C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


BPL cards for the well-off, too
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

The building owned by the family of Mohammad Saleem Khan at Budhanpur village in Panchkula and  a photocopy of the BPL card issued to him.
The building owned by the family of Mohammad Saleem Khan at Budhanpur village in Panchkula and  a photocopy of the BPL card issued to him.

Panchkula, August 31
While thousands of people living in abject poverty have been complaining of not being enrolled under the below the poverty line (BPL) scheme, several well-off people, with properties and incomes in lakhs, in Panchkula have managed to get the yellow card.

The illegal beneficiaries of the scheme own properties, vehicles, shops and are even employed, some with the government, but have shown their income only of a couple of hundred rupees to get the card that entitles them subsidies on foodgrain. Under the scheme, they also they get free healthcare facilities, grants for the construction of houses, free insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh on the death of the bread-winner of the family, among other benefits.

At Budhanpur village adjoining the Industrial Area, Phase I, there are over 100 such families who have managed to get the BPL cards in violation of rules.

Mohammad Saleem Khan has BPL card (Nos. 130315-10024) even though he lives in his own house, runs a grocery shop and owns a new Hero Honda mobike. But his records states that he earns a mere Rs 300 per month. Also, he and his brother would inherit a huge chunk of property in the village, which has 40 rooms that have been rented out.

Jeet Singh runs a dairy, owns eight buffaloes, has a shop and a double-storeyed house, with BPL marking on its walls. But in the records, his income is a pittance.

Taranjeet and Jagdeesh, sons of Bhag Singh, also have a BPL card even though the family has a building big enough to have dozens of tenants.

Similarly, Mohinder Yadav has a flourshing business of photo editing and lives in his double-storeyed house, but holds the yellow card (No. 116027). His wife is a government employee. Monmohan Singh Gill, a landlord living with his brother-in-law, perhaps the most prosperous family in the village, also possesses the BPL card.

While they may be availing the benefits that come with the card, the family is shy to flaunt their BPL status and have removed the mandatory markings from the wall.

If his neighbours are to be believed, Gill reportedly gets around Rs 5 lakh from his agricultural land.

The list is long. People like Ram Kishan (No. 999882) and Paramjeet Singh (No. 655886) do not even live in the village, but have their names on the BPL list.

In contrast to these illegal beneficiaries there are people like Naseeb Kaur, in her 80s, who is living with her grandson, a labourer. “My husband and son have died while my grandson Kulwant is striving hard to earn for the family of five, including his two children,” she says. “Though I submitted an application for the yellow card along with the others, I have not got it yet,” she adds.

Several others who are affected say on the condition of anonymity that officials concerned had been partial while considering the application forms submitted by them. Their allegations seem to have some merit as an official transferred from the food and supplies department lives in the village.

However, officials of the food and supplies department washed their hands off the issue, saying that they make the cards on the basis of the list supplied to them by the Additional Deputy Commissioner’s office. The ADC, Ashok Sangwan, said he would have to verify the facts before commenting on the issue.



Bhajji takes rules for a ride
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, August 31
Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was today on the wrong side of law as he arrived in the city for the BCCI Corporate Cup that begins tomorrow in his Hummer without the mandatory registration numbers.

The luxury SUV was driven to the city from Jalandhar by a friend and no one even stopped it or even challaned it. As per the Motor Vehicles Act, no vehicle can be brought on the road unless it is registered with the authority concerned. Non-compliance of rule attracts heavy penalty, with the vehicle even getting impounded, but then who would stop this Rs 1 crore vehicle. Bhajji arrived at the airport at about 12.30 pm and headed to a hotel in a vehicle arranged by the organisers. However, midway he shifted to his SUV which had got delayed in reaching the city.

Though he evaded questions on the issue, his friend, who drove the unregistered vehicle, said it had been brought on the directions of Bhajji. He said he was supposed to pick up the cricketer from the airport, but had got delayed.

The vehicle was imported from the UK over a month ago, but the formalities of getting it registered have not been fulfilled yet. Terming the use of the vehicle without number as illegal, an advocate, Harcharan Singh, said: “No vehicle can be put or run on road without a registration number. It can have a temporary number for a month only.”

The authorities also preferred to pass the buck when apprised of the lapse. SP (traffic) HS Doon said the registration and licensing authority could tell better.

