C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


‘Swachhta pledge’
Schools see low student turnout
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The much-hyped “Swachhta pledge” ceremony, organised in UT government schools, received a mixed response as a majority of the schools witnessed thin attendance of students.

While most schools reported a near full attendance of teachers, the enthusiasm to carry out the drive seemed missing.

Blaming the “delay” in issuing the circular regarding the pledge, educationists said the instructions could not be communicated to the students on time.

Immediately after the pledge, the students were sent back home. According to the circular, the schools were supposed to carry out a cleanliness drive as well, but most schools failed to do so. Piles of garbage could be seen on the premises of schools even after the drive got over.

On the reasons for the low turnout of students for the pledge, Principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School (GMSSS), Sector 19, Sukhneer Sekhon said, “Teachers had individually called up students, but due to the ongoing examinations, many students did not turn up. Besides, several parents did not send their wards to school as they had holiday plans.”

While most schools wrapped up the pledge-taking ceremony and the cleanliness drive within minutes, there were some schools that carried out the drive with full enthusiasm. They not only cleaned the school premises, but the surrounding areas as well. Principal of the GMSSS, Sector 16, Anujit Kaur said, “In our school, nearly 500 students took part in the pledge and cleanliness drive. To infuse enthusiasm among the students, we had organised various competitions. The students, along with staff members, swept dirty areas and later held an awareness rally.”

Delay in circular to blame: Educationists

Blaming the “delay” in issuing the circular regarding the pledge, educationists said the instructions could not be communicated to the students on time.



City celebrates its share in India’s golden hockey moment
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
In breaking the 16-year drought for a “golden finish” that saw the Indian men’s hockey squad strike gold by defeating Pakistan in the ongoing Asian Games at Incheon, the Chandigarh Hockey Academy (CHA) had its valuable contribution.

Two of the squad members, stopper Rupinder Pal Singh and half-back Dharamvir Singh, both former trainees of the CHA, played well. Rupinder contributed a goal in the Indian team’s historic win.

The last time India won an Asiad hockey gold was in 1998 at Bangkok. However, this gold medal is even more special as in the finals, India defeated arch rivals Pakistan in a neck-and-neck match.

Both Rupinder and Dharamvir were inducted into the CHA’s first batch in 2001 and were trained by the late Jasbir Singh Bajwa. Talking to Chandigarh Tribune ahead of their Asian games campaign, both players had said, “Before each practice session, sir (Bajwa) would always take us to a gurdwara in Sector 42. He taught us the basics.”

“This win has revived Indian hockey. The win will encourage local lads to do better. It’s a proud moment for the CHA as two of its trainees have contributed to the team’s victory. We congratulate the entire team on taking the Asiad challenge head-on,” said Dronacharya awardee Rajinder Singh (Senior) and hockey coach Alpinder Singh, attached with the CHA.

CHA breaks into celebrations

It was a proud moment for CHA trainees as they celebrated the contribution of the city to the Indian team’s win. Soon after the Indian team won the hockey gold, merriment prevailed at the CHA hostel premises in the Sector 42 Sports Complex. “It’s an honour for the country as well as the city. Both players started their career from the same field where we are being trained. We will try to carry forward the legacy,” said an overjoyed trainee of the CHA.

‘Long wait finally over’

Congratulations to all members of Team India for winning the hockey gold and qualifying for the Rio Olympics as Asian champions. We have waited long for this sweet moment of victory! Enjoy and savour it. — Balbir Singh (Senior), former Olympian



2 arrested, 12 cases of snatching solved 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
With the arrest of two snatchers, the Chandigarh Police claim to have solved 12 snatching incidents reported in September.

After witnessing a spurt in snatching incidents, a special campaign was organised to nab the culprits.

Police officials said a team comprising Gurmukh Singh, SHO of the Sector 39 police station, and Sub-Inspector Harminderjit Singh, in charge of the Maloya police post, was asked to work on leads.

The police achieved success when acting on a tip-off, they apprehended Gagandeep (24), a resident of Sector 35, at a naka near the Sector 36/37 light point while he was coming from the Sector 36 side with a purse in his hand on September 30.

