C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Admn’s claims fall flat
Appointment with docs at e-Sampark Centres turn out to be eyewash
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
The UT Administration’s tall claims of facilitating residents by providing them advance appointments with doctors at GMSH-16 and GMCH-32 have fallen flat, going by the investigations carried out by the Chandigarh Tribune.

In a classic example of putting the cart before the horse, the UT Administration launched the module at its 12 e-Sampark Centres and 13 Gram Sampark centres without paying much heed to the fact whether the hospitals had deviced any mechanism to give approval for appointments or atleast receive intimation on appointments issued at the e-Sampark Centres.

While the service was launched with much fanfare a few years ago, not only to bring down abrupt patient load in OPDs at the two hospitals but also save patients from the tedious process of standing in long queues at registration counters and then outside the OPDs.

This correspondent posed as a patient’s attendant and sought appointment at two different e-Sampark centres on different occasions in the past two weeks. The investigations revealed that the system of communication between the e-Sampark Centres and hospitals was just one-sided.


While an appointment with a specific doctor on a suitable date and day was provided, there was no mechanism to check the availability of doctors. On September 24, this reporter visited the e-Sampark Centre at Sector 18 and posed as a patient’s attendant showing the registration card. On request, the officials issued an appointment for September 30 for a desired department (name withheld) at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, from10am to 11am. When asked about the availability of the doctor, the official said, “To enquire ring up at the hospital.”

Upon visiting the department, it was found that the doctor available in the department was surprised to know that an appointment was sought with him. Though, the doctor (name withheld) agreed to see the elderly patient considering the ordeal, the reporter later revealed her identity.

On Tuesday (October 7), the Chandigarh Tribune team visited the e-Sampark Centre in Sector 10 and asked for an appointment again. When asked how the availability of doctor could be confirmed before taking the patient to the hospital, the official said, “Our reach is limited to issuing appointments. Whoever will be available will see your patient.”

What UT Administration website says

Appointment module for GMSH-16 & GMCH-32
On the lines of other services at e-Jan Sampark Centres, now patients can get appointments for the two hospitals at the e-Jan Sampark and Gram Sampark centres of Chandigarh. To start with, patients desirous of revisiting GMSH-16 or GMCH-32 can seek a prior appointment, which can be from a day to a fortnight, from the nearest e-Jan Sampark/e-Gram Sampark Centres, and on stipulated date and time, they can visit the hospital and go to the doctor directly. Subsequently, the facility will be extended to other hospitals, polyclinics, clinics, dispensaries and laboratories besides additional facilities like getting prior appointments for lab tests, X-rays, bed availability and blood transfusion availability.

‘There is lack of communication’
"There is lack of communication between the centres and the hospitals. We will try to sensitise all the stakeholders and improve the services. "—
Upkar Singh, director it, ut administration

‘Very few avail of this service’
"First of all, very few people avail of this service. Besides, it is difficult to convince those hundreds of patients who come directly for registration, to let those having advance appointment to go and get them checked first at the OPD. Maybe once our computerisation process begins, we can do something about this service too. "—
Dr Atul Sachdev, director-principal,gmch-32



traffic violations
Red light jumping, over speeding top chart
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
When it comes to breaking traffic rules, the red light jumping and over speeding are two offences that are found to be rampant among commuters in the city. The number of challans issued for the offences have almost doubled in the past few years.
A motorist jumps (encircled) the light on the road dividing Sectors 15 and 16 in Chandigarh on Wednesday
A motorist jumps (encircled) the light on the road dividing Sectors 15 and 16 in Chandigarh on Wednesday. Tribune Photo: S Chandan

Statistics of the Chandigarh traffic police reveals that these offences are on the rise as compared to the past few years. While 23,203 and 23,411 challans were issued for red -light jumping in 2011 and 2012, the number of challans jumped to 43,964 in 2013 and surprisingly, this year till September 52,850 challans have aiready been issued for the same offence.

Similarly, the traffic police issued 2,113 challans in 2011 for over speeding, while in 2012 and 2013 the number of challans rose to 19,207 and 19,246 respectively.

Till September, the traffic police have already issued over 18,642 challans for over speeding on the city roads.

The increasing number of challans has raised questions over the traffic awareness campaigns conducted by the Chandigarh traffic police.

A total of 389 innocent lives were lost in the accidents in the last three years.

