C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Chinks widen in BJP
Leader of oppn in MC says party for council; MP refuses comment
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
It seems the differences between the local BJP unit and MP Kirron Kher are far from over.

Now, the BJP leader of the opposition in the Municipal Corporation, Arun Sood, has expressed his views over the formation of a metropolitan council, which are completely different from Kirron’s point of view, who is against the formation of any such council for the city.

Kirron had recently opposed the proposal to set up a metropolitan council for Chandigarh.

At the House meeting today, Arun Sood said the party was in favour of a metropolitan council or a Mayor-in-council.

“The party is committed to bringing a change in the present democratic system in the city. The decision was taken at the state executive committee meeting of the BJP. In the coming days, I will also bring a resolution in the MC House for the formation of a metropolitan council or a Mayor-in-council for the city,” Sood said.

On differences of opinion in the BJP, Sood said there could be different views on issues, but there were no differences in the party.

Kirron Kher refused to comment on the issue.

Kirron Kher,BJP president Sanjay Tandon, senior BJP leader and former MP Satya Pal Jain and former Union Minister and senior BJP leader Harmohan Dhawan also differ with the MP on the metropolitan council issue.

The demand for a metropolitan council was raised at a recent meeting of the BJP executive committee by councillor Satinder Singh. He said it could be set up under the 74th amendment to the Constitution.

Bansal first proposed council: Councillor

Congress councillor Mukesh Bassi said the proposal to form a metropolitan council or a Mayor-in-council was first proposed by former MP Pawan Kumar Bansal. Though BJP leaders were now fighting over the formation of a council, Bansal had started the process to form a council during his tenure as an MP, Bassi said.

Cong has a dig at BJP

While BJP leader of the opposition in the MC Arun Sood was proposing a metropolitan council, Congress councillor Pardeep Chhabra stopped him and said the BJP should first convince its MP Kirron Kher over the issue and only then talk on the issue in the House. Chhabra said Kirron had opposed the formation of a metropolitan council. 



Civic body rejects water tariff hike proposal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Providing a relief to city residents, the Municipal Corporation rejected the water tariff hike proposal at a meeting of the House today.

With the demand for water in the city rising, the MC had felt the need to revise the water tariff to ensure that there was no wastage of water. The public health wing of the MC had prepared a revised tariff plan, which was to affect residents using more than 60 kilolitre (kl) of water.

At present, residents pay Rs 8 per kl for 60 to 80 kl of water. The MC had proposed to increase the charges from Rs 8 per kl to Rs 25 per kl under this category. Similarly, under the above 80 kl category, the MC had proposed to hike the charges from Rs 8 per kl to Rs 40 per kl.

The northern sectors in the city use more water than the southern sectors. The northern sectors use over 1,000 litres of water per person against the national norm of 135 litres per day.



Circular creates confusion
Govt teachers, students told to attend school on Oct 2
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
A circular issued by the Education Department today stating that government schoolteachers, students, NSS volunteers, NCC cades and Bharat Scouts and Guides would have to attend schools to take the “Swachhta pledge” on Gandhi Jayanti has raised the hackles of educationists and students.

The pledge is part of the Swachh Bharat, Swachh Vidyalaya campaign launched by the Ministry of Human Resource Development. In the circular, the department has issued instructions to all schools, proposing an action plan to mark the awareness campaign from September 25 to October 31.

The circular has created confusion among school heads as there is no mention whether the pledge is voluntary or not and the time period for which students are supposed to be in the school.

The department has proposed an action plan under which on October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti), all teachers and students would take the Swachhta pledge.

A school Principal said on condition of anonymity, “Since we will be dedicating an entire month to the campaign, making students and teachers work on a national holiday is not fair.”

DPI (S) Kamlesh Kumar said, “The campaign has been launched as a welfare initiative to involve more students. It is voluntary for them. It is not compulsory to keep schools open on October 2.” 



MC’s casual approach to the fore
Starts drive from posh Sector 2 instead of southern sectors
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
The seriousness of the Municipal Corporation (MC) to launch Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Swachh Bharat” campaign can be gauged from the fact that the MC chose the well maintained Sector 2 instead of neglected southern sectors and colonies to start this campaign.

Mayor HC Kalyan, Senior Deputy Mayor Hira Negi, Leader of Opposition Arun Sood, BJP councillor Asha Jaiswal, SAD councillor Harjinder Kaur, Joint Commissioner Rajiv Gupta, Chief Engineer Mukesh Anand and other MC officials today launched the campaign by cleaning a road of Sector 2 with broom, which was already well maintained and clean.

Whereas heaps of garbage can be easily witnessed in southern sectors and colonies. The councillors and officials only posed for photojournalists to get the publicity.

Mayor Harphool Kalyan said this drive would continue till October 25.

Mayor appealed to all citizens of the city to participate in the campaign. He said the objective of the campaign was to achieve the vision of the National Urban Sanitation Policy which was “all Indian cities and towns become totally sanitized, healthy and livable”.

He said to effectively observe the campaign, the Municipal Corporation would organise focused programmes like local/ward level awareness programmes, media campaigns and art/literacy competitions.

UT babus sit over letter from the Centre

In Thursday’s MC house meeting, councillors alleged that the Centre had sent a letter to the UT to start the campaign, on September 3. But the MC Councillors were only informedon Wednesday about the programme. They questioned as to why the UT officials were sitting over the letter from the Centre and decided the entire campaign on their own.