The police said a mobile phone and other articles were recovered from the purse, which was snatched by the accused from a woman in Sector 37 on September 26.

During interrogation, the accused disclosed that he and his friend Harjit Singh (26), also a resident of Sector 35, were involved in a number of snatching incidents in various sectors of Chandigarh. They used to use a Bullet motorcycle for the purpose. The second accused was also arrested and the motorcycle used in the crime was recovered.

The police said 12 cases of snatching had been worked out and articles, including gold chains, had been recovered from their possession.

Both snatchers drug addicts

During interrogation, it was found that both accused are drug addicts and were earlier also involved in theft and snatching cases. They used to rob people and spend the money on drugs.

80 snatching incidents reported this year

Over 80 snatching incidents have been reported this year. 


swachh bharat abhiyan
Residents join hands for a clean City Beautiful
UT Administration, educational institutions, political bodies and NGOs come together to upgrade level of sanitation for a better tomorrow
MP Kirron, civic body staff pledge for ‘swachh’ city

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Member of Parliament Kirron Kher along with city Mayor Harphool Chander Kalyan, MC Commissioner VP Singh, councillors and officials of the Municipal Corporation took the pledge for a “Swachh Bharat” at a function organised by the civic body at the Central Plaza of Sector 17 today.

Addressing the gathering, MP Kirron said, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness. It teaches us to keep our household and surroundings clean. Efforts will be initiated to make Chandigarh a clean city. We have to make sincere efforts in this direction for results.”

Kirron also lauded the efforts of the Municipal Corporation for not only organising cleanliness drives but also holding awareness sessions, seminars, workshops etc. to encourage people to support the cause.

Meanwhile, civic body Mayor Harphool Chander Kalyan paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on the eve of Gandhi Jayanti before taking the pledge of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan campaign. 

‘Efforts needed’

Cleanliness is next to Godliness. It teaches us to keep our household and surroundings clean. Efforts will be initiated to make Chandigarh a clean city. We have to make sincere efforts in this direction to keep our surroundings hygienic. — — Kirron Kher, Member of Parliament



Cleanliness drive kicks off at CAT 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
In compliance with the orders of the Principal Bench, CAT, New Delhi, as well as orders of the Government of India, a Swachhta Shapath was taken by the officers and staff members of the Central Administrative Tribunal, Chandigarh Bench at 11 am today.

All officers and staff members ensured cleanliness in their offices. The cleanliness drive is being carried out from the past one week.

Cleaning drive amiss in courtrooms

Even as no instructions were issued and the district court officials observed a holiday, the District Bar Association (DBA) initiated a cleanliness drive on the court premises.

The chamber block and the sewerage lines were cleaned by the lawyers. However, no such drive was initiated in the courtrooms.



AAP activists clean park at Maloya
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Activists of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) cleaned the Park No. 1 at Maloya as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

The AAP volunteers said, “The move is for a good cause. We will lend our full support to the Prime Minister’s campaign Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.”

On this occasion, the AAP volunteers also highlighted the plight of the safai karamcharis. “They are facing a bad time. The authorities concerned should address the issue at the earliest,” they said.

Meanwhile, the AAP volunteers demanded that the authorities should regularise the contractual staff members.

‘Will lend full support’

The move is for a good cause. We will lend our full support to the Prime Minister’s campaign Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. — AAP volunteers



Admn staff, cops go all out for campaign
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, October 2
Employees of the UT Secretariat, Chandigarh Housing Board and Deputy Commissioner office were in full attendance in their respective offices to take the ‘Swachhta Shapath’ today.

The Adviser to the Administrator, KK Sharma, administered the swachhta pledge to all employees of the UT Secretariat.

Those present on the spot included Anil Kumar, Home Secretary, Sarvajit Singh, Finance Secretary, Gulab Singh, Legal Remembrancer, SB Deepak Kumar, Additional Secretary Home, MM Sabharwal, Joint Secretary Home and Director Public Relations, Chief Architect, Sumit Kaur and SK Chadha, Chief Engineer.

The Adviser also released a poster published by the Director Public Relations, UT Chandigarh, with the initiative of the Hotel and Restaurant Association, Chandigarh.

Meanwhile, the UT police administered the Swachhta Shapath to all officers during functions organised at the Police Headquarters, police stations and other offices of the department.

