C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


khuda lahora rape case
Five dismissed cops walk free
Acquitted of charges of rape, molestation and threatening minor girl
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
In a ruling that comes as a major relief for five dismissed UT constables who were in judicial custody for the past 11 months after being booked in a rape case, the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Anshu Shukla today acquitted all five constables of the charges of rape, molestation and threatening a minor girl.

The court acquitted dismissed constables — Jagtar Singh (23), Akshay (24), Sunil Kumar (23), Himmat Singh (24) and Anil Kumar (25). The five were booked on December 19, 2013, on allegations of raping and molesting a minor girl for months. In her complaint, the rape victim had alleged that the constables raped her at gunpoint and also forced her to take contraceptive pills following which they were then arrested. The sensational case took a complete U-turn in the court when the rape victim retracted from her statements given to police and told the court that she had an affair with one of the accused constables, Akshay, and did not identify the rest of the accused. The CFSL report in the case also failed to corroborate the rape allegations resulting in the acquittal, sources said. The defence had also proved by way of call records that the victim was herself in touch with two of the constables and made umpteen calls to both of them.

The victim is a Class X student of a government school.

At the time of the registration of the case, constables Akshay and Jagtar were posted with the Cheetah squad of the police control room while Sunil was posted with the crime branch.

Victim's complaint

The victim, a resident of Khuda Lahora who claimed to be 17 years old, had first complained to the police on December 18, 2013. Alleging harassment by the five constables, she said she was going to commit suicide when she narrated her ‘trauma’ to her brother. Her brother informed area councillor Saurabh Joshi, who further informed the police and action was then taken. In her complaint, the girl stated that in October 2013, she had to dial the 100 number owing to a dispute at her Khuda Lahora residence. As the police reached the spot, constable Akshay, who also resides in the same locality, and constable Sunil were there in the PCR vehicle. Constable Akshay had then called her the next day and offered to meet her. After becoming friends, he began to exploit her physically. Constable Sunil also joined in and raped her, she alleged. Soon, three other constables used to meet her and often molested her and sexually harassed her.

How the case took political colour

Soon after the police registered the case, BJP workers and supporters had staged a protest at the Sector 16 hospital, when the girl was brought for a medical examination.

December 19, 2013:
Police book five constables
December 20: All five arrested and dismissed from service
December 21: SIT reconstituted after complainant alleged she was being pressured
February 21, 2014: Police file chargesheet
March 6: Court frames charges
September 29: CFSL report fails to corroborate rape charge
November 11: All five acquitted

What led to the acquittal
Victim turned hostile: On March 21, 2014, the rape victim had turned hostile in the court and stated that she had an affair with accused Akshay whom she wanted to marry. She had then failed to identify the rest of the accused in the court. The victim had said that she had relations with Akshay but the entire thing was blown out of proportion by political parties, social workers and women organisations. She told the court that she had gone to the police station to make a prayer that Akshay should be asked to marry her but a different story was cooked up owing to political interference.
Change of statements: On April 3, the victim had again moved an application claiming that she turned hostile under pressure, which was later dismissed by the court.
CFSL report: The CFSL report in the case had failed to corroborate the rape charge. The forensic report in the case revealed that the DNA samples of the accused did not match with the samples obtained from the victim at the time of the registration of the case.
Call records: The chargesheet stated that 123 calls were exchanged between the minor girl and the policemen in the two months ever since she got in touch with constables Sunil and Akshay, who were chargesheeted for raping her.
Victim not a minor: Defence counsel Rabindera Pandit had stated that there was no evidence to prove that the victim was a minor.
Political pressure: Claiming that the case of the minor's rape involving a Khuda Lahora resident was registered owing to political pressure, the defence counsel had stated that the signatures of two political leaders giving consent on the victim's medical report raised serious question marks.



Close to cracking case, claim Mohali police
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 11
The Mohali police are close to cracking the gruesome killing of six-year-old Mehram Singh Sandhu, whose mutilated body was found buried in a dumping yard in Sector 69 on November 7. Highly placed sources claimed that the assailant(s) would be in the police net in a day or two. They said the probe had indicated that the murderer was not only familiar with the victim but was also known to his family members.

Though the police preferred to remain tightlipped on the ongoing investigations into the case, sources said “some startling facts have come to the fore, providing vital clues to the police”.

A senior police official said on condition of anonymity, “The case will be worked out soon.” The highly decomposed body of the child was found buried in an unauthorised dumping yard in Sector 69 on November 7. A safai karamchari had spotted the foot of the victim and informed the police about it.

Door-to-door search

The police again conducted a door-to-door search in the entire Phase IX, indicating that the killer may be from the area and probably someone known to the victim’s family. “We have got important evidence,” said the SSP.

30 rounded up so far

So far the Mohali police have rounded up at least 30 suspects in connection with the case. “We rounded up at least 10 persons on Tuesday,” said the police.

Mehram's father not cooperating: Police

SSP Bhatti claimed that Mehram’s father Varinderpal Singh, who lives in Australia, was not cooperating with the Mohali police. “He is not answering our calls,” said the SSP, adding that Varinderpal had attended only two or three phone calls from them after Mehram had gone missing. “After that, he stopped responding to our calls,” he said. Asked whether the police were contemplating to summon him to India, the SSP said a decision in this regard would be taken soon, if required.

