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Strike on as bus operators adamant
UT hardens stand, serves notices on transporters
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Adamant on their stand of reducing the permit fee and lifting restriction of 15-year life span of school buses, the Chandigarh School Bus Operators Association decided to remain off the roads.

On the other hand, cracking a whip on them, the Chandigarh Administration initiated the proceeding for cancellation of permits of the “defaulting” functionaries of the association this evening.

According to officials, notices have been issued on 35 private school buses running in the names of Manjit Singh, president of the association, its general secretary Nirmal Singh, vice-president Teja Singh, joint secretary Jasbir Singh, office manager Manmohan Singh and Gurdev Singh.

All have been served notices to appear for personal hearing at the office of State Transport Authority, Chandigarh, at 3 pm tomorrow to explain why their permits should not be cancelled when they have defied the clauses of permit rules by disrupting the service and not complying with the safety of schoolchildren.

While there is a widespread resentment among the parents of over 80,000 schoolchildren of the tricity against the bus operators as they have been holding the city to ransom, the administration too cannot escape the blame for messing up the situation.

“The administration had no backup plan to deal with the eventuality of the strike which was to be the obvious fallout of any action from the department”, said a UT official, adding that the administration should not have indulged into negotiation and “deals” directly, but should have put the onus of installing the speed governor in the buses to school authorities, as the transport arrangement has been executed under the bi-party agreement between the school heads and the transporters only.

“Where does the administration come between? It has unnecessarily been made an Administration vs bus operators issue. As far as the implementation of security aspect of students is concerned, the better idea could have been that the administration should have tighten the noose around the school authorities that they should direct their transporters to permit only those buses which have been installed with this safety equipment”, opined another official.

Another school of thought was that the administration should have attached CTU buses with the schools to meet the situation rather inducting 50 buses on the schedule of the existing grid system.

Nevertheless, dejected by the attitude of the administration, the bus operators stated that they would file a writ petition in the High Court tomorrow against the administration. Not only Mohali and Panchkula bus operators, all tourist, college and staff bus operators too have expressed their solidarity and announced to join them from Monday. 

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Panchkula Violations-I
Haryana top brass, too, in the league
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 12
Despite claims of the enforcement wing of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) about clearing encroachments by demolishing hundreds of jhuggis in the town throughout the year, “efficient officials” of the organisation found it hard to notice the offence of politicians, police officials and bureaucrats.

The authorities concerned facilitated police personnel of Haryana politicians to encroach upon parks and green belts. Also, they were a good host to policemen and politicians of Punjab, who, too, preferred to have their houses here.

The land encroached upon by Punjab ADGP Sanjiv Gupta in Sector 2 to accommodate his fleet and shed for staff; and  the sheds constructed behind tents in the park of Sector 8 meant for security personnel near former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal’s residence at Panchkula.
The land encroached upon by Punjab ADGP Sanjiv Gupta in Sector 2 to accommodate his fleet and shed for staff; and (right) the sheds constructed behind tents in the park of Sector 8 meant for security personnel near former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal’s residence at Panchkula. Tribune photos: S Chandan.

As charity begins at home, a corner of a park in Sector 8 has been virtually converted into a residential complex for the security personnel deputed at the houses of former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal and Staff Selection Commission chairman N L Poonia.

Though two rooms have been constructed at the park along with tents, the toilets are under construction for the 16 security personnel. At present, roadside in front of one of three gates of Bhajan Lal’s house is being used for bathing by security guards.

Another politician from Punjab, Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi, has blocked the road going through his house towards nullah in Sector 4 to set up sheds for accommodating his security personnel. The power supply to these structures is also illegal.

Interestingly, Sodhi’s house is in front of the municipal council office, the courtyard of which serves the purpose of a parking lot for vehicles of Ferozepore MLA during nights.

Treading on the footprints of his political bosses, Additional Director-General of Punjab Police, Sanjiv Gupta, has converted HUDA land into a parking zone of his fleet and a pucca shed has also been constructed for his staff on the land adjoining the boundary of his house No. 826 in Sector 2.

When asked, the authorities at the Panhckula municipal council, however, showed helplessness in removing these encroachments. Executive officer at the municipal council OP Sihag said he had personally visited over 12 such dignitaries, requesting them to remove these encroachments in the past.

However, nobody seemed to be in a mood to oblige, he added. “We are provided with the security personnel by the government and it was their responsibility of providing them with the accommodation as well,” Sihag said. However, we will take up the issue to the Panchkula Deputy Commissioner with authorities concerned of both states, he added.

