C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UT slashes VAT on diesel
Fuel price will be on a par with Punjab, likely to come down by Rs 2
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
The price of diesel in the city will now be on a par with Punjab as the UT Administration has decided to reduce value added tax (VAT) on the fuel in the city. The price is likely to come down by about Rs 2.

At present, VAT on diesel in the city is 12.5 per cent. The UT will bring it down to 9.7 per cent, equal to Punjab. A notification in this regard will be issued in the coming days.

At present, the VAT rate on diesel in Panchkula is 8.8 per cent and in Mohali it is 9.7 per cent. While the Punjab Government levies 10 per cent surcharge on diesel, the Haryana Government charges 5 per cent surcharge.

Local MP Kirron Kher said it was a long-pending demand of the Chandigarh Petroleum Dealers Association and with her continued efforts, the UT Administration decided to bring it on a par with Punjab.

Amanpreet Singh, general secretary, Chandigarh Petroleum Dealers Association, said the city residents were paying Rs 2.5 more for purchasing diesel in Chandigarh than the neighbouring towns of Panchkula and Mohali. The VAT in Chandigarh is 12.5 per cent compared to about 9 per cent in Haryana and Punjab. Besides, another 2 per cent central sales tax (CST) is levied in Chandigarh as there are no oil depots in the city. It gets its supply from Ambala, he said.

Higher cost of diesel was causing a loss of 70% sales to the local petroleum dealers. In their representation to the Union Government and the local MP, they had submitted that the higher rate was also putting a burden on the salaried class of the city.

UT was losing Rs 35 crore annually
As the price of diesel in Chandigarh was higher than Panchkula and Mohali, the common man and high-volume consumers, including truck and bus operators, preferred filling up the tanks of their vehicles in the neighbouring states. It resulted in an annual loss of Rs 35 crore to the UT exchequer



Dire need to change building bylaws: MP
Praises Patil, UT officials for their cooperation in solving residents’ problems
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
While former Railway Minister and MP Pawan Kumar Bansal had blamed the Chandigarh Administration for his defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, the newly elected MP Kirron Kher says she is happy with the UT Administration and thanks UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil and UT officials for their cooperation in solving residents’ problems put forth by her.

In her interaction with media persons at the UT Guest House here today, Kirron Kher said whenever she approached the UT Administration for any work related to the city residents, the Administration always helped her in resolving those problems.

“The only hurdle in solving the problems of the city residents are building bylaws, which need to be changed,” Kirron Kher says.

After his defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, Bansal had said he had failed to get the administration’s cooperation in resolving certain issues. Wherever it involved some pecuniary benefit to people, the decisions were not taken by the Administration, Bansal had said.

The first woman MP from Chandigarh also said of the 140 days of her becoming the Chandigarh MP, she had spent 122 days working for people of the UT, during which she also visited Delhi to take up their issues. She had remained in the city for 64 days. She spent 58 days in Delhi to complete formalities of attending Parliament and to take up different issues relating to Chandigarh, she said.

Kirron said her achievements had been restoration of 50 MBBS seats at the GMCH, Sector 32, special train to Patna Sahib from Chandigarh, stopping demolition drive at Palsora and reduction in VAT on diesel in the city.

In her interaction with the media, though there were no leaders of the local BJP unit, Vineet Joshi, Media Adviser, Punjab Government, accompanied her.

’No need for metropolitan council in city’
While the city unit of the BJP is committed to changing the democratic set-up of the city by demanding the formation of a metropolitan council, MP Kirron Kher once again said there was no need for such council. Rather, more power should be given to the Municipal Corporation, she said. Earlier also, she had opposed the proposal.

Nirbhaya centre to come up
Kirron Kher says very soon, a Nirbhaya centre for women will come up in the city. Union Minister Maneka Gandhi has written to the Chandigarh Administration in this regard. The centre will serve as a temporary home for the victims of sexual assault. Trained counsellors will listen to them and advise them on the next course of action.

