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Two children per couple
City meets 2010 target
Tribune News Service

Wake-up call

It is anticipated that by 2050 India’s population would reach more than 1.5 billion and more than 1.853 billion at the close of the century. India is expected to become the first and the only country on the planet to have a population of more than two billion while China’s population is likely to drop after reaching the peak of about 1.46 billion in 2050, the report said.

Chandigarh, July 19
The city has added another feather to its cap by achieving the total fertility rate (TFR) of two children per couple target set by the Union Government in the National Population Policy (NPP), 2000.

Though the deadline of 2010 is almost a year away, the UT has achieved the goal. “Chandigarh has scored the golden goal before the final whistle is blown,” says a report released by the union ministry of health on states that have achieved two children per couple target.

Besides Chandigarh, 11 states (Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Goa, Himachal, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal) and two union territories (Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Puducherry) have also achieved the TFR target.

Thanks to the slew of initiatives taken by the UT administration in healthcare, health indices in Chandigarh have been consistently going up. Also, the use of family planning methods in the rural and urban areas of the city is 76 and 75.6 per cent, respectively.

Awareness about various contraceptive methods in Chandigarh stands at 86 per cent and efforts are being made to meet the demand for contraceptives.

The report, however, rues that states like Bihar, UP and MP would take another 15 to 20 years to achieve the TFR target. According to the National Commission on Population Estimates, by 2030, India is expected to overtake China in population figures. By 2016, Uttar Pradesh would account for 22 per cent of the country’s population while Bihar, MP and Rajasthan together would contribute another 22 per cent.

It states that if the NPP is fully implemented, one could anticipate a population of 1,107 million in 2010 instead of 1,162 million as projected by the technical group on population projections.

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Traffic Violations - I
Youngsters couldn’t care less about rules
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

The law should be made more rigid. In cases where offenders are found to be guilty of reckless and dangerous driving, they should be booked under Section 304 of the IPC for culpable homicide not amounting to murder

— NK Nanda, Ex-president, District Bar Association

The police should direct the beat staff to keep an eye on violators in its areas and inform the traffic police, which should book them for dangerous driving and also impound their vehicles.

— Harman Singh Sidhu, road activist

Chandigarh, July 19
Reckless driving by youngsters, especially those riding two-wheelers, continues unabated in the city, snuffing out lives in freak road accidents.

Experts on road safety attribute the rise in accidents to the city emerging as an educational hub. The mushrooming of legal and illegal paying guest accommodation, besides rented accommodation, is changing the driving culture in the city.

Attention-seeking youngsters drive modified vehicles, sans silencers in motorcycles, and blaring music in cars. They usually drive on internal roads at breakneck speed.

The near-zero presence of the traffic police or beat staff on internal roads further aggravates the situation, leaving residents at the mercy of youngsters who just “enjoy” flouting traffic rules, a resident of Sector 22 said.

Early morning and late night hours make it easy to break rules due to the absence of the traffic police. Rampant violations in market areas and internal roads can be seen across the city before 8 am or after 8 pm.

“Looks like the geri route has penetrated into the internal roads in some sectors. Earlier, roads leading to educational institutions in northern sectors were the geri routes, now one can see youngsters driving recklessly in a lot of other places,” quipped Iqbal Singh, another resident.

Sources in the accident cell of the Chandigarh Police said though the exact number of two-wheeler riders who lost their lives while driving without helmet (or with poor quality helmets) was not available, it was found to be a major factor behind the fatal accidents.

Quoting figures, the sources said four persons had lost their lives while another 15 had been grievously injured last week in road mishaps. Till date this year, 83 persons had been killed and 162 were bed-ridden after being seriously injured in accidents. The sources said studies had indicated that a large number of road users who had been killed or injured were either two-wheeler riders or pedestrians.

Takes a sec to lose it all

We should make efforts to inculcate a sense of responsibility among the youth. The focus of parents is more on academic excellence. We tend to ignore vital aspects concerning our children’s lives. A tiny mistake, an error in judgement ... a fraction of a second is enough to shatter a family,” Umesh Kapur, father of Sanjog who died while test driving a motorcycle in 2005, said. Sanjog was a budding tennis player and had participated in international tournaments. “We must tell children how important their life is and they must respect it. Take the case of Ishmeet (the singer). He rose to such heights at a young age, but died of irresponsible behaviour,” he added.

