C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Mystery shrouds girl’s death
* 20-yr-old victim’s body found in drain near Shambhu barrier
* 3 held
* Drug overdose suspected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20
A 20-year-old girl, a resident of Sector 22, Chandigarh, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in a drain near the Shambhu barrier on the Rajpura road last night.

Manisha, alias Mani, the victim, allegedly died due to a drug (heroin) overdose and her body was dumped in the drain on the Rajpura road by three friends. The police arrested Rajat Beniwal (21), a resident of Sector 51, and Kamal Singh (21), a resident of Sector 56, in this connection last night. Dilpreet Singh, also 21, a resident of Mohali, was arrested this evening.

According to sources, during preliminary investigation, the accused claimed to have taken heroin and said the victim died due to an overdose of the drug. However, the police are yet to confirm this theory and reveal the exact cause of the death.

The sources said the accused are believed to have picked up Manisha from Sector 22 at around 8.30 pm on the night of October 18 and later snorted the drug in Mohali. They also took alcohol. During the wee hours, the victim started vomiting and complained of heaviness in the head following heavy sweating. The accused, however, ignored the victim’s health and continued to roam in their car, a Honda Brio (CH01 AS 1223), between Chandigarh and Mohali. After a while, the victim fell unconscious and later died. On realising that she was no more, the accused went to the Rajpura road and dumped her body in the drain.

The police started investigation after the victim's father, Joginder, submitted a missing complaint on October 19. During the investigation, the police zeroed in on the Rajat after going through the victim’s call details. Later in the evening, Rajat was arrested and taken to the spot where the body had been dumped. The victim’s family members also accompanied the police to the spot.

Rajat and Kamal were produced in a local court today and remanded in one-day police custody while Dilpreet was arrested this evening.

ASP (East) Guriqbal Singh maintained that the matter was under investigation and things would be clear only after the postmortem report was received, which was expected tomorrow morning. The victim's body was handed over to the family this evening. A case under Sections 363, 365, 201, 304 and 120-B of the IPC had been registered at the Sector 17 police station against the accused.

She never took drugs: Father

“The accused have ruined our life. Our daughter never took drugs. This is a baseless theory. She left the house to stay at her friend’s place. The accused kidnapped Mani and later killed her. We want strict action against the accused,” said Joginder, the victim’s father.

Cops caught napping?

The Chandigarh police may again face flak as the accused are believed to have moved around the city in a car with the girl's body. On February 25, 2012, Amit Garg, who later committed suicide, was found moving around in a car with his mother’s body while the police failed to notice it.

Past incident

In December 2012, a 21-year-old girl student of Government College, Sector 11, and resident of Ambala, was found died due to a drug overdose at a hotel in Sector 22.



child labour
Two tea vendors sentenced till the rising of the court
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20
Coming down heavily on those indulging in child labour, the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Anubhav Sharma sentenced two tea vendors till the rising of the court and fined them Rs 10,000 each for deploying children for work.

The court convicted Suresh and Ajay, two Sector 17-based tea stall vendors, who had deployed minor boys to sell tea for them. Both tea vendors paid Rs 10,000 each as fine and were made to stand in the court for the entire day as punishment. The Anti-Child Trafficking Unit of the UT police had arrested the two tea vendors, Suresh and Ajay, from Sector 17 during a special drive in June this year. Both minor boys were aged 13 years and were found washing utensils and doing other menial work at the stall when the police had booked their employers. Two separate FIRs were registered against them at the Sector 17 police station.

They were booked under Section 26 of the Juvenile Justice Act (exploitation of the child employee) and Section 374 of the IPC (unlawful compulsory labour). While they were bailed out at the time of the registration of the case, the two were fined by the court after they pleaded guilty during the trial.

DSP Kamla Meena, in charge of the Anti-Child Trafficking Cell, said they had registered eight cases this year under the Juvenile Justice Act in which employers were booked and this kind of sentencing by the court would go a long way in deterring those who employ minors. “Besides registering cases, we have been rescuing the children and sending them to shelter homes where they can study,” said the DSP.



Worm-infested ration for 5,000 families
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 20
In a clear case of insensitivity on the part of the Panchkula administration, worm-infested and fungus-laden ration has been provided by it to low income group families in Kharag Mangoli. The ration, which is unfit for human consumption, was meant for 5,000 families.

Irate residents today reached the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Sector 1, Panchkula, with the worm-infested ration and demanded that the officials eat it.

After seeing the worm-infested rice and cereals, Sub-Divisonal Magistrate (SDM) Hema Sharma ordered a probe.

“As the ration is supplied by the Food and Supplies Department, I have ordered a probe and the District Food and Supply Officer has been asked to submit a report in this regard.”

She said action would be taken against the depot holder for providing substandard ration.

Shravan Kumar, a resident of the area, said, “Can any official eat this. It is unfit for human consumption. Only because we are poor, they are giving it to us.”

Birju, another resident, said, “Worms and insects can be seen all over the ration. It is not even fit for animal consumption. How can the administration be so insensitive?” The government allows subsidised ration to low income group families having BPL cards.

District Food and Supply Controller Ved Prakash said, “A probe has been ordered; I have asked the AFSO to investigate the matter. Such things won’t be tolerated.”