Harman Sidhu, a social activist, who runs an NGO, Arrive Safe, says, over speeding and red light jumping are the main reasons behind accidents on the city roads.

“Expecting the traffic police to ensure that people are following the traffic rules is not fair. I think it’s also our duty to follow the traffic rules. Moreover, the city’s infrastructure also promotes rash driving. The city roads are widened to cater to the growing number of vehicles, which encourages motorists to drive very fast. In fact, we should promote public transport”, he added.

SSP (Traffic) Maneesh Chaudhary said the traffic police conducted a study to find out as to what was leading to increasing number of fatal accidents and it was found that red light jumping, over speeding and drunken driving were the reasons behind the accidents. “It is not that the violations have increased, but in the last few years, we have cracked down on these particular offences to bring down the accident rate in the city”, the SSP (Traffic) added. 



Winds bring down mercury
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
After sudden high-velocity winds swept the tricity followed by rain this evening, residents could feel the chill in the air. Met forecast predicts a clear sky over the next three days followed by rain on October 13, dipping the temperature further next week. Light shower is expected at isolated places in Punjab and Haryana during the next 24 hours. The storm in the evening brought down the temperature by three degree in the city.
Children run for cover after a dust storm hit Mohali on Wednesday.
Children run for cover after a dust storm hit Mohali on Wednesday. Tribune photo Vicky Gharu

The maximum temperature was recorded at 35 degree Celsius, which is three degrees below the normal, whereas the minimum was 22.5 degrees Celsius, which is five notches below the normal temperature. The maximum speed of the storm was recorded to be 65 km per hour early this morning, said an official of the Meteorological Department.

As per the forecast of the Met Department, the maximum temperature tomorrow will be 33 degree Celsius which is five notches below the normal and minimum temperature 22 degree Celsius which is five notches below the normal.

Met department director Surinder Pal Singh said that due to western disturbance and snow fall in the upper parts of Himachal Pardesh there was rain in the periphery areas of the city. He said tomorrow the weather would be clear but there would be dip in the normal day and night temperature.

Though the storm also brought some respite from the afternoon humidity, it uprooted several trees in the city.

The storm resulted in power cuts in several parts of the tricity. 

Chilly days ahead

Weathermen have predicted a clear sky over the next three days followed by rain on October 13, dipping the temperature further next week.



Bal Sadan inmate flees, found at Ambala
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 8
Seven months after a minor gangrape victim got her mother and stepfather arrested for selling and forcing her into prostitution, the victim, an inmate of Bal Sadan, a home for the destitute in Sector 12A, fled while on her way to attend a beautician course in Sector 4 today. The 16-year-old victim was taken to an institute in Sector 4 to attend a beautician course by the staff of Bal Sadan this morning from where she fled. She was later found by the police at Ambala bus stand.

The victim was sent to Bal Sadan on March 30 this year after she got her Punjab-based parents arrested. She had recently slit her wrist in a brawl with another inmate.

The police have lodged a kidnapping case under Section 365 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) after a complaint was filed by an official of Bal Sadan this morning.

Inspector Baljeet Singh, Station House Officer of the Sector 5 police station, said the statements of the victim were yet to be taken.

“The victim had recently joined a beautician course in Sector 4 and the staff dropped all the children at the respective places from where they went to attend their studies or courses. Today after dropping the child, the staff was shocked when they got a call from the institute that the victim had not come to attend the course, following which we dispatched our police teams,” said Singh.

The staff members rushed to the spot. An alert was sounded by the Panchkula police in all the police stations.

On March 30, the police lodged cases under Sections 372 (selling a minor for prostitution), 373 (buying a minor for prostitution), 376-g-(gang rape) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POSCO) against the stepfather, Vicky, mother Priya and other persons involved in the crime. 

Earlier, parents had sold her for Rs 20,000

Earlier, the victim with the help of her friend had approached the Panchkula police to complain that she was sold for Rs 20,000 for a week to a person in Zirakpur. Bal Sadan officials said the victim went about her routine normally and had no altercation with any inmate. 


Neighbourhood Shopping Centres
Urban Planning Dept proposes new concept
Doing away with the concept of SCOs and SCFs, the UT Admn has proposed larger floor plates
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
The Urban Planning Department of the UT Administration has proposed a new concept for neighbourhood shopping centres in the city.