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Solar eclipse on July 22 from 5.37 am to 7.26 am
Caution, the word for schoolkids
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
It is not just a routine celestial configuration occurring in the space. The “longest duration” complete solar eclipse, predicted on July 22, is thought to be a rare occasion by experts since it is the second in the row of triple eclipses occurring in 30 days this year.

Interestingly, the triple eclipse is assumed to be of substantial significance in the history of astrological as well as astronomical study.

The city will witness the eclipse on July 22 from 5:37 a.m. to 7:26 a.m. though Met department officials claim a hazy visibility since the morning is expected to be cloudy with rainfall likely on the day.

Meanwhile, on the one hand, astrologers forecast a natural calamity in any part of globe, astronomers disagree and argue it to be a great opportunity for sky gazers to witness an event in celestial history.

According to the astrologers, this series of triple eclipses, that commenced from July 7 with a lunar eclipse, followed by solar eclipse on July 22 and another lunar eclipse on August 6, can cause both positive and negative effects.

“The effect will start on July 21 around 7:20 pm itself. People are advised not to consume eatables during the morning hours of eclipse,” said Shastri Raghubansh Jha of Sector 20 Laxmi Narayan Mandir.

However, the city astrologers also predicted it to be an event of a great historic change as deducted from the past instances.

“This phenomenon will happen only after 123 years now. In 3067 BC, it occurred during the Mahabharat era and also during World War I and II. The eclipse will occur in the cancer sign and “Pushya Nakshtra”, which is also the sign for India, hence India in expected to emerge strongest,” said Madan Gupta Spatu, a city astrologer.

The doctors have put in a word of caution, especially for the schoolchildren.

“Stringent precautions need to be taken on the day since the rays can affect retina in the eye and can cause macular burn. The people, who believe that it can be watched through X-Ray, should understand that it does not protect the eyes fully. Once a damage occurs due to the exposure to an eclipse, it is irreversible,” cautioned Amit Gupta, eye consultant at Advance Eye Centre, PGI.

So what’s the best way to watch the rare eclipse? On television and websites, showing live telecast, advise doctors.

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Violations
VIPs cock a snook at MC’s notice
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service


The aerial view of the security pickets of DGP AP Panday and ADGP Shashi Kant pitched in a public park in Sector 18. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, July 19
Despite the anti-encroachment notice and the High Court’s cognizance of the blatant violations by encroaching on the public land in the name of security, the Municipal Corporation (MC) and these VIPs are hardly bothered to act in response.

Except for one security picket at Bougainvillaea Garden in Sector 3, a revisit to various sectors reveals that hardly any “big shot” complied to the public notices released by the authorities about 10 days ago.

When Chandigarh Tribune highlighted that how ministers, bureaucrats and police officials are on the wrong side of law, the UT administration and the MC had issued a public notice, stating that all security tents should voluntarily be removed from government land by the officers concerned within one week. However, this time span got lapsed last Thursday, still no action has been initiated by the authorities.

UT officials pronounced that MC officials had been told to take action. The MC officials viewed that since the “wrongdoers” have got kundi connection directly from a street pole, it was the UT electricity department’s job.

MC Commissioner Roshan Sankaria admitted that no VIP had tried to comply the public notice, “Yes, it is true. But we will start the action soon”.

When enquired about their action, Sankaria said, “These VIPs have extended illegal electricity connections from the street pole. We will seek assistance from the engineering department”, he replied before admitting that even after a lapse of whole week, no communication in this direction has been conveyed to the engineering wing as yet. “Very soon, we will do that”, he “assured”.

At Sector 18-C, the only park of the area has been occupied by security guards of the Director-General of Police (DGP), PSEB, AP Pandey, and the Additional Director-General of Police (ADGP), Punjab, Shashi Kant. It was illegal kundi connection extended directly from a pole and over 10 coolers, multi-electricity sockets were found in 10 huge tents.

A separate temporary kitchen, equipped with heater etc, were the facilities, which were provided to these tents.

Not lagging behind was the Chandigarh Police’s DSP KIP Singh. His security guards, adjacent to his house in Sector 21, have found the block’s service lane as the best place to accommodate.