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Cop crushed by CTU bus
Batchmate hurt in the accident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
A constable was killed and his batchmate was injured when a CTU bus knocked down their motorcycle at Piccadilly Rotary here this evening.

The victim, 23-year-old Parmod Kumar, was recruited on June 11 in the Chandigarh Police and was posted at the Sector 34 police station.

Sources said Parmod of Malaudi village in Mahendergarh district, who was riding pillion, and his batchmate were returning from the Sector 22 market and were on their way to the police station after buying a mobile phone.

According to the eyewitnesses, both constables were not wearing safety helmets at the time of the mishap. They were carrying their helmets in their arms and were also trying to overtake the bus from the left side.

“Their motorcycle brushed with the bus and its rider lost control over the vehicle. The motorcycle fell before the rear tyres of the bus and Parmod’s head crushed under the tyres. He was severely wounded in the mishap while the motorcycle rider, who fell on the other side, escaped with minor bruises.

The victims were rushed to the Sector 16 Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH) where Parmod was declared dead on arrival. Unable to come to terms with the tragic incident, Parmod, who escaped with minor injuries, could not control himself and found it hard to narrate the incident to investigators.

Driver of the bus Karnail Singh maintained that the motorcycle overtook the bus from the wrong side and collided with it. They were waiting at the traffic lights and they moved when the signal turned green. While pleading innocent, he said that he was not speeding as the bus had just moved when the motorcyclists came under it.

Meanwhile, the police has arrested the bus driver after registering a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving. The investigating officer said the driver should keep an eye on the traffic moving on the left side also.

About the victims not wearing helmets, the police said they were yet to find out whether the victims were wearing the helmets at the time of accident or not. However, the condition of the helmets found on the accident spot, which were not damaged in the mishap, indicated that the riders were wearing them.

In yet another fatal accident, a mutilated body of an unidentified man in his early seventies was found at the back of the PWD office in Sector 26 here early this morning.

The police said the death came to light around 6 am. The condition of the body and the marks of tyres found at the spot suggested that the man was run over by some heavy vehicle. The body was shifted to the GMSH for post-mortem. A case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving has been registered against the driver. 

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Suspected cholera cases
80 more admitted to Civil Hospital
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, July 12
Three days after the suspected outbreak of cholera in Dera Bassi, patients continued to trickle in the Civil Hospital here. As many as 80 persons, suspected to be suffering from cholera, reached the Civil Hospital here today.

With this, the total number of patients increased to 206, while more than 100 patients were taking treatment in private clinics.

Senior Medical Officer, Civil Hospital, Dr Ram Kumar, stated that around 80 patients, suspected to be suffering from cholera, were admitted and discharged after getting the needed treatment. He said the final medical report of the samples collected yesterday would come by Monday.

A team of doctors visited the affected area and conducted an awareness campaign all over the area. It also distributed chlorine tablets free of cost and instructed the residents to adopt the preventive measures.

The SMO also stated that they had called up the private hospitals to get information about the suspected cholera patients.

MC Executive Officer Bhushan Rana stated that there was a leakage in a water supply pipe of a house in ward no. 12. The water supply to the most affected area, including ward no. 12 and 13, has been disrupted and the digging work is in on to check more leakages in the pipeline, added Rana.

Meanwhile, the residents are being provided water through tankers.

Shiromani Akali Dal’s general secretary and former MP Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra visited the hospital and asked the authorities concerned to provide all the needed treatment to the patients.

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House building society under admn scanner
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
The functioning of the Shivalik Cooperative House Building Ist Society Limited, Sector 49, has come under the scanner of the Chandigarh administration.

Taking cognizance of "acts of the misconduct" of the society management, NPS Randhawa, UT Joint Registrar, Cooperative Societies (JRCS), has dissolved the management committee and appointed administrator to run the affairs of the society.

Deepak Vashishtha, who will be the administrator for the society for six months, has been asked to "take over complete record and complete the process of transfer of share/title in the favour of the general power of attorney (GPA) holders within a stipulated period.”

“She has also been directed to rectify irregularities committed by the management and hold elections.

In fact, the alleged failure of the management to transfer the flats in the names of the GPA holders seems to have cost the management dear as it was found "negligent in the performance of the duties imposed on it by the Punjab Cooperative Societies Act, 1961."