Dispensing away with the concept of shop-cum-offices (SCO) and shop-cum-flats (SCF), the UT has proposed larger floor plates offering flexibility of interior design against the block design of commercial sites.

In the final master plan 2031, the UT has proposed that in the yet to be developed commercial areas, there would be a provision for underground parking integrated with the state-of-the-art facilities.

It has been advocated that the planning and execution of the entire shopping centre and thereafter space rented or leased out on the pattern of the shopping malls.

In case of the already developed markets such as Sectors 8 and 11, it has been suggested that the area occupied by the road and parking can be integrated with shopping and provided with street furniture and open-air outdoor seating arrangement.

Redevelopment of Sec 17 city centre

* Two iconic buildings proposed on the two reserve pockets along the Madhya Marg will make for a better entry to the city centre. These buildings should be sensitively designed in consonance with the special architectural expression of Sector 17 as conceived by Le Corbusier.

* Developing the northern end of the city centre and the plaza in front of the State Library Building as the main centre of attraction. At present, the entire focus of the city centre is towards Neelam Plaza.

* The city centre shall thus be seamlessly connected with Sector 9 and 22 on the north and south of the sector. The city centre shall also form part of the Chandigarh Heritage Circuit.

* Construction of an 11-storeyed building will act as a trigger to reactivate the state library piazza with commercial activities.

Provision of parking areas

Multi-storeyed or underground parking shall be constructed in the existing markets wherever feasible and use of existing underground parking shall be mandated for long-term parking. All new shopping centres shall be planned with a provision for basement and underground parking spaces to be achieved by undertaking holistic planning and implementation of the centres.

Redesigning the sub city centre, Sector 34

The sub city centre needs to be redesigned to provide larger sites to attract reputed investors in the area of commerce, entertainment, leisure, shopping, etc. A cluster of high-rise blocks with large-floor plates will be desirable from the urban design point of view. There is a need to review not only the part that has not been built but also the already constructed portion.



Residents throng markets as festive spirit soars in city
As e-commerce sites offer bumper sales, customers make purchases online; retailers and traders left high and dry
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
Festivity is in the air. Even as city markets have launched special offers and discounts on selective items, the mega sale by e-commerce websites has left the retailers high and dry.

The buyers, meanwhile, are attracted to buy cheaper online deals. Ahead of Diwali, Karva Chauth and related pre-events, city markets, including those in Sectors 22, 19, 17 and other smaller markets have come up with discounts, purchase packages and lucky draw schemes. 

In the Sector 22 jewellers’ market, for instance, retailers including those selling crockery, cosmetics and apparels in addition to jewellers, have jointly launched a lucky draw scheme in collaboration with automobile and electronic companies. On purchase of Rs 1,000 and above, each of the buyers is issued a lucky draw coupon.

“The most common and popular offer this time are the free gifts on purchase of different amounts of above Rs 1,000, Rs 5,000 or Rs 10,000,” said JPS Kalra, General Secretary, Traders Association, Sector 17.

Meanwhile, the mega sale offered by two popular e-commerce websites two days ago, offering all categories of items — apparels, electronic items, gadgets and accessories— at unusually low prices has resulted in resentment among retailers in the city.

The retailers stated that these heavy discounts would not bring profit for the sellers either in the retail or online markets.

“The buyers will also be at the receiving end due to the limited availability of stocks,” they said.

e-commerce websites do not look at immediate profit
Sameer Sharma, Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Trideal.in, said, “Most of the e-commerce websites look at long-term profits. These may take about 10 years as seen in the case of the leading US-based e-commerce website. Here, the first endeavour is customer acquisition (winning the confidence and consistency of buyers). Besides, it is not true that, when compared with retailers, the online sellers save on overhead expenses. The overhead expenses in e-commerce websites are different. Investment is more on IT and shipping.” 

Police arrangement
Maneesh Chaudhary, SP (traffic), said, “We will deploy 3 DSPs, six inspectors and 500 cops across city markets to manage the crowd and traffic. I have asked the Municipal Corporation not to permit stalls in parking lots and footpath. I have also asked the Deputy Commissioner and MC to remove encroachments from the parking lots. We have also asked the managements of schools and colleges located near the markets to open their playgrounds to park vehicles during the evening hours.”