Not the first time

It is not the first time that the administration is in the news for providing such ration to people. During a raid on some government schools by the then Chief Judicial Magistrate, fungus-laden ration meant for mid-day meals was found.

SDM orders probe

After seeing the worm-infested rice and cereals, SDM Hema Sharma ordered a probe.



Over 1,000 vehicles set to be delivered on Dhanteras today
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20
As the festive fervour reaches its crescendo on Dhanteras tomorrow, the month-long wait for more than 1,000 families in the tricity will be over and they will own their brand new vehicles. Across all major dealerships in the tricity, a number of vehicle deliveries are scheduled for Dhanteras, considered auspicious for buying metals.

According to the dealers, the demand for smaller cars such as Maruti Alto 800 and K10, Honda Brio and Hyundai i20 is the highest this year. The bookings for these were made by these 1,000 families more than a month ago. “Following a huge sale of cars during the Navratras, we had not expected such a response on Dhanteras.

There has been a marginal increase in the sales this time as compared to last year and these are good signs for us,” said Pradeep Sheoran, General Manager, Sales, Tricity Autos, Maruti.

The dealers said the recent dip of a total of Rs 5 per litre in the prices of petrol had led to a significant increase in the demand for the petrol variants of cars. In Maruti, until four months ago, there was a long waiting list for the diesel variants of Swift Dzire and Swift. “Now, there is an equal demand for the petrol variants. Diesel cars are commonly more in demand due to the higher mileage. However, the petrol variants are cheaper by over Rs 1 lakh and following the dip in the petrol prices, people have started preferring the petrol variants,” said an official.

Some excited buyers visited the showrooms today to take a look at their vehicles before taking these home tomorrow.

Petrol variants more in demand

The demand for the petrol variants of car has risen following the dip of over Rs 5 per litre in the prices of pertrol during the past four months.



SDO booked on charge of rape
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 20
A Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) with the Electricity Department was booked on a charge of raping a 22-year-old girl by the Sector 20 police here today. According to the SHO of the Sector 20 police station, the accused SDO, Anil Kumar, had befriended the girl when she had gone to the office to pay her electricity bill.

"The victim alleged that for the past one year, Anil raped her on the pretext of marrying her," said Surinder Kumar, SHO.

The police have registered a case against the SDO under Section 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC. The accused has not been arrested.



Open House response
Spurious sweets: Go for zero-tolerance policy
The UT Health Department has been seizing adulterated sweets and other food items after the onset of the festival season. It is done every year, but violators go scot-free. Chandigarh Tribune asked its readers what needs to be done to ensure quality of sweets and food products

Harsher punishment for violators needed

Adulteration of material is result of difference between demand and supply, and quantum of profit margin. The legislators and Parliamentarians need to enact laws for harsher punishments to those indulging in adulteration and playing with people’s lives. News about sweets shop being raided and samples being taken are common during festive season. However, one seldom comes to know about the conviction or punishments awarded in such cases.

Sardul Singh Abrawan, Chandigarh

Laws no deterrent in absence of conviction

The major reason for supply of adulterated sweets on festive occasions is lack of conviction even after getting caught red-handed. The quantum of milk product available in the market being much more than milk production in India is a clear indicator of adulteration.

Wg Cdr Jasbir Singh Minhas (retd), Mohali

Conduct checks throughout the year

The authorities concerned should conduct checks to contain the malpractice throughout the year and not only during festive season. The shopkeepers want to make quick money ignoring the health risk they put their customers to.

IPS Anand, Mani Majra

Hygiene is compromised all year long

It is not that sweats or food is prepared in unhygienic conditions during festival season only. The practice is followed across the year. Sadly, neither the UT Health Department nor the MC authorities find it worthwhile to check food/sweats being cooked and sold in the open in unhygienic conditions.

KC Rana, Chandigarh

Food inspectors to blame

Over the years, adulteration in sweets, particularly those made of milk, during the festive season has grown manifold. More than the violators of the food safety laws, food inspectors play with the health of people.

SC Luthra, MHC, Chandigarh

Stricter checks required

There should be a vigorous and strict check by health officials to ensure quality and hygiene in eateries. All food shops should display their license. The culprits should not go scot free. Moreover, punishment under the present law seems not to be a deterrent against adulteration.

Aishwarya, Mohali

Strengthen Food Safety and Standards Authority

There is a need to strengthen Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. The organisation should be empowered to even ban a particular product if it does not meet the prescribed standards.

Prasoon, Chandigarh

Maintain cleanliness at sweets shops

Sweets shop owners should use pure and good quality products like ghee, khoya, milk, flour, sugar, oil etc. They should ensure that any of their workers is not suffering from any infection. The workers should be dressed in whites and wear white caps. They must wear gloves in their hands while packing and handing eatables.

Priya Darsh Growar, Mohali

Show no mercy to violators

No function or festivity is complete without sweets. During the festival season, there is a huge gap in the demand for sweets and its supply. To meet the demand, shopkeepers adulterate dairy products. Hygiene is sacrificed to ensure supplies on time. But who cares? There remains a need for more frequent and stringent checks by the administrative authorities. No mercy should be shown to those daring to play with health and lives of people.