UT also starts campaign

The campaign was also launched by the UT by declaring the celebration of the “Swachh Panchayat Week”. Launching the programme in rural areas, MP Kirron Kher and Adviser KK Sharma flagged off five new dumper placer trucks for the purpose of garbage collection. 



Councillors justify expenditure on study tour
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Cutting across party lines, councillors, who had gone on a study tour that had generated a buzz for overshooting the sanctioned expenditure as family members of several councillors joined the trip, today justified the expenditure from the public exchequer on the tour.

Meanwhile, questions raised by BJP Councillor Satinder Singh and BSP councillor Jannat Jahan Ul Haq over the wastage of public money on such tours remained unanswered as the councillors and officials, who had gone on study tour, did not submit their report to the MC.

The debate on study tour continued for nearly three hours in the house meeting today. BJP Councillor Satinder Singh once again raised the question as to why the MC was running away from giving a reply to queries raised by him in connection with the study tour.

Singh questioned that for the last six months the MC had failed to pass Rs 85,000 for the construction of road gullies in his ward and installation of six air conditioners at the community centre, Sector 27. The money was pending from nearly eight months but when it came to passing the fund for the study tour, the MC officials took decision in no time. He asked, “Why were the MC officials in a hurry,” Satinder Singh questioned.

To defend the MC and themselves on the issue, BJP councillors Arun Sood, Asha Jaiswal, Saurabh Joshi, SAD councillor Harjinder Kaur and Congress Councillor Subhash Chawla spoke in favour of the study tour.

BJP Councillor Arun Sood said he bore all expenses of food, travel and stay of his family members. Similarly, another BJP councillor Asha Jaiswal said her daughter’s friend, who also went along with her on the tour, was the daughter of her ‘god brother’. She also submitted that there was no wastage of public money and she along with all the MC councillors bore the expenses of their family members.

Congress councillor Subhash Chawla submitted that there was no harm in going on such study tours as it broadened the vision of the MC councillors.

The MC has spent Rs 28 lakh on the tour, which was scheduled from August 31 to September 9, to Port Blair, Chennai and Kolkata.

Tour ‘well planned’: Nominated councillor

Nominated Councillor DS Sandhu on Thursday levelled allegations against MC officials and councillors, who were part of the study tour and the tour which was ‘well planned’. To save them from audit objection, legal objection and the UT’s query, the MC took along Chief Auditor RS Kang, Law Officer Ashok Gautam and Joint Secretary Local Bodies Department MM Sabharwal. So the tour was very ‘well planned’ to save themselves from any future problem, Sandhu alleged in during the meeting.

Blame media for negative publicity

To present their clean image, the councillors who were part of the study tour, blamed the media for negative publicity.

Unanswered questions of BJP councillor

* Under what head and scheme the permission of the study tour was applied and granted?

* Who are officially authorised to go

* What procedure was adopted for the allotment of contract to the travel agency

* Details spent on travelling, lodging and boarding, food expenses etc. incurred on the present tour.

* Details of places visited, elected representative, including officers, they met, and the project seen by the councillors and officers.


Kambala village sans potable water for month; residents harassed
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 25
Lalita Devi, a resident of Kambala village, has been spending sleepless nights. Reason: Her days and nights are being spent in fetching water for her family of 10 persons from here and there.

Taps in the village have been running dry due to suspended water supply for the past around one month. The life of residents of the village has become a hell. The village is located on the border of Mohali.

“Like other residents of the village, I have to cover around 300-m distance to fetch water from a resident’s house. He has a submersible pump so most of the residents go to his house to get water daily,” said Lalita Devi.

The story of other women of the village is no different.

“Many of us even can’t take a bath everyday. Several times, we have to go to our relatives’ houses in Phase XI, Mohali, which is around two km from our house, to get water,” lamented Rani, another woman.

She added that days and nights of most of the residents were being spent in arranging water.

Dr Jasdeepak Singh, who has his ancestral house in the village, said there were several wells and hand pumps in the village but the water was not potable.

“However, people are forced to use and even drink from these wells and hand pumps, exposing themselves to water-borne diseases,” said Dr Jasdeepak Singh.

Village sarpanch Jagir Singh said they had made complaints in this regard to the authorities several times, but in vain.

“We got only false assurances so far,” alleged Jagir Singh.

SS Pandher, executive engineer, Water Supply Department, said the motor of tube well, through which the water to the village was being supplied, had developed some snag.

“We have installed a new motor also, but it has also developed some snag. However, the supply will be resumed in a day or two,” said Pandher.



No passes at Mansa Devi temple, but ‘special arrangements’ for VIPs 
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 25
Chaos prevailed at the Mansa Devi temple on the first day of Navratras as devotees were seen exchanging heated arguments with the police to allow special entries to VIPs kin as VIP passes have been done away with. Interestingly there were no VIP passes but the administration had made good arrangements for the ‘VIPs’.

The road in front of the Mansa Devi police station was blocked and kept open only for the VIPs. Even those residents who had their house in Sector 4 were being troubled by the police at the nakas saying the road was ‘booked’ for the VIPs. City Magistrate Radhika Sharma said, “I will definitely look into the matter.”

The policemen were also seen accompanying the kin of the VIPs to into the temple.

“Not issuing VIP passes is mere eyewash. I saw policemen getting kin of VIPs in government vehicles and then breaking the queue,” said Rashmi Khanna, a devotee. Yashpal Singh (65), a physically challenged devotee, said, “I requested the police officials to let me enter because of my condition. But I wasn’t allowed.”