Mehram's mother taken for DNA test

The Mohali police today took Mehram's mother Harinder Kaur to the CFSL in Sector 36, Chandigarh, where her blood samples were taken for a DNA test.

A police team took her to the laboratory at around 6.30 pm. The test is being conducted to remove any apprehension about the identity of the victim.

The body of the victim was mutilated beyond recognition and the kin had identified him from his shoes and clothes.

“To remove any apprehension in this regard, the DNA test is being conducted,” said the police.

Bhog ceremony

Mehram's bhog ceremony will be held tomorrow at Gurdwara Tegh Bahadur Sahib in Phase IX from 12 noon to 2 pm.

The victim's family said it would not allow anybody to politicise the ceremony.

The police will also keep vigil during the bhog ceremony.

“Though we don’t fear any untoward incident, we will keep vigil during the ceremony,” said the SP (D).

Reward increased to Rs 5 lakh
Even as sources have hinted at the police having zeroed in on the assailants, the reward has been increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh for giving information about the case. Asked about the progress in the case, Mohali SSP Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti said his teams were working hard to crack the case.

Police paste posters all over the town
The police pasted posters regarding the Mehram murder case all over the town to get information. “A large number of posters have been pasted in Phase IX, including gurdwaras and other public places, urging people to provide information, if any, regarding the murder,” said the SP (D).



Say they will file appeal for reinstatement
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
Heaving a sigh of relief after the orders of their acquittal were pronounced, the five UT constables who walked free today after a harrowing and humiliating time stated that they were happy that they finally got justice after spending almost 11 months behind the bars while they were innocent.

They said they would file an appeal against their dismissal from service due to the case. All five were dismissed a day after the case was registered.

Constable Kavita, wife of constable Anil who was one of the accused, said it was a trying time for her but she was determined to fight for her husband.

“We had just got married a month before the case was registered. My husband did not even stay in the area. We stayed in Mani Majra while the girl stayed in Khuda Lahora. Anil was still made an accused. I always trusted him and fought for him and am happy that justice has prevailed,” she said.

“We will file an appeal against our dismissal,” said constable Jagtar Singh.

Suffered a lot, says constable's father

“The case was registered only due to political pressure and interference and we will file an appeal for reinstatement in the UT police force,” said constable Himmat Singh, who was acquitted today along with four others.

Calling it gross injustice and criticising the Police Department for dismissing the five without even lending an ear to them, Satish Kumar, Himmat Singh’s father, said they suffered a lot these 11 months.

“Besides so much of humiliation and flak from all corners, the constables lost their job and were in custody. We were harassed by the victim. The police acted in haste and dismissed them all of a sudden while it has been proved that they were innocent,” said Satish Kumar.

Will move HC, says complainant’s counsel

Counsel for the complainant said they had all evidence in the case and would move the HC against the verdict.

What the IGP says
I am yet to get a copy of the judgment and it will be examined administratively and legally and then only we will decide on what action can be taken on the issue of reinstatement of the constables.
RP Upadhyaya, ut igp



Major power boost for city
NRPC gives approval for 220 kV substation
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
Providing a major relief to the Chandigarh Administration, the Northern Regional Power Committee (NRPC) has approved a 220 kV substation for the City Beautiful.

The NRPC gave nod to the project at a meeting held in Chandigarh today. Once the substation is set up, the UT Administration will be able to properly distribute power purchased by it. The substation will help the Administration channel power, the demand for which is likely to increase in the coming years, in a better way. Earlier in 2003, the standing committee of the Power Ministry had also allowed the Administration to set up a 220 kV substation.

At present, there is only one 220 kV substation in Kishangarh. A senior UT official said the Power Ministry would fund the Rs 150-crore project while the UT Administration would provide 3 acres for it.

The current power infrastructure in the city is incapable of taking a load of over 400 MW. The maximum peak load in Chandigarh is about 400 MW and it is projected to touch a maximum of 439 MW by 2016-17.

Demand for substation was raised last year

The Electricity Department had raised the demand for the new substation in 2013 following a study conducted by the Power Grid Corporation of India in which it had observed that under normal and contingency conditions, some system elements were getting critically loaded.

Therefore, there was a need for strengthening the transmission system at various points in the city.

The new substation will get supply from the Power Grid Corporation of India’s 440 kV substation in Barwala, Panchkula. The total length of the route is 28 km.



Youth killed, 3 hurt in hit-and-run
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, November 11
In a hit-and-run case, a youth was killed while his three companions had a miraculous escape on the busy Zirakpur-Panchkula road here late last night.

The incident occurred at the K-Area traffic light point at about 11 pm when Rohit and Gaurav, employed with a car service centre in Panchkula, along with Krishan Kumar and Ved Prakash, were walking along the highway towards Zirakpur when a car coming from the Panchkula side hit them.

While Gaurav, a resident of Budlala, was critically injured, Rohit, Krishan and Ved escaped with minor injuries, the police said.