SS Arora, Mohali

Quality of food sold has improved

The Prevention of Public Food Adulteration Act was amended to the Food Safety and Standard Act 2006. Since the new law came into force, there has been tremendous improvement in the standard of quality of food served or sold in shops and restaurants.

Sukhpal Singh, Chandigarh

Health officials to blame

Officials of the Health Department are to be blamed for sale of adulterated sweets and other food items. One wonders why they remain underground throughout the year only to surface around Diwali?

Sat Pal Kansal, Chandigarh

Buyers beware!

Adulterated food should be completely banned by the administration and the violators must be dealt with strictly and penalised. Customers should also check the food before purchasing. They must also be taught ways to check adulteration.

Pradyumn Gupta, Chandigarh

Say no to sweets!

The department concerned must be vested with special powers to frame charges against defaulters, fix the quantum of punishment for them, as hundreds of cases against habitual offenders are pending in the courts. A lesser number of convictions in the cases due to the prevalence of archaic laws has virtually led to the rise in cases of adulteration. On their part, people should also say no to sweets.

Ramesh K Dhiman, Chandigarh

Health officials interested only in photo-op

The Health Department officials appear at the scene for photo session only during festival season. It seems that in their view, no adulteration takes place during the rest of the year. In USA, every eating joint or such establishment has to get their premises regularly inspected for hygiene.

PS Bhullar, Chandigarh

Instill fear of law

A strict implementation of the Food Safety Act is needed because violators have lost the fear of law. Residents should be made aware about dangerous consequences of consuming adulterated food. There is a need to create the fear of law.

Vidya Sagar Garg, Panchkula

Casual raids won’t work

Casual raids by the health authorities on eateries fail to act as deterrent against compromising hygiene required for maintaining food safety and standards. Most of the time, defaulters go scot-free because of lengthy laid down procedure for testing of food samples from the notified testing laboratories and providing evidence beyond doubt. Regular checks coupled with simplified, fool-proof procedures should be laid down.

Prabhpreet Kaur, Mani Majra

Adopt zero tolerance towards offenders

For an effective check on adulteration of sweets and other eatables, a sufficient number of food inspectors and other staff should be deputed not only around festive occasions but all the year long. The authorities concerned should adopt zero tolerance policy towards offenders as they pose risk to health and lives of public.

Sanjay Srivastava, Chandigarh

Cancel licence of those selling spurious sweets

Those selling spurious sweets should be punished suitably and their licence cancelled. Also, under the Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) Act, consumers can approach government labs for testing of suspected adulterated food item.

Dr Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh

Send habitual offenders behind bars

The real culprits are officials of the Food and Health Department. The food inspectors are hand-in-glove with shopkeepers, who bribe them and get away with substandard sweets prepared in unhygienic environment. Licences of offenders must be cancelled. Habitual offenders must be sent to jail.

Colonel RD Singh (retd), Ambala Cantt

Seizures by health officials nothing but farce

Seizure of adulterated sweets by Public Health authorities is an annual, fictitious and misleading event because neither such seizures effected any improvement in the quality of food being sold nor any violator ever got punished. And, the vicious circle of eroding public welfare continues.

MPS Chadha, Mohali

Strengthen food safety cell

The provisions of Food Safety Act, 2006, are not being implemented in letter and spirit due to shortage of manpower, food testing equipment and lack of will power. The Food Safety Cell in the UT Administration needs to be given more teeth, extra manpower, particularly during the festive season, and mobile food-testing vans for on-the-spot results.

Ravinder Nath, Chandigarh

Vigorous efforts needed to check adulteration

There is an urgent need to check adulteration in more serious and vigorous manner. Checking of food and sweets by officials concerned should be a regular affair and not limited to festival seasons. Officials taking samples should be properly trained, food testing laboratories be modernised and trials in cases of food adulteration should be completed quickly and in a time-bound manner.

Jagdishpal Singh Kalra, Chandigarh

Publicise names of violators

Violators should not be let off with monetary penalty only, as it will certainly be not more than their day’s income. Instead, the licence of offenders should be cancelled for a specific period. During festive season, the Health Department should also publish a list of such violators in local newspapers so as to make general public aware.

Upasana, Chandigarh

Ensure transparency

To break the nexus between officials and sweets shop owners, there is a greater need to improve food safety and ensure transparency in implementation of food regulations, including new Food Safety and Standards Act. Offenders should be given stringent punishment.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Middlemen are the real culprits

Neither milk producers in rural areas nor sweets shop owners in cities indulge in adulteration to maintain their reputation. It is only the middleman who, in order to earn huge profit during festivals, takes to adulteration. Sweets suppliers should be registered with the food safety cell. Defaulters, if any, found be penalised heavily and their licence cancelled.

Col. Balbir Singh (retd), Chandigarh

Empower food supplies dept officials

The Department of Food Supplies should be adequately empowered so that immediate strict action could be taken against offenders.

Ujagar Singh, Chandigarh

open house question

The Fourth Delhi Finance Commission has recommended congestion tax to increase the revenue of the civic authorities and decrease the entry of private vehicles in certain areas. But the Chandigarh Administration has failed to put in place an effective public transport system before imposing the congestion tax. Write your comments to openhouse@tribunemail.com in not more than 100 words along with a passport size photograph.