Administering the oath at the Police Headquarters, RP Upadhyaya, IGP, UT, urged all employees to practice and to propagate the ‘Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan’ not only in their work place but also extend it to their home, neighbourhood and town.

Excise staff seal wrong premises

Senior excise officials faced embarrassment on Thursday when they found that instead of sealing a liquor vend in Sector 11, they had sealed the premises of the adjoining post office. The postal staff had to wait for the office to open before they could carry out the Swachhta drive on the premises.



PGI staff take ‘Swachhta shapath’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The PGIMER observed the ‘Swachhta Shapath’ Day on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti today. Professor YK Chawla, Director of the PGI, took the pledge for maintaining cleanliness.

A large number of PGI heads of departments, faculty administrative officers, nursing and technical staff, paramedical and ministerial employees, and contractual staff also took the oath along with Prof Chawla.

While addressing the gathering, Prof Chawla said nine nodal officers would lead the cleaning drive which had commenced on September 28.

These would comprise the Medical Superintendent, Deputy Director, Superintending Hospital Engineer (SHE), Professor in charge National Institute of Paramedical Sciences (NIPS), Principal National Institute of Nursing Education (NINE), President of Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), President of PGI Employees Union and Officer in charge of NGOs working in the PGI.

The month-long ‘’Swachh Bharat Mission’’ campaign had started in the PGI on September 28 with Prof Chawla picking up the broom and cleaning the lawns of the Kairon Block, PGI.

The drive had begun to spread awareness about keeping the hospital premises clean. Circulars were issued to all departments highlighting the importance of cleanliness, hand washing and disposal of wastage in a proper manner. The nursing staff is being trained in hand washing techniques. The Sanitation Department has identified areas in the institute for upgrade.

Drive at GMSH -16, GMCH-32

The Swacchta Shapath was taken at the GMSH, Sector 16, and GMCH, Sector 32. Special emphasis was laid on the disposal of wastage and cleanliness of all wards. “Stress was laid on maintaining hygiene in washrooms and nurses were designated as the nodal officers of various wards,” said Dr GS Diwan, Deputy Medical Superintendent, GMSH-16.



Mohali residents chip in
Kulwinder Sangha
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 2
Employees in various government offices, students and teachers today participated in the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and took the pledge to maintain cleanliness.

At the District Administrative Complex, officers and other staff took the Swachhta pledge. Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu said, “Cleaning work under the campaign will continue so that the SAS Nagar district can be developed as a model district.”

At the Municipal Corporation office, the pledge was administered by Commissioner Uma Shankar Gupta. He said, “The employees have been asked to keep their offices and its surroundings clean.” He said resident and market welfare associations were also involved in the campaign.

Gupta said the civic body would identify points where people illegally dumped garbage regularly and instead place dustbins to solve the problem.

Civil Surgeon Dr Neelam Bharadwaj along with doctors and other staff took the sanitation pledge at the Civil Hospital, Phase VI.

At the BSNL Telephone Exchange in Phase IV, the staff members cleaned the premises and took the pledge. Deputy General Manager Kashmir Singh administered the pledge to the employees.

Staff members and students at Government College, Phase VI, cleaned the premises and pledged to keep the city clean.

Rayat-Bahra University Chancellor Gurvinder Singh Bahra and Vice-Chancellor SK Bansal took part in the cleanliness drive on the campus along with students and faculty members.

The Sant Nirankari Charitable Foundation also participated in the drive. Volunteers cleaned different areas, including the bus stand in Phase VIII, and various roads.

Officers and other staff at the Punjab School Education Board were administered the pledge by Dr Tejinder Kaur Dhaliwal, board chairperson. The staff members cleaned the area outside the board premises. 



Campaign a damp squib in govt schools
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 2
The Clean India Mission was a futile exercise in government schools located in villages. The rainfall that lashed the area on Wednesday left the schools in slush.

The school students blamed the Administration for not carrying out the drive successfully on Thursday.

The Government Schools in Rally village and Budanpur were in a deplorable state. The schools located in the villages have failed to implement the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in true letter and spirit.