Traders on online medium
"We don’t have any objection to the sale that these e-commerce websites are offering. However, the difference lies in the stock that they are selling. Most of them purchase two or three year old stocks"—
Charanjiv Singh, President, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal

"Most of the online sellers buy items from dealers and not directly from the manufactures. The heavily discounted items, in reality, reach only a few buyers. Others are left unhappy due to the unavailability of stock" —Amarjeet Singh, owner, Surindra Radios, Sector 22

Buyers’ voice their opinion
"I feel online shopping is better. Discounts really matter."—
Balbir Singh Saini, retired banker

"Buying from retail shops is a secure option. But in online, one cannot take a trial."—Kritika Gupta, student

"I think the products appear better online than in reality. My experience has been bitter in terms of quality of stuff bought in online sale." Prahlad Bhagat Vasudeva, advocate 



karva chauth
Women make a beeline for apparel stores, salons
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
From celluloid to real life, the portrayal of Karva Chauth has grown larger. The cosmetic, textile and entertainment commerce industry is ensuring to cash in on the moment by offering lucrative discounts to women.

Women apply mehandi for Karva Chauth in Chandigarh.
Women apply mehandi for Karva Chauth in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

All the leading boutiques in the city are offering heavy discounts on formal attires. With Karva Chauth round the corner, women can be seen thronging shops and salons to get that perfect look for the festival.

Guriender Kaur, resident of Sector 36, said, “Thanks to media, there is growing awareness about the custom and over the years it has become more glamourised.”

Not only this, several clubs, advertisers and greeting card companies have jumped on to the bandwagon to make the custom grandeur.

Sheeba, a Karva bash event organiser, said, “We organised a pre-karva bash for women where we made arrangements for mehandi, nail art and games.”

Hotels in the city are also offering to hold Karva Chauth parties where women can get together, either the day before, when there’s no fasting, or on the day itself where they may fast, and apply mehandi.

Greetings card companies are not behind too.

Several stores are filled with special Karva Chauth cards and gifts.

The sweet-makers are also competing hard to attract women and have specially-decorated thalis for the festival. Meanwhile, the rates for mehandi range from Rs 300-Rs 800 per hand.



Postal Dept celebrations

Chandigarh, October 8
The Department of Posts will celebrate the National Postal Week from October 9-15. Several activities will be held during the week-long celebrations. October 9 will be celebrated as World Postal Day, October 10 as World Saving Bank Day, October 11 as World Mail Day, October 12 as World Philately Day, October 13 as Business Deal Day and October 14 as Postal Life Insurance Day.

Bhishan Singh, Senior Superintendent Post Offices, Chandigarh, said, “We will mark celebrations throughout our branches.” — TNS



Panchkula Votes 2014
Close fight between INLD, BJP
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 8
As the Vidhan Sabha elections are drawing closer, a close fight is expected between Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) candidate Kulbhushan Goyal and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Gian Chand Gupta.

The INLD, which usually gets votes from villages and colonies, would be giving a tough fight in the Panchkula urban area as Kulbhushan Goyal, a businessman and a builder, has a good rapport in the city, which can get him several urban votes.

“For Gian Chand Gupta, strong political background in the city and a political back will fetch him urban votes. He has been into the politics since long and knows the nook and corner of the city,” said a political analyst.

“For both, not only votes of the Baniya community but also urban votes will be divided. Goyal has the advantage of being a known personality in the business fraternity in Panchkula,” the political analyst said.

The Modi wave would be working for Gupta, while Chautala’s wave would work for Goyal.

“Had the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) fielded former Deputy Chief Minister Chander Mohan, the party could have given a tough fight,” said another analyst.

The HJC has now fielded Ravinder Rawal, who lost the Municipal Corporation elections.

Congress campaigning is going too slow. Certain colony inmates are angry with the Congress for not keeping its promises, the advantage of which can go to other parties. Many of them joined the INLD today.

Till now, only Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had once rallied for Congress candidate DK Bansal, that too at the time of releasing the manifesto. No other such rally has been organised by the Congress in Panchkula. 



P’kula BJP workers join Modi at his rally
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 8
BJP candidate Gian Chand Gupta along with thousands of his supporters and party workers took part in a rally at Jagadhari today.

BJP candidate Gian Chand Gupta at the Mansa Devi market.
BJP candidate Gian Chand Gupta at the Mansa Devi market. A Tribune photograph

The party election office in Sector 8 was buzzing with activity since early morning when supporters started coming in. The parking lot was jam packed with hundreds of vehicles having banners and BJP flags.