Unaware consumers equally responsible
Rajmeet Singh*

For local health authorities, food is adulterated only during the festival season, if the number of raids conducted by the authorities during this time of the year is an indication.

Still, those indulging in adulteration go scot free due to improper sampling that has resulted in a high acquittal rate. Due to poor enforcement and long procedure involved in hearing of the cases of adulteration, the entire purpose of The Food Safety and Standards Act, amended in 2011, is lost.

Statistics reveal that in the last four months, over 20 cases registered under Prevention of Food Adulteration Act have been disposed of and allegations have been proved only in one case. Around 200 cases are pending. Of the total 191 samples taken between April 2013 and March 2014, only nine samples have failed the purity test while eight have been found to be substandard and one was a case of misbranding.

Due to lack of government pressure and priority, the government agencies are rarely seen active from seizure till prosecution.

Besides, lack of awareness on the part of consumers is equally responsible for the large-scale problem of adulteration. Adulteration, be it in milk, sweets, fruits, vegetables and packed food, is still to catch consumers’ attention.

People are more concerned about food inflation or fuel price or how the government is performing but they never care about what they buy and eat daily. Adulteration is not only mixing substandard material in eatables, use of harmful pesticides in food is also a cause of concern.

The problem is widespread and increasing by the day. This is because we do not really care. Not many bureaucrats and politicians take to the streets to check this increasing menace.

The laws are all there. As usual, it is the implementation and prosecution that is found wanting. We also need to look at the western model where adulteration is seen as a serious offence that attracts heavy penalties..

(* The writer is Chief City Reporter)


festive woes
City Beautiful caught in traffic snarls on the eve of Dhanteras
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20
In the run up to the Diwali festival, commuters have been witnessing traffic snarls with the traffic moving from bumper-to-bumper over the last few days. The situation today worsened on the eve of Dhanteras.

Be it Madhya Marg, Dakshin Marg or the inner sectors roads, haphazard parking of vehicles in front of commercial areas made the matters worse.

Today, the worst affected areas were Sectors 17, 22, 34, 35, Dakshin Marg, Madhya Marg, Sectors 18, 19 and Mani Majra markets and roads leading to Mohali and Panchkula. Absence of traffic police on the inner sector roads made the matters worse.

During a visit to various market places, including Sector 18, 19, 22, 27, 28 and 34 it was found that due to the shortage of parking space, a large number of vehicles were parked alongside the roads, which resulted in traffic congestion on roads located near the markets.

The traffic scenario worsened after 6 pm, as the traffic police struggled to cope with the increasing rush on the main roads. Commuters, many out on the road to exchange Diwali greetings with their near and dear ones, reached their destinations late as they remained stranded in the gridlock.

Gridlock at rotaries

Heavy traffic jams are being witnessed in the evening at the Piccadily traffic lights, Press traffic lights, Aroma traffic lights, ISBT roundabout and along the Udyog Path marking roundabouts of Sector 18/19/20/21, Housing Board traffic lights to Sector 26, Sector 20/30 roundabout and Sector 33/34 small roundabout. The commuters remained stuck in traffic jams for over 30 minutes at a stretch, as the strength of the traffic police seemed inadequate at some roundabouts.

No police deployment in markets of inner sectors

Absence of traffic police in the inner sector markets was leading to a traffic chaos in Sectors 18/19 and 22 as people were parking their vehicles in a haphazard manner alongside the roads.

Additional parking areas needed

Festival revellers are demanding additional parking space in commercial areas to reduce the traffic chaos. The effort by traffic police to create additional parking in government schools could have solved the problem to a great extent.



Guest houses to be sealed
MC had earlier sent notices to 120 owners for building violations
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20
The municipal corporation is all set to seal 120 guest houses running in villages under the civic body’s jurisdiction. MC officials in a meeting held this week have decided to seal these guest houses.

Earlier, the MC had issued final notices to such guest houses as there were violations of building bylaws and fire safety arrangements.

A senior MC official said they had decided to seal these guest houses. After completing the legal formalities they would soon issue a notice in this regard, the official added.

According to the draft notification of the building bylaws in the villages, the minimum plot size to run a guest house in villages should be 500 sq yards (one kanal). At present, a majority of guest houses are functioning from plots, the size of which ranges from five marlas to seven marlas.

The municipal corporation had issued notices on 120 illegal guest houses that came within the MC limits. Most of the guesthouses are in Kajheri village, Burail, Attawa, Mani Majra, Maloya and Dadu Majra.

A senior official of the MC said the guesthouses had come up violating the building bylaws. The violation was noticed during a survey, he stated.

The official further said while multi-storeyed buildings were being constructed, the structural stability of the guest houses was questionable. The buildings constructed within the city are required to follow strict construction guidelines, but there is no check on the same in the villages. Certain guest houses have basements too. The requisite infrastructure, including proper sewerage, is not available in the areas where the guest houses have come up. In case of a disaster, these guest houses will be virtual death traps, he added.