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COMMUNITY

CITY SCOPE
These service encroachments
Raveen Thukral

This column may upset some of my friends and their wives too. No, I'm neither heading to participate in the latest TV reality show, ‘sach ka saamna’, to reveal anything nor do I intend to spill any beans here. But yes, I'm going to touch upon a subject that'll make a lot of people, particularly the bigwigs in the bureaucratic and political circles, uncomfortable. And the issue is about the deputationists - teachers, doctors, lecturers et el- from Punjab and Haryana, who have overstayed their tenures in this city.

When we recently highlighted the case of a senior functionary of the Health Department, who had managed to get a one year extension from the UT administration, and also the fact that there were 82 doctors from Punjab who had been serving in this city for nearly two decades, I got calls from some friends advising me not to rake this issue. "We'll also get dragged into this issue unnecessarily," said one.

However, even at the risk of upsetting them, one can say with conviction that the deputation policy of both the UT administration and the state governments of Punjab and Haryana is completely flawed. It lacks transparency and leaves too much scope for manipulation.

The process of deputation of employees to UT begins with their selection by their parent states. In absence of any transparent selection procedure in the states, candidates are picked up at the whims and fancies of those in power and people with the right connections end up as the beneficiaries.

The state governments do not follow the procedure of open selections. Neither the vacancies for deputations are advertised nor is merit or seniority the criteria for the selection of the candidates, leaving the field open for manipulations.

Let's take the case of lecturers, teachers and doctors. Both Haryana and Punjab cannot boast of having surplus employees in these categories and are in fact short of them. So the question arises is why send your already short staff on deputation and deprive your own students and patients of the care they deserve?

The obvious answer to this question lays more in politics rather than anything else. With both Punjab and Haryana wanting to keep their stake in the UT, they continue to insist on maintaining the 60:40 percent employees ratio that was introduced during the reorganisation of erstwhile Punjab. In this regard the oft repeated apex court judgment in the Swarn Lata vs Union of India case is worth mentioning.

In the judgement it was reportedly observed that the ‘instructions of the Government of India on the appointment of deputationists at 60:40 can be treated to be transitory in nature and cannot be taken to mean that all posts in UT were always to be filled on deputation’. The court had also observed that the issue of civil posts in the UT being manned by the employees of Punjab and Haryana is ''supplemental, incidental and consequential provision of the reorganisation of the states.''

Though feeble attempts have been made earlier to streamline this policy of deputation and bring some transparency in it, vested interests have always put a spanner in them. In 2004, the then Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma, had ordered repatriation of all deputationists who had completed five years tenure in the city.

The move was not only opposed by the bureaucrats and politicians, whose spouses and kin were posted here, but they also managed to rope in the then Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana who out rightly refused to take back their employees. The end result of the tussle was that while Justice Verma completed his term and went away, the deputationists stayed back.

One can understand and appreciate the interests of all deputationists for extended stay in the city as it offers much more, in terms of quality of life, education and infrastructure, than any other town in their parent states but that should not be the reason to deprive others the right to come here. Under the circumstances it wouldn't be wrong to equate such ‘extended’ deputationists to ‘encroachers’ as they are encroaching upon the opportunities of others.

Even in the case of deputation of civil servants, IAS and IPS officers, state governments again have an arbitrary authority of sending a panel of three officers. The fallout of this policy is that only blue eyed officers of the government in power are pushed and some with the right connections even manage repetitive tenures in the city, denying others the opportunity to come. One particular UT officer at present has served for almost 15 years, on different posts, in this city.

One option to deal with this contentious issue is to have a totally transparent policy for deputations. The entire process for selecting deputationists should be above board and officers, without any exceptions, should return to their parent states after the expiry of their terms. Besides getting more professionalism in the job a transparent deputation policy will ensure that vested interest don't develop and officers do not become pliable to the powers that be in their bids for extensions.

The other alternative, which may not go down well with Punjab and Haryana, is to have a strong cadre for UT itself through a transparent process of merit based selection. Such cadre should have a long term interest in the development of UT with inescapable accountability.

But till that happens, the deputationists, who have completed their tenures with the UT should go back and give a chance to others to come and serve here. This jiski laathi us ki bhains culture of service encroachments needs to end.

