C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Grant cut
MC to get Rs 10 crore less under JNNURM for not imposing house tax
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
The municipal corporation (MC) will have to bear a cut of Rs 10 crore in the JNNURM grant. In a communication from the Centre, sent through UT Administration to the MC today, it was stated that the MC would not get the full grant.

Highly placed sources in the Administration confirmed that the communication was received from the Centre. A senior official said the UT Administration was told by the JNNURM authorities during a recent meeting to impose house tax or face the cut.

Officials said a number of reminders had been received from the JNNURM authorities recently for the imposition of house tax, which were passed on to the MC.

A senior official said the Administration had approved a budget of Rs 156 crore for the MC under the plan head for the current financial year, but after receiving this communication, it reduced the budget to Rs 146 crore.

A senior official with the Chandigarh Administration revealed that the authorities had said during the last Planning Commission meeting that they would impose house tax in the city, but the MC had not imposed it even after a number of reminders.

As per records of the Administration, around Rs 400 crore in grants were expected under the JNNURM for various projects by the UT Administration. Officials said if the MC did not take any action for the imposition of house tax soon, there might be a further cut in the grant under the JNNURM.

On April 11, the UT Administration sent a final reminder to the MC on imposing house tax, in which it asked the MC to impose minimal house tax and revise property tax to avoid any problem in getting grant-in-aid through the JNNURM in the future. 



MC Commissioner warns of bankruptcy
Ignoring advice, councillors approve development works worth crores in General House
Tribune News Service

Despite a ban on using mobile phones during municipal corporation House meetings, councillors (from left) Amrita Tiwari (nominated), Davesh Moudgil (BJP), Gurcharan Dass Kala (independent), Malkit Singh (SAD), Mukesh Bassi (Congress) and Rajesh Gupta (BJP) use mobile phones during the meeting at Sector 17 in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
Lawmakers turn lawbreakers: Despite a ban on using mobile phones during municipal corporation House meetings, councillors (from left) Amrita Tiwari (nominated), Davesh Moudgil (BJP), Gurcharan Dass Kala (independent), Malkit Singh (SAD), Mukesh Bassi (Congress) and Rajesh Gupta (BJP) use mobile phones during the meeting at Sector 17 in Chandigarh on Tuesday. Tribune Photos: S Chandan 

Chandigarh, June 19
The cash-rich municipal corporation (MC) will turn bankrupt soon if the MC authorities and councillors do not rein in themselves while approving development works worth crores, if one goes by development agendas approved in the General House of the MC.

Informing the General House, MC Commissioner VP Singh admitted that there were chances that the MC would face a financial crunch in the future and would have to utilise its reserves of around Rs 300 crore to meet its requirements due
to the delay in the receipt of grants from the Chandigarh Administration.

He informed the House that the first instalment of around Rs 80 crore of the approved budget of Rs 360 crore, of which Rs 156 crore was under the plan head and Rs 204 crore under the non-plan head, was expected to be received in July and till then, funds from MC reserves would have to be used.

Besides this, the MC had a revenue of Rs 100 crore from property tax and interest on reserves and water receipts. He said there had not been much increase in the revenue of the MC for the last many years as no new taxes had been imposed.

He told councillors that the MC was yet to receive the first instalment from the UT Administration, which was the major reason for the delay in execution of many projects. He suggested that the House review projects lying pending for the last three years whose tenders had not been floated, rather than approving fresh proposals for implementation.

Ignoring the advice of the MC Commissioner, councillors approved development works amounting to crores during the General House today. The MC Commissioner said there was a practice of delay in the allocation of grant-in-aid from the Administration, but he would take up the matter with the UT authorities.

Congress councillor Subhash Chawla asked during Zero Hour how the MC was coping with the financial gap of Rs 440 crore in the budget as the House had approved a budget of Rs 800 crore while the Administration had agreed to give Rs 360 crore to the MC.

He expressed resentment over the fact that the share of 17 per cent, fixed by the Delhi Finance Commission, had not been revised for long. He said two more major departments had been transferred to the MC, but there had not been any increase in the grant-in-aid, due to which the financial burden on the MC had increased.

Objecting to the approval of new projects today, nominated councillor MP Kohli said it was strange that the House was approving fresh proposals though the MC did not have funds in its kitty.



Over 40-kg ice-cream destroyed in raid
  Factory was being run in residential area under unhygienic conditions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
The feedback mechanism of the UT police had a fruitful result when the police control room (PCR) got information of an ice-cream factory being run under unhygienic conditions from the terrace of a house at Vikas Nagar in Mauli Jagran last night.

The police destroyed over 40 kg of ice-cream and sent samples for testing. The police was yet to book the owner of the house, Bacha Babu, as the test report was awaited.

The special technical operation cell of the PCR developed the information. A joint team was formed with UT health officials, which included Dr Satbir Singh, in charge of the food safety and standard cell of UT health department.

They raided the house around midnight. The police recovered over 40 kg of ice-cream, which included varieties like 'kulfi' and ice-candy, being prepared in very unhygienic conditions.

Raw material was also recovered. Five samples were taken from vanilla ice-cream, spray dries milk powder, Friomix-C, Gimesh-1 and Gimesh-2, which were used for preparing, softening and thickening ice-cream.