Recently, the Chandigarh Administration and the civic body had prepared a draft to check haphazard urbanisation in the rural areas. There are 23 villages, of which nine come within the MC limits.

As per the draft notification of building bylaws in the villages, the minimum plot size to run a guesthouse in villages should be 500 sq yards (one kanal). At present, a majority of the guesthouses have been constructed on plots measuring five marlas to seven marlas.

The notification states, “A guest house should be constructed along a 22-feet wide road. The minimum plot size should be 500 square yards. Building norms and pollution norms should be adhered to. There should be adequate parking space.”

Violations galore

In 2009, the MC had prepared a report on the guest houses in villages, which highlighted numerous violations. According to the report, the guest houses have been constructed on narrow village lanes. They are structurally unsafe. Some of them needed to be pulled down. Many guest houses were also found to be virtual death traps with no fire safety equipment installed there. Most of these guest houses also do not have parking lots. Cars are parked haphazardly in front of buildings, choking village roads. The report also said that when these guest houses were constructed, there were no building bylaws for villages.



New CTU buses hit city roads
20 midi buses flagged off at ISBT, Sector 43
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20
After a gap of over four years, new low-floor midi buses of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) today hit the roads. The first lot of 20 ac and non-ac buses were flagged off by Bhawana Garg, Secretary, Transport, and Director, Transport, TPS Phoolka, from the Sector 43 Inter-state bus terminus (ISBT).

The buses have been put on local routes and will replace the low-floor white and blue colour buses.

Out of 170 buses, which have been ordered, 20 buses have been supplied and the rest 150 buses will hit the road by November end. These buses are fitted with the electronic gadgets i.e. cameras, GPS, electronics destination board, electronically control engine.

The new 24-seater buses have come with major changes in the seating arrangement.

Against traditional design of putting chairs in consecutive rows, the seating arrangement has been changed to give more space for standing and keeping luggage in the aisle.

The driver seating area has been cut off from the passenger area so that the conductor remains among the passengers and passengers do not sit on the engine hood.

In the traditional design, a pair of seats is arranged in rows and this leaves little space in the aisle.

While officials of the CTU claimed that the design had been approved by the Automotive Research Association of India ( ARAI ) and had been made as per the standard design, operating staff of the CTU claimed that the seating arrangement was not user-friendly and did not give clear view of the passenger area to the driver.



2052 Flight is best flying outfit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20
The 2052 Utility Helicopter Flight of 205 Army Aviation Squadron has bagged the Command Flight Safety Trophy for 2013-14. The trophy was received by the Flight Commander Lt Col Vikram Khatri from the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lt Gen KJ Singh, during the Western Command Flight Safety Conference held at Chandimandir today.

The conference was chaired by Lt Gen V Menon, Chief of Staff, Western Command. He reviewed various aviation operational missions and their flight safety aspects. Western Command Aviation units provide extensive aviation support to the entire command theatre both during war and peace. It involves flying in diverse terrain and weather conditions encompassing.

Complimenting aviation units for providing succor to the flood-affected areas in Jammu and Kashmir during the recently concluded Operation Megh Rahat, he emphasised that Army Aviation was a potent arm in the third dimension and was destined to play a pivotal role in all future wars.

Maj Gen PK Bharali, Officiating Director General Army Aviation at the Army Headquarters, also reviewed the operational preparedness and the flight safety aspects of the flying tasks achieved. He underscored the need for Army aviation to be prepared to demonstrate its potential in the entire spectrum of conflict coupled with internal security challenges, disaster management and aid to civil authorities. He also deliberated upon the issue of operational employment, maintenance and logistic support and complimented the aviation units on maintaining an excellent accident free-flight safety record.



UT Adviser KK Sharma not to go to Goa, to take charge as Addl Secy at Delhi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20
After a tenure of three and a half years in the city, UT Adviser KK Sharma has been transferred to Union Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) as the Additional Secretary today.

Sources revealed that earlier Sharma’s transfer order were issued for the Chief Secretary, Goa, but KK Sharma was trying for his posting in Delhi. Finally, today the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued new transfer orders for KK Sharma.

The 1983-batch UT cadre IAS officer had assumed charge as the UT Advisor in April 2011. At present, Sharma is in USA for one-week training programme. Home Secretary Anil Kumar is looking after the charge of the Adviser to the UT Administrator.Meanwhile, sources revealed that Vijay Kumar Dev, a senior ArunachalPradesh–Goa–Mizoram–Union Territories (AGMUT) IAS officer, is likely to replace KK Sharma as the adviser of the Chandigarh Administration. Vijay Kumar Dev, a 1987 batch officer, is at present holding the position of the Delhi Chief Electoral Officer since October 2012. His posting orders are awaiting the clearance of the Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, who is in Mahasashtra in connection with the formation of the government.



Urban areas riding high on Modi wave
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 20
Kulbhushan Goyal, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) candidate, got three times less votes in his own VIP Sector 6 than the BJP candidate Gian Chand Gupta. However, Kulbhushan fared well in comparision of other candidates and gave tough fight to Gupta in many other booths where the others got just 1 vote.

In one booth in Sector 6, Goyal got 151 votes while Gupta got 406 votes. Similarly in another booth in Sector 6, Goyal got 200 votes and Gupta got 444 votes.