Kirron to campaign in Maharashtra poll
The local MP Kirron Kher will campaign for the BJP in the Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha elections from October 6 to 13.



Banks open tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
In view of the extended government holidays starting on Gandhi Jayanti (October 2), the city banks have clarified that there will be no closure on October 6 (Monday) on account of Eid-ul-Zuha. The banks, however, will remain closed on October 8 on account of Valmiki Jayanti.

The bank authorities have also clarified that ATMs and netbanking services will not be affected during the closed holidays.

A bank official said: “Many workers are on leave, extending their weekend.”

“Transactions through ATMs are the highest in the first few days of the month. Only bank counters will be closed,” said Rajinder Wali, Vice-President, All-India Bank Officers’ Confederation.



HC lawyer dies in accident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
A woman advocate of Punjab and Haryana High Court today succumbed to the injuries she had suffered when the scooter she was riding was allegedly hit by another two-wheeler near Fun Republic at Mani Majra here on Friday night.

The deceased has reportedly been identified as Urmila (45) and the accused as Sonu.

The police said the accident took place at around 10 pm while Urmila was going from Mani Majra side towards Panchkula. The accused, who was drunk, allegedly jumped the red signal and rammed his two-wheeler into the victim’s following which she fell on the road. A passerby rushed her to the Civil Hospital, Mani Majra, from where she was referred to the GMSH-16 and further to the PGI.

Urmila had sustained a fracture in her thighbone. However, she succumbed to internal injuries on Saturday, said the police.

Meanwhile, Sonu, who suffered minor injuries in the accident, was also shifted to the Civil Hospital but he managed to escape from there. The police said efforts were being made to arrest the accused.



60-yr-old strangled, rape suspected
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 4
A 60-year-old woman was allegedly strangled to death and her body dumped near the railway track in the Chandi Mandir cantonment area, Panchkula, late last night. The victim, identified as Jageero, a resident of Kharag Mangoli, had gone to fetch firewood yesterday afternoon.

The police recovered as many as 10 used condoms from the spot, which hints that the victim was gang-raped before she was strangled to death. The doctors, who conducted the post-mortem, have not ruled out the possibility of rape. Liquor bottles were also found from the spot.

Dr Sunil Gambhir, a forensic expert and head of the post-mortem wing at the General Hospital, Sector 6, said: “Injury marks were found on her chest.”

It was suspected that the victim was strangled with two “dupattas” as there were coloured strangulation marks on the neck. There were certain injury marks on the other parts of the body, which indicate resistance,” added the doctor.

“The circumstantial evidence doesn’t rule out the possibility of rape. It can be the handiwork of more than two persons. We have lodged a case of murder on a complaint of the victim’s daughter, Veena, and investigations are on,” said Assistant Sub-Inspector of the Panchkula Government Railway Police Force (GRP) Raj Kumar.

The victim’s family stated that Jageero daily went towards the cantonment area to fetch firewood. When she did not return yesterday, they informed the police.

In a search operation carried out by the police, the body was found near the track.

Meanwhile, the body was handed to the family. The victim is survived by her three daughters and one son. Her husband died a long ago.

Youth’s body found
The body of a boy in his early twenties was found opposite Bella Vista, in Sector 5, Panchkula. The victim has not been identified yet. He seemed to be from a poor family, the police said. He was wearing only undergarments. The station house officer of the Sector 5 police station, Inspector Baljeet Singh, said the body had been kept in the mortuary of the General Hospital, Sector 6. The post-mortem would be conducted on Sunday.


Row over sale of unallotted flat in cooperative housing society
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
The sale of an unallotted flat in the Punjab and Sind Bank Officers House Building Society, Sector 49, by an official of the Department of Cooperative Societies for a price much less than its market value has come to light.

The A category three-bedroom flat (No. 673) has allegedly been sold last month under the garb of the substitution policy of the Cooperative Societies Act in the society where an inspector of the department has been appointed as the administrator.