The administration had said that no VIP passes would be issued this time so that there was no chaos.

Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki presided over the havan on the first day today. Deputy Commissioner SS Phulia and Additional Deputy Commissioner SP Arora were among those present. 

Over 40,000 devotees throng temple

Over 40,000 devotees thronged the Mansa Devi temple on Thursday. cash donation amounting to ~9.55 lakh was received on the first day of the Navratras.In foreign currency, five American dollars, two gold items and 45 silver items were donated at the temple by the devotees.This time, no cultural programmes are being organised due to code of conduct. 



PGI faculty begins protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Lack of operation theatres, resulting in long waiting lists for surgeries, pending promotions and lack of house facilities drove the PGIMER faculty to begin a silent protest against the authorities.While there was no suspension of work, the doctors expressed their resentment wearing black badges all day.

A general body meeting of the Faculty Association of PGIMER, was held on August 26 to discuss the issues of promotions, availability of operation theatres, emergency complex functioning, housing, parking in the institute, departmental functioning, allowances, and various other issues.

“The faculty members were extremely aggrieved regarding the dilly-dallying of the administration in carrying out even the simple day-to-day affairs of the faculty,” the members said.

The general body had decided that that the administration be given time till September 15 to resolve these issues. A protest march will also be organised by the doctors on October 6.

However, due to the natural calamity in Jammu Kashmir, the executive committee of the faculty association had decided to give the Administration some more time to complete the formalities as the Ministry of Health was busy in solving the problems related to Jammu & Kashmir.



10 godowns sealed in village
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
The UT Land Acquisition Collector (LAC) today sealed at least 10 godowns and commercial establishments in Daria village, attracting protests from stakeholders.

Structures had been raised in violation to the Periphery Control Act. The staff of LAC had to seal the premises by putting chains as the owners of the structures has removed the entry gates to pre empt the move by the UT Administration. The structures, including a shopping complex and a hotel, had been raised without seeking permission from the office of the LAC.

Though the drive began at 7.30 am, Gurpreet Singh, sarpanch of Daria village and Ramvir Bhatti, BJP leaders, along with other residents gathered at the spot in protest. In the last few years, the UT has been regularly issuing notices to the violators before carrying out demolitions in Daria village as illegal structures are regularly being raised on agricultural land. The stakeholders called upon the DC to submit their grievance.

Local BJP president Sanjay Tandon said he had taken up the matter with the UT Adviser, KK Sharma, the Deputy Commissioner, Mohammed Shayin, before taking up the matter with the Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh.

Tandon demanded that till the jurisdiction of the lal dora in the villages was not increased and the rules framed, the UT should not carry out sealings and demolitions.



GMADA’s cars, bank account attached
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 25
The Permanent Lok Adalat (Public Utility Services), headed by Jagroop Singh Mahal, has ordered the attachment of cars and bank account of the GMADA to compel it to comply with its orders. The warrant of attachment has been issued for October 9.

According to the details, when the GMADA widened the road between Sectors 54 and 55 (Phases I and II), Mohali, the footpath adjoining the road was dismantled.

CL Pawar of House No. 599, Phase II, filed an application before the Adalat alleging that the public was facing difficulties for want of the footpath and lives of pedestrians were in danger of being run over by vehicles. He demanded that the GMADA be directed to construct the footpath.

A notice was issued to the GMADA and its representative stated that they would reconstruct the footpath within six months. The Adalat’s orders dated May 20, 2013, directed the GMADA to reconstruct the footpath.

The GMADA started constructing the footpath but a portion adjoining House No. 655, Phase I, was not constructed as it was encroached by the owner. The encroachment was removed and tiles were laid on the footpath. But again, the GMADA constructed a toe wall and affixed a railing thereon, allegedly at the owner’s request to protect his house from accidents.

An execution application was moved that the orders dated May 20, 2013, had not been complied with, that the executing staff were in connivance with the owner of the said house, that entry to the footpath had been blocked by raising a wall and affixing a railing along the road and the same was being used by the owner for his personal use.

The GMADA’s contention was that the footpath had been constructed, that the toe-wall and railing had been constructed on the request of the owner and the House Owners Welfare Association to protect the house which was at a T-point. These contentions were disputed by the applicant.

The Adalat held that since the wall earlier raised by the owner was held to be illegal, so the wall and railing now raised by the GMADA could not be said to be proper. It was found that the GMADA had not raised the wall or railing to protect any other house at the T-point point and that the EO was not competent to order raising of the wall and railing by spending public money. Otherwise also the toe-wall was constructed without the EO's orders.

The bill submitted by GMADA showed the work had been completed on November 22, 2013, and the orders were made by the EO on November 29, 2013. It appeared to have been made only to justify the work already done. It appeared that the executing staff were conniving with the owner to raise the wall and railing even before the EO passed such orders. Moreover, some portion of the footpath still remained to be brick paved and it was, therefore, held that the order dated May 20, 2013, had not been complied with.

It was under these circumstances that the property of GMADA was ordered to be attached. 



Women attend talk on heart diseases
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 25
Over 50 women from different walks of life attended a special event, ‘Go Red for Women’, to mark World Heart Day at Fortis Hospital, here, today.

Talking on ‘heart, health and women’, RK Jaswal, director, cardiology, Fortis Hospital, said women were at a greater risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) than men.

“The women needed to make lifestyle modifications to alter their risk profile,” said Dr Jaswal.