Niharika Roy of the registration and licensing authority said: “Registration number is mandatory for every vehicle. The temporary number is valid for only 30 days and after that a permanent registration number must be used. If any vehicle is without the registration plates, it should be impounded immediately.”



14 yrs on, Beant memorial still not ready
GS Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
Fourteen years down the line, Beant Singh memorial and Chandigarh centre for performing arts, Sector 42, is still to be completed. The memorial, built to commemorate former Punjab CM Beant Singh who fought against terrorism, is now being scaled down from its original plans for want of funds.

This Rs 40-crore project started in 1997 and was to be completed in 18 months by the UT administration and the Punjab government with funds to be spent in the proportion of 30 per cent and 70 per cent, respectively. The UT administration has overspent the amount whereas the Punjab government has not yet released the requisite funds.

On the death anniversary of Beant Singh today, the memorial is already in a state of neglect with wild shrubs surrounding it. The memorial was proposed to be a state-of-the-art project to be spread on 9 acres.

Each year the demand for its completion is taken up on his death anniversary, but it is forgotten the next day. Even though a meeting was conducted under the chairmanship of NPS Randhawa, director of Beant Singh Memorial Society, today to expedite the project, but several plans like construction of an auditorium and setting up of a panorama on the history and culture of Punjab have been abandoned due to shortage of funds.

The governing body of the society chaired by UT administrator and Punjab Governor, Gen SF Rodrigues (retd), during a meeting in July had asked the Punjab government to release the funds immediately. “We are doing our bit. Today, deliberations were made on the type of furniture to be installed, the landscaping and the colour theme, etc. The delay is from Punjab’s side. The Chief Secretary, Punjab, has asked us the actual cost of the project and so on. It would be communicated to them soon so that the case can be processed further,” Randhawa said.

The Punjab government was to contribute Rs 10 crore, taking the total project cost to Rs 12.26 crore, but so far the Punjab Government has released only three instalments of about Rs 2 crore each in 1998, 2002 and 2004.

The project cost, which has escalated from the initial cost of around Rs 13 crore to over Rs 40 crore, seems to be a remote reality now. “The Chandigarh centre for the performing and visual arts will cost another Rs 12.23 crore, which is apart from the Rs 21.96 crore to be spent on the memorial. Keeping in mind the escalated cost, some parts of the plan have been scrapped at the moment,” a UT official said.

Sources said the funds stopped coming in during the SAD-BJP regime on the plea that it was facing a fund crunch. The UT administration has so far contributed Rs 10.60 crore.

The administration has also started building a convention centre adjoining the memorial complex, which would house a library and a conference hall.


Finally, support for Babla
House seeks probe against market panel officials
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
Beleaguered Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla, who was recently booked by the UT police on charges of fraud in a market committee shed allotment scam, found support from his colleagues at a municipal corporation House meeting here today.

In what appears to be a departure from the procedures of conduct of business of the House, under the MC Act, a unanimous “unwritten” resolution was passed supporting Babla and demanding an inquiry against officials of the Chandigarh administration, who were part of the process of allotting the market committee sheds.

During the discussion that preceded a rare show of support, several councillors, including some from the opposition parties and nominated ones, said Babla had been made a scapegoat.

Congress councillor Manjit Singh raised Babla’s issue during zero hour and said he (Babla) was not at fault in the allotment of sheds in the market committee.

He requested the House to support Babla on the issue, eliciting instant response with all councillors standing in his support.

Subsequently, Babla, while claiming innocence, accused administration officials of wrongdoing.

While the House discussed the issue for almost half hour, the rules did not provide for any such discretion as it did not pertain to the MC.

Mayor Kamlesh, who usually shows the rule book (read MC Act) too often, not only allowed the discussion but also mooted the proposal for an inquiry against UT officers who were part of the market committee.

Under the MC Act, Section 64 sub-section (3) (b) “no question could be asked relating to the matter that is not primarily the concern of the corporation or any of the MC authorities”. According to legal experts, the Mayor should have disallowed any discussion on the issue.

Meanwhile the Chandigarh administration’s decision to turn down the House’s proposal that authorised area councillors to issue completion certificates to the contractor regarding development related works drew flak from some members.

Raising the issue, nominated councillor Dr AP Sanwaria said the House should have sought legal opinion before sending the proposal to the administration for approval. Congress councillor Pardeep Chhabra objected to the tabling of the agenda of multimedia laser show on water screen at Sector 17 plaza by officials without his consent.