Write to cityeditor@tribunemail.com

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CityScope Letters
Give development a chance

This refers to the City Scope “Divided they’ll ensure the fall” (July 13) by Raveen Thukral, it appears that the fall is imminent. The circumstances are alarming regarding the affairs of the MC that the relations between the administrator and MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, besides others, have become acrimonious to the extent of implicitly setting scores with each other or showdown.

This arrogance indicates adverse affects on the development of on going projects. The working of the Chandigarh administration has become perfunctory. The city is a centrally administered territory and its landscaping aspect is controlled by the MC. If the present situation is not scotched and allowed to continue, the day is not far when it will see its total fall. Let better sense prevail with the functionaries to avert its collapse. I believe the alternative is the restoration of the post of Chief Commissioner, so that political interference of administrator and local MP is obliterated.

Gurmit Singh Saini

Loss to development projects

Mr Raveen has exposed the ego clashes of the bigwigs of Chandigarh administration and local MP that has cost an irreparable loss to the development of the city. It is unfortunate that the UT administration stands divided from top to the bottom.

The administrator’s role is limited and if he puts roadblocks in the functioning of the elected representatives of the people, he undermines the concept of local self government.

Setting of a committee to make “independent study” of the affairs of the MC is a farce when the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, provides an elaborate system of checks and balances. The committee constituted by the administrator will cover up things rather than exposing anything. It is rightly summed that: “unfortunately this thoughtless exercise has reduced the MC to an arena for on going turf war between the Raj Bhawan and the local MP.” Sooner such differences are resolved better it will be for the people.

Lajpat Rai Garg

Citizens at the receiving end

It is disappointing that the powers that be fight against each other in the race of 'one upmanship' and the innocent citizens are at the receiving end.

I agree with the writer that “the mega projects, which, if implemented in a transparent manner, could have changed the way of living in the city.”

The setting up of a committee by the UT Administrator to look into the working of the MC ignoring the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, seems to be like “throwing dust into the eyes of the public.” It's nothing than an eye-wash action, as the members of the committee have no administrative experience. It makes one believe that the UT Administrator is against the local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal who had criticised the former's decisions on the mega projects. It is certainly the "on going turf war between the Raj Bhawan and the local MP" at the cost of the city's progress. It's really shameful.

R K Kapoor

Committee biased

There is a total opposition and splitting up between functionaries from councillors to administrator and the stark polarisation stares them in the face.

Mr Raveen has hit the nail on its head by arguing that the administrator should not leave behind a legacy of discord in view of his ensuing exit owing to the bitterness that has erupted among the different cadres of administration, including the elected councillors and local MP who takes interest in the affairs of the MC.

The constitution of the commission by the administrator to probe into the alleged irregularities seems to be wide of the mark.

Governor’s action to form a commission with members of his choice, who are not familiar with the working and are less efficient besides being biased, lends clue to the fact that there is something wrong with the administrator.

The sanction of mega projects by the administrator are under scrutiny of vigilance and possibility of his involvement cannot be ruled out at this stage. He should have thought twice before forming a commission which is an alibi for some wrong done.

It is never too late to mend. The administrator should try to reconcile with the situation and make amends for the hasty actions taken by him so that the lost reputation of the MC is redeemed

Simran Saini

Provide good governance

No administration is worth any thing if they keep letting down each other for their petty issues. Mr. Raveen has rightly pointed out the tug of war at the top.

The administrator does not consider him self answerable and accountable to any one. Even the administratively well justified, legally bound advises in certain important matters by the administrative bureaucratic head of the UT administration is turned down. The Commissioner of the Chandigarh MC closely follows the approach of the administrator by treating the elected Mayor like his class three subordinate. The CMC is an elected public body to take care of the citizens, the Commissioner is an appointed official to facilitate the functioning of the CMC not to act as super Mayor. The way these senior officials behave by making their personal opinion above their official responsibilities is tantamount to breach of trust, deliration to their duty.

The need is to provide responsive and good governance. They must mend their ways and behave in a civilised manner.

Capt Amar Jeet Kumar

Clashes affecting work culture

Mr Thukral had systematically, scientifically, logically and critically analysed the past tiffs of the administration and the on going Mayor- MC slugfest and thus exposed the non-transparent style of functioning of the Chandigarh administration.

There is no denying that the administration stands divided. Political power is no different. There are inter and intra differences between bureaucrats and politicians which are doing more harm than the good to the city’s well-being. Several projects have been stalled for no faults of residents.