As per the WHO figures, over 8.6 million women globally die due to heart diseases and 36 per cent of these women are from India.

“About 30 minutes of exercise a day and a healthy diet can increase your lifespan”, said the doctor.



Food street to be auctioned

Chandigarh, September 25
The municipal corporation today decided to auction kiosks in the Sector 48 food street. The decision was taken in the MC House meeting with some amendments. The reserve price of these shops was reduced from Rs 50,000 to Rs 20,000 and sealed bids would be invited. 

Besides, now two shops will be merged into one and there will be three kiosks instead of six. Deputy Mayor and area councillor Davesh Moudgil said the night food street would be open from 7 am to 10 pm and bring relief to the residents of the southern sectors of Chandigarh, especially those living in group housing societies of Sector 48, 49, 50 and 51, he said. — TNS



Spicejet flight delayed

Chandigarh, September 25
Passengers boarding the Chandigarh-Delhi Spicejet flight (SG 2414) were inconvenienced when the flight failed to take off from Chandigarh airport due to a technical today.

The flight which was scheduled to take off at 9.45 am was delayed till the evening however, the passengers were adjusted in other flights. “Since there was a technical snag, so the flight failed to take off from the airport. The fault was repaired later in the evening. “The passengers were given immediate assistance,” said a spokesperson of Spicejet Airways. On other hand, the passengers alleged, they were kept in dark for almost an hour. — TNS



Digitise govt depts, demand industrialists
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
During a live viewing session of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ session from Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, industry associates from the region raised a number of issues that needed to be addressed to implement the programme here.

They demanded single-window clearances, with effective coordination between the Centre and states, and digitisation of all departments of the government with electronic filing and fulfilment of procedures and credit extension.

Indicating that the “Make in India” campaign is all set to put India on the growth trajectory, the industrialists, academicians, economic analysts present during the live viewing session of the programme, welcomed Modi’s vision of boosting the manufacturing sector.

The session was organised by FICCI in partnership with the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Chandigarh.

Stressing that the administrations should remain open to resolve difficulties, KK Sharma, UT Adviser, said “With the best of entrepreneurship coupled with the best of educational institutes for skill development, Chandigarh and the region has huge potential.”



Ramlila committees battle inflation demon
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
A steep hike in the cost of various inputs, including hiring of professional artistes (Rs 3.5 lakh), costumes designed in Delhi (Rs 1.4 lakh), stage sets (Rs 3 lakh) and speakers (Rs 60,000), needed for staging the Ramlila has lead to an additional financial burden on the organisers across the city. The organisers say their budget has almost doubled as compared to last year.

Till last year, the cost of costume per set was Rs 2,500, which has escalated to Rs 3,500; the stage sets, which used to cost Rs 1.5 lakh, now cost Rs 3 lakh, while the cost of hiring professionals has also mounted.

For the past couple of days, the organisers are having a tough time collecting funds.

With technology taking centre stage, the traditional tale of good vs evil has turned into a grand festivity, with no group leaving any stone unturned to tap the interests of larger audiences.

The competition to give the audience a larger-than-life feel of the epic tale has made some of the organisers spend over Rs 11 to 12 lakh.

Rohit Sharma, vice-chairman of the National Ajad Dramatic Club, Mani Majra, said, “Our budget has increased from Rs 9 lakh last year to Rs 11 lakh this year, as the cost of all inputs has risen sharply. The stage alone will cost us over Rs 3.5 lakh.”

Dharmpal Bansal, president of the Ramlila committee, Sector 27, said, “For hiring professional artistes from Mathura, we have spent nearly Rs 3.5 lakh. Besides, our daily expenses, including those on labour and transport for artistes, have increased manifold.”

Mukesh Sharma, director of the Garhwal Ramlila Committee, Sector 28, said, “Our budget has doubled this year. For the tent, we are spending over Rs 60,000 while for the light and sound system, we are spending around Rs 50,000.”

Sharma said, “Until last year, we used to spend between Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000 on our costumes, whereas this year we are spending over Rs 30,000.”

“We are trying our best to be technically sound, but it’s difficult to come up to the expectations of the people as modern technology is very expensive,” he said.

Organisers claimed that inflation had affected them adversely. Their only source to meet the expenses was door-to-door collections.

Assistant director of the Sector 17 Parade Ground Ramlila, Rajinder Bagga claimed that this year, even their group had to bear the brunt of high inflation.

Bagga, whose family has been associated with the Ramlila for the past 25 years, said, “Due to high inflation, and technology taking centre stage, Ramlila is losing its ‘ceremonial flavour’. A lot of money is spent on setting up the stage and trying to give the backdrop a more realistic look.”

Costly affair

Items Last year This year

Costumes Per set : Rs 2,500 Rs 3,500

Light and sound:  Rs 1,20,000 Rs 2,50,000



Culinary development workshop concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
The culinary development workshop, under the management development programme, concluded today.

It was organised and hosted by the Dr Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management, Catering and Nutrition in association with the Indian Culinary Forum (ICF) and the Indian Federation of Culinary Association. Chef Jitender Uppal, joint secretary, Indian Culinary Forum, and a distinguished chef from the gastronomic world, had embellished the event by his presence as the chief guest for the valedictory ceremony.

Chef Vinod Bhatti, executive chef, American Embassy (ASCA), and also an active member of the ICF, has been gratifying the palates of different populace over a decade. He is a renowned chef possessing varied international exposure and has vast knowledge of international cuisines.