He said it was strange that the authorities did not care to inform the area councillors before tabling agendas relating to their wards.

Congress councillor Jagjit Singh Kang took exceptions to the failure of MC officials to consider the report on laser show at Singapore submitted by the councillors after their study tour.

He said they had recommended sitting arrangement for the show, which was missing in proposal.

Mayor Kamlesh deferred the agenda, stating that she along with area councillor would see the presentation of company and only after that would the agenda be tabled in the house.

Referring to the slow progress of earlier projects of around Rs 4.5 crore that were passed by the House over a year ago, Chhabra said it was irrelevant for the officials to prepare another agenda when they had yet to start work on the previous works.

Questioning the status of old projects, Chhabra wondered why the work had not be completed to date.

While clearing the agenda of purchase of 100 garbage containers, MC Commissioner Dr Sunkaria told the House that he had directed the medical officer health to install separate bins at major meat markets of the city so that bio-waste could be sent to biogas plant set up especially for the purpose. However, the House deferred the agenda of the study tour to Europe.

The house cleared the agenda of notification of draft bylaws for dogs, rough cost estimate for purchase of two excavators-cum-loader, recarpeting of V-5 road in Sector 16, development of Chandigarh as solar city endorsement scheme, DPR for augmentation of water supply scheme phase V and VI and allocation of financial powers to the corporation officers relating to the development works.

In a noble gesture, the House approved the agenda of payment of Re 1 per month as water charges by the Blind, Mother Teresa, Deaf and Dumb and Leprosy Institute (Kusth Ashram). The House also decided that if the bill was above the average charges then they have to pay extra amount.



Changing platforms a challenge for disabled
Jyoti Rai

Chandigarh, August 31
Safe and proper interlinking of platforms at the Chandigarh railway station for the disabled still needs a thought as these special visitors are being forced to cover the entire length of the platform to reach to the other platform.

And to make the matters worse, the path connecting the two platforms crosses the railway tracks.

In the name of separate provisions for the physically handicapped, a separate ramp and parking at the entrance is all that is.

Once inside the station, if any physically challenged person wishes to cross over to platform No. 2 from platform No. 1, they have to cover an additional distance of at least 200 to 300 metres and a bumpy ride to the end of the platform.

Even the path that exists at the far end of the station has huge gaps in between.

This detour for the physically challenged is highly inconvenient because of its location and quality.

It also stirs a huge debate on the safety of the disabled at the station while crossing the tracks.

A worker at the station said: “Because of the distance, such people prefer to cross over to the other platform with the help of at least two to three people instead of taking the detour. Even the path meant for them crosses railway tracks.” And this increases room for mishap on the tracks.

The path is serving every other purpose but helping the most needy. People often take this path to cross from Panchkula into Chandigarh and vice versa on their scooters, cycles, etc.

In fact, most of the two-wheelers from Panchkula cross this path, ride over platform No. 1 and reach over to the Chandigarh side by a ramp on the platform without any check.

Madhuri, a passenger at the railway station, said: “We often face inconvenience while travelling with my grandmother, who cannot walk. There have been times when, because of rush or lack of time, we have been tempted to get down to the tracks and cross over.”

“What can we do? There is no thought for the disabled who come to the railway station on wheelchairs. The path is so uneven and bumpy that one is always afraid of hurting the person on the wheelchair,” said another passenger.

Even as the station is set for a makeover with imported sheds, LED screen, TV sets and new flooring at platform 1, provisions for the disabled and physically challenged seem to figure nowhere in the plan.

Station superintendent said: “The issue has been of concern for quite sometime now. In the new plan, which envisages world-class facilities for the station, some concrete planning will surely go into providing quality facilities to the disabled. Until ramps are constructed with bridges or a separate subway is provided, this is the best that can be offered right now.”



Tribune News Editor retires
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
Abhijit Chatterjee, News Editor of The Tribune, retired today after putting in 33 years of service. Chatterjee had joined The Tribune in April 1976 as a sub-editor and has written extensively on sports, especially cricket. He covered both World Cup tournaments held in India in 1987 and 1996.

He also handled the launch of the Chandigarh Tribune in 1999. He became news editor in 2000 and guided the younger lot towards improving themselves in writing and editing of news.