It is unfortunate that here it is a team split and not the team spirit that governs the city. Ego and arrogance ride high to service and self-sacrifice or even sacrifice. The recent tiffs between the Mayor and the MC are affecting the work culture.

There is no need to compromise on dignity and self-respect, but there are several intelligent ways to settle such differences. The best way is to adopt conciliatory approach.

Harbans Singh Chopra

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Public plaints don’t matter for MC
Website still not updated
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
It seems that the authorities of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation does not care to redress public grievances received through mail or e-mail.

Officials of the MC make a lame excuse that they cannot check e-mails as they are neither “IT savvy” nor the officials have time to deliver the applications received through postal mail or put into complaint boxes to the officials concerned of the corporation as nobody has been assigned this duty.

Surprisingly, visiting the corporation office, it was found that most complaint boxes were fully packed with letters. As most of these boxes are full, now the public has started putting their letters on top of the boxes rather than putting them in.

An official of the corporation stated that the authorities had not assigned any employee to collect the letters from the complaint boxes and deliver these to the officers. Due to negligence, a number of times the letters posted by the people were either misplaced or lost, putting public into harassment.

Strangely, the website of the corporation has never been updated.

Last year, the house had decided that to make the system transparent and the minutes and agendas of all meetings would be uploaded on the website for the information of the public. Interestingly, the officials hardly bothered to execute the decision of the house, as six house meetings had already taken place but till date no detail of agenda or minutes have been added on the website.

Citizen Association’s member, Sachin said he had contacted the officials of the corporation a number of times to update the website for the convenience of the public but all in vain. He said the website did not contain the latest list of community centres in the city.

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Col reprimanded for loss of ID cards
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
A general court martial has awarded a severe reprimand and forfeiture of one year’s service for the purpose of pension to the commanding officer of an armoured regiment in a case pertaining to the loss of 87 identity cards belonging to troops of his unit. While the army court acquitted the colonel of the first charge that the decision of keeping the ID cards was his, he was held guilty on two other charges of not issuing appropriate instructions and belatedly reporting the matter to higher authorities.

The GCM, presided over by GOC 16 Infantry Division Maj Gen AK Bakshi, concluded at the Bathinda military station yesterday evening. However, the court’s verdict is subject to confirmation. The officer’s counsel, Col PN Chauturvedi (retd), claimed there were no provisions of reporting a matter late in terms of the relevant army orders that were cited in the charges.

The ID cards were reported to have been missing when the unit was engaged in exercises in Punjab in 2007. Their loss had created a security alert as they could have been used to gain access to high security zones or military installations in case they fell into the wrong hands.

A court of inquiry ordered by Headquarters 23 Infantry Division had held the officers along with some jawans blameworthy for the loss of the ID cards. They were charged under provisions of the Army Act for alleged lack of supervision and violation of security instructions.

Earlier, in the same case a separate general court martial held in the Central Command had dismissed a lieutenant colonel of the same unit for alleged lapses that had led to the loss of the ID cards. The court, presided over by Brig KS Virk, had held him guilty on the three charges. The defence, which had put in a ‘not guilty’ plea, contended the court lacked jurisdiction on account of procedural lacunae.

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New-look admn by year-end
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
A new-look Chandigarh Administration is on the cards by the year-end with certain senior functionaries moving away from the city in the backdrop of completion of their tenures.

Punjab Governor and UT Administrator SF Rodrigues will lead the pack of functionaries leaving the city as his tenure ends on November 16. As his tenure has been marked by controversies, he is unlikely to be given another term by the Central government.

With one-year extension of the UT Deputy Commissioner (DC) being denied by the Central government, a new incumbent from Haryana will replace Rao. Rodrigues has reportedly sent a strong recommendation to the Centre for retention of Rao, who completed four years as the DC on May 29.

Not only Rodrigues, police top brass is also likely to have new incumbents. The three-year tenure of Inspector General of Police (IGP) SK Jain also ends in early October and he would apparently move to New Delhi, as his promotion is due.

Similarly, the deputation of another senior Punjab cadre officer and SSP SS Srivastava is slated to expire on September 10 this year.

It is yet not clear whether Srivastava would get an extension or Chandigarh would have a new SSP.