The three injured rushed the critically injured Gaurav to a private hospital, but he succumbed to the injuries on the way, the police said.

The driver of the car reportedly sped away from the spot after the mishap.

The police have registered a case of rash and negligent driving against the unidentified driver of the car on Rohit's complaint at the Zirakpur police station. The body was handed over to the family members after a postmortem here today.

The police have launched a hunt to nab the car driver as eyewitnesses had reportedly noted down the registration number of the car.



Diesel to cost less as UT cuts VAT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
At last the Chandigarh Administration today issued a notification for reducing the value added tax on diesel from 12.5 per cent to 9.68 per cent, bringing fuel prices almost on a par with those in Punjab.

The new rates will be applicable from tomorrow.

Under the revised VAT, the price of diesel in Chandigarh will be Rs 52.94 per litre compared to Rs 54.30 earlier. In Mohali and Panchkula, the diesel prices are Rs 52.80 and Rs 52.08, respectively. The difference of 14 paise between the rates in Chandigarh and Mohali is due to the central sales tax (CST) as the UT has to import oil from Haryana. Earlier, the UT had announced that it would wait for Punjab to increase VAT. The rationale was that since the UT follows the Punjab pattern, the decision had to be taken in light of the taxes in the neighbouring states.

Petro dealers welcome move

“The higher cost of diesel was hitting the sales of local petroleum dealers by up to 70 per cent and was causing a loss of around Rs 35 crore annually to the UT. We welcome the move,” said Amanpreet Singh, general secretary, Chandigarh Petroleum Dealers Association.

Rs 52.94 per litre
Applicable from today, the new price of diesel in Chandigarh will be Rs 52.94 per litre compared to Rs 54.30 earlier.


UT proposes merger of 6 villages
Last year, municipal corporation had passed agenda for merger of 13 villages
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
In a significant development, the Local Bodies Department of the UT Administration has proposed merger of six villages, on the basis of the Census report of 2011, with the municipal corporation.

Last year, in November 2013, the municipal corporation had passed the agenda for the merger of 13 UT villages in the MC. The MC had demanded that the civic body was ready for the inclusion but the Periphery Control Act, would not be applicable on these villages after the merger.

The note put up by the Local Bodies Department to the UT Adviser reads, “In the 2011 Census the number of villages remaining rural are as follows — Kaimbwala, Sarangpur, Dhanas, Makhan Majra, Raipur Khurd and Raipur Kalan”.

“It gives an implied expression that those rural villages which currently form part of panchayats, but are now urbanised, as per the 2011 census, can no longer be treated as rural, but need to be treated as urban and need to become part of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh,” the note reads.

“Accordingly, the resolution passed by the municipal corporation was reproduced and submitted for final orders,” the note further reads.

When contacted, UT Adviser KK Sharma said a final decision would be taken after discussing the entire issue with the UT Administration. The proposal of the UT Local Bodies Department is still under discussion, he said.

The MC had proposed that the planning of the area of the said villages, including the revenue estate, would be under the control of the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh. The Chandigarh Administration would bear the expenditure under the plan and non-plan in respect of the area of aforesaid villages at least for a period of five years.

The MC had also submitted that there would be no house tax on commercial and residential property during the next five years due to the reason that their source of income would be almost dry up due to the application of certain Acts and rules in the said area which had already been notified by the Chandigarh Administration/MC”.

The 13 villages
The MC had proposed the merger of 13 villages with it. These include Bahlana, Rairpur Khurd, Rairpur Kalan, Makhan Majra, Daria, Mauli Jagran, Kishangarh , Kaimbwala, Khuda Ali Sher, Khuda Jassu, Khuda Lahora, Sarangpur and Dhanas. These villages are located within an 8-km radius of Chandigarh and have a population of 50,135.

Cong in favour, BJP-SAD opposed it
On November 21, 2013, at a special House meeting, all Congress and nominated councillors unanimously supported the issue of transfer of the villages to the MC, while all BJP-SAD, BSP councillors had opposed it. The opposition parties, including BJP-SAD and BSP councilors, opposed it on the ground that five villages which were transferred to the MC in 2006 were in a pitiable condition, then how could the MC manage the new villages. They also raised the issue that the extension of lal dora in the villages was hanging fire due to which the residents of villages didn’t know whether they could avail the basic civic amenities of the MC or not.



PGI designs shoes for diabetic foot
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
In view of the immense sufferings of patients whose feet are affected with diabetes and often leave no resort for doctors other than amputate them due to infections, the PGI’s endocrinology department has started providing customised shoes to patients that allow them to walk with lesser difficulty.

The department has hired a local manufacturer that produces customised shoes that protect feet of diabetic patients and allows them to walk comfortably.

It has benefitted over 900 patients.

“Imagine the plight of a person who cannot walk. He is dependent on others. Maintaining a diabetic foot involves a lot of efforts. These patients commonly have gas gangrene or other infections. Normal shoes do not fit them,” said Dr Anil Bhansali, head, department of endocrinology, while addressing a press conference, here today.

He informed that the department started the service of customised shoes a year ago.