Tribune staffers retire
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
Vinay MalhotraVinay Malhotra, assistant manager in the Advertisement Department, The Tribune, retired today after putting in 37 years of service.

At a farewell party, various speakers, including Rajeshwar Chopra, Assistant General Manager (Circulation), lauded his services to the institution.

Yash Pal SharmaMeanwhile, Yash Pal Sharma, Senior Foreman, Dainik Tribune, retired here today after putting in more than 31 years of service. He joined the institution on July 17, 1978.

He was given a warm send-off by his colleagues. A farewell party was also arranged in his honour on the office premises. Among others, Rajeshwar Chopra, Additional General Manager, H.S Dhaliwal, Manager Production Pre-Press, The Tribune, lauded his services to the institution.



5 DSPs shifted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
The Chandigarh police today reshuffled five deputy superintendents of police (DSP) with immediate effect.

DSP Jagbir Singh has been posted as sub-divisional police officer (central), DSP KIP Singh to the operations cell, DSP Ashwani Kumar to the Police Lines, BS Negi to the Women and Child Support Unit and DSP Kulwant Singh Pannu to security wing.



UT ban on non-LPG autos benefits Punjab
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 31
Chandigarh administration’s decision to ban entry of the non-LPG auto-rickshaws in the city is proving “productive” for Punjab transport authorities.

Irrespective of the fact that the UT has extended the ban on the use of non-LPG auto-rickshaws till September 31, the state transport department, while using the UT’s baton, has been successful in registering around 104 LPG driven auto-rickshaws. Of these, 48 are already on the road and the remaining 56 are in the process of being approved.

The aim is to register 500 LPG-driven autos as the same number has to be registered by the Chandigarh transport authorities under the inter-state agreement.

“It was the UT’s deadline, on which we had been asking the Mohali-registered auto operators to follow as they had ply between the two cities. We would continue to register till the target was not achieved”, said Karan Singh, District Transport Officer.

Both the new LPG-driven autos and those retrofitted with authorised LPG kits are being registered with the Mohali transport department. As an incentive, the transport authorities have offered to give priority in processing the cases.

The oil companies, through the city-based petrol station operators, have been asked to provide LPG filling facility here. “With the increase in the number of such autos, the demand for the gas is going to shoot up,” said the DTO.

The issue of opening LPG filling station in Mohali has been taken up at the level of the secretaries of the food and supplies department and the transport department.

To ensure that maximum number of auto-rickshaws in the city convert to LPG, the district administration had organised a meeting of auto-rickshaw owners with the lead banks in the district.

The terms and conditions for issuing loans to the auto-rickshaw owners have also been also been relaxed.



Shopkeepers protest against poor drainage
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, August 31
Local shopkeepers today protested and raised slogans against municipal council for poor rainwater drainage system on Patiala-Zirakpur road. The protest ended after two hours. MC officials reached the spot and assured them of an earliest solution.

The shopkeepers alleged that due to the improper drainage system, the rainwater has always entered into their shops and spoil the goods. One of the shopkeepers said, “We had complained to the department concerned many times, but no measures have been taken yet.”

Meanwhile, MC officials said the problem of water accumulation was occurring due to a lower bend of the national highway at the place. “We have asked the department concerned to clean the drains at the regular intervals,” he added.



Rainwater enters houses
Residents miffed at civic body’s failure to provide relief
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 31
Rain once again brought misery for residents of Phase III-B-2 here today as water entered a number of houses even as adversely affected persons have filed a case of contempt against the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and the municipal council for failing to give them any relief despite orders by a court.

Claims of the civic body of having cleaned the road gullies before the onset of monsoon fell flat when the intermittent rain flooded certain parts of the town. The problem was more acute in Phases I, III-B-2, IV, VII, VIII, Sector 71 and near YPS chowk.

Residents of Phase-III-B-2 said adversely affected houses had been from 1,114 to 1,147. They have been facing this problem for the past many years, but nothing was done by the authorities concerned to mitigate their problem.

One of the affected residents, Ravinder Bansal, said the department of public health had made an effort to pump out water from the area, but it took some time before residents could heave a sigh of relief. He said the indifferent attitude of the authorities concerned towards their problem, which they had been facing for the past about 10 years, had compelled residents to file a case of contempt against the Chief Administrator of the GMADA and the Executive Officer of the council.