The exquisite and mouth-watering dishes presented by Chef Vinod Bhatti were crispy tortilla chicken with chipotle sauce, nacho chips with salsa, pineapple roasted vegetables, taco salad, quesadilla chicken cheese and vegetable, ranch style egg and in the dessert corn muffin churros.

“In order to make authentic dishes, one needs to use authentic spices and ingredients and proper marination,” said Chef Vinod Bhatti.

“The cuisine of a country is the only exact attestation of its civilisation,” said Principal Bharti Tyagi.



Complainant faced 15 departmental inquiries: Defence counsel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Continuing with the cross examination of Inspector Anokh Singh, the SHO of the Sector 26 police station, on the resumed hearing of the case involving SP Deshraj Singh as the accused today, the defence counsel stated that the SHO faced as many as 15 departmental inquiries in his tenure.

Putting forth the departmental inquiries before the court, advocate Vishal Garg Nirwana stated that the inquiries had been conducted by different officers over the years. The defence pointed out that it wa thus clear that the Inspector got the SP trapped in the bribe case as he had a ‘score to settle’ with the accused.Inspector Anokh Singh is the CBI’s complainant in the case.The case has now been adjourned to October 9.

During the previous hearing of the case, Inspector Anokh Singh admitted that CBI Inspector Balbir Singh was his good friend and he met him on the day of trap.

The CBI had arrested SP Desraj Singh on October 18, 2012, while accepting Rs 1 lakh bribe from Anokh Singh for clearing him in the departmental inquiries against him.



Panchkula, Kalka Votes 2014
On first Navratra, 5 file nomination
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 25
The onset of Navratras marked the first day of filing of nomination papers for the Panchkula Assembly seat. Five candidates filed their nominations at the SDM office in Mini-secretariat here today.

Gian Chand Gupta, who is contesting the seat on the BJP ticket, reached the venue with a pomp and show.

SDM Hema Sharma, who is the returning officer, said Rakesh Gill, Vijay Singh and Jagdeep Sharma filed their nomination papers as independent candidates while Maam Chand filed his nomination papers as the Bharat Communist Party candidate.

Accompanied by the party’s state president Ram Bilas Sharma, Gupta took out a roadshow in the city. The cavalcade, including hundred of supporters on cars, scooters and motorcycles carrying BJP flags and shouting slogans in support of Gupta, reached the Mini-Secretariat. Ambala MP Rattan Lal Kataria and BJP Chandigarh unit president Sanjay Tandon were part of the roadshow.

In his address to the party workers, Gupta said from today, the party would intensify its campaign. He appealed to them not to get misled by money power which some candidates were allegedly using in the elections, adding that the BJP was much stronger than the money power and would form a government in Haryana.

Among other prominent leaders present were district BJP chief Vishal Seth, Sham Lal Bansal, VK Sood, Rekha Sharma, BB Singhal, Neelam Awasthi, Deputy Mayor Sunil Talwar, councillors CB Goel and Ravi Kant Swami, Randhir Saini, Pramod Singla, Parmod Bindal and Vikas Paul.

Ruckus at Mini-secretariat

Before Gupta was to file the nominations, his supporters had already reached the venue. Huge police force was present. Barricading was done from the court premises itself. Supporters were seen violating Section 144 in force in the area. Cops and supporters were seeing exchanging heated arguments over the number of workers that would accompany Gupta while filing his nomination papers. 

INLD, Congress nominations today

Indian National Lok Dal candidate Kulbushan Goel and Panchkula MLA DK Bansal, who is contesting the Panchkula seat on the Congress ticket, will file their nominations on Friday.



BJP candidate does not own a car
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 25
BJP candidate Gian Chand Gupta has grown richer as compared to the assets he had declared during the last Vidhan Sabha elections.

In 2009 elections, Gupta had declared assets worth Rs 5 crore. The BJP candidate declared his current assets in the nomination papers filed today. He has two showrooms in Chandigarh, worth about Rs 5 crore.

A gross total value of his movable assets is Rs 62.94 lakh while that of his wife is Rs 32.36 lakh. The amounts not only include savings and deposits in various bank accounts, and jewellery but also the 50 per cent share (Rs 13.77 lakh) in the Ram Flour Mills, Chandigarh.

However, Gupta does not own a car.

In the immovable assets, Gupta has 50 per cent share (worth Rs 1.75 crore) in a piece of land in Lalru and 25 per cent share in another plot. The house in Sector 17 where Gupta resides is in his wife Bimla Devi's name and is worth Rs 4 crore.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Gupta said, "The market value of properties increases over the years." 

Assets declared

Gian Chand Gupta

Movable assets: Rs 62.94 lakh

Immovable assets: Rs 6.57 cr

Bimla Devi (wife)

Movable assets: Rs 32.36 lakh

Immovable assets: Rs 4.30 cr

Poll facts

* In the Vidhan Sabha elections-2004, Chander Mohan was the richest candidate for the Panchkula seat with assets worth Rs 5.17 crore. In the 2009 Vidhan Sabha elections, Gian Chand Gupta was the richest candidate.

* In 1997, Gian Chand Gupta was elected as the second mayor of Chandigarh. He has been in politics since long.

* Gupta has been associated with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well. He had worked for the party along with Narendra Modi during the latter's stay in Panchkula.



Hooda’s aide Ravinder Rawal to contest on HJC ticket
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 25
In a surprising development, Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s aide Ravinder Rawal would be contesting the Panchkula Assembly seat on the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) ticket.