Recently, the UT has repatriated special secretary finance Raji Srivatsava to her parent state of Punjab and finalisation of her replacement is being waited. Similarly, a couple of PCS officers had recently joined the UT. In fact, the UT was still awaiting the posting of a couple of HCS officers to tide over the shortage of staff.

Meanwhile, joint secretary finance and director technical education Pirthi Chand is also slated to go back to his parent state following his elevation to the IAS from the PCS.

Another junior-level IAS officer and SDM Niharika Rai and her IPS husband and ASP (central) Madhur Verma are also set to get new postings outside the city.

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SI-Biker Accident
Special crime cell to probe death in mishap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
The police has transferred the investigations of the fatal accident, in which a Chandigarh Police sub-inspector Jaspal Singh Bhullar was involved, to the Special Crime Investigation Cell (SCIC).

Sources in the police said the case was transferred after Bhullar requested senior officials that he was apprehensive of manipulations in the probe and wanted it to be shifted to some other cell for fair probe.

It may also be recalled that the victim’s families had also levelled allegations of a biased probe by the police, seeking the transfer of the case to some independent agency.

The police had then transferred the case from the Sector 22 police post, where Bhullar was posted as in charge, to the crime branch.

UT SSP SS Srivastva said the case had been transferred to the DIG (Headquarters) Mahabir Singh, who entrusted the SCIC to probe the matter.

The mishap occurred on June 27 at Sector 22 C and D traffic lights point when two motorcyclists collided with Bhullar’s car.

One of the motorcyclists, 22-year-old Gagandeep Singh, the only child of his parents, died during treatment at the PGI later.

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House tax issue set to rock MC house
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 19
The issue of house tax being charged by the municipal council on rented accommodation is set to rock the house during its meeting tomorrow as all eight concillors of the BJP have already signed a resolution to this effect.

Senior BJP leader Gyan Chand Gupta said the BJP was against the levy of house tax on Panchkula residents.

The house tax for 2008-09 was being charged in the town under the new policy of the state government.

Even self-occupied residential properties have not been spared and 10 per cent of the rental income from residential houses was being charged as house tax by the council.

The tax was, however, calculated only after a 10 per cent deduction from the total rental income as a relief to landlords towards maintenance expenses of buildings.

While there was no such tax in adjoining Chandigarh, local residents were being forced to shell out huge amounts as house tax, said Gupta.

Moreover, the local MLA had promised to do away with the tax during the last Assembly elections, he added.

The council was even charging tax from residents of sectors not being managed by it, he added.

The sectors between 20 and 27 were being managed by HUDA but the house tax was being charged by the municipal council there as well, he said.

Council’s acting president BB Singal said issues regarding double entry system in records, streetlights, and energy saving lights would also be disposed of during the meeting.

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SSP likely to get extension
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
The Central Government may have refused extension to UT Deputy Commissioner (DC) RK Rao, yet stage is set for one-year extension to Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) SS Srivastava.

Though Srivastava's two-year tenure ends in early September, yet the process for his extension has been set in motion with the Chandigarh Administration set to move his file to the Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA). The final decision will be taken by the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) after approval of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), sources said.

"Since there has been no request from the Punjab Government for Srivastava's repatriation, the police officer is likely to get extension," a senior official said, adding that the process would be completed before the expiry of his tenure.

The "non-controversial image of the officer is likely to stand him in good stead when the case of his extension comes up before the authorities concerned. In fact, one extension is routine in case of inter-cadre deputation of IAS/IPS officers so as to maintain continuity in the policy-making at the top level, officials highlighted.

A majority of the IPS officers posted as local SSP had been given extension in the past with one of the officers CSR Reddy remaining at the post for over five years. In the past, there has been intense lobbying for the plum posting in Chandigarh--the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana.

However, the police will see a new boss with the current Inspector General of Police (IGP) SK Jain slated to go back to New Delhi as his promotion is due. Another junior-level IPS officer of the UT cadre is also set to be transferred out of Chandigarh, the sources added.

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Tenders to be floated soon for Mohali golf academy
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 19
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) is all set to float tenders for the city’s first golf academy on nine acres of land in phase XI here. All the formalities for the project have been completed and the tenders would be floated once the election code of conduct was withdrawn, said a senior official in GMADA.

The site identified for the project is located next to the Commando Complex in Phase XI and runs parallel to the 200-foot wide road, connecting Sector 48 of Chandigarh with Phase XI of Mohali. Chief Administrator of GMADA VP Singh confirmed that the tenders would be floated after the by-elections.