He said after suffering for years, residents had filed a case in a court, which had directed both the GMADA and the municipal council in October last year to take remedial measures to prevent any inconvenience to the residents of the area. These measures were to be taken expeditiously and not later than six months, but nothing had been done so far.

Manmohan Singh Lang said the road leading to Sant Isher Singh School had been flooded, creating problems for those who passed through that area, because the road gullies were not fully functional.

Harpal Singh, municipal councillor, said there had been lot of water on the road, leading from Phase VII to Matour village, and it was difficult for residents to move on that stretch.

In fact, this water also entered houses in Sector 71.



Security stepped up on campus, 700 cops deployed
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
In a bid to conduct violence-free elections on the Panjab University campus, the police will deploy over 700 police personnel, along with riot control force, at the hustings.

In the past three years, over two dozen criminal cases have been registered against students belonging to various political parties. In order to step up vigil against the rowdy elements, security in sensitive areas of the university has been tightened. The police is registering cases and other legal proceedings against the miscreants involved in illegal and unlawful activities.

In an attempt to curb traffic rules violations during the rallies, the traffic police has deployed its personnel around all entry points on the campus. The police has in the past three days booked 155 traffic violators around the campus area.

Apart from the heavy posse of the police, Vajra vehicle, water canons, tear gas canons, anti-riot force and the policemen in plain-clothes have been deployed on the campus premises to keep track of the unlawful activities. The PCR vehicles would be stationed around the campus during the polls, said SP (Central) Madur Verma. He added that they would deploy a five-member team on each polling booth on the day of elections and would deploy heavy force for the victory rally.

Taking strict notice of the violations, the police has registered a case under Section 3 of the Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, 1976, West Bengal, against Shiv Karan Singh Shibi, chairman of all colleges, India National Student Organisation, Chandigarh.

The police had found posters of his organisation pasted near small rotary on the road dividing Sector 33 and 34 on Sunday.

Members of Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU) Gurjit Singh Dhillon, Simranjit Singh Dhillon, Simrandeep Sandhu, Harkamal Multani, Tejpal Cheema and Parminder Jaswal have been booked on the charges of attempt to murder, rioting and criminal intimidation on August 25 following a brawl in the UIET.

In addition to this, 10 other students leaders and activists of the students’ organisations, Varinder Dhillon, Harpreet Singh Multani, Simrandeep Sandhu, Tejpal Cheem, Udaybhan, Dharupwinder alias Cherry Brar, Simranjit Singh Dhillon, Narinder Kumar Gujjar, Sukhdev Singh alias Kundu and Deepak Huda were booked under Sections 107 and 150 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Four of them were produced before SDM (CentraL) PS Shergill today, while the rest of them will be produced on Tuesday.

Sources said UT SSP SS Srivastva would hold a meeting with leaders of the students’ organisations at the police headquarters on Tuesday. 



United yet divided; SOPU-INSO declare alliance
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
Hopes of having a “probable” women president in the Panjab University’s upcoming student council elections came crashing down after INSO candidate Deepika Thakur agreed to contest for the post of general secretary today. The decision came after a meeting of SOPU and INSO parties, who declared an alliance today.

Despite the alliance, confusion prevailed between the two parties till late night, as INSO claimed to enjoy three seats out of four in the council, on the other hand, SOPU members stated that the alliance was frozen at a fifty- fifty division of seats.

Though, members of both the parties remained tight-lipped when questioned about any differences, the same was clearly evident when the representatives of both were asked for their comments on the issue.

Meanwhile, in the press conference held today, INSO-SOPU leaders Barinder Dhillon and Deepika Thakur defended the decision and said it had been formed to fight jointly for the students’ cause.

The announcement today, came jointly from SOPU-INSO leaders Barinder Singh Dhillon, Harpreet Multani, Vikas Rathee, Deepika Thakur, Sunil Kumar, Deepak Hooda, Sukhdev Kundu in the joint press conference held at students’ center.

Finally, the alliance had put forward the names of law student Sardar Rajwinder Singh (Aulakh), BMS student Virender Boora, science scholar Deepika Thakur as INSO-SOPU panel candidates for president, vice president and general secretary, respectively.

However, the joint secretary candidate, was the cause of confusion between the two.