“When the local MC seems least bothered, how is it possible to clean the streets? Our uniforms were spoilt due to the slush at the school’s entrance,” said a student on the condition of anonymity.

“Everyone was aware about the drive but the authorities made no efforts to participate in the same. The Administration is not bothered. They should have at least initiated efforts today,” said another student.

“How should we ask the students to clean the area? We thought the sweepers would clean the muddy water but it was not done,” said a teacher at a school in Budanpur on anonymity.

Meanwhile, the Administration officials claimed that they were ‘busy’ with the election process.

Heaps of garbage dot P’kula

The Panchkula Municipal Corporation seemed to be in holidaying mode as heaps of garbage could be seen in various market places. In Sector 11, garbage was not removed till late afternoon. Heaps of malba could also be seen outside the residences of various Administration officers.

General Hospital staff clean premises

The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was carried out at the General Hospital, Sector 6. The staff members cleaned the premises from 12 noon onwards. The employees at Amartex also cleaned the Amartex Chowk, Panchkula.



Garbage dumped near war memorial 
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 2
In what can be termed as Panchkula’s shame, garbage has been dumped near the War Memorial of late Major Sandeep Shankla in Sector 2 here. Surprisingly, the Administration has failed to take note of the issue till date.

Brigadier Kiran Krishan, a local resident, said, “The garbage has been dumped behind the Major Shankla War Memorial. Why are the authorities not addressing the issue.”

Panchkula Mayor Upinder Kaur Ahluwalia said, “It’s a serious issue and I will definitely call the sanitation officials. This won’t be tolerated.” The residents said local sweepers after collecting the garbage from Sector 2 dump the same near the war memorial. 



Tight security in place in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The Chandigarh Police have made elaborate security arrangements for the Dasehra celebrations in the city.
An effigy of Ravana being erected on the eve of Dasehra in Sector 46, Chandigarh.
An effigy of Ravana being erected on the eve of Dasehra in Sector 46, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Over 1,200 policemen would be deployed at 31 different locations across the city where effigies will be burnt.

According to the police, three ASPs, six DSPs, 32 Inspectors, 11 SHOs and around 1,232 policemen would be on duty to ensure peaceful celebrations. Besides, CRPF men will also be stationed in different parts of the city.

Police officials said arrangements have also been made to ensure there were no traffic jams in the city.

ASP (Traffic), two DSPs (Traffic) and seven Inspectors will regulating traffic.

Police officials said 59 PCR vehicles would also be deployed across the city to keep a vigil.



Major fire in chemical factory
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 2
A major fire broke out in a chemical factory in the Industrial Area Phase II late this evening. The impact of the fire was visible on the road as well.

The fire could not be brought under control till the filing of the report and the owner of factory No. 220 had not reached the spot.

Workers were sleeping inside the factory when the incident took place. The reason behind the fire is yet to be ascertained. The police rushed to the spot and were evacuating the workers.

Seven fire tenders were pressed into service and calls were made to Chandigarh and Mohali fire control rooms for help.

Sector 20 police station SHO Inspector Surinder Kumar said the situation was still not under control.

Two firemen were caught in the fire. However, they were rescued.



MLA opposes move on property tax

Mohali, October 2
Balbir Singh Sidhu, MLA and president of the District Congress Committee, Mohali, has opposed the proposal to issue a fresh notification on property tax as “it will lead to a rise in the tax burden on residents here”.

He said, “Earlier, property tax was being levied on the basis of the collector’s rate. But under the proposed policy, it would be imposed on the basis of the area of the plot.”

The MLA said, “If the proposed notification comes into force, residents would be required to pay a heavier tax as compared to the last year.”

Sidhu alleged that the government had put Mohali in the “A” class category just to collect heavy property tax from them. On the other hand, Bathinda, the Lok Sabha constituency of the Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal’s wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal, has been put in “B” category.

He alleged that MP Prem Singh Chandumajra had made false promises to the voters in Mohali regarding waiving of property tax. Sidhu asked him to resign from the Lok Sabha. — OC



Now, pay more for installing solar water-heating system
Centre withdraws 30% subsidy, UT Admn follows suit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
City residents will now have to shell out more for installing solar water-heating system as the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and the UT administration have stopped providing subsidy on it.