Earlier, the project was scheduled to start after the Lok Sabha elections. But with the announcement of the by-elections, the project has been postponed by another two months.

The entire project is expected to cost GMADA around Rs 7 crore and would be completed within two years of starting the work. The club building would include a swimming pool, library, spas, gym, two tennis courts, party hall, a restaurant and bar. The main building would have the administrative offices and video-aided classrooms, conference rooms and driving bays. The outdoor facilities would include practise putting and chipping greens and tennis courts. The length from the hitting bay to end point would be 270 yards.

Cashing on its strategic location near the upcoming international airport, the golf range and a club, would offer a platform for budding golf players. GMADA plans to turn a nullah, running across the site into a picturesque water body. Earlier, the project had been planned on 14.26 acres of land, the commercial exploitation of the remaining chunk of land has been given up.

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Tension outside PG accommodation
Tribune News Service


The police outside a house in Phase 3B2, Mohali, where three girls live as paying guests. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, July 19
Suspecting that certain anti-social elements were creating nuisance at a paying guest accommodation being run from a house in Phase 3B2 here late last night, residents laid a virtual siege to the house and called up the police.

In the melee, some youths allegedly present in the house at that time managed to escape.

However, the protesters cornered the three girls who were living as paying guests in the house.

A white Maruti Zen car in which the youths had come to the house was also 
intercepted.

The residents alleged that youths had been frequenting the house where girls were putting up.

Matour police station SHO claimed that the antecedents of the youths were verified and nothing wrong was found.

However, residents claimed that the youths had been carrying out immoral activities in the area and they had been objecting to it.

The residents wanted certain guidelines regarding PG accommodation.

The civil administration should intervene in the interest of society, they added.

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Dassh Chakkra a nexus of politicians, babus
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 19
Diverging form the conventional themes, the Sandli Pairan Kala Kender, supported by the National Sangeet Natak Akademy, UT cultural affairs has ventured to take up issues concerning welfare through their production “Dassh Chakkra” staged today at Randhawa auditorium.

A Hindi adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s classic “An Enemy of the People” by thespian Nemi Chandra Jain suiting the Indian milieu juxtaposed nexus of political and babudom combines resulting in polluted supply of water.

The protagonist, Dr Ravi Kapoor, when raises his voice against the contaminated water, has to face the wrath of corrupt politicians and babus. The role of the press and political parties for exploiting situations to their benefit created some interesting sequences.

The play with dominating narratives staged even the minute details leaving nothing to the imagination and curiosity of the audience expect the child prodigies taking the centrestage with a poem at the fag-end which infused life in the production.

Besides, directing the play the accomplished city actor Sandeep Chatterjee led the cast with Parveen Jaggi, Sonali, Namrata, Sahanker Singh, Rajnish Sonu, including child actors Gandharv Jaggi, Divas, Jayesh and Harshit.

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Pay Anomalies
Engineers to launch stir
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 19
Irked over the “delay” in the implementation of the anomaly committee report, the Haryana Federation of Engineers has decided to launch a fresh agitation against the “injustice” meted out to it by the government.

It has decided to hold a meeting of the general body of the federation in Karnal on July 26, where all members of the federation from all engineering wings will discuss how to launch the agitation.

Earlier, in January this year the engineers had gone on two-day mass leave.

Following the agitation, they were invited by the government for negotiations. On March 1, the terms and conditions of an agreement were finalised and the federation had agreed to the condition of the government that 15 per cent of the SDEs be given the pay band-4 after a service of 17 years.

The SDEs were not happy with the agreement, resenting that only 15 per cent of them were to be benefited. Now they want that all SDEs be given the pay band-4, that too after 14 years of regular service on the Punjab pattern.

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2 H1N1 cases test negative
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
Two suspected cases of H1N1 reported yesterday at GMSH-16 were found negative after their throat swabs samples report arrived from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), Delhi.

A 37-year-old man from Sector 20, Panchkula, and one-and-a-half-year- old child from Phase VII, Mohali, visited abroad recently. On showing symptoms like high fever and soar throat, they were rushed to the hospital at Sector 16. After knowing their travel history, both were admitted in Isolation ward of GMSH-16.