The flat was sold for Rs 67 lakh against its market value of Rs 1.25 crore.

Interestingly, on the one hand, the Registrar (Cooperative Societies) has banned transfer of flats in leasehold societies without payment of stamp duty, as it was resulting in loss to the state exchequer, while on the other the administrator of the society sold the flat at the rate too low.

The Registrar (Cooperative Societies)-cum-Deputy Commissioner, Mohammed Shayin, claimed that the administrator allotted the flat under the substitution policy after taking necessary approvals and there was no anomaly in it.

The administrator, Amarjit Singh, claimed that due procedure had been followed in the sale of the flat and after getting approvals. He claimed that a public notice was given before selling the flat.

Meanwhile, the residents of the society have demanded intervention of the senior officials of the Chandigarh Administration and a probe by the CBI.

Three years ago, a similar category CHB flat was auctioned for Rs 85 lakh in the Sector 63 housing scheme.

“When members of the former governing body yesterday resisted the move of the sale of the flat, officials of the Department of Cooperative Societies, along with the police force, reached the spot to hand over the possession of the flat to the buyer,” said Bharpur Singh, a former president of the PSB Officers House Building Society.

“A hue and cry was raised over the move, following which the officials promised to maintain the status quo. The flat has been constructed with the hard-earned money of the society members, who are mostly senior citizens,” said Bharpur Singh.

Three years ago, the Department of Cooperative Societies dissolved the governing body of the society, which has 95 flats, and appointed the administrator. Out of these 95 flats, one flat was forfeited by the society in 2002 when the original member failed to pay the money.

The administrator of the society continues to be the president of the society for the last three years even as rules limit the tenure to not more than six months.

The case
An unallotted flat in the Punjab and Sind Bank House Building Society, Sector 49, has allegedly been sold under the garb of the substitution policy of the Cooperative Societies Act for Rs 67 lakh against its market value of Rs 1.25 crore.



Over 700 BSNL phones lose ring to cable theft
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
Over 700 telephone lines of the BSNL have been disrupted in Sectors 27, 28, 29 and 30 and Daria village near the railway station due to theft of six cables.

BSNL officials said complete restoration would take another two to three days.

The cables were stolen from a BSNL duct manhole between the Tribune Chowk and the Centra Mall lights.

SDE (Cables) BSNL has approached the police authorities in the Industrial Area, Phase I, regarding the theft for investigating the case and sought action against the culprits, said a press note issued by BSNL this evening.

“Our restoration process is on. We are trying to speed up the process to avoid inconvenience to public,” said JS Sahota, General Manager, Telecom, Chandigarh.



Mahima Chaudhary campaigns for Independent candidate
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 4
Bollywood actress Mahima Chaudhary took to the streets today to campaign for Vinod Bagai, an Independent candidate for the Panchkula Assembly seat.

Chaudhary took part in a roadshow in the city and inaugurated the party office of Bagai, a builder, in Sector 8 here.

Addressing people, the Bollywood actress said, “Bagai is just like my brother and I know his family since long. It is only he who can get the development of the city done.”

On board an open jeep, along with Bagai and other supporters, the actress started the roadshow from Sector 20. The roadshow passed through sectors 21, 11, 10, 17, 18, 7 and 6 to culminate at Sector 8.

After Bagai did not get the Congress ticket, he decided to contest the election as an Independent.

Support for INLD candidate

A large number of residents of Saketri village announced to extend support to Kulbhushan Goyal, the INLD candidate from Panchkula.

Earlier during the day, several leaders of Congress and Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) joined the INLD in Goyal’s presence.

The village residents said in the past, no one took up their issues, which were aplenty. The village lacked proper drainage system and the village school is in bad shape.

Further, the residents have been facing regular threat from wild animals as it is situated in the foothills of the Shivaliks.



