedicated to Lord Shiva.

The last act for the festival “Pallaki Sewa” was based on “Raag Kuranji” and “Taal Adi”. It depicted the celebration time where in all devotees enjoy the “pallaki” ride while carrying their lord.

To mark the celebrations, a prize distribution ceremony was held. Winners of on-the-spot painting competition were awarded. Nearly 60 students took part in the competition.

At the concluding function, Bhawna Garg, Secretary, Culture, UT, said: “The 6th edition of the Chandigarh Arts and Heritage Festival was very successful. The festival received a tremendous response from the people of the tricity on all five days as art lovers poured in a large number and enjoyed the beautiful performances thoroughly.”

To mark the celebrations, a Heritage Walk was also organised from the College of Architecture, Sector 12, to Government Museum and Arts Gallery, Sector 10, here.



Over 450 students attend Canadian education fair
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
As many as 25 Canadian colleges and universities converged to participate in the ‘Study in Canada Mega Education Fair’ here today. Over 450 students from across the city visited the fair to explore graduation courses available in Canada.

Rahul Paitka, MD, Charms Education & Immigration Services Private Limited, said: “Most of the students have registered for a variety of courses. We will provide admission and visa guidance to them.”

Krista Pearson, Registrar, International Sault College, Marie (Ontario), said: “With new rules taking effect, now there is a provision for students to work off-campus for 20 hours a week. We at International Sault College also offer on-campus work opportunities as this makes it easier for Indian students as they do not have to go out of the campus to work after study hours.”



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