Even as the division of the seats between the two parties was not clear till the end, the decision that SOPU candidate would contest for the post of president was unanimous.

Meanwhile, INSO-SOPU panel candidates campaigned in different arts, science departments, boys and girls hostels. SOPU leaders Barinder Singh Dhillon and Harpreet Multani, INSO leaders Sukhdev Kundu, Vikas Rathee and Deepak Hooda led students canvassing today. 



Women’s front launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
Representatives of the girls’ hostels at PU today launched Panjab University’s Women Front (PUWF) at student centre. Highlighting the future strategies, INSO party member Deepika Thakur elaborated on the motive behind the formation of the front.

She talked about the need for girls to be “really involved” with core responsibilities in the politics.

Deepika said, “Why can’t a girl be offered a post of president or general secretary. Its time for women to hit the politics in a big way.”

Answering the queries of media persons, the gilds from different hostels expressed full confidence in the successful sustenance of the front.

“The slogan of PUWF will be -arise, awake and stop not till goal is reached,” said one of the representative.

Displaying the logo of the front, girls said the aim of PUWF was to be a non-political front for all girl students irrespective of their political affiliations and leanings.

“PUWF will consist primarily of representatives from all girls’ hostels and day scholar girls of PU. The main task of representatives will be to highlight and act upon the problems faced by the girls in the university. And girls from all the parties are welcomed to join the front”, said Nami Mehta.

Claiming that PUWF has been formulated after working on its modalities for almost a month now, girls revealed that the PUWF units would also be opened in all colleges and educational institutes of Chandigarh. Initial response from other colleges has been quite enthusiastic.

Representatives said they felt that there was a lack of communication between girls and the authorities. In absence of suitable platform, girls were not able to approach the university authorities.



Student bodies vent ire over dormant placement cell
Jyoti Rai

Chandigarh, August 30
The “sinking” placement scenario this year have asserted the redundancy of the current “centralised placement cell” in Panjab University, claimed various students’ parties. A feature, constantly visible on party agendas year after year has once again managed to crop up in manifestos this time too.

Parties claimed that in the name of recession, the management had successfully managed to wash its hands off any possible query regarding job placements. The centralised placement cell in the university just existed on the paper, they added.

Even the management courses, UIT department, UBS, pharmacy communication, and many others courses have witnessed a dip in placements this year.

As per other courses, many of them lack a department cell altogether and the other few that exist, lack active collaboration with the central cell.

Mohanmeet Kaur, chairperson, school of communication, PU, said, “Recession has definitely been a deterrent to placements this year. But for better results departments have to buck up and engage actively with the central cell.”

Answering, how far did the last union manage to take this issue, SOPU president Barinder Singh Dhillion said it was one of the main agendas in the last elections. There was nothing much that we could do, as the management failed to pay heed to our queries.

“In the name of placements, students get peanuts in the university. Proper manpower and funds are lacking with the central cell,” Barinder said.

Members of the NSUI said even the self-financed courses lacked a healthy placement cell. “Most of the courses that boast a department placement cell, failed to see a healthy placement this year.” rued a party member.

On the issue, professor VK Sinha, central placement cell, said, “Students expect equal placements in all courses. This is something which is not possible as the nature and number of jobs vary with courses.”

On the available staff in the cell, he claimed, “At present, we have two others besides me in the cell. One peon and one clerk.”

From canteens, library, hostels to all other agendas on party manifestos,

job placement is one issue that affects the future of almost every individual student at the university. 



Building promoters fail to follow bylaws
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, August 31
A large number of promoters of shopping complexes, marriage palaces, residential colonies in Zirakpur municipal limits were not adhering to the provisions of building byelaws, including the floor area ratio (FAR) and parking space.

It has been observed that in a number of cases, the promoters blatantly violated the building norms. This has created problems in providing infrastructure like roads and parking, as had been promised by the promoters at the time of selling the plots. “A physical verification of a number of projects would reveal that the area had been constructed beyond the allowed limits,” said sources in the MC.

Taking cognisance of the anomaly, the Zirakpur MC has served notices to around 95 promoters of group housing projects, multi-storey buildings, shopping complex, marriage palaces and apartments to strictly comply with building byelaws so that public did not face any inconvenience like parking and get other facilities.