Further, he said that various issues pertaining to endocrinology, including diabetic foot would be discussed for better training of physicians in the region as well as other parts of the country during a three-day conference.

The 44th National Endocrine Congress, ESICON, will start on November 14, marked as World Diabetes Day, and will include a variety of workshops at the PGIMER.

The year 2014 coincides with the 50 years of endocrinology in India as this concept of superspeciality originated in India from the PGI, said Dr Sanjay Bhadada, from the same department.

The conference will be attended by 15 international faculty, 50 national faculty and 1,200 delegates. Maximum number of endocrinologists from all over the country will be attending this conference. Further, the delegates from Nepal and Sri Lanka are also joining the conference giving an international flavour.

The theme of the conference is “Recent Developments in Endocrinology’, which will be discussed by international and national faculty.

Children affected by diabetes
-Diabetes seen in children as young as 8 months: The problem is mounting in children as multiple pricks for insulin troubles them every day. Besides, they have to resort to all sorts of precautions in terms of diet and lifestyle in their formative years, experts said..
-PGI's endocrinology lab brings revenue of Rs 2 crore to the hospital a year. Per day, over 1,000 investigations are done in the labn In government hospitals, where patient rush is heavy. The name of the prescribing doctor must be written below his/her signature.



After GMCH-32, incinerator at GMSH-16 breaks down
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
The breakdown in the biomedical waste management plant at Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, continuing for over past two weeks has exposed the lack of planning by the UT Administration in preparing alternatives for the destruction of hazardous waste.

When the incinerator at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, stopped working two-three years ago, the and city’s 30 private labs and nearly 25 nursing homes and clinics became dependent on the PGI, the breakdown in the plant at GMSH-16 has doubled the load (at 2,000 kg per day) of hazardous waste destruction at the PGIMER.

“Now that the entire city is dependent on the incinerator at the PGI, the Administration will have no alternative to dispose of the waste in case the system breaks down at the PGI,” said an official.

In gross violation of the norms of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Administration, in the past over 10 years has failed to come up with a centralised unit for the biomedical waste management.

In 2007, Sector 16 residents led by Ominder Singh Oberoi, had filed a public interest litigation for the removal of the incinerator housed at GMSH-16, next to a residential area.

Following the PIL, the UT Administration had submitted before the Punjab and Haryana High Court that it would install a common bio-medical waste facility for the entire city in Dadu Majra. A one-acre plot was also earmarked for the purpose. However, the UT filed an affidavit, scrapping the project in 2013. Both UT Director Health Services, Dr VK Gagneja refrained from commenting on the matter.

PGI catering to all clinics, hospitals in city
In addition to 700 to 800 kg of biomedical waste generated at the PGI’s campus, the institute has been catering to the entire city’s 30 private labs as well as nearly 25 nursing homes, clinics and hospitals. The total waste turns out to be over 2,000 kgs. The capacity of PGI plant is 200 kg of destruction per hour consuming 36 litres of fuel that costs nearly Rs 60 per litre.

System of collection and disposal in city
The Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee has appointed a private service provider Alliance Envirocare for collecting waste from all institutes charging Rs 700 per month. The PGI charges Rs 52 per kg for destroying waste from the dependents.

Estimated expense in setting up new plant
According to engineers handling the plant at the PGI, the present day cost of setting up a plant with a capacity of burning 200 kg per day, will involve an expense of Rs 5 to 6 crore. The PGI spends nearly Rs 1 lakh annually on maintenance of the plants.



missing children
Family members living with hope of reunion
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
Five-year old daughter of Sunita, a mother of four and a resident of Mauli Complex, went missing earlier this year. Though the police have failed to trace the minor, yet Sunita is still living with a hope that one day Neha (her missing daughter) will be traced. As per the website of the Chandigarh Police 54 minors have gone missing this year and a majority of which are in the age group of 14 to 17 years.

On March 27, Neha was seen last time playing in the neighborhood park. Late in the evening, all the children returned home, but Neha didn’t. The family launched a desperate hunt in the narrow lanes of the area however, they failed to get any clue.

The family then approached the police that visited their house in the locality with a dog squad, questioned a few neighbours and returned. Neha’s father Shishpal who is a vegetable vendor said that not relying police investigations; he continued making futile attempts for over three months. “I didn’t go to work and kept searching for her in the nearby areas for over three months. If the police had made sincere efforts, we could have found her,” he said.Neha’s parents are waiting for some miracle to happen and their daughter to return. “I will wait for her till my last breath”, said Sunita with a choked voice and tears rolling down her face.

Neha’s parents are not the only ones going through this agony, Ram Karan, a resident of Makhan Majra in Chandigarh, also shares a similar story. More than a year ago, his 14-year-old daughter Rekha went missing. Police complaint was made however; the girl could not be traced. “My relatives and I tried to search for her but couldn’t find her”, Ram Karan said. He shares that the police used to call him frequently during the investigation, however, the police investigation proved to be of little help.



Annual defence account officers’ conference
Be target oriented: Lt Gen V Menon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
Calling for infusion of fresh thinking to deal with the current workload and emerging challenges in processing financial transactions pertaining to the armed forces, Chief of Staff, Western Command, Lt Gen V Menon said that there were several procedural issues pertaining to defence accounts that needed redressal.