Vidhan Sabha poll: Daddy’s girls take the charge
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 4
Daughters have taken the charge from their dads contesting the Vidhan Sabha elections in Panchkula. Giving their studies a miss till the elections, these young girls are out throughout the day convincing people to vote for their fathers.

For London-based Surbhi Goyal, 23, daughter of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) candidate Kulbushan Goyal, campaigning is all about convincing people to choose the right man.

“I want people to choose the right person as their MLA. Residents of Panchkula know that my dad has made hospitals, done charity even when he wasn’t in politics. So I have taken over the charge of campaigning,” said Surbhi. Surbhi’s campaigning starts at 7.30 am and continues till 11.30 pm. “I have especially taken leave for this purpose. At night, my dad takes an account of the areas which I have covered,” added Surbhi, who takes her group of friends and cousins for the purpose. Surbhi is pursuing her Masters in Fine Arts from London and would be going back after the elections.

While for Pooja Bansal, daughter of MLA DK Bansal who is contesting the elections for the second time, it is just the election fever. Bansal who is pursuing her law has taken leave to campaign for him.

“People know what my dad has done for Panchkula as an MLA. I have seen him devoting his entire time for the city,” said Pooja.

Pooja takes along her brother and a group of friends to go door-to-door and seek support for Bansal.

Same is the case with Ruchi Gupta, daughter of Gian Chand Gupta, contesting the MLA elections on BJP ticket. Ruchi, who is working in a company, campaigns all the day for her dad.



1,200 cartons of illicit liquor seized
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 4
As many as 1,200 cartons of liquor were seized from two trucks by the Panchkula police at a naka in Barwala this evening.

A team headed by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Jagtar Singh, seized the liquor.

The truck drivers told the police that they were on their way to Chandigarh from Delhi following which the police immediately called the officials of the Excise Department on the spot.

The excise officials were inspecting the papers of the truck drivers till the filing of the report.

The Panchkula police has been conducting checks owing to the Vidhan Sabha elections scheduled for October 15.



Police staff attend rescue training programme

Chandigarh, October 4
A training programme titled ‘Rescue on time’ on life saving techniques such as first-aid and CPR (Cardio pulmonary resuscitation) was organised at Traffic Lines in Sector 29 here.

AS Cheema, DIG, UT, inaugurated the training programme.

A total of 30 drivers of traffic staff, six traffic police officials and 32 police personnel from the PCR attended this programme in two sessions. The first session of theory lasted for two hours and the second session was on practical training in advanced cardiac life Support. The DSP, Communication, Roshan Lal, was also present. — TNS



Conference on liver diseases

Chandigarh, October 4
The Department of Hepatology, PGIMER, Chandigarh, in collaboration with the Department of Gastroenterology, AIIMS, New Delhi, started a two-day conference on “Emergency care in liver disease” at the PGIMER here today.

A symposium on acute or chronic liver failure (ACLF) was also held. Dr YK Chawla, director, PGIMER, Chandigarh, Dr SK Archarya from AIIMS, New Delhi, Dr RK Dhiman and Dr Ajay Duseja from the Department of Hepatology, PGIMER, and Dr Kapil Gupta from the Punjab Medical Council convened the session. — TNS



Classical Bollywood music makes for a pleasant evening at Punjab Kala Bhawan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
Musical Waves and Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi organised “Surmai Sham”, a classical Bollywood musical evening at Punjab Kala Bhawan here today.

The event got under way on a spiritual note. It gained momentum as singer Param scaled high classical notes.

The evening’s highlight remained the duet performance by Param and 12-year-old Alisha.

The young singer proved her mastery as she scaled high notes and sang different ragas with ease. The duo earned thunderous applause from the audience attending the musical event.

Later, the “jugalbandi” between Preetika and Param added spark to the event, taking the evening to a new high.

The orchestra comprising Indian and Western instruments further strengthened the performances by all the singers. The music coordinators for the event were Nayak Brothers, Jawant and Rajinder.