It may be recalled that the management was directed on April 1, 2009, to complete the process of transfer of share/title of the dwelling units within one month in compliance of various notifications, including March 2, 2009, notification.

The GPA holders had earlier represented to the administration that the management was not transferring the share of the dwelling units in their favour.

In the March 2, 2009, notification, the administration had come out with a "people-friendly" GPA transfer policy by fixing Rs 50,000, Rs 25,000 and Rs 15,000 as transfer charges for the category A, B and C flats, respectively.

However, cocking a snook at the administration's orders, a number of society managements had been refusing transfer of share on flimsy grounds.

In certain cases, the managements had been demanding "illegal" transfer charges, beside the transfer fee levied by the administration.

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CCTVs being installed at public places
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
In a move to keep a check on the movement of unscrupulous elements, the UT administration has started the process of installing closed-circuit television (CCTVs) at public places.

The administration, as a measure of safety and security of general public, has also ordered the installation of CCTVs by the owner, proprietor, hotel manager of restaurants, guesthouses, cinemas, multiplexes, covering entry and exits, reception and parking lots on their premises.

Home Secretary Ram Niwas said: “The initiative has been taken to ensure the safety of general public. These establishments have been asked to keep a record of at least three days,” he said.

The administration has been compelled into passing such directions following the SP (vigilance) observation that many public places needed CCTV surveillance.

The administration was identifying potentially populated places for the installation of CCTVs.

After Sector 17, the Registering and Licensing Authority will soon come under CCTV vigil.

Though there are cameras inside the building, one exit gate has been identified that is out of focus of the RLA vigil.

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Hooda lauds media’s role in elections
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
While lauding the role of media in coverage of the recent Lok Sabha elections, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said today that it faced the formidable challenge of spreading awareness about the election process to 700 million voters across the country and informing the public about the election programmes and other guidelines circulated by the Election Commission from time to time.

Hooda delivered the valedictory address on the closing function organised by the Indian Media Centre, which was presided over by Punjab minister Manoranjan Kalia.

He welcomed the decision of the Election Commission to ban exit polls and said it was a right decision in view of doubtful credibility of such polls, often accused of bias.

The former Vice-Chancellor of Punjab University, Prof KN Pathak, cautioned against the negative trends emerging in the media and expressed concern over low percentage of voting.

Referring to packages offered by newspapers and TV channels for coverage of elections, Shyam Khosla, director of the Indian Media Council, said the media virtually sold itself. It was sad that the media, known as the fourth pillar of democracy, chose to “connive and collaborate” with political parties in sharing the spoils of a corrupt system and called for a crusade to start cleansing of media.

A number of delegates participated in the discussion and expressed concern over the commercialisation of media.

The two-day meeting of the governing board of the India Media Centre (IMC) concluded with a resolve to work for effective intervention in “ethical, responsible and unbiased” reporting of national and international happenings. 

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Special drive to curb menace
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Alarmed by the growing incidents of frauds by travel agents, the Chandigarh Police has launched a special drive against the unscrupulous elements. The police has registered 12 cases of cheating involving over Rs 70 lakh of fraud against the travel agents in the past six months.

Sources in the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Chandigarh Police said senior officials had instructed staff members to look for advertisements appearing in the newspapers and electronic media about the travel agents operating from the city and to conduct verification of their antecedents.

The officials had also directed the EOW staff to send decoy customers to the travel agents, who were found suspicious during the verification conducted, in a clandestine manner to unearth their nefarious activities.

A senior police officer said among the slew of instructions as a part of the special drive would be to take an action against the owners of the premises from where such unscrupulous travel agents operate, if they had not verified the antecedents of their tenants.

If found guilty, the action would be taken against such owners under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.

“It was a general practice of the unscrupulous travel agents that they ran away after duping people. Not only this, several complaints had been received regarding the mobile travel agents, who picked up gullible people on the roads and operated from temporary accommodation like hotels and guest houses and vanished after taking away huge amounts,” said the police official.

As per the records, the police has registered 12 cases against such travels agents and has arrested 17 persons so far. The investigations further shed light on the modus operandi of these travel agents to be hand-in-glove with bank officials. The bank officials prepare fake documents of the evaluation of the assets of such travel agents to show strong financial position of the applicants.

DIG (Headquarters and EOW) Mahabir Singh said he would hold a meeting with the travel agents operating from the city to root out the unscrupulous elements. Earlier the police had organised a meeting with the officials from the leading banks and had asked them to take measures against their employees indulging in such malpractices.