Interestingly, Rawal has joined hands with Chander Mohan, a former Deputy Chief Minister of Haryana and brother of HJC chief Kuldeep Bishnoi. The former Deputy CM was held responsible for Rawal’s defeat by Sunil Talwar in the Municipal Corporation elections, as Chander Mohan had openly sought votes for Talwar. On this, Rawal said, “In politics, no one is a permanent enemy. It is just the interest of the people that has to be seen.”

When asked if the decision was following disappointment over not getting the Congress ticket, Rawal said, “I don’t have any grudge against the party. If the Congress did not field me, there must have been a reason for it.”

He added, “In fact, there are workers who are associated with me for the last 20 to 30 years and I could not disappoint them. At the same time, the HJC offered me the ticket, so I decided to contest the elections.”

Rawal said he was staying in Panchkula since long. Being a localite, he knew about the problems of every nook and corner of the city, he claimed. 

How it all happened

* Ravinder Rawal was trying for the Congress ticket since long.

* After the Congress ‘ignored’ him and fielded DK Bansal, Rawal’s name found a place on the HJC list.

* After the Congress announced its candidates on Wednesday night, differences surfaced in the party.

* Many were left disappointed and are against DK Bansal as the party candidate from the Panchkula constituency.

* Not given ticket by the Congress, Vinod Bagai would now contest the election as an independent candidate.



Manvir Gill arrives to a rousing welcome
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 25
The Congress candidate from the Kalka Vidhan Sabha seat, Manvir Kaur Gill, arrived to a rousing welcome here this morning. She reached here from Delhi where she had been camping to ensure she got the party ticket.

Apart from her relatives, friends and neighbours, over 100 party workers assembled at her Sector-12 residence and anxiously waited for the young leader’s arrival.

The supporters had already arranged drum beaters (dholis) at the house and sweets were distributed to celebrate the occasion.

A former president of the Panchkula Municipal Council, Gill, was seen appealing to the visitors to mobilise their relatives and friends and campaign for her.

Her supporters from Kalka even reached Panchkula to accompany her to Kalka.

“I have just reached from Delhi and all election related arrangements are yet to be made. I belong to Karanpur village in Kalka and know the area and its problems. For a decade, I have been taking up issues pertaining to the town with the government,” she claimed.

She also launched her election campaign this afternoon.

Gill will be facing Latika Sharma of BJP and Pradeep Chaudhary, the INLD candidate, in the polls for the Kalka constituency.



Will form govt with two-thirds majority, claims BJP state chief
Tribune News Service

Kalka, September 25
Keeping safety and security of women in mind, the BP had fielded women candidates on 15 of the 90 seats in the state Assembly elections this time. This shows the party’s concern for women, said Ram Bilas Sharma, president of the BJP’s Haryana unit.

He was addressing a public meeting after opening the party office of Latika Sharma, the BJP candidate from the Kalka seat, at Pinjore this afternoon.

Sharma said the BJP has nominated winnable candidates who are able, hardworking and focused to work for the development of their areas.

Sharma claimed that the BJP would form the government in Haryana with a two-third majority and would give a better and transparent governance to the people of the state.

Recounting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s works, he said the NDA would give an adequate financial assistance to Haryana after the BJP comes to power in the state.

He also urged the youth to vote for Latika Sharma.

Latika Sharma said she would work hard to make Kalka the number one town in Haryana. She alleged that Kalka remained neglected for the last 10 years when the Congress was in power in the state. The area was ignored to such an extent that not even a single development project came up here.

Earlier, Ambala MP Rattan Lal Kataria, assured that the party would get the lead from all the nine assembly segments of his parliamentary constituency.

BJP state vice-president Banto Kataria, the party’s district president Vishal Seth and district vice-presidents Vijay Kalia and Ajay Mittal also spoke on the occasion.



Congress dissidents to contest as Independent 
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Kalka, September 25
With the Congress fielding Manvir Kaur Gill, a former president of the Panchkula Municipal Council, as its candidate from the Kalka Assembly seat, a number of party leaders, who were in the race for the ticket, have lodged their resentment against the party’s decision.

The Congress dissidents held a meeting with their supporters and workers at various places to chalk out their next course of action.

Satvinder Rana, a senior Congress leader who unsuccessfully contested the Vidhan Sabha elections from Kalka in 2009, has decided to contest as an Independent.

Talking to The Tribune, Rana claimed to have given over 35 years of his life to the party and have contested six elections so far. “The party has disappointed me. I will contest the Kalka seat as an Independent candidate. I am nurturing the constituency for the past over five years. I have taken the decision after seeking opinions from my workers and supporters.”

Rana, however, did not rule out the possibility of joining a like-minded political party.

Rana was actively campaigning in the constituency for the past three months and had opened his election office in Kalka two months ago. He had even erected huge hoardings and signboards in the constituency with pictures of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and some other senior leaders of the Congress.

Lodging their resentment over the party’s decision to field Gill, Rana’s supporters pulled down hoardings and banners erected at various places in the town.

Similarly, Sudesh Sharma, a senior Congress leader who had been campaigning in the constituency for a long time now, has also decided to contest the election as an Independent.

Accompanied by his supporters, Sharma reached the office of the returning officer (RO), Capt. Shakti Singh, to file his nomination papers. However, he returned as there were some technical flaws in his covering candidate’s nomination papers.

Interacting with mediapersons, Sharma said he would file a fresh set of nomination papers tomorrow. Earlier, Sharma came in an open Jeep along with a cavalcade of vehicles to the office of the RO to file his nominations.