Zirakpur Executive Officer Sukhjinder Singh Sidhu said the MC had served the notices to 95 proprietors and asked them to construct their projects according to MC building byelaws. The MC has taken a step to make proper infrastructure in Zirakpur for that all projects should be constructed properly.

The MC action comes after the Punjab and Haryana High Court pulling up Punjab government for neglecting the development of Zirakpur, where a large number of unauthorised colonies were mushrooming. It was pointed out that nothing had been spent on the welfare of the residents.

According to MC official, the promoters have been asked to submit their certificates along with complete conditions with in 10 days, failing which they would not get their completion certificates. Those failing to adhere to the building byelaws would not get the NOC for electricity connections, water supply and sewerage connections.

The MC has also written to the promoters of the projects, who had been given conditional permission. But the beneficiaries have failed to inform the MC about fulfilling the conditions of building byelaws.

It may be mentioned that the projects sanctioned under the town planning (TP) scheme has been a centre of controversy due to building norms being blatantly ignored while approving plans of housing projects. In a case detected last year by the vigilance cell of the local government, colonies were shown on smaller plots instead of group housing projects to extended the benefit to the colonisers and caused financial loss to the local department.

It had been found that hundreds of houses had been constructed in a row without reserving land for social development. Parking space had also not been left out. On paper, the housing plans appeared like small plans, but the physical verification by the vigilance cell revealed that it had been on a bigger scale and norms had not been followed.



Suicide bid by Class VIII student

Chandigarh, August 31
A Class VIII girl student of a government school at Hallomajra tried to commit suicide on the school premises today. The issue came to light when her friends spotted her with a blade with which she was trying to cut her nerves, sources said.

The issue was brought to the notice of the principal who called her parents and she was taken to a private doctor.

Though the principal denied it happened, her classmates narrated the entire incident. The police also confirmed the incident, but said no complaint had been lodged yet. — TNS



Quota scheme

Mohali, August 31
The education department of Punjab has launched a scheme to implement 25 per cent reservation for poor students in private schools and colleges. 

Punjab education minister Dr Upinderjit Kaur handed over employment letters (on the basis of qualifications) to about 73 persons during a function held at Punjab School Education Board here today. — TNS



48.8 mm rainfall in 24 hours

Chandigarh, August 31
The city received its highest rainfall of 48.8 mm in the last 24 hours with maximum temperature touching 30.8 °C and minimum temperature slumping to 23.6 °C, showing a decline of three to four degrees.

Meteorological officials forecast that the weather will remain cloudy with spells of rain and thundershowers tomorrow with maximum temperature of 31 °C on Tuesday and minimum temperature of 23 °C on Wednesday.

Though the city has received 432.9 mm rainfall, it is still nowhere near the normal average rainfall - 706.9 mm - for the quarter from June to August.

According to the met records, this year it has rained 274 mm less due to weak monsoon in the region.

Quoting the last year’s figures, officials said till August 31 last year, the city had recorded 142.7 mm excess rainfall as compared to the normal average rainfall.

The officials said as the monsoon was weak in the region this season, rainfall would be below average. Met department director Chatter Singh said there was little chance of normal rainfall this year due to the prevalence of low pressure in the atmosphere. — TNS



Sec-17 Parking Lot
Where attendants open door locks with ease
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
In a bizarre practice, attendants at a parking lot in Sector 17 here have been opening door locks of cars using measuring scales to accommodate vehicles in the parking lot.

The practice has reportedly been going on in the parking lot near the general post office (GPO) in Sector 17, where attendants have been conveniently opening vehicles using measuring scales in the absence of car occupants.

The Tribune lenseman caught one such attendant in the act on his camera this afternoon. On being questioned, the attendant without any qualms told him that they had frequently been opening doors locks to make way for other vehicles using measuring scales.

When his colleague could not open the lock of a Maruti car, he not only scolded him for his inefficiency but also taught him how to open a door lock using a scale.

The attendant pulled out the plastic strip on the windowpane and thrust the scale in to open the lock.



Cyclist killed in accident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31
In a hit-and-run case, a 25-year-old cyclist was killed near Sector 27 petrol station early this morning. The police said the victim, Parveen Kumar, was coming from grain market side when he was hit by an unidentified vehicle.

He was seriously wounded in the accident and was taken to the PGI, where he died later.

The accident took place around 6.40 am. Parveen was working as an attendant at a shop in Sector 7.