The DIG stated steps were being taken to curb the malpractices of the travel agents and people were requested to verify the antecedents of the persons before striking a deal with them.

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UT set to go solar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
The administration is set to make the UT a solar city by increasing the use of non-conventional energy and reducing dependence on conventional energy sources.

A meeting in this regard was held recently under the chairmanship of the adviser to the UT administrator, Pradeep Mehra, where representatives of the Tata Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) gave a presentation of the master action plan to be adopted.

The draft report recommended energy efficiency measures of 20 per cent for both residential and commercial sectors. The project would be mutually funded by the Government of India with a matching grant by the administration or the MC.

Keeping in view the increasing power demand of Chandigarh and reducing pressure on conventional energy sources, the adviser asked officials to initiate procedures for the formal adoption of the project. He was also of the opinion to write to the Centre for doubling the quantum of subsidy already made available to other states for the same so that it could be used for incentives to the public to adopt solar panels.

The representatives of TERI also said Patiala ki Rao could be used for setting up a solar PV power plant of 25 MW capacity, the viability of which would be explored by inviting expression of interests.

Finance secretary Sanjay Kumar spoke about the amended building bylaws, according to which, all commercial establishments and institutional buildings in Chandigarh would have to install solar water heaters within a year.

MC commissioner Roshan Sankaria was directed to pursue the proposal and intimate if the civic body would like to undertake the project.

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New Mohali sectors to be rechristened
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 12
New sectors in Mohali will now be known by Greek alphabets like Alpha or Beta. This will enable the visitors to distinguish these from the existing A to D sub-sectors.

In the Mohali's local planning area, comprising 125 sectors, the decision to rename the developing and yet-to-be-developed sectors, has already been incorporated in the zonal development plans - a document which entails development parameters and regulations of each zone.

The city's extended area has been divided into seven zones, A to G. The zones have been divided into already developed sectors, low density residential sectors, regular density residential sectors, areas for economic weaker section housing, mixed land use, industrial sector and institutional sectors.

Giving details of the zonal plans, a senior official of the Housing and Urban Development Department said the sectors 72-A, 74-A, 66-A, 66-B, 82 -A, 83-A, 101-A, 92-A have been renamed as 72-Alpha, 74-Alpha, 66-Alpha, 66-Beta, 82-Alpha, 101-Alpha, 92-Alpha, respectively.

A special feature will be the regulation for the village abadi areas where special building regulation be prepared for areas falling within lal dora or phrini of villages, as being adopted in Chandigarh. The plan has been drawn keeping in mind the regional plan and also includes suggestions made by the public. Since the already inhabited area cannot be changed, some other suggestions in non-developed areas have been given.

The consultant has highlighted strengths of the region, saying that it is located next to Chandigarh and residents here have the highest per capita income. The area is cosmopolitan where over 68 per cent population is literate. Factors like strong economy, availability of highly skilled workforce, growing number of regional tourists and spill over from Chandigarh and Delhi has also been highlighted.

Stating that total investment in the Greater Mohali area in 2007-2011 is expected to be Rs 40,000 crore, Jurong has laid down a blueprint of economic development of the region.

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Fiscal laws need ‘balanced evaluation’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
In a rare congregation of legal luminaries, a one-day National Tax Conference was held today at the Chandigarh Judicial Academy, Sector 43. The conference was organised by the All- India Federation of Tax Practitioners in association with the Chandigarh Judicial Academy.

Justice DK Jain of the Supreme Court of India was the chief guest and he inaugurated the conference. Justice P Sathasivam of the Supreme Court of India presided over the function and Justice TS Thakur, Chief Justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court, was the guest of honour.

The theme of the conference was “Administration of Fiscal Laws”. Chief guest Justice Jain emphasised on the administration of fiscal laws with a human face. He said appeals were filed belatedly in the courts due to laxity on the part of the administration.

“The increase in frivolous litigation was also a matter of concern,” he said. He said honest taxpayers were also not treated properly by the authorities, as sometimes they were also treated as tax evaders.

Justice Sathasivam appreciated the efforts of the government in simplifying complex laws. The introduction of Saral return is a step towards that. Chief Justice, Punjab & Haryana High Court, Justice Thakur also spoke.

The technical sessions dealt with topics like “Prosecution under the fiscal laws and work contract”. The expert speakers enlightened the audience on the detailed aspects of these important issues.