Further, Bhagwan Singh, a cousin brother of the Congress candidate Manvir Kaur Gill, also held a meeting with his supporters. Bhagwan had contested the Kalka seat as an Independent candidate in the 2009 Vidhan Sabha elections. A son of a former Kalka MLA Lachhaman Singh, Bhagwan Singh has a considerable vote bank in the constituency.



CSIR’s foundation day celebrated

Chandigarh, September 25
The Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH), Chandigarh, today celebrated the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR) foundation day by organising several events.

Dr Ehrlich Desa, scientist and former director, CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, delivered a lecture on “Needed: The best scientists to create wealth for our villages”.

“The CSIR-800 Programme was designed to disseminate appropriate technologies to augment incomes and improve the quality of life in India’s villages. Though the programme has been delayed in launch, we need to cherish and foster the core concepts of the programme as it speaks to the essence of what our society needs from its scientists,” he said.

“The core concept of the CSIR-800 Programme is a systematic approach to technology dissemination in a manner that is reportable on the best platforms. This is the first takeaway message – stay with your core competences of creating excellent science and technology. This will keep you efficient and produce results that are reportable to a jury of our peers,” he said.

The success of the programme will depend on collaborating with competence; social scientists to establish baselines and define the real issues facing communities; product designers to remake CSIR products specific to the local issues; and successful entrepreneurs to mentor village entrepreneurs. The programme needs to be less CSIR-driven and more CSIR-enabled. — TNS



Ailing patient needs help
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
A 29-year-old patient, Prerna, has been suffering from severe liver problem and is in need of transplant to survive. While her father died 10 years ago, her mother, a resident of Ram Darbar, has already spent all her savings (nearly Rs 8 lakh) on her treatment over the years. Now, she needs Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh for liver transplant.

The patient’s brother and sister-in-law are also being unable to meet the expenses of the treatment. Prerna is undergoing treatment at the PGI, Chandigarh. Those interested in helping the family can contact them at 9988852806.



PU proposes smart cards for library
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
To check the entry of fake identity card holders at AC Joshi Library, Panjab University, the authorities are coming up with smart identity cards for students.

The university is planning to add a minimal amount of Rs 150 in the admission fee for issuing this smart card, which would have the data of the respective students.

As per the proposal mooted by AC Joshi Library and sent to the Dean Student Welfare office, Rs 20 lakh is required for the execution of the smart card programme.

The library is planning to introduce smart card for which a biometric machine will be installed at the entrance of the library. Any student can gain entry to the library only through this card.

The books will also be issued through this smart card, which will be connected to the radio frequency identification system.

Records of the library revealed that on an average, four to seven fake ID cards were found from the outsiders in a week, especially during examination days.

Keeping this fact in view and to keep a check on fake ID cards, this proposal has been mooted by the library.

Dean Student Welfare Navdeep Goyal said the authorities were looking into the proposal submitted by the library for issuing smart cards as it would also help the authorities to keep a check on the outsiders who visit the campus illegally during student council elections.

He said machines could also be installed at other places such as hostels to keep a check on the entry and exit timings of students.

He said as no funds were available with the authorities for this project, modalities for adding the fee would be worked out by the authorities.

Raj Kumar, librarian, AC Joshi Library, said: “If the authorities implement this proposal, it will not only streamline the inflow of students into the campus but also make the premises more secure”.

He said the proposal had not been implemented for the past two years due to the paucity of funds.



Panel inspects 2 government schools at Maloya
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
A team of the Chandigarh Commission for Protection of Child Rights today inspected two government schools of Maloya.

Professor Devi Sirohi, who is the chairperson of the commission, inspected Government Model High School and Government Model Senior Secondary School at Maloya village and found poor infrastructure and lack of civic amenities on their premises.

During the inspection at Government Model High School, she observed that the school had poor infrastructural facilities such as a small play ground for children. The Municipal Corporation had installed a floodlight pole in the middle of the playground. The pole is occupying unnecessary space and is acting as a hurdle for the children to play various games.

The school also lacked a physical instructor and proper equipment for games. The chairperson also observed that the school did not have a counsellor or a music teacher. The student-teacher ratio is also not being maintained as per the provisions of the RTE Act.

The chairperson also observed that students who have been shifted from English medium to Hindi medium were facing problems.

The students have not been issued health cards as required annually by the department concerned. The manhole in the playground was found without cover, posing a threat to the children.

During the inspection at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Prof Sirohi observed that the school did not have proper infrastructural facilities. The classrooms were being used as science lab, library and staffroom. The furniture in the classrooms was in a broken condition.

She said the school building needed an immediate whitewash. Librarian, music teacher and physical instructor needed to be appointed. Electrical wiring outside the classroom was visible. The principal of the school assured that the electrical wiring and the furniture would be repaired soon.



Students bring laurels to institute

Banur, September 25
Students of the Gian Sagar Medical College and Hospital have brought laurels to the institute with their research projects being selected for the Undergraduate Research Workshop (Illuminati-2014), held at Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, last week.

Alvin J Joseph and Sugandh Gumber, students of the institute, had sent their research projects for the workshop, which got selected. They also got an opportunity to meet former president Dr APJ Kalam at the event.

“The project of our students was among the 250 projects that were selected from all over India. They were ranked among the top 16 projects from all over the country,” said Dr Barjinder Singh, director of the institute. — TNS



Students to attend global conference
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Six students of Classes X, XI and XII of Vivek High School accompanied by school principal PK Singh and chairman HS Mamik would be participating in a pre-conference tour and project in Turkey and a Round Square International Conference in Jordan from September 28 to October 13.