The police said the post-mortem examination would be conducted tomorrow.

A case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving has been registered against an unidentified driver.



CityScope Letters-II
Trained staff in hospitals needed

This refers to Raveen Thukral’s “Take the load off” (August 24). If a system is overburdened, its efficiency is affected. City hospitals like the PGI, GMCH 32 and MSH 16 are facing the same problem. In such a situation, only two alternatives are left with the authorities to take the load off from these health institutions. Firstly, there should be availability of proper medical facilities in hospitals and dispensaries situated at nearby places, secondly these institutions should have trained staff in order to provide proper and immediate treatment to patients with minor health problems. Only those patients, who are referred from other hospitals, should be allowed to seek medical treatment in the PGI and GMCH 32.

Sukhdev Singh Minhas, Chandigarh

Charge outstation patients more

Apart from carving and selling residential plots to fill its coffers, the authorities should focus on providing basic amenities to residents. Mohali and Panchkula lack medical facilities. Though, Chandigarh has big private hospitals like Fortis and Inscol, the common man cannot afford medical treatment offered by these institutions. Therefore, residents of Mohali and Panchkula, along with the adjoining towns and residential complexes, visit the government hospitals to seek treatment at nominal cost. Why should Chandigarh bear the brunt for the deficiencies of other states? The administration should calculate the expenditure of medical treatment (at private rates) on patients of other states and demand the amount from the government of their respective states on yearly basis.

SS Beniwal, 

Improve rural healthcare

Following the deplorable condition of medical colleges and hospitals in Faridkot, Amritsar and Patiala, Raveen Thukral’s suggestion for raising other institutes of excellence like the PGI around the tricity to ease the burden is commendable. Why the focus is not on the modification of the existing health centres and big hospitals in Punjab, Haryana and J&K? Why the additional buildings are not being raised with the required infrastructure? Why doctors shy away from serving in rural areas?

Training centres must be opened in rural areas with mandatory orders for nurses and doctors and other paramedical staff to serve for at least three years. Why patients from Gurdaspur, Pathankot or Fazilka or distant J&K have to travel such long distances to get medical treatment? Research centres should be opened in rural hospitals, though on small scale, so that the sufferings of patients due to inadequate healthcare at their nearest hospitals are dispensed with.

Iqbal Kaur Saini, Mohali



Schools and Colleges
Sri Sukhmani students bring laurels
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 31
MBA students of Sri Sukhmani College of Postgraduation, Dera Bassi, have secured hundred per cent pass result in the examinations conducted by Punjab Technical University.

In the batch, Kanwaljit Singh has topped followed by Pooja. The chairman of the college, Prof Avtar Singh congratulated the pass-outs. An akhand path was organised at the Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dera Bassi.

Freshers’ Party

A freshers’ party, titled “Dillogical”, was held at Indo Global Colleges, Abhipur, here today. Hundreds of freshers participated in the fun event, cheered on by the seniors and faculty members.

Gaurav of civil engineering was selected as “Mr Dillogical” and Yashpreet of electronics and communication trade was shortlisted as “Miss Dillogical”.

Quiz contest

A team of Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77, Mohali, has brought laurels to the school by winning the Nepal-India Friendship Quiz Competition, organised by Ambassy of Nepal and BP Koirala Nepal-India Foundation.

A total of 26 schools participated in the competition and out of them, four final teams competed for the prizes. The team of Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77, Mohali, was among them. The winners, Saksham Dhawan and Jasman Singh of Class X were presented a cash price of Rs 5,000 each.

Dance competition

A dance competition was held at Small Wonders School, Mohali.

From LKG-I, Japneet and Shreya stood first, Lavanya scored second place, while Vandana stood third. From LKG-II, Harkirat secured first place, Adimesh was declared second and Ridham and Preetkaran shared third place.

From UKG-I, Tripatkaran Singh was placed first, Gurashish Singh secured second place, while Sukhmeen and Gurmannat stood third. From UKG-II, Lakshay stood first, Ravinderdeep Singh secured second position and Gurmehak Kaur scored third place.

From UKG-III, Lavanya stood first, Jazlin Anand secured second palce, while Nishita Aggarwal, Chetna Chaudhary and Nyasa Sandhu were placed third.

From UKG-IV, Akshita and Piyush secured first and second places, respectively, while Sia, Harnoor and Arushi stood third.



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