The consensus was that fiscal laws were lifelines of the nation’s prosperity and needed balanced evaluation from tax authorities.

“Whereas they need to enforce fiscal laws with all sincerity and firmness, it should not be ignored that every interpretation of law, which does not endorse the official point of view, is not an attempt to evade tax. Tax management has to be distinguished from tax evasion,” said one of the senior advocates.

In one of the sessions, various speakers dealt with the subject, “Works contract - issues under the VAT and service tax”.

Justice RM Doshit chaired the valedictory session. She said the taxpayer was interested in knowing as to where his money was being spent. She laid stress on accountability in administration of tax laws. Justice SK Mittal and Justice Rajesh Bindal also attended the session.

Many judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and judges of the Kerala High Court and Gujarat High Court besides a number of advocates and judicial officers from different parts of India attended the conference.

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Consumer Forum
Reliance insurance to pay Rs 25,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
The Consumer Redressal Forum has directed Reliance General Insurance, Sector 9, and Medi Assist India Pvt Ltd, Bangalore, to pay a compensation of Rs 25,000 to a complainant with an amount of Rs 4,405, the difference in insurance claim for deficiency in services.

Divanshu Jain, a resident of Sector 21, purchased a Reliance Health Wise policy in August, 2007, from the Reliance through its branch office at Chandigarh and the same was allotted to him, bearing no. 282520103415 and the same was renewed from the same branch and the policy number was allotted 282510316961 for the period August 2, 2008, to August 1, 2009.

After feeling severe stomach pain, Divanshu got a check-up done by Dr Amil Gupta, who suspected appendi citis and advised ultrasound and  other tests.

Jain approached the prescribed hospital of Reliance and the said hospital informed Medi Assist India, the TPA of Reliance. The hospital faxed the relevant documents relating to his treatment as desired by Medi Assist for issuance of the authorisation letter and also informed regarding the expenditure to be incurred for performing surgery upon the complainant.

The complainant alleged that Medi Assist had not issued the said authorisation. Every time, they put a fresh query, which was duly answered by his family members and the hospital.

Under these circumstances, the complainant had to pay the hospital charges amounting to Rs 28,090 from his own pocket and thereafter, the complainant submitted the relevant documents to Reliance and Medi Assist for reimbursement of the mediclaim. But the latter rejected his claim.

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Elderly drowns in Sukhna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
An elderly man in his nineties drowned to death when he reportedly slipped from staircases at Sukhna Lake here this afternoon. The police ruled out any foul play behind the death, terming it an accidental death.

According to the police, the victim Chandgi Ram of Mahendargarh in Haryana slipped from staircases. Someone among the visitors noticed the man falling into the water and raised an alarm. A police patrolling party reached there and rescued the victim. They rushed him to the Sector 16 Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, where he was declared brought dead.

The SHO of the Sector 3 police station said the victim had been visiting his son in Sector 23 and was staying with him. He was a heart patient. The family had requested the police to hand over the body after conducting post-mortem.

The post-mortem would be conducted tomorrow.

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Sity Scope
Divided they'll ensure the fall
Raveen Thukral

Politicians do have a knack of speaking but only some have the sense of humour and the perfect timing to go with it. I got a call from one such witty local politician (not a big timer) the other day and my simple question to him, “aur administration mein kya chal rahaa hai?” prompted him to recite a couplet- “Barbad-e-chaman ko karne ko jab ek hi ulloo kaafi tha; Har shaakh pe ulloo baitha hai anjaam-e-gulistaan kya hoga”.

As I egged him further by telling him that this couplet is usually recited to describe the acts of the breed he represents and not many of his type were involved in the city's administration here, prompt came the reply, “bhai sahib, hum mein aur babuon mein koi faraq nahin hain. Aap khud dekhiye... administrator advisor ko kat raha hain, HS FS ko, Mayor Commissioner ko, councillor councillor ko aur mantriji administrator ko and vice versa”, he said before hanging up.

While this politician may have described the situation rather crudely, he had his 
hands right on the pulse of the administration which today stands divided right from the top to the bottom.

The running tiff between Administrator and Punjab Governor, Gen (Retd) SF Rodrigues and Advisor, Pradip Mehra, is no secret and its fallout has been the stalling of the mega projects, which, if implemented in a transparent manner, could have changed the way of living in this city. It's also true that Home Secretary, Ram Niwas, and Finance Secretary, Sanjay Kumar do not get along and have differences.