Earlier, the ministry was providing 30 per cent subsidy and the UT administration was giving an additional 25 per cent subsidy on the installation of solar water-heating system.

The orders issued by the ministry and the UT came into force on October 1.

Santosh Kumar, CEO, Chandigarh Renewal Energy, Science and Technology Promotion Society (CREST), said the Union government had started providing subsidy to promote solar water-heating systems. But now, as the prices of solar equipment have reduced, the ministry withdrew the subsidy, he said. After the ministry’s order, the UT administration also decided to discontinue the additional subsidy, he added.

As per the current estimates, a solar water-heating system with 100 litre capacity would now cost around Rs 22,100 while the one with the capacity to heat up 200 litre water would now cost Rs 39,100.

Subsidy on installation of SPV plants to stay

The 30 per cent subsidy given on installing solar photovoltaic (SPV) plant on rooftops will, however, continue. The costs of 1kW plant will be around Rs 1 lakh (without battery) and Rs 1.40 lakh (with battery). “The buyer will get 30 per cent subsidy on it,” said a UT official. 



Panchkula, Kalka Votes 2014
Hooda promises new road link between P’kula, UT
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 2
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has assured a Metro train in the city, another new road link between Chandigarh and Panchkula, and promotion of medical tourism in this part of the state if he retains power in the poll-bound Haryana.

Hooda, who was in the city on Wednesday to meet his friend Laxman Goel at his residence in Sector 17, told The Tribune that after Gurgaon, now residents of Panchkula would avail of the facility of Metro train during his next tenure. This would be a part of the Tricity Metro project, he added.

Hood claimed that to provide better connectivity from Panchkula to the state capital, Chandigarh, the possibilities of laying another road link between the neighbouring cities would be explored.

“Earlier, I had taken up the issue of linking Chandigarh and Panchkula by laying a road between the IT Park, Chandigarh, and Mata Mansa Devi Complex, Panchkula, with the UT administration. Now, the link is facilitating scores of residents of both the cities,” he said.

The government will promote medical tourism in this part of the region. The Government Hospital, Sector 6, is being upgraded as a part of this initiative. The hospital would be developed as a super-specialty hospital and would be equipped with ultra-modern infrastructure, which would be on a par with the PGI, Chandigarh, the CM claimed.

Besides, other healthcare centres in Kalka and neighbouring places would also be upgraded, he added.

Hooda said to promote tourism, the government had already prepared a blueprint of historical tourist places and was coming up with certain tourist spots on the PPP mode.

Historical Pinjore Gardens, Bhima Devi temple and other places related to the Pandavas period would be developed as main tourist destinations, he claimed.

Kaushalya Dam would be developed to the level of Sukhna Lake, Chandigarh, with multiple facilities for visitors and strollers.

“The government has already earmarked 600 acre on the Panchkula-Barwala road, near Kot Billa, for setting up of a university of international standards, the CM claimed. 



In P’kula, ‘Ravana’ to sensitise voters
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 2
‘Ravana’ will ask people to vote tomorrow.
In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the Ravana will appeal to the gathering at the parade ground to exercise their right to franchise this Vidhan Sabha election.

Panchkula will see the battle of ballot on October 15.

Vishnu Goel, chairman of the Mansa Devi Charitable and Development Trust that organises the main Dasehra function at the Sector 5 parade ground, said, “If people will not vote, they give the evil a chance to win. Ravana would tell people the same thing.”

Meanwhile, the effigy of Ravana has been prepared by an engineer, Asghar Ali of Muzzafarnagar, this year. The 55-foot effigy will be set afire using a remote control. The effigy has been given a Punjabi touch. It will be wearing ‘Punjabi jutis’.

Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki would be the chief guest at the Dasehra function to be held in Sector 5.

Goel said the function would begin at 3 pm and seating arrangements of about 5,000 people have been made at the ground. Cultural programmes, including folk dances, would be held between 3 pm and 5 pm. The ‘Ravana Dehan’ would take place at 6 pm.

There are six entry gates to the venue. Special private security has been arranged to manage the crowd.

Dasehra will also be celebrated in Sectors 15 and 19. In Sector 15, the height of the Ravana’s effigy is approximately 65 feet.