The chief guest at the event was Nonihal Singh Sodhi, chairman, Samaj Sudhar Society, Zirakpur, and Anti-Corruption Cell.



Indian Oil launches lucky draw scheme

Indian Oil launched a new scheme Tyohaaron ki umang, Indian Oil ke sang at the petrol pumps in Chandigarh, Mohali and Ludhiana. The scheme will enable customers to win various prizes in the form of free petrol vouchers and other gift items. Two to three wheelers taking petrol worth Rs 300 in their vehicles and four-wheeler vehicles taking petrol worth Rs 1,200 or any lubricants worth Rs 250 can participate in the lucky draw scheme. The scheme will be valid till October 30. The scheme was launched at Sector 7 IOC Pump by PK Das, executive director, Punjab state office, and other officials.

SML ISUZU up for cleanliness in city

The staff and management of SML ISUZU Limited, led by MD and CEO E Seto and Gopal Bansal, respectively, WTD and CFO carried out cleanliness drive in and around the office premises in Sector 34, Chandigarh. During the two-hour cleanliness campaign, about four trucks loaded with garbage was dispatched by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation vehicles. The MD of the company said surroundings must be kept clean for a better and healthy future. “We must ensure a healthy environment and make this world a better place to live in,” said an official. — TNS



government schools
Sanctioned posts not filled
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
It has been 191 days since the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) sanctioned 1,130 posts of educationists for the UT, but the Administration has failed to conduct the recruitment drive.

Sources said the Education Department had cleared all formalities and sent the proposal to the Administrator for the final approval.

Authorities said the posts were sanctioned to improve the student-teacher ratio. As per the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, the ratio should be 30:1 at the primary level, while at the secondary level, there should be a maximum of 35 students per teacher.

However, in local government schools, especially the ones located on the periphery, the student-teacher ratio stands at almost 70:1.

One of the government school principals, seeking anonymity, said: “The first half of the academic session is already over, but the department has not even issued any advertisement to fill the posts.”

Officials said the department, this time, had proposed a simpler process for recruitment: besides having the basic qualification and passing the Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET), the candidate will only have to appear for two written papers—general awareness and the respective subject.

The MHRD had sanctioned 1,108 posts of teacher, which include 683 posts of master, 342 of junior basic teacher (JBT) and 83 nursery teacher training (NTT) posts.

The ministry also sanctioned 22 administrative posts, including one of director (school education), deputy director (school education), deputy director (administration), deputy controller (F&A), section officer and eight posts of senior assistant and clerk.



Young music aficionado helps delegates break the ice at Model UN Conference
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
Over 250 students from leading schools across the country are taking part in the Model United Nations Conference at Strawberry Fields High School. On the second day of the prestigious conference, a delegate dance dinner was organised.

The attendees were in for a surprise when Aneesh Chengappa, a Class XII student, regaled them with some special foot-tapping numbers, prodding them to take to the floor in an attempt to shed inhibitions and get to know each other well.

Aneesh, a self-taught electronic dance music aficionado, composes his own music and tinkers with some of the established numbers in the genre. Deeply into music, he has set his mind on making it a career. Testing the waters, he has uploaded his original works on the internet and is happy to note that every other day someone downloads something by paying a dollar.

Electronic music, Aneesh says, is typically of interest to the generation in the age group of 12 to 40 years. He says that though most of the established gurus in the field come from the US, UK, Europe and Amsterdam, there is no reason why India cannot produce its own master music mixers.

Although all big names come and perform in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru, the day is not far when small cities, too, will wake up to the electronic dance music, says the young performer.

His magic at mixing and composing these electronic tunes was quite evident with dancers not wanting to leave the floor at dinner.



Increase expenditure limit: PU senator
Says amending Lyngdoh panel norms will help conduct fair student council poll
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 4
Keeping in view the flow of money during the Panjab University Campus Student Council elections, a senior senator has suggested that the Lyngdoh committee norms be reconsidered.