Now coming to the latest Mayor-Municipal Commissioner slugfest. There are no doubts that their differences have stalled several ongoing projects that are actually needed for the city. While there can be no two opinions that the duo must sink their differences and work together in the interest of the public, the administrator's decision to form a committee, which has led to widespread outcry among the ruling councillors, is certainly not the way to go about.

I don't know what this committee, if it functions, will achieve in the end but the Indian experience with such groups has been a bad one, with people by and large believing that such measures are resorted to cover up things rather than exposing anything. I really wonder if any thought was given before announcing this committee.

On the face of it, it appears to be an impulsive reaction of the General sahib. He initially “ordered” the setting up of a “commission of inquiry” into the MC's working at his public darbar - the last place where such vital decisions are taken. The officers too had no prior clue about it and apparently as an afterthought the idea of forming a commission was given up in favour of a committee.

But nevertheless, if one delves deeper to scrutinize the sub-text woven in the language of the notification, in the background of what has been happening in the UT, it becomes manifestly clear that the Administrator's motives may be quite different from the objectives set forth for the so called ‘Independent Study’.

It is beyond comprehension, why the Administration would need an independent study to be conducted by persons - who are not so independent - about the matter and subject, which are so well defined in the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act 1976. The said Act itself provides an elaborate system of checks and balances to rule out any arbitrariness in the decision making process.

The proceedings of every meeting of the Corporation are required to be sent to the Administration within three days and the Administration is vested with power to amend, alter, modify or even annul any decision taken by the Corporation. It can also issue directions to the MC to carry out any task. Besides, budget of the Corporation is approved by the Administration every year.

After having such sweeping powers over the MC's affairs one wonders why such an independent study is at all needed.

In fact, an analysis of the composition of the committee and its terms of reference unveil the real motive behind this move. The committee is headed by Pallabh Mukherjee, an Architect, who was nominated by the administrator, and a perusal of the proceedings of the House meetings in the last two and half years would show that he has nothing much to his credit as far as making any pragmatic suggestions are concerned. The other important member of the Committee is Congress councilor, Chandermukhi Sharma, a known opponent of MP Pawan Kumar Bansal who enjoys proximity to Raj Bhawan. The other two members are relatively unknown.

It also appears strange that the committee, whose majority members (three of four) have no MC administration experience, has been instructed to assess the impact of usefulness of funds; various study tours, the tasks which were undertaken with prior approval of Administration. How can they then identify the loopholes in the existing administrative mechanism?

One also wonders what prompted the administrator to opt for Chandermukhi while ignoring the seniority as well as capability of other councilors. At present, four ex-Mayors i.e. Harjinder Kaur, Pardeep Chhabra, Anu Chathrath and Kamlesh having vast experience, are serving in the House as Councillors.

Under the circumstances, presuming that the real aim behind the formation of the committee is to corner and settle scores with Bansal isn't really misplaced. It is well known that in the past various arbitrary decisions of the Administrator relating to mega projects came under strident criticism from Bansal and at present are under CVC scanner. Therefore, the Independent Study appears to be a diversionary tactic as well as a means to discredit the Congress dominated Municipal Corporation.

However, unfortunately this thoughtless exercise has reduced the Municipal Corporation to an arena for ongoing turf war between the Raj Bhawan and the local MP. The only objective which the committee is likely to achieve is that the Administrator, who is at the fag end of his term, would leave behind a legacy of more bitterness.

Write to cityeditor@tribunemail.com

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CityScope Letters
Police needs help of society to curb lawlessness

In his write-up, Raveen Thukral highlighted the unsavoury trend of drinking in public places by youngsters, which is infringement of the law as drinking at public places is prohibited and the spoilt sons of VVIPs relentlessly do so.

The subject of drinking is of social and ethical ramifications before it becomes a law and order problem. The society as well as the Chandigarh administration, including the police, beside religious, legal and medical organisations, can be associated to control it.

Crash campaign projecting the demerits of drinking must be started. Seminars, workshops and congregations must be held from time to time beside giving publicity in the media.

As far as the police in the tricity is concerned, it made breakthrough in nabbing the culprits of recent highway robberies. Similarly, to curb this social evil, which is assuming menacing proportion, the police must be assisted in the challenging task by the overwhelming response from the society and the government collectively.