12 left in poll fray in Kalka

Kalka, October 2
With two more candidates withdrawing their names, 12 candidates have been left in the election fray in the Kalka Assembly constituency.

Jasbir Singh and Seems Sharma withdrew their names on the last date for withdrawal of nominations on Wednesday. While Jasbir Singh was a covering candidate for Swaran Singh Gujjar, a Haryana Lokhit Party (HLP) candidate, Seema Sharma was a covering candidate for her husband Sudesh Sharma, who is contesting the poll as an Independent candidate. — TNS



Cong state chief holds roadshow
Tribune Reporters

Kalka, October 2
The election campaign of the Congress candidate, Manvir Kaur Gill, was electrified with the party’s Haryana unit president Ashok Tanwar leading a roadshow in her favour here this morning.

Accompanied by Gill along with SS Nanda, Davinder Jain and some others, Tanwar reached the Gandhi Chowk and paid floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on his birth anniversary. Tanwar also addressed the gathering and asked the party leaders and supporters to ensure Gill’s win.

Meanwhile, the candidates of BJP, INLD and BSP also held separate public meetings at different places. Latika Sharma, the BJP candidate, along with local party leaders held a procession in the town and sought votes from shopkeepers and general public. Earlier, she led an election campaign in Pinjore and surrounding areas.

Similarly, the INLD candidate, Pradeep Chaudhary, addressed public meetings in Siuri, Tagra Hari Singh, Giddarwali, Hakimpur, Nagal Rautal, Baar Godaam and Kholfateh Singh villages today. Satvinder Singh Rana, a BSP candidate, along with his party workers addressed over a dozen public meetings in different areas of the constituency.



Former HJC leader joins BJP
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 2
In a major political development, former Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) leader, Shashi Sharma, who had accused Ambala MLA Venod Sharma of threatening him, today joined the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP).

Shashi Sharma’s joining can have an effect on the winning prospects of the HJC candidate, Ravinder Rawal.

Sharma was welcomed by BJP state president Ram Bilas Sharma in a ceremony at his residence in Sector 2 here. Senior party leaders, including Ambala MP Rattan Lal Kataria, BJP candidate from Panchkula Gian Chand Gupta, the party’s Chandigarh unit chief Sanjay Tandon, BB Singhal and others, were present on the occasion.

Soon after joining the party, Shashi Sharma said, “I was lured by the Congress and the INLD, but I opted for this party for its ‘right’ ideology, which has the will to work for the common man.”

He joined the party along with Suresh Kaushal and hundreds of his supporters, who had gathered outside his house.

While welcoming the former HJC leader in the party fold, Ram Bilas Sharma said the party would be strengthened with his joining.

Sharma was in news last week when he resigned from the HJC and a few hours after his press conference about it, he accused Venod Sharma of manhandling him. He had unsuccessfully contested elections from the HJC seat in the last Vidhan Sabha elections in 2009.

Shashi Sharma was disappointed as the HJC did not select him as its candidate from the Panchkula Assembly constituency. After the ticket was given to Ravinder Rawal, Shashi Sharma officially announced his resignation.

A few hours later, he alleged that Venod Sharma came to his residence in Sector 2 and not only hurled abuses at him but also manhandled him. Meanwhile, Venod Sharma stated that Shashi was doing it to score brownie points and win the sympathy of the BJP, which was his next destination.

Clean India drive

The BJP held a function to mark the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan in Sector 1, Panchkula today. Senior party leaders were also present.

Ambala MP Rattan Lal Kataria stressed on the need to keep the environment clean, adding that “each one of us should take a pledge towards a clean India”.

BJP candidate Gian Chand Gupta also appealed to people to keep their surroundings clean the same way as they kept their houses neat. He also extended wishes on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti to residents of the constituency.

BSP candidate has a dig at rival parties

Hitting at Congress, BJP and INLD during a public meeting at Bhainsa Tibba, BSP candidate from the Panchkula Assembly constituency Vishaw Deepak Sharma said these parties were only for rich and established people. He also visited Rajeev Colony and Ashiana in Sector 26 during the ongoing electioneering. 