In the same booth in Sector 6, Congress MLA DK Bansal got only 46 votes while in another booth he got just 63. HJC candidate Ravinder Rawal got only 1 vote in one booth and 13 in the other.

Meanwhile, Gian Chand Gupta’s, Sector 17, where he resides, in one booth Goyal got 10 votes where Gupta got 105 votes. In another booth, the INLD candidate got 76 votes where the BJP candidate took 595 votes.

Certain rural areas which have a tilt towards INLD tried the Modi’s BJP this time. In Kharag Mangoli, INLD got only 16 votes where Gupta got 83.

Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 4, another VIP Sector gave 129 votes to INLD while 706 votes were given to Gian Chand. In one booth in Sector 4, Gian Chand got 507 while INLD got 26. Nada and Asrawali village remained the strong points of INLD where Goyal got more votes than Gupta.

INLD was ahead of BJP in certain areas

Kulkbhushan Goyal was ahead of Gian Chand Gupta in few booths. In Saketri, Goyal outnumbered Gupta by taking 348 votes and Gupta got only 315 votes. In another booth in Sakteri, INLD got 281 votes while Gupta got 215 votes. Similarly in Bhainsa Tibba area, INLD got 313 votes and Gupta got only 257 votes. In another booth, Goyal got 298 while Gupta got 135.

Except the INLD candidate Kulbhushan Goyal, the deposits of all the other candidates including Congress MLA DK Bansal and HJC Ravinder Rawal were forfeited.



Panchkula residents want to erase ‘parasite on Chandigarh’ tag
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 20
Panchkula which was termed as ‘Paris of Haryana’ has always remained a parasite for Chandigarh. Be it an emergency medical case or any major fire, the township always has to seek help from Chandigarh.

Not only this, students of Panchkula go to Chandigarh for their education and termed as outsiders and get admissions in 15 per cent quota.

These are a few but there are loads of challenges for the new MLA which the Panchkula residents feel have to cope with.

From garbage to broken roads, from poor sanitation to deteriorating condition of parks, Panchkula has it all. The former MLA DK Bansal who claimed lot of development in the city and stated that it would be just development that would make him win, however he faced a big defeat.

“In what sense is Panchkula called the ‘Paris of Haryana’. My car is almost broken because of the bumpy roads despite the formation of Municipal Copration,” said Shikha Batra, a resident of Sector 8.

An ill-equipped fire department which has always lacked the fire uniforms, no hydraulic platform and no requisite number of fire tenders. “Despite the fact that all the headquarters of important departments of Haryana are in Panchkula such as irrigation department, police headquarters and many more, the city lacks basic facilites,” said Gauri.



Scrap SSA, says former CBI chief
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 20
The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) of the Central Government should be scrapped as under that system students fail to get proper education. This was stated by Joginder Singh, former Director of the CBI, while launching admissions to the January 2015 batch of the Aryans Group of Colleges, here today.

He said under the SSA students could not be failed till Class X even if they perform poorly in the examinations.

Joginder Singh said he had come across a Class X student who could not even read a newspaper. He felt the government was only trying to increase the number of literate persons in the country without bothering about whether they were being properly educated.

He said any nation could progress only on the basis of education and there were no shortcuts to development. Many college teachers went on study leave and keep on receiving their salaries without joining duty. There were a large number of such “bhoot” employees on the rolls in various departments.

He said the Delhi Municipal Corporation had admitted that there were 23,000 “bhoot” employees on the rolls of the civic body.

Nobody wanted to get a bad name and, as such, they were reluctant to highlight certain irregularities, he added.



Majithia opens sub-tehsil office in Zirakpur
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, October 20
The Punjab government opened office of sub-tehsil in Zirakpur today, providing a big relief to 34 nearby villages falling in its jurisdiction. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has fulfilled the pre-election promise committed by the SAD, claimed Bikram Singh Majithia, revenue minister, Punjab.

With the coming up of the sub-tehsil in Zirakpur, now residents will not have to visit Dera Bassi for their revenue related works, claimed Majithia while addressing a gathering after inaugurating of the sub-tehsil office.

Accompanied by local MLA, NK Sharma and Deepinder Singh Dhillon, president of SAD, Patiala, Majithia also handed over the first registration certificate of a property to a resident.

While taking to the Chandigarh Tribune, Majithia said a part of Bhankharpur village, that was not included in the Dera Bassi Municipal limits, will be merged with the Dera Bassi municipality. He claimed to have asked NK Sharma to submit a report in this regard to the government.

He said Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had promised the people of Zirakpur to grant sub-tehsil status two years back.

Sharma also listed the development works taken up in the constituency, especially in Zirakpur, Dhillon duing his address to the gathering said requisite staff including Naib Tehsildar has been appointed at the new sub-divisional office at Zirakpur.



Acupressure slippers a hit at CII consumer fair
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20
Those aged above 40 and needing lifestyle modifications having been thronging to take trials of the acupressure slippers available at one of the stalls at the CII Consumer Fair at the Sector 17 Parade Ground.

As the manufactures claim that the slippers, when used properly, can effectively bring down high blood pressure and blood sugar levels among patients, visitors could be seen making a beeline to the stall.