Gian Chand Gupta stated that he has had the pleasure and honour of working closely with PM Narendra Modi while he was the in charge of Haryana and Chandigarh in late nineties. Gupta stated Modi had a special place for Haryana in his heart and specially Panchkula where he had spent most of his time during his tenure.

Meanwhile, in Jagadhari, all the candidates of the Ambala Parliamentary Constituency shared the dais with the Prime Minister. PM Modi appealed to the crowd to give a chance to BJP to rule the state for a better and developed Haryana. He addressed the gathering and asked the people to vote for giving BJP a majority in Vidhan Sabha polls. Almost all the senior leaders of the party accompanied Gupta to Jagadhari.

Meanwhile, Gian Chand Gupta got support from the Balmiki Samaj of Kot village in Barwala belt. Hundreds of villagers announced they would support Gupta as he is a local candidate who knows about the problems of people here. In another public meeting, Gupta was weighed against ladoos at Mansa Devi market where he was extended full support by the Mansa Devi Market Shopkeepers Union. President of the union Surinder Manchanda along with his office-bearers announced that the market union had decided to support Gian Chand Gupta because he was an able leader.



Sukhbir Badal to campaign for INLD
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 8
Punjab Deputy Chief Minister and President of the Shiromani Akali Dal Sukhbir Singh Badal would be star campaigner for INLD candidate Kulbhushan Goyal tomorrow. Badal would be coming to Sector 21 here at 10 am to seek votes for Goyal.

Angered over the Congress government for not getting their work done, a large number of residents and shopkeepers of the Old Panchkula extended their support to Goyal.

They accused the Congress government of not keeping its promise of rehabilitating them after their shops and houses were demolished for constructing a national highway.

Goyal had reached Old Panchkula to address a public meeting for his ongoing poll campaign.

OP Katyal, leader of the Shopkeepers Association of Old Panchkula, said it was ironical that the shopkeepers, running their shops for the past several decades, were left in the lurch as their shops had been demolished. Even the residents of Khadak Mangoli were facing a similar threat. They were also living there for past many years.

Speaking on the occasion, Karam Singh said the truck union had been removed. The shopkeepers were still waiting for small booths. The decade-old motor market also was not functional.

Narinder Bhalla, son of former Panchkula MLA Kanti Prakash Bhalla, referred to the judgment of the Punjab and Haryana High Court that had ordered to not to displace the residents till they were allotted place within 8 km.

Kulbhushan Goyal promised to ensure better health, sanitation and education facilities in Panchkula and recounted his priorities for development in the constituency.



SAD councillor’s death
Mayor calls special House meeting today

Chandigarh, October 8
Following the demise of SAD councillor Malkiat Singh, Mayor Harphool Kalyan has called a special MC House meeting on Thursday. At the meeting, a ‘Shradhanjali samaroh’ will be held. Meanwhile, the MC councillors have sought compensation for the family of Malkiat Singh.

BJP councillor Saurabh Joshi said, “This unfortunate incident has happened for the first time ever when a councillor, who had gone for an official visit, did not return home.”

“As per Section 417 of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act (extended to UT, Chandigarh), every councillor shall be deemed to be a ‘public servant’. When a councillor becomes a public servant under the Act, then he and his family are to be given medical and other benefits,” added Joshi.

Echoing a similar view, Congress councillor Mukesh Bassi said, “Malkiat was a noble soul and had good relations with all councillors — be it of his own party or of the opposition. The MC should provide compensation to his family as he was on an official study tour.” — TNS



No play prompts 12-yr-old discus thrower to approach police
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 8
The Mohali Police were in for a surprise when a 12-year-old boy of Phase IV approached them after being stopped from playing at a public park by a member of the area’s Residents Welfare Association, here today.

The complainant, Varinderpal Singh, a student of Class VI, is a budding discus thrower and has won third position in the recently held District-Level Sports Meet at Shahid Udham Singh College, Tangori. In his complaint at the Phase I Police Station against Harcharan Singh Saini, who is also a local leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Varinderpal alleged that he (Saini) used to stop him and other children from playing at the public park.

“Due to this, my practice is being affected and other children also suffer,” said Varinderpal.

Demanding action against Saini, the child asked the police to let him and other children play at the park.

“Playing sports in the park is our right. Where should we go if we are not allowed to play in our own park,” said Varinderpal.