But counselling the youth at home is the primary duty of parents before the government and the police have to intervene to tackle it. Gurmit Singh Saini

Police-criminal nexus When a city like Chandigarh has more liquor vends than schools, the lawlessness is bound to happen. The police in the city is more than adequate, when the ratio of the police to population in the rest of the country is taken into consideration. But the lawlessness is rampant because of the nexus between the police and anti-social elements. In the recent past, there has been a big spurt in the bank heists, murders, rapes and other crimes in the tricity.

Several of the crimes could be prevented had the police not turned a blind eye to the warning signals. There is a need to modify the reactive approach to a more proactive approach to control the crime.

Lajpat Rai Garg, Chandigarh

Western culture’s effect

Raveen Thukral showed the drunken side of the Chandigarh youth. Front page photos of the same issue showed the illegal and reckless structural changes and encroachments made by senior most IAS officers and in the government houses allotted to them. Why to blame common man for violating the law. The unabashed open drinking in public is attributable to the exposure of the youth to the Western culture. The liquor business is controlled and owned by powerful politicians, whose profits soar in with rise in drinking. The liquor shops in busy markets are black spots on Indian culture and ethos and embarrassment for the shoppers and public parks of the city have been converted into play grounds by the hooligans.

The children, ladies, senior citizens and strollers dare not enter these public places.

SS Beniwal

Youths flout rules

Reading crime news on the front page has become a regular feature these days. Like Raveen Thukral, even I was prompted to conclude that the crime rate in the tricity is rising at alarming rate.

In his article “Law and (dis)order” in Chandigarh Tribune, Raveen Thukral aptly describes the prevailing lawlessness in the area.

In the absence of any action by the law enforcing authorities, crime rate in Chandigarh and its surrounding areas has increased manifold in the recent past.

The public in general and the students, in particular, are seen defying the laws openly. Reckless driving by youngsters has become the order of the day. News of murders, rapes, thefts etc. appear in the newspapers everyday. The scene of the Sector 8 market, as narrated by the writer, is a living example of how the youth flout the rules openly by drinking at public places. If the law keeps its eyes open, then both the crime rate and the number of accidents will come down considerably.

R K Kapoor, Chandigarh

Rising crime disappoints residents

Those in their 60s and 70s had always been shy of consuming liquor in open, but today’s generation seems to be least bothered about any limitations. The law and order has undoubtedly deteriorated but politicians and bureaucrats are equally responsible for the rising crime in the tricity.

As Chandigarh is a Union Territory, the interference of politicians is very less as compared to other cities, thus, law and order must be better here than other states. Traffic manning is organised but crime rate is increasing at an alarming rate. The public certainly expects Chandigarh as the beautiful and peaceful city.

OP Garg, Chandigarh

City has more liquor vends than schools

The Chandigarh has become a city of crime, and hooliganism, and unfortunately, a number of high profile persons are involved in these cases.

Despite the police put nakas in order to keep a tab on offenders, they move freely in and around the city. The youngsters, too, giving two hoots to rules, consume liquor openly at public places. The city has more liquor vends than schools. There seems to be no fear among lawbreakers due to which honest citizens bear the brunt everyday. Day light robberies, contract killings and rapes have happened here in the recent past. Bad quality of liquor has taken lives of more than 50 persons in Gujarat.

M L Garg, Chandigarh

Reform Indian police

Tragedy is of lawlessness. Corruption and power brokers are capturing the system to the hilt. I refer to a thought-provoking article written by Raveen Thukral where thrust has been laid on the proactive approach to control crime. Before we ponder over this vital issue, we have to find out the reasons why crime is rapidly increasing? What are the circumstances and the role of law-enforcing agencies vis-à-vis public?

The lawlessness is unchecked on the roads too. It is not only that the blame lies on those who do not wear helmet, but also on the traffic police, whose job is to maintain the law and order on the roads, are equally to be blamed. There is a need to modernise the police especially at the grassroots level.

There is a need to have moral policing as well. There is a need for reforming the Indian police to overcome the colonial mindset and organisational pattern that it follows even to this day. To check this menace, the IG, UT Administration, should start a drive to bust the racket of smugglers operating in the city by adopting stringent measures.

SK Khosla

Proactive approach need of the hour

The complex law and order problem had been critically analysed in the article “Law and (dis) order” by Raveen Thukral and significantly suggested the measures to tackle the alarming lawlessness menace. The need of the time is to have proactive approach and not the traditional active approach. Let us device means to stop this menace. It is a myth that the city is still the safest place to live in as we should not go in by the number of crimes committed but face the bare realities. There is no denying the fact that the per capita rate of felony here in the tricity may not be much different from other metropolitan cities of the north.