“It can treat diabetes, blood pressure, liver and lungs problems, cervical and joint pains. Acupressure points (also called potent points) are places on the skin that are especially sensitive to bioelectrical impulses in the body and conduct those impulses readily. Stimulating these points with pressure needles in the slippers triggers the release of endorphins, which are the neurochemicals that relieve pain.



Allottees hold protest against realtor

Chandigarh, October 20
Around 50 members of the Unitech Allottees Welfare Society, Mohali, gathered in front of Unicity, the Unitech office site in Sector 97, to protest against non-allotment of floors and flats to the allottees.

The allottees have already paid 95 per cent of the money but there has not been any progress in the development of the area so far. They lamented that the company has delayed the construction of flats and floors by over two years and even the basic infrastructure had not been created. The investors announced to take a legal recourse for redressal of their grievances. — TNS



PGI to have nutrition division

Chandigarh, October 20
With the PGIMER Advanced Pediatrics Centre reporting cases of malnourishment in a majority of children coming for treatment for various ailments, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has approved the proposal to set up a nutrition division as a solution.

The decision was taken last week during a meeting of the governing body (GB) of the institute chaired by the Union Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan, in New Delhi. Finding malnourishment a common problem among children coming to its Advanced Paediatric Centre (APC) for treatment of various ailments. — TNS



Sweets destroyed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20
A team consisting of the Food Safety Cell inspected a unit in Gobindpura,Mani Majra and a unit in Raipur Kalan village,Chandigarh, preparing ‘patasha’ and ‘khilona’. As many as 5 quintals of patasha and khilona were destroyed under the Epidemic Diseases Act, which were found exposed to dust and flies.

In Kajheri Village about 50 kg of sweets which included laddoo, badana, burfi, kalakand and chutney were destroyed. In Sector 24, about 30 kgs of Badana, Laddoo, Milk Cake and Burfi were destroyed.



Principal, 2 teachers summoned
Panel acts on father’s complaint against child’s thrashing in school
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20
The Chandigarh Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CCPCR) summoned the Principal of the KBDAV School, Sector 7, and two teachers on the complaint of a parent for allegedly thrashing their child, time and again, at the school and taking no action against the faculty for the same.

CCPCR chairperson Devi Sirohi confirmed that she had received the complaint from the father of the child regarding such incidents which took place at the school in the past one month.

She said on the basis of the complaint, Sirohi today summoned the head and the faculty of the school to hear their comments on these incidents.

As per the complaint, during the past one month the child was beaten up thrice by different faculty members due to various reasons in the school. Despite the parents’ complaint to the higher authorities of the school about the incident in the past, no action was taken against the faculty members.

The complaint was also submitted to the DPI (Schools), and the UT SSP to look into the grievances of the child.

No action taken

As per the complaint, during the past one month the child was beaten up thrice by different faculty members due to various reasons in the school. Despite the parents’ complaint to the higher authorities of the school about the incident in the past, no action was taken against the faculty members.



PU youth fest concludes on high note
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20
Panjab University Zonal Youth and Heritage Festival 2014 Chandigarh (Zone A) concluded today at Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26, Chandigarh. On the final day of the event, teams from different colleges competed for the coveted positions in group dance, classical dance, giddha and bhangra.

Suchitra Mitra, an accomplished dancer, teacher and choreographer, was the chief guest for items of group dance and classical dance.

GCBM, Sector 42, bagged the first prize for group dance, followed by SGGS College, Sector 26, and DAV College, Sector 10, sharing the second prize.

The third prize was shared between GGDSD College, Sector 32, and PGG College, Sector 46, Chandigarh. GGDSD College, Sector 32, stood first in classical dance, DAV College, Sector 10, and PGGC, Sector 46, came second and third, respectively.

Sufi Balbir, a renowned international artiste, was the chief guest during the giddha performances. The first prize in giddha was bagged by DAV College, Sector 10, the second prize was shared between SGGS College, Sector 26 and GGDSD College, Sector 32, and the third prize went to the PU Campus team.



Fund Crunch
PU to scrap dental hospital project
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20
Panjab University has decided to scrap the prestigious 100-bedded Dr Harvansh Singh Judge institute of Dental Hospital project. The proposal to re-model the existing infrastructure constructed for the hospital will be tabled in the Syndicate meeting scheduled for October 26 for its final approval.

In a think tank special committee meeting held on September 29, 2014, Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover proposed to re-structure the hospital building in a manner that 50 per cent of the premises would be given to the dental college and 50 per cent would be utilised for shifted departments. In the meeting the Engineering Department presented a report that the project, which was planned on around five acres, could not be carried forward due to paucity of funds for constructions.

Sources said in the meeting the committee members were also informed that the UT Administration, which was approached by the university to assist financially in setting up the project and running it, refused to do so. As a result, the committee proposed to re-structure the infrastructure and utilise it for university departments that are facing shortage of space on the campus.

As per the initial estimate, the cost of construction for the project was around Rs 150 crore, which included construction and installation of medical equipment and beds. Though the authorities received Rs 80 crore as a special grant from the UT Administration, it utilised the same to commence the construction of the hospital.