As the child reached the police station alone, the policemen contacted his parents and asked them to take him along. The boy’s father along with some other residents of the locality reached the police station and also gave another representation against Saini.

While Saini termed all such allegations baseless, inspector Pawan Kumar, SHO of the Phase 1 Police Station, said he had summoned both parties to sort out the issue.

However, no case had been registered against anybody in this connection.



Contests mark Air Force Day celebrations

Chandigarh, October 8
The 82nd anniversary of the Indian Air Force (IAF) was celebrated at the No. 3 Base Repair Depot (BRD), here today. Air Commodore Arun Kumar Barik, Air Officer Commanding, 3 BRD, addressed the personnel of the Depot and gave away the Chief of the Air Staff and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief commendations to the officers and airmen of the Depot.

The Air Officer Commanding, 3 BRD, extended his greetings to all personnel and their family members.

Various activities and functions were also organised at the Depot as part of the Air Force Day celebrations. These included a quiz competition for airmen and children of the Air Force personnel, an essay competition in English and Hindi for airmen, drawing and painting competitions as well as a cartoon and caricature competition. A zonal-level quiz competition and a command-level quiz competition for children was also organised at the Depot. — TNS



Know Your Armed Forces
Cadets, students attend seminar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
A seminar on “Know Your Armed Forces” was conducted at the Maharaja Ranjit Armed Forces Preparatory Institute (AFPI) in Mohali today. In addition to the cadets of the AFPI, students from Sainik School, Kunjpura, Sainik School, Kapurthala, and Yadavindra Public School, Mohali, attended the event. The chief guest, Brig MG Sekaran, Group Commander NCC, Chandigarh, highlighted the ethos of armed forces and life in the services, while Wg Cdr JS Jeji spoke about the career in the Air Force and spoke about the types of aircrafts and various branches of the IAF.

Thereafter, Lt Commander Mannu Virk from the Indian Navy highlighted the career prospects in the Navy.

Maj Gen BS Grewal (retd), Director, AFPI, highlighted the combat arms, combat support arms and the role of services available in the Indian Army. He elaborated on various wars fought by the Indian Army and how it stood the test of time.



Bribe case
ASI, head constable put under suspension
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 8
The Mohali Police put its two officials, Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Sartaj Singh and head constable Shyam Sunder, under suspension here today.

Confirming the development, Mohali SSP Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti said a departmental inquiry had also been initiated against the duo.

“There are several other complaints against them. So, an inquiry has also been ordered in this connection,” said SSP Bhatti.

Notably, both policemen were arrested by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau yesterday for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 50,000.

ASI Sartaj Singh was in charge of the Majat Police Chowki and head constable Shyam Sunder was also posted there. Both were arrested on the complaint of Jaswinder Singh, a resident of Zirakpur.

The complainant alleged that he was in a car with a woman when both policemen took them to the chowki and later demanded Rs 1 lakh to settle the issue.




Cleanliness drive

Chandigarh: Frameboxx Animation and Visual Effects has started a cleanliness drive by engaging its students in cleaning the immediate surroundings in the parking lot facing the office blocks. “We will create a beautiful place in this area for others to emulate,” said the firm’s founder, Naveen Gupta.

Awareness initiative

Ambuja Cement flagged off an initiative across five states in North India to create awareness among masons on increasing productivity by focusing on the “Best Practices and Future Trends in Construction”. A fleet of 25 vans will traverse 1,500 towns, conducting workshops in Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and J&. In all 36,000 masons, dealers and contractors will benefit from the campaign. — TNS



Upgrading basic infrastructure
PU seeks Rs 20 cr special grant
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
Panjab University has demanded a special grant of Rs 20 crore for upgrading its basic infrastructure. The demand was made to the Central government through the Chandigarh Administration.

Sources said the university had made this request as for the past many years no funds had been allocated in the Union Budget for construction or upgrading of buildings. Most projects, resultantly, are hanging fire for a long time, due to scarcity of funds.

A highly placed official of the university said the authorities were demanding this fund especially for setting up a power station and replacing the existing wiring, as the electricity load was increasing with the expansion of the campus.

Recently, the varsity allocated Rs 82 lakh for rewiring in the UICET, following a minor fire incident that took place in the NSS office located in the same building. A special committee formed to look into the matter had recommended that the old wires should be replaced immediately to avoid such incidents in future. Sources said after the incident faculty members were asked not to use air-conditioners installed in their rooms.