The UT nodal officer for H1N1, HC Gera, said, “The throat swab samples of both patients were sent to NICD, Delhi, for examination yesterday. The test reports were found negative today.” However, both patients with a confirmed case of swine flu, reported at the PGI and GMSH-16, were in stable condition, said Gera.

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Contract teachers strike continues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 19
A protest rally by UT contractual school teachers and their families wearing black gowns was held today for pressing their demand of regularisation of the services of the contractual teachers working for the past 13 years.

The rally was a sidelight of the ongoing chain hunger strike started by the contractual teachers of Chandigarh, which today entered its 20th day. Various trade unions' leaders addressed the rally and said the contractual teachers for years was a source of exploitation of young and educated youth especially when imparting education was a perennial task of the government.

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Poles supporting transformer give way
Tribune News Service


The poles supporting a transformer that gave way following rain in Mohali on Sunday. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, July 19
The power supply to YPS and other buildings in its vicinity was affected after the poles supporting a transformer fell after rains last night.

Though the poles supporting the transformer fell on the wall of the YPS, no one was injured as it was a holiday.

The road leading to the school witnesses heavy traffic on working days.

The site is located a just a stone’s throw away from the office of the PSEB chairman.

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Body found near bus stand

Panchkula, July 19
The body of a man in his thirties was found here yesterday. The deceased was spotted last night while having drinks along with some others near bus stand in Sector 5.

According to the police, the deceased was suspected to be a migrant labourer. The passersby noticed the body and they informed the police.

The body was sent to the General Hospital mortuary for identification before the post-mortem was conducted, said the police. — TNS

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Tabla recital by Anuradha today

Chandigarh, July 19
World renowned Mumbai-based tabla maestro Anuradha Pal will present a tabla recital in a special concert organised by Pracheen Kala Kendra at the Randhawa Auditorium here tomorrow at 7 pm.

A foremost disciple of Ustad Allah Rakha Saheb and Ustad Zakir Hussain, she has extensively performed in India and at all international festivals and music venues. — OC

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EDUCATION
 

Fabricated structures for students
Innovative education centres cry for attention
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

An AIE centre class being conducted on the school ground.
An AIE centre class being conducted on the school ground.
Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, July 19
In a reality check of the ambitious plans of the UT education department and the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), one comes across a sorry state of affairs on visiting the AIE (Alternative Innovative Education) centres, where classes are being conducted under the staircase, on floor, in corridor and even outside school building.

Courtesy the unfulfilled promises of the administration to construct “fabricated structures” to accommodate these students.

The helplessness of the school staff and the NGOs monitoring the four AIE centres to accommodate the children in classrooms is evident on a visit to the Government High School in Colony No. 4, which is over crowded with students.

Surprisingly, the regular school has two shifts with over 1,000 students in the primary section and only 11 teachers. When it comes to fitting these children in classrooms, there are just nine classrooms for 17 sections.

As a result, the AIE centre kids are made to sit on the floor in corridors and even outside the school building. “The repeated visits of the Education Secretary to the school and the plan to build fabricated structures along the boundary wall to accommodate AIE centre students has borne no fruits,” said a school official.

“We don’t have a place to fit our own schoolchildren in the building owing to extreme shortage of space,” he added.

Teaching in the school and the four AIE centres that run it does not come easy. The teachers here even perform the tasks not meant for them, viz serving mid-day meal, courtesy the shortage of other staff in the school.

To top it all, there is hardly any motivation from the UT education department for the teachers in AIE centres, claim teachers.

“With a salary of Rs 2,500 for community teachers and Rs 1,500 for volunteers, who would like to teach in such circumstances?” questioned a teacher.

Meanwhile, the success of a new initiative of the administration to collaborate with NGOs to monitor AIE centres remains to be seen, even the task of solving the practical problems of these centres can prove to be an uphill task for the NGOs, as the centres lack basic infrastructure.

The situation here and in many other AIE centres across the city leaves one wondering if this is the ugly side of education for the less-privileged lot. “Unless there is enough sensitivity in the administration to judge that there is a real dearth of infrastructure in AIE centres, no improvement can take place,” said a member of a city-based NGO.

DPI (S), however, denied having any information of a school with 11 teachers for 1,000 children. “We are speeding up the process of filling up seats for the posts of teachers,” he added.

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