INLD, Cong leaders switch loyality

Kalka, October 2
A number of leaders of the Congress and the INLD joined the HJCP during a rally addressed by Venod Sharma, the HJCP chief, in the favour of his wife Shakti Rani Sharma, a contender for the Kalka Assembly seat, at the grain market here today.

Those who switched loyalties as they were being “ignored in their parent party” included INLD leaders Sunny Bhuwan, Dev Raj Chaudhary, Dalbir Singh, Ramesh Sharma and their supporters, and Congress leaders Malwinder Kalu and Dinesh Gihlot. Mohan Khera Sita Ram along with some prominent persons of the area also expressed solidarity with Shakti Rani Sharma. — TNS



Forest Dept organises wildlife trek
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The celebration of Wildlife Week—2014, by the Department of Forest and Wildlife, Chandigarh, began today. The department organised a “Nature and Wildlife Trek” at Nepli, Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary. The event coincided with Gandhi Jyanti. The nature walk was flagged off by Bhupinder Singh Bhalla, Secretary, Forest and Environment.

The trek started from Nepli and culminated at Kansal Log Hut. The trek was approximately 7.5 km in length and passing through three hillocks reaching a maximum height of 1,500 feet. Around 300 people participated in the trek including school children and public.

On the occasion, chief guest KK Sharma, Advisor to Administrator, first administered the pledge for “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” to all present. On the occasion, Kulbir Singh, Chief Post Master General, Punjab, jointly released a special postal cover on state animal of UT —Indian Grey Mangoose. A wildlife rescue vehicle was also launched on the occasion.



Play leaves audience in splits
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
The play ‘NRI: Nahi Rehna India’ left the City Beautiful audiences laughing at Tagore Theatre today.

The play that was staged here today is scripted and directed by eminent theatre and Pollywood actor Binnu Dhillon. The two hours forty minutes play created a laugh riot in the auditorium.

Leading stalwart comedians from the Punjabi movie industry, including BN Sharma added more humour to the script with the power-packed performances.

The story of the play revolved around a marriage bureau, which helps the youngsters from India to get married to people living overseas, so that they and their families can settle abroad.

The script which was loaded with witty bits and story punch lines, kept the audiences glued to their seats.

The audiences termed the play as a blockbuster hit.

On the sidelines of the play, Binnu Dhillion, said, “The play was conceived as a satire on the corruption prevalent in the system. Through the medium of art we wanted to raise a voice that there is a need to cleanse the system in order to ensure a cleaner and developed India.” 



Holistic healing expert gives tips to students

Panchkula, October 2
Hallmark Public School, Sector 15, Panchkula, invited Amar Chandel, world acclaimed author, a holistic healing expert and Haryana Rattan Awardee for year 2013, for an interactive sesnamed ‘Voyage from Stress to Serenity’. According to Chandel, “The idea is that one should heal body without medicines since the body itself has a capability of self healing.”

He said, “There are nine things to take care of to keep the body in shape, including food, water, air or breathing, physical movement or exercise, rest, sleep, positive attitude, right social interaction and- believe it or not- common sense!” — TNS



P’kula institute pays tributes to Mahatma Gandhi

Panchkula, October 2
Swami Devi Dyal Group of Professional Institutes in Panchkula celebrated Gandhi Jayanti with staff and students.

President of the group Moti Lal Jindal, vice-president Ashok Jindal and general secretary Amit Jindal issued circular to all employees to take an oath to keep their environment clean.

Management of the group paid floral tributes to the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi. President Moti Lal Jindal started the ‘Clean India’ drive from his office. All faculty members and students cleaned the institute premises. — TNS



PU can do even better: Experts
Academics say though the faculty and research scholars deserve credit for the ranking, there is need for working on several parameters as the ranking has slipped compared to last year
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
While the Panjab University (PU) is celebrating its glory of making it to the top 300 slot of universities from across the globe, consecutively for the second time, however the slip in its ranking from 226-250 slot to 295th, has lead to worries among the academics.

Times Higher Education has recently released the rankings of the universities.

Though, the university holds the top spot in the country among universites still it needs to work hard for achieving better worl ranking.

The Tribune spoke to a cross-section of educationalists, who expressed their concerns on the slip in the ranking.