In a recent PU Senate meeting, GK Chatrath raised the issue of reconsidering the election expenditure of each candidate, which stands at Rs 5,000 as per the panel norms.

The senator said that it was not feasible for any student party to contest elections using such a minimal amount these days. He suggested that the authorities should propose an increase in election expenditure for each post, so that fair elections could be conducted on the campus.

Referring to the recent student council elections, Chatrath said it was a known fact that every party spent more than Rs 5,000 per candidate during the campaigning. He said revising the expenditure amount would ensure that students refrain from adopting unfair means.

He also demanded doing away with the norm of banning any student from running for the elections after having contested once. He said the authorities should give every student a chance to re-contest the student council elections.

Dean Student Welfare Navdeep Goyal said the university had no authority to reconsider any of the Lyngdoh committee norms. He said around seven years ago a committee was constituted to recommend changes to the Lyngdoh committee norms, but the authorities denied any revision stating that they were not empowered to do so.

Goyal said the university had drafted a proposal to allow student parties field their candidates rather than individuals, which is the present practice.

Reacting to the proposal, NSUI senior leader Birender Dhillon said his party had been demanding a hike in election expenditure for the past many years, but the authorities were not taking any action. He said with an increase in the limit, parties would submit the actual expenditure incurred during canvassing.

Vikramjeet Middukhera, a senior leader of the Student Organisation of India, also favoured the proposal to increase the expenditure limit. ABVP senior leader Dinesh Chauhan said the authorities should consider revising the Lyngdoh committee norms according to the present scenario.

The Student For Society’s presidential candidate in the recent elections, Amandeep, objected to the implementation of the Lyngdoh committee norms during the student elections.



pu & college notes
Cleanliness drive

Chandigarh: On the fourth day of an NSS camp at the Government College of Education, Sector 20, students carried out a cleanliness drive at Government High School, Kajheri. They cleaned classrooms, staffroom and corridors. The volunteers also cleared wild grass growing on the school playground. Water tanks of the school were cleared of dirt, so that students could get fresh water to drink. As part of the camp, a lecture on road safety was also delivered by a traffic police team headed by Wing Commander CS Grewal, the chief traffic marshal. The students were shown a documentary based on road accidents. The team took up various issues such as the need to follow traffic rules and the importance of wearing helmets, driving at optimum speed limits and proper use of zebra crossings.

Students flay hike in rly reservation charges

Youth Welfare Association (YUWA), a student outfit of Panjab University, has slammed the 50 per cent hike in tatkal reservation charge. They said it would put a huge burden on students from other states planning to go home for the Diwali celebrations. The students gave a representation to MP Kirron Kher and wrote a letter to the Ministry of Railways seeking the withdrawal of the decision. The members also paid condolences to those who died during the Gandhi Maidan stampede in Patna on Dasehra evening. — TNS



from schools
Musical programme

Chandigarh: AKSIPS, Sector 41, played host to a musical programme. Renowned musicians Ustad Danish Aslam Khan and Durjay Bhaumick captivated the audience. The school principal appreciated the efforts put in by the organisers, SPIC MACAY.

Gandhi Jayanti

Lohia International School, Manimajra, remembered Mahatma Gandhi on his birth anniversary. The school assembly began with a special tribute to Bapu. Children took a pledge to keep their school clean.

Cleanliness drive

A cleanliness drive was undertaken by the students and staff of Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 33, They joined hands to clean the premises and surroundings. At Tiny-tots' Foundation School, teachers cleaned the school to set an example for students. A sanitation awareness programme was also launched at Government Middle School, Bapu Dham Colony, Sector 26.

Dasehra celebrations

Panchkula: An effigy of Ravana was burnt during the Dasehra celebrations at Sky World School. Later, the principal, students and teachers cleaned the roads.

Animal welfare

A special assembly was organised to commemorate World Animals Welfare Day at Bhavan Vidyalaya. Children of Classes IV-VI gave the message of saving endangered animals. — TNS



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