Delivering the inaugural address of the annual accounts officers’ conference held under the aegis of the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (PCDA), Western Command here today, he said that while many required changes to bring in greater efficiency in the department could be done within the ambit of existing rules and regulations, modification of rules, where required, could be taken up with the authorities concerned.

Earlier, the PCDA, GS Sood, highlighted the role of the accounts officers working in the Military Engineer Services (MES), who were financial advisers to the garrison engineers and their responsibility of keeping a strict watch on the expenditure of public money. He stressed that account officers should be vigilant while authorising payments and they should exploit the potential of IT tools for not only strengthening their work skills but also ensure correct and timely payments of pay and allowances as well as other bills.Additional PCDA Dr Shivalli M Chouhan gave a technical presentation on the issues of concern before the department, which included budgetary and post-contract management as well as monitoring of financial transactions..As many as 52 account officers catering to MES establishments in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh attended the conference.



Affixing of HSRPs
Vehicle owners a harassed lot
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, November 11
Chaos prevailed at sub-offices of the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) in the Industrial Area as the staff was not enough to handle the rush of vehicle owners who had come to affix high security registration plates on their vehicles.

All the vehicles owners had come on designated day given by the contractors engaged by the UT to affix the HSRP.

The vehicle owners complained that the staff of the private contractor handling the process of affixing the HSRP made them wait for the entire day as most of the hand held machines used to affix the plates were out of order. During the day, a number of vehicle owners had heated arguments with the staff of the contractor over being harassed.

Ravinder Singh, a resident of Sector 30, said he had come for the second time to get the HSRP affixed on his scooter. Similar view was shared by Vivek Sharma, a resident Sector 27.

Not only there is shortage of manpower engaged by the contractor, the hand held hammers used to affix the plates were also less in number. The RLA should foresee the problem and work out solutions.

“The RLA authorities should have made arrangements to handle the applicants’ rush before asking the police to start the challaning drive for the HSRP,” said HS Bedi, a resident of Sector 44.

The RLA should have more counters and sub-offices for affixing the HSRP on old vehicles.



MC spends ‘luxuriously’
Ignoring basic amenities in Zirakpur, spends on developing park
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, November 11
Fund-strapped Zirakpur Municipal Council has been spending “luxuriously” on converting a chunk of shamlat land (village common land) into a park besides channelising a seasonal rivulet — Sukhna Choe — crossing through the site in Gajipur village here.

Neglecting the need to provide basic civic amenities to over 1.5 lakh people of the town, the MC authorities have launched the work to “please” local MLA NK Sharma, who is showing personal interest in developing the park on the pattern of Leisure Valley, Chandigarh, accused BJP and AAP activists. They have been protesting outside the MC office for over a week.

The work to level the land and channelise the choe (nearly 3,000 feet in length) was started on a war footing after Punjab Chief Minister, Prakash Singh Badal gave his consent to lay the foundation stone of the park. Though the CM was to lay the foundation stone on Sunday, the programme was postponed, sources in the municipal council said.

The MC has already spent considerable amount on the repair and patch work of a link road that connects Gajipur village with the Chandigarh-Ambala highway.

Sources revealed that the MC in collaboration with the Punjab drainage department has started excavation work on the Sukhna Choe-bed to divert its natural course of flow.

There is also a proposal to lay a road at one embankment of the channelised choe to link the area with the Zirakpur-Kalka stretch of Ambala-Kalka national highway, sources said.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Parminder Singh, executive officer of the MC, said the MC would develop the park on the shamlat land for public use. The landscaping of the park was being done by experts from the Punjab Agricultural University, while officials of the drainage department have been engaged to channelise the choe as per the specifications, the EO said. He, however, was reluctant to divulge the financial details.

Vinay Mahajan, municipal engineer, said Rs 50 lakh would be spent on levelling the land and channelising the choe.

Apart from this, more funds would be required for the landscaping, fencing, footpaths, parking lots and other infrastructure, he said.

BJP, AAP workers up in arms
The BJP and AAP activists have been protesting outside the municipal council office for over a week, demanding basic civic amenities in scores of housing colonies and villages under the civic body. Led by Narinder Kumar Goyal, mandal pradhan of the BJP, and Prof KC Sharma of AAP, over two dozen activists of the two parties have launched a protest against the MC authorities and the Punjab government.



AirAsia flight leaves 5 hrs late
Passengers stranded at city airport accuse airline staff of rude behaviour
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
Passengers boarding the Bengaluru-bound flight of AirAsia had a harrowing time as the flight left for the destination after a delay of nearly five hours here today.

The airline, which is known for offering low fares to the passengers, was scheduled to take off from the Chandigarh airport at 12.50 pm. However, due to some technical flaws, the flight left the city after 5 pm.

The passengers said they were kept in the dark about the exact status of the flight. Many of them also accused the airline staff of “unfriendly” behaviour.

“We were kept in the dark about the exact cause of the delay. All passengers were asked to stay in the waiting area and the staff members behaved in a very unprofessional manner. We have been stranded at the airport for nearly five hours,” said Suhas Tadas, one of the passengers.