There is a need for the university to catch up with its competitors. The rankings are carried out on the basis of certain parameters, but this time the university has not been upto mark. We cannot indulge in self patting for there is a need to work harder in order to make it in the top 200 slot. — Tarsem Bhatia, former PU senator



Differently abled children stage Ramlila
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Specially abled children of Sadhna Vocational Training Institute exhibited exemplary feat by performing Ramlila at Rain Basera in Mani Majra area.

MP Kirron Kher was the chief guest on the occasion.

Dressed up as Rama, Lakshman, Sita and Hanuman they over whelmed the audience.

MP Kirron Kher appreciated the efforts of teachers for teaching the children.

Head of the institute Bhawan Tayal said a lot of patience was needed to teach such children. “But they are fast learners and learn way better than normal children,” Tayal added.



swachh bharat abhiyan
City schools, colleges do their bit

Schools and colleges across the city today launched the ‘Swach Bharat Abhiyan’ to mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Following are a few schools and colleges who did their bit in launching the campaign.

Government Senior Secondary School, Dhanas

A cleanliness drive was organised to make the students aware of personal cleanliness and to make their surroundings clean. A shot play was also staged by Sarbjit and his group in which the message of cleanliness was given.Principal Harmeet Kaur said it was necessary to educate the students to keep their environment clean and take care of personal hygiene which will protect them from germs and diseases.

St Joseph’s Senior Secondary School- 44D

Ushering the era of ‘Clean India', students pledged to follow the aphorism that 'cleanliness is next to godliness'. They pledged to adopt healthy habits of maintaining hygiene and keeping their surroundings clean. Students from middle block participated in a painting competition giving visual shape to their ideas about what cleanliness meant to them and how we all are interlinked. Quiz based on the theme of 'Swach Abhiyan' showed their in depth knowledge of the same.

St Xavier's Senior Secondary School

St Xavier's Senior Secondary School carried out the initiative and participated in the drive with great zeal. All the staff members and students took part in a pledge as a tribute to the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi to make India a clean, green and a healthy country in the world. Principal Mervin West appreciated the efforts of staff and students in keeping their class rooms, campus, surrounding neat and clean.

Government Model Senior Secondary School-33D

As many as 200 NSS volunteers, Bharat Scouts and guides along with their in charges, schoolteachers, vice-principal and principal took swachhta pledge and vouched for making India a neat and clean country. To inculcate the spirit of hygiene and cleanliness, an awareness programme was also initiated in the school. Cleaning of school premises, mid-day meal room, drinking water area, classrooms and toilets were carried out.

PEC University of Technology

A 'sanitation pledge' was taken by faculty, staff and students of the institute in front of the institute auditorium on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. Earlier, cleanliness drives were organised throughout the week where classrooms, laboratories, hostels, playgrounds, etc. were systematically cleaned. Various sensitisation activities were also organised where students were made aware of the importance of cleanliness through debates, poster making and slogan writing competitions.

Post Graduate Government College for Girls-11

Principal, staff and students gathered in large numbers to realise the dream of the mission on Thursday. Principal Achila Dogra administered an oath to all the staff members, students and NSS volunteers that they shall keep their surroundings clean and neither litter, nor let anybody else litter. She reiterated that they should act as agents to spread the message of cleanliness across the country, starting from their family and workplace.

Sachdeva Girls College

A cleanliness drive led by principal Veena Watni was organised at ISBT, Sector 43, as a part of the drive. Students of BCA, BCom and BA participated in the three-hour campaign with full enthusiasm. They picked up garbage littered around. They also spreaded awareness among passengers at the bus stand to work for a clean environment.

Other schools and colleges include GHS-54, GMSSS-37B, Divya Public School-44, AKSIPS-45, Sharda Sarvhitkari Model Senior Secondary School-40 D, Hansraj Public School, GCCBA-42, MCM DAV College for Women-36, DAV College, Dev Samaj College for Women-45 B, etc.

Students and staff members take the ‘swachhta pledge’ at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 19, Chandigarh, on Thursday. Tribune Photo: Manoj Mahajan
Students and staff members take the ‘swachhta pledge’ at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 19, Chandigarh, on Thursday. Tribune Photo: Manoj Mahajan



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