Sadly, there is no fear among the lawbreakers and it is always the honest and the law abiding citizens who are on the receiving end. The tricity is known as the city of VIPs and most of the offenders, including traffic offenders, manage a phone call that does the trick.

It does not stop here because there is no accountability and transparency of the city administration and those at the helm of affairs function like modern-day maharajas in an arbitrary and whimsical style. The trouble is that even parents and the teachers too ignore these acts of their wards. Let teachers, parents, administrators and public join hands to cleanse society of these evils and expose the wrong doers undeterred.

The need of the hour is to involve well meaning and spirited NGOs, students’ organisations and youth organisations in the next door public policing to curb the menace.

Harbans Singh Chopra

Check rising crime

In the thought-provoking article “Law and (dis)order” by Raveen Thukral, it is rightly justified that crime is a part and parcel of society but what worries more is the growing lawlessness and policing means curbing this lawlessness behaviour. It is disheartening that instead of taking concrete measures to curb this lawlessness, the police is either shying away or completely ignores it taking it as a way of life of youth of today.

There is no denying the fact that this general lawlessness and goondagardi and dadagiri can be solved if there is will and honesty on the part of the law enforcing agencies. The police, plain cloth policemen, resident welfare associations and market welfare associations should cooperate and join hands to nab the culprits at the right time and thus stop the menace from spreading further at an alarming pace to other places. Act now, it is better late than never and let people breath in peaceful atmosphere.

Jaspreet Singh Cheema

Cops turn deaf to lawlessness

One notices a strange reluctance and hesitation on the part of policemen on duty to initiate action against the gross and visible violations of basic and fundamental rules and laws.

There are many reasons for such an attitude of taking easy reactions on the part of men on duty. These need to be examined in detail so as to change this passive attitude. Existing state of affairs gives an impression of the men on duty being blind and deaf to all that goes on around them.

One can only wait and hope for someone to do something to bring some sense of law and order to be able to lead a peaceful life in the city.

Baldev Inder Cheema

Unholy alliance

Raveen Thukral has rightly said deteriorating law and order and the lackadaisical attitude of the UT police encourages youngsters to indulge in anti-social activities like hooliganism and drinking openly at public places.

The article ‘Law and (dis)order’ by Raveen Thukral in the Chandigarh Tribune (6 July) must act as a wake up call to the Chandigarh administration in general and the police, in particular.

Who does not know that eating joints in all sectors of the city, especially famous AC dhabas at Sector 22 act as unauthorised bar on wheels. The authorities concerned are least bothered to take an action against hooligans.

Almost every day, we come across incidents, where in kids of VVIPs are involved in brawls, traffic violation, rapes etc.

Though the city boasts of having the maximum police force, keeping in view the small size of a tehsil of neighbouring states like Punjab and Haryana, it has proved ineffective to deter the criminals. It shows that there is a definite unholy alliance between the police and the agencies facilitating indulgence of crimes. Are the authorities concerned waiting for the worst to happen in order to take the desired actions?

Capt Amar Jeet Kumar, Mohali 

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Teachers sensitised to deal with youngsters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Teachers of various schools in the city were yesterday sensitised to the challenges faced by the younger generation.

They were made aware of the sensitivity and urgency of the issues regarding the physical and mental health of the students they interact with on a day-to-day basis.

The “sensitisation workshop for adolescent friendly reproductive and sexual health services,” was organised by the health department, UT administration, at RCH auditorium in Sector 22 here yesterday on World Population Day.

Dr NK Arora, officiating director, health and family welfare, UT, appealed to the participants to have an open mind and enact their role of a teacher as well as parent for the adolescents they were 
dealing with.

Dr Kavita Talwar, district family welfare officer, impressed upon the teachers to work hand-in-hand with the health department for betterment of the “Generation Now” that would not only contribute to the world in the form of numbers but also in the form of mentally and physically healthy citizens.

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Scholarship test for rural students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
A scholarship test for rural and brilliant students was conducted by Gurukul Vidyapeeth, an educational group in Chandigarh.

Total six centres were made in various parts of north and nearly 2,000 students registered online.

The test was conducted at Bhawan Vidyalaya, Sector-27, here, which was the main centre for the students of Patiala, Mohali, Panchkula, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and about 436 students appeared in the test.

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