A special committee of experts, which was constituted to review the project, submitted its recommendation that without the UT Administration’s collaboration the project would not be feasible for the PU as the recurring cost would be around Rs 30 crore annually.

As per experts, one bed would have a recurring cost of Rs 1.5 crore to the university. As per budget report of 2014-15, the project that commenced in July 2010 its date of completion was January 2014.

In the last meeting, the experts had opined that when the university could not afford to bear the cost of construction due to which the project was already running behind schedule, it would be difficult for the authorities to carry forward the project.

In fact, the experts suggested to the university authorities to extend the existing tie-up with Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, for training their students rather than taking training in the hospital.

Sources revealed that the university was paying Rs 20,000 per student per year to the medical college for training. Earlier, the university had a tie-up with Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, for training its dental students.

Records of the university revealed that in 2009, a proposal was mooted that the university should tie-up with the GMCH for the purpose, but the PU authorities wanted to run the hospital on their own.



Dr SS Bhatti’s book on the growth of city released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20
Former principal, Chandigarh College of Architecture, Dr SS Bhatti’s book ‘Chandigarh: An Irony of History’ focuses on evaluation of actual Chandigarh that grew out of the Le Corbusier’s planning theories and their realisation on ground.

It was published in America. This magnum opus is an abridged version in the book form of Bhatti’s first PhD done in 1991 for which he won the 5th JIIA Journal of the Indian Institute of Architects at the National Award for Excellence in Architecture (research category) in 1993.

It comprehensively deals with town planning, architecture, urban design, landscape, art, and services, in the context of Le Corbusier’s written word and his realised works, vis-à-vis the dynamics of urban phenomena, whereby citizens have attained a new lifestyle.

Dr Bhatti shows for the first time how the creation of Chandigarh — designed as the capital of the partitioned Punjab state that outrivals national capitals of the modern world — is, in fact, ‘an Irony of History’. The book shows the author’s professional versatility, with insightful expertise in history of modern architecture as well as Indian architecture, to put Chandigarh in the right global perspective.

The book was released by Dr Rajiv Mishra, principal, Sir JJ College of Architecture, Mumbai, who was the chief guest for the First Friday Forum annual oration-cum-awards event.



From PU & Colleges
Prof Sandhu gets lifetime achievement award

Honouring his contribution in the field of sports psychology, the Sports Psychology Association of India, during the International Congress of Sports Psychology at Delhi University, honoured Prof Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu, a leading sports scientist of Panjab University, with a lifetime achievement award for 2010-2011.

General body meeting

The general body meeting of the Chemistry Department Alumni Association of the Panjab University was held at the department. On the occasion, the engraved sculpture of former head of the department and Vice-Chancellor of PU, Chandigarh, late Prof RC Paul was inaugurated to commemorate his 95th birthday.

Last date extended

Students willing to pursue open learning education from the PU will get another chance as the PU has extended the last date to submit applications for admissions to all classes under the semester system through the University School of Open Learning (USOL) up to October 30.


The department of computer science of DAV College, Sector 10, organised a poster-making competition, ‘Techno-Art’. Themes for the competition involved various aspects of life like music, dance, festival and the field of information technology.

Faculty development programme

The MCM DAV College for Women organised a faculty development programme. Suresh Chadha, professor of International Business and Marketing, UBS, PU, spoke about the role of knowledge in consultancy and Dr Jayanti Dutta, deputy director, academic staff college, talked about ‘Teaching-learning material development: selection and use’. — TNS



From schools
Diwali celebrations

Mothers and grandmothers of Kindergarten children spent some special moments with their little ones while decorating diyas, candles, making rangoli and decorating thali at Tribune Model School during Diwali celebrations. Principal Vandana Saxena encouraged the grandmothers and mothers for taking part in the anti-cracker campaign that was carried out by the eco club of the school.

Anti-cracker campaign

St John’s High School tried to bring out a three-day anti-cracker campaign. The campaign was organised on the school campus as well as at the Sector 17 Plaza. Johnians pledged that they would have a cracker-free Diwali and also educated youngsters and adults about the same.

Students told about ill-effects of crackers

Volunteers of NSS and Eco Club of GMSSS, Sector 37, organised an anti-crackers awareness rally in Sector 37. Principal Raviraj Kaur administered anti-cracker oath to the students before flagging of the rally. Lectures were delivered by the students and the teachers in the morning assembly to highlight the ill-effects of crackers and other pollution.

Students take pledge

Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 31, Chandigarh, today dedicated its morning assembly to create awareness among students to keep the environment clean by motivating students to celebrate a cracker-free Diwali. The whole school pledged together to not to burn crackers this Diwali.

Awareness rally

Chandigarh Baptist School conducted a rally on anti-cracker campaign. Students took a pledge in the morning assembly not to burn crackers this Diwali and save the environment from pollution. Around 100 students from senior classes along with teachers participated.

‘Say no to crackers’

Government Model Senior Secondary School, Mani Majra, Green Glory Eco Club and The Bharat Scouts and Guides of the school organised an anti-crackers campaign in the school. An oath ceremony was taken and rally was also organised on the theme of ‘Say no to crackers’. — TNS



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