Reportedly, another proposal pertaining to rewiring at the political science department in the Arts Block III at an expenditure of Rs 5.56 lakh will be tabled in the Senate.

PU Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover confirmed that the special grant had been asked for from the Centre. He said it had become necessary to upgrade power infrastructure on the campus, especially in old Arts Blocks that are facing problems in their day-to-day activities.

“Besides this, round-the-clock power supply is required in science labs, where a lot of sensitive equipment and chemicals are stored,” he said. 



Govt schools on periphery cry for attention
Elementary students packed like sardines in classrooms due to lack of infrastructure
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
Children studying in government schools on the city’s periphery are a neglected lot. Sample this: For 2,691 students of Government Model High School, Vikas Nagar, Mauli Jagran, there are only 10 classrooms.

Similar is the situation at most government schools located in the peripheral areas, while schools located within the city have one classroom per 35 to 40 students.

In all, there are 1,989 classrooms for 1,03,481 students enrolled at the elementary level (from Class I to Class VIII) in UT government schools. However, a reality check reveals a huge disparity in the student-classroom ration between schools located on the periphery and those running within the city.

For example, while Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 15, houses 16 classrooms for 552 students, six peripheral schools—Government Model School, Raipur Kalan; Government Senior Secondary School, Mauli Jagran; Government Model Senior Secondary School Mani Majra, Government Model High School, Vikas Nagar, Mauli Jagran; Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 26 (TM) and Government High School, Colony No. 4—have a total of only 93 classrooms for 11,951 children studying there.

As per the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, every school needs to maintain a student-classroom ratio of 30:1 at primary level and 35:1 at upper primary level.

Principals of the peripheral schools say the lack of infrastructure puts a lot of burden on teachers. Educationists say packing students in classrooms like sardines affects the quality of education.

Every year, crores of funds are being sanctioned under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. If just a part of this was spent on constructing classrooms, the situation could have been much better, say educationists.

Director Public Instruction (School) Kamlesh Kumar remained unavailable to comment, despite repeated attempts.



NSS volunteers focus on personal, community health
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
Students are taking part in the National Service Scheme (NSS) camps across various city colleges.

On the third day of the camp at the Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45-B, volunteers participated in various activities. The day started with a yoga instructor teaching various asanas and deep-breathing exercises to the volunteers. It was followed by an aerobics session, during which the students learnt flexibility and strength-boosting exercises.

A seven day-and-night camp was also organised at DAV College, Sector 10. During the camp that concluded today, principal Dr BC Josan told the students importance of such camps and the role of each volunteer. Around 150 volunteers took the “Swachhta Shapath” to keep themselves and their surroundings clean. The volunteers took out a rally at Dhanas village to create awareness on health, sanitation and hygiene.

NSS volunteers of the Postgraduate Government College for Boys, Sector 11, organised a sanitation drive on the campus and at Khuda Lahora village. They also planted 400 tree saplings on the campus.



annual convention
Attracting youth on physicists’ mind
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26, is hosting the 29th annual convention and symposium of the Indian Association of Physics Teachers (IAPT) from October 10 to 12.

The event will be inaugurated by IISER director Professor N Satyamurthy. More than 300 delegates from all over the country are expected to participate in the event.

The IAPT regional council president, Dr Manjeet Kaur, said eminent physicists would take part in a panel discussion on how to attract talented students to physics as part of the academic programme of the convention. Paper presentation and poster display would also be organised, she said.

“The three-day event is being structured in such a manner that innovative ideas are encouraged and interest in learning and practising physics is aroused among the youth,” said Dr Manjeet Kaur.

College principal MS Marwaha said a science fair to be organised during the convention would witness the demonstration of more than 100 innovative experiments.

“Students from various schools and colleges have been invited to learn the science behind these experiments,” said the principal. 



Students clean school, surroundings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
Ashmah International School organised a cleanliness drive on its campus and adjoining parks. The drive aimed at inculcating the habit of maintaining hygiene and cleanliness in students.

The students also visited houses in Sector 70 to motivate residents to keep their surrounding clean. Essay writing and painting activities were organised on the issue.

Mountview Public School, Baltana, launched the “Clean Your Surroundings” campaign at the school and Kalgidhar Enclave. Municipal committee president Kulwinder Singh Sohi and executive officer Parminder Singh participated in the campaign.



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