Another passenger, Prashant Kapoor, said, “I have an interview scheduled at Bengaluru. With no other option, I am shelling out extra money to buy the ticket of another airline. The unfriendly behaviour of the staff has added to our woes.”

An airline source said the aeroplane developed a technical snag in Bengaluru in the morning, following which it got late to reach Chandigarh, delaying the return flight as well.

The airline, however, failed to issue any official statement in this regard.



a first in punjab
Littering surroundings to cost house owners dear in Mohali
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 11
Now, throwing garbage in front or at the rear of the house will cost dear to Mohali residents.

The Mohali Municipal Corporation has drafted the Sanitation and Public Health Bylaws 2014 under which a heavy fine will be imposed on the offenders. The fine will be doubled and multiplied further in case of repeated offences.

With this development, the Mohali Municipal Corporation has become the first civic body to introducing such bylaws in the state.

Municipal Commissioner Uma Shankar Gupta said the step has been taken to clean and beautify the town under the ongoing Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

The bylaws also prohibit urinating and defecation in the open, spitting around, spreading water on roads or at a public place, throwing of biomedical waste by clinics and hospitals at dumping yard or defacing the public property. In case of vacant plots, the plot owner will be held liable for littering.

“It is the responsibility of the occupants of the house to keep the front and rear clean,” said Gupta.

He said the penalties have been categorised under two sections: domestic/individual (D/I) and commercial/industrial (C/I). The first-time offender in D/I category will be fined Rs 1,000 but in case of second offence, the fine will be Rs 3,000 and the third time it will be Rs 5,000. In C/I category, the fine will be Rs 2,000 (first time), Rs 5,000 (second time) and Rs 10,000 (third time).

“These penalties, if not paid, will be recovered along with the water supply and sewerage bill. In case of default, the water supply and sewer connection will be disconnected,” said Gupta.

Gupta said objections will be invited from the public for the next 30 days from tomorrow onwards. After that it will be sent to the state government for notification.



erratic network
Reliance users face inconvenience
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
Hundreds of users of Reliance Telecom and Internet services complained of gross inconvenience today as the network of mobile phones as well as Internet data cards remained poor today.

In fact, some of the customers even complained of complete suspension of network throughout the day. “I have been forced to use an alternative number today,” said Rajesh, a user of Reliance Telecom.

“My dongle did not work the entire day and I was unable to access personal mails. Even the customer service numbers are not reachable,” said another user, Pawan Yadav, a software engineer from the city.

According to the users, the network went down at around 12.30 pm and remained poor till the filing of the report. The company officials could not be contacted for comments.



councillor-official row
Irate sanitation workers burn MLA’s effigy
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 11
Accusing the district administration of deceiving them, scores of safai karamcharis of the local Municipal Corporation (MC) suspended work and burnt an effigy of Panchkula MLA Gian Chand Gupta here today.

Up in arms against the administration for not arresting Ravi Kant Swami, a municipal councillor, the safai karamcharis and representatives of different Dalit unions assembled in front of the MC office and tried to disrupt work in the morning.

The protesters alleged that Swami had passed casteist remarks at Dr SK Chauhan, executive officer (EO) of the MC, and threatened him of dire consequences on the evening of November 4. They said the administration had assured them that Swami would be arrested, but even after a week nothing had been done.

The EO, who on November 5 had sat on a day-long dharna with the protesters demanding the councillor’s arrest, however, remained inside his room at the MC office.

On receiving information about the agitation, Deputy Commissioner Dr SS Phulia reached the spot and pacified the protesters.



Union accuses MC of ignoring resolution
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
The Municipal Corporation employees’ union today demanded the repatriation of two employees of the public heath wing posted in the enforcement wing.

The union members, in a meeting today, accused the civic body of ignoring a resolution passed by its General House in April 21, 2011, that called for the repatriation of the non-cadre employees working as inspector/sub-inspector (enforcement) to their parent department.

They said two employees — KD Sharma and Sanjay Kumar Rana — from the public health wing had been posted in the enforcement wing.

Union general secretary Lalit Tyagi said the two should be sent back to their parent department and eligible employees of the enforcement wing should be promoted instead.



Snatchers target woman in Mohali
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 11
Two motorcycle-borne miscreants allegedly snatched a woman’s gold chain at the Phase IX market this afternoon.

The incident took place at around 2.30 pm. The snatchers were wearing black helmets and were riding on a Bajaj Pulsar motorcycle. The woman, whose identity was not revealed by the police, was on foot.

The police, who were conducted door-to-door search besides manning special nakas in connection with Mehram murder case in the area, reached the spot immediately.

The victim could not note down the registration number of the motorcycle, said the police officials.

“We are investigating the matter,” said the police.



Fire breaks out at scrap market
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
A major fire broke out at the scrap market in Makhan Majra village late last night, here.

Though no casualties were reported, fire tenders controlled the situation after a struggle of over nine hours.

Officials of the Fire Department said an emergency call was received at 12am on Monday when the fire broke out at a shop in the market. Later, the fire spread to other shops.