The students - Mehr Rai, Chitvan Kler, Gurpartap Bhullar, Shamshir Malik, Aayush Jain, and Gursahej Joson - would be visiting Gallipoli in Turkey to commemorate 100 years of World War I and participate in a memorial service (along with Australian delegates) for Indian soldiers who laid down their lives in the battle at Gallipoli.

A commemorative trophy sent by the 14 Ferozepur Sikh Battalion will be presented at the ANZAC Visitors Centre at Gallipoli. The students will also make a presentation on the Indian contribution to the war at Enka School, Istanbul.

HS Mamik said: “The Round Square International Conference at King’s Academy, Jordan, will focus on the theme of ‘Peace’ in the world. Educationists and students from all over the world, including Palestine, will attend the conference to discuss the importance of peace in today’s fragmented world. It is a great opportunity and exposure for the students to attend such conferences”.



UICET chairman says he fulfils eligibility criteria

Chandigarh, September 25
Reacting to the complaint over the issue of the eligibility criteria, UICET chairman Dr US Shivhare said he fulfilled the criteria laid down by Panjab University when the post was advertised by the authorities.

He said earlier the department was known as agro-processing technology and fulfilled the terms required for this course.

Recently, a complaint was filed to the UGC that Dr Shivhare was not eligible for the post as he was not fulfilling the guidelines laid down by the UGC for this post.

While denying to comment on his resignation, which he submitted to the authorities, he said it was in the preview of Vice-Chancellor AK Grover to take a call and decide the issue. — TNS



Dances mark freshers’ party

Mohali, September 25
Students of the Northern India Institute of Fashion Technology (NIIFT) here had a gala time during the freshers’ party. It was organised on the college premises to welcome the new students in the college. In the party, organised by the cultural committee of the college, the students performed various dance items, singing performances and stand-up comedy shows.

A special dance performance was performed by the professional crew of ‘The Dance Mafia’, the finalist of Boogie Woogie show.

Welcoming the new students, Vishav Bandhu, Director, NIIFT, said: “It’s the beginning of a new life for them. With hard work, they will get success in the fashion industry.” — TNS



PU & college notes

Annual convocation

The PEC University of Technology will observe its 44th annual convocation on September 27. Padma Bhushan Dr FC Kohli, TCS founder and father of the Indian software industry, will grace the occasion as the chief guest. As many as 374 students in BE programme, 245 students in master’s programme and 8 students in PhD programme will be conferred degrees. Eleven gold medallists and 11 silver medallists, besides some other medallists would also be honoured during the ceremony.

Freshers’ party

Indo Global Colleges organised a freshers’ party, “Lamhe-2014”. Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra, Member of Parliament from Anandpur Sahib, was the chief guest on the occasion. The function began with a welcome dance by a group of girls from North-Eastern states. Later, students attired in colourful folk costumes danced in beautiful rhythm to the tunes of folk songs.

Run for tourism

For the World Tourism Day celebrations, the University Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism (UIHMT), Panjab University, will organise a run for tourism, which will flagged off from the UIHMT on Friday. There will be an inter-school competition, which would be organised on September 27. The theme of this year’s Tourism Day is “Tourism and Community Development”. The students and faculty of the UIHMT have planned the celebrations to spread the awareness by organising the run on the PU campus.


Prof Jitendra Mohan, president of the International Society of Mental Training for Excellence and Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Panjab University, Chandigarh, would deliver the prestigious PU Colloquium at the SS Bhatnagar University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology (UICET) auditorium, PU, on September 29. Prof Jitendra Mohan will speak on the topic “Pursuit of Excellence: An Agenda for Life”. Panjab University Vice-Chancellor Prof Arun Kumar Grover will preside over the function. — TNS



From schools

Sanitation campaign

In order to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi and to drive a neat and clean programme for one week on the school campus under the “Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya” Campaign, teachers, ministerial staff, Group D employees and workers of Government Model High School, Sector 34-C, Chandigarh, on Thursday took an oath to start cleanliness drive at school, home, neighbourhood and other public places. Dr Vinod Sharma, head of the institution, while taking the oath, told the students that cleanliness was next to god and healthy mind lives in healthy body. He asked everyone present to ensure cleanliness of classrooms, laboratories, libraries, corridors, playgrounds, gardens and other area of the school.

Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya

The “Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya” Campaign was inaugurated at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya by Dr AP Sanwaria, former nominated councillor of the MC. Principal Santosh Sharma welcomed the chief guest. She insisted on the importance of cleanliness of body as well as soul. The chief guest appreciated the efforts of the vidyalaya to keep it neat and clean and motivated the students to show full zeal and enthusiasm to complete this campaign.

Fruits Day celebrated

Fruits Day was celebrated at Government High School, Dadu Majra. The students brought different fruits to the school. They were excited to share fruits with each other. Headmistress Lovleen Kaur told the students about the good habits and manners while eating.

Awareness rally held

A programme to create awareness on polythene-free city was organised at Government Senior Secondary School, Dhanas. A rally was also carried out by students of the Vasundhra Eco-Club and NSS Volunteers along with in charge Ramesh Kumar at Dhanas village and the adjoining colonies to sensitise the citizens to the harmful effects of polythene bags. Vice-principal Seema made the students aware of the harmful effects of polythene. Students of the model wing of the school also participated in the activities. — TNS



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