ML Sharma, Station Fire Officer said that "We received a call about the fire from some residents and soon after that three fire tenders were rushed to the spot. Later, four more fire tenders were rushed to the spot. After a struggle of about nine hours, the situation was controlled."

The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.

In the preliminary investigation, a shot circuit inside one of the shop was reported as the cause of the fire.

Avinash Sharma, owner of a scrap shop, said important files and records of the shop also destroyed in the fire. e are yet to make an estimate of the losses," he said.



Science expo opens at Leisure Valley
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar inaugurates event; several science projects on display
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
The 41st Jawaharlal Nehru National Science, Mathematics and Environment Exhibition (JNNSMEE) for Children-2014 commenced at Leisure Valley, Sector 10-C, here today. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar inaugurated the exhibition which will be held from November 11 to 17. More than 400 students and teachers are participating in the exhibition this year.

Chief Minister Khattar said, “Science and mathematics are powerful ways of investigating and understanding the world. Science as way of thinking, and as an organised body of knowledge, has enormous potential for the promotion of vitality, prosperity and security of the nation. It also helps to liberate the human mind from the bondage of superstition and fanaticism”.

UT Adviser KK Sharma said innovations were drivers of development and growth. “With their cutting-edge role in enhancing productivity, boosting growth, increasing efficiency and creating new economic opportunities, the culture of innovation as well as innovative mindset promises to offer cost-effective and efficient solutions to the problems plaguing our society,” he added.

Prof Tripathi, Director of NCERT, said, “The ethos of science and mathematics form the basis of teaching and learning. This exhibition is a forum for children to pursue their natural curiosity and inventiveness to quench their thirst for creativity. It is a platform to exchange scientific thoughts and nurture young scientific minds.”

The exhibition was followed by a lecture on environment by Prof Vikram Soni from the Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi. A demonstration on science experiments' conducted by students of IISER, Mohali, was also held.

Class IX student’s telegraph design
Rupam Ghosh, a Class IX student from Kolkata, has made an effort to revive telegraph services. To sensitise the public about its advantages in this age of smartphone, he has made a model along with Ham radio to communicate in areas which are cut off during a calamity. Ghosh's unique model has been displayed at the exhibition. Elaborating on the project, he said, “Recently, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir were affected by natural calamities during which residents residing in these areas faced difficulties in communicating with their dear ones as phone network was hit. The new technology will help people during such circumstances.” On his innovation, Ghosh said it will help people in future.



UGC-NET to be held on Dec 28
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
The University Grants Commission-National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET) for Junior Research Fellowship and eligibility for assistant professor will be held on December 28.

A detailed notification is available on the website www.cbsenet.nic.in.

Candidates are required to apply online only. The last date to apply for the examination online is November 15.

All those candidates, who had applied for the National Eligibility Test in December, 2014, have been informed that the facility of correction in particulars will be available on the website www.cbsenet.nic.in from November 11 to 20.

Candidates who want to make changes in their particulars/photograph may do so in their application form by logging on the website during the above said period.

The candidates are advised to do the corrections very carefully as this is the last chance for making alterations in the application form.

Meanwhile, officials said no further request by candidates to make corrections in the particulars/photographs will be entertained for whatsoever reason.

The test is held for eligibility in Junior Research Fellowship and eligibility for assistant professor.
A detailed notification is available on the website www.cbsenet.nic.in.
Candidates are required to apply online only. The last date for applying online is November 15.

NET/JRF result out
The University Grants Commission has declared the result of NET/JRF exam held on June 29 this year. This year, a total of 441 candidates from the tricity have qualified the exam, which is better than last year’s result as only 400 had qualified in the same exam in 2013. As many as 10,000 students appeared for the UGC NET and JRF exam from Chandigarh in June 2014, of which 441 students have qualified. The pass percentage is 4.41, better than the PAN-India level pass percentage.



Solar plant inaugurated at GCG-11
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
The UT Administration should motive private players to install solar power plant atop their buildings in city. This was stated by Upendra Tripathy, Secretary, Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

Tripathy was in the city for the inauguration of the 495kWp Rooftop Grid Interactive Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant at Government College for Girls (GCG), Sector 11.

While interacting with mediapersons, Tripathi lauded the move taken by Chandigarh in installing solar rooftop plants on government buildings but desired that in future, more emphasis should be laid on its promotion by private individuals.

Santosh Kumar, director, Science and Technology, UT, said the 495kWp Rooftop SPV Power Plant has been installed by Chandigarh Renewal Energy, Science & Technology Promotion Society.

The total cost of the project is Rs 501.19 lakh which includes operation and maintenance charge for 10 years. The SPV Power Plant will first meet the load of the college building during the day time and the surplus power will be exported to the Chandigarh Electricity Department.

A bi-directional energy meter capable of measuring import and export readings has been installed in the project from where the annual import of power from the Electricity Department and solar power exported to the Electricity Department will be measured. The total electric consumption of this college will be met by this Solar Power Plant. A state-of-the-art technology inverter has been installed in the SPV power plant with the help of which the authorities will be able to review power generation and other operational parameters online across the world.



National Education Day at DAV
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 11
The Indian Council for Cultural Relations on the birth anniversary of its founder president, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad — the first education minister of India — organised International Students and National Education Day at DAV College, Sector 10, today.

Foreign students take part in a cultural event at DAV College; and (right) students pose during the function.
Foreign students take part in a cultural event at DAV College; and (right) students pose during the function. Tribune photos: Vicky Gharu

A large number of foreign students were called to participate in the event who presented various dance items reflecting their folk and rich culture. The council also celebrated International Students and National Education Day through Indian embassies abroad, particularly in countries which send a substantial number of foreign students.

The highlights of the functions were folk dances and music presented by international students of various countries such as Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Thailand, Zimbabwe, and Tibet.



PU research scholar gets award

Chandigarh, November 11
Panjab University (PU) research scholar Seema has been awarded the prestigious best oral presentation award at the MCI and DBT sponsored Indian Pharmacological Society North Zone Conference.

Seema is a UGC research fellow under the UGC-RFSMS scheme and pursuing her doctoral programme on postmenopausal complications under the guidance of Prof Kanwaljit Chopra at the University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS), PU. — TNS



pu & college notes
Aaghaz-2014 at PEC

PEC witnessed a fun-filled evening as Natyamanch, the dramatics club of PEC University of Technology, organised its flagship inaugural event with the name AAGHAZ’14. The event saw the club’s new recruits perform in as many as five skits and eight dance performances. The skits focused on satire and moral values of the society. The event showcased some standout performances in the form of comical acts and Bollywood dance forms. The skits with the names ‘BTech Vale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ and ‘Chhotu Ka Sapna Money Money’ enthralled the audience.

USOL extends date

The University School of Open Learning (USOL), Panjab University, has extended the last date for submitting assignments for all post graduate classes up to November 28, 2014. USOL chairperson Prof RK Gupta gave this information.

Elocution competition

Government College of Commerce and Business Administration, Sector 42, in collaboration with Dr Inderjeet Kaur Charitable Trust, Chandigarh, and AD Shroff Memorial Trust, Mumbai, organised an elocution competition. Ramesh Aggarwal was the guest of honour. More than 30 students took part in the event. — TNS



from schools
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad remembered

Chandigarh: On the eve of National Education Day, Government Model High School, Sector 34, celebrated the 127th birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, independent India’s first education minister, in the morning assembly. As part of the celebrations, the students delivered speeches and poems on Azad’s life.

Skit on wildlife

The students of Class III, Saupin’s School, Sector 32, presented an impressive and colourful show on the need to preserve wildlife. The programme commenced with an inaugural speech highlighting the importance of wildlife in our lives. The wonders of nature and the callous attitude of man towards its destruction were displayed through a thoughtful English skit ‘Lets live together’.

Young citizen programme

Yuvsatta, an NGO, launched a young citizen ambassadors programme, during a formal orientation workshop organised at KB DAV Senior Secondary Public School, Sector 7-B. Virender Kumar Sharma, Member Parliament, UK, was the chief guest on the occasion. Pramod Sharma, coordinator of Yuvsatta, shared that the programme involves appointing a young student volunteer in a school as a ‘Young Citizen Ambassador’ and a teacher as his/her mentor.

Blood donation camp

An overwhelming response was received by donors, including parents, teachers and Class IV employees, during a blood donation camp organised by KB DAV Senior Secondary Public School, Sector 7-B, Chandigarh. Principal Madhu Bahl said the event was a regular feature of the school and highlighted their commitment towards society.

Award ceremony

An academic award ceremony was held for the students of Classes X and XII of the sessions 2012-13 and 2013-14 at DAV Public School, Sector 8-C. On this occasion, various cash awards, certificates and trophies were distributed to the students of Class XII which included the subject toppers in the field of chemistry, mathematics, physics, English, physical education, computer science, economics, accounts and business studies.

Students visit CSIO

As many as 100 students of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, Chandigarh region, visited the Central Scientific Instrument Organization (CSIO), on the second day of the Regional Science Congress-2014 being held at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV), Chandigarh. Students got an opportunity to see the sophisticated instruments. They visited mechanical, maths lab and various related labs. Principal Mukesh Agnihotri also addressed the students. The students also visited the museum in Sector 10 to study the dinosaur evolution.

Students meet differently abled children

Students of RIMT World School celebrate National Education Day with differently abled children at General Hospital, Panchkula, on Tuesday.Panchkula: On the occasion of National Education Day, the students of RIMT World School visited children at the General Hospital and spent time with them. The students shared stories and also distributed study material such as books and stationery to the differently abled children and children in the General Ward. The visit was a part of RIMT’s newly introduced real life programme.

Students of RIMT World School celebrate National Education Day with differently abled children at General Hospital, Panchkula, on Tuesday. A Tribune photograph

NSS camp organised

Mohali: A week-long NSS camp was organised by programme officer Monika at the GGSVM, Ratwara Sahib. A lecture was delivered to the NSS volunteers regarding the importance of the National Service Scheme.

Students visit mini zoo

Students of Tiny-tots Foundation School visited the mini zoo on the premises. The closely observed the behaviour of pet animals and birds. The teachers educated them not to injure animals. — TNS



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