The samples were deposited at the Food Analysis Laboratory by Dr Bharat Kanjoia, in charge of the team of health officials, and the entire prepared ice-cream was destroyed under the epidemic diseases Act.

Dr Kanjoia said the racket of preparing unhygienic ice-cream was being carried out on residential premises without prior permission of the health department, the Chandigarh Housing Board and the estate office.

A UT police official said they would register a case only after the reports on the samples were received. DSP Roshan Lal said the drive would continue. 



Hit-and-run case
Cruze impounded, FIR registered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
The police today impounded the black Chevrolet Cruze that was involved in the hit-and-run incident on June 16, when an ambulance ferrying a 10-year-old child to the PGI overturned on being hit by the car.

While it was earlier projected that the car of the accused was a BMW, investigations revealed that the car involved in the accident was a Chevrolet Cruze.

It took the police three days to register an FIR and impound the car. The police today registered a case against the driver under Sections 379, 337 and 427 of the IPC.

No arrest was made so far as both the owner of the car, Sector-33 resident Harwinder Singh, and the driver were reportedly out of station. The police was yet to ascertain who was driving the car at the time of the accident.

The Cruze, bearing a temporary registration number, was seized after the police scrutinised CCTV footage installed at the Sector-26 transport light point, where the mishap occurred.

The car rammed into the ambulance of the Civil Hospital at Yamunagar, which was on way to the PGI here. Inspector Anokh Singh, SHO of the Sector-26 police station, said based on CCTV footage, the number of the car was partially noted down as '8084'.

Based on the claim of eyewitnesses that the car was a BMW, the police obtained information from all car dealers in the city. It then came to light that the number was of a Chevrolet Cruze and not a BMW. "We will arrest the accused soon," the SHO said.

The address of the owner was obtained from the franchise of Chevrolet Cruze at Phase I, Industrial Area. The police traced the address and found the front portion of the car damaged. The vehicle was impounded from Harwinder's house at Sector 33.

The ambulance was on way to the PGI when it overturned on being hit by the speeding Cruze on June 16. The Cruze was being driven from the Sector-26 grain market side. 



Monkeys too smart for trained catchers
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
As the UT Administration was finding it difficult to deal with the monkey menace, it had hired trained monkey catchers, but the simians were too smart for the experts as well.

For the last two weeks, Gurgaon-based trained monkey catchers were trying to catch monkeys by laying traps, but the monkeys outsmarted them.

Last month, the UT Administration had decided to hire these experts. It was decided that the Administration would pay Rs 550 to monkey catchers for each monkey they caught.

It had also been decided that monkey catchers would assist the UT forest department in releasing the monkeys in the forest area.

A senior official with the UT Administration said that these experts had recently laid traps at the government schools in Sectors 27 and 28.

They installed cages and placed nets to catch monkeys. Monkeys climbed boundary walls, but stayed there and did not come towards the cages and nets.

“Monkeys first looked towards the cages and nets and then towards the experts. The group of monkeys walked away without falling in the trap. The monkeys are too smart to catch,” an official said.

According to an estimate by forest officials, around 500 monkeys roamed freely in the city. At present, the department had only two baboons, Manu and Basanti, to chase away the monkeys.

The department was paying around Rs 7,500 each to baboon trainers every month. Manu was at the UT Secretariat in Sector 9 and Basanti at the forest office in Sector 19.

The monkey menace was prevalent in northern sectors, including Sectors 8, 9, 10, 11, 18, 26, 27 and 28.

The monkey menace in these areas was forcing residents to stay indoors in the morning and late-evening hours. Another senior official said people usually associated monkeys with Lord Hanuman and offered those bananas and other eatables.

The forest department chased those away every month, but monkeys came back in search of food, he added. A number of hotels, restaurants and food joints threw food outside, which attracted the monkeys, he further said.

In the recent past, there had been several incidents of monkeys attacking children. Residents were facing problems as monkeys entered houses in search of food.

Round-the-clock helpline
In case of problems related to monkeys in the city, residents can dial 4639999, the round-the-clock helpline provided by the forest and wildlife department.

No room in wildlife sanctuary
There is enough food in the city and monkeys come back to the city in search of food. Be it hotels, restaurants or houses, people throw food outside and make food easily available for monkeys. A number of baboons in the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary is also a matter of concern as monkeys are scared away and impelled to enter the city again. 


Ambitious projects yet to take off
MC Commissioner accepted that budget was based more on tentative facts and asked the officials to draft a fact-based one
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Ambitious projects of the municipal corporation are mentioned year after year in the hefty budget reports but ground reality is that a majority of them have not yet seen the light of the day. Accepting the fact the MC Budget is based more on tentative facts of the officials, the MC Commissioner, VP Singh, today took serious note of it and recommended the officials to draft a fact-based budget in future.

A classic example of which is the renovation and modernisation of dhobhi ghat, renovation of two cremation grounds and installation of LPG cremation furnace, bird slaughter house and carcasses utilisation centre, which are being included in the budget for the past three years but no action has been taken to commence these projects. This clearly shows how serious the authorities are while preparing the budget reports.

Modernisation of ‘dhobi ghats’
After the success of the pilot project of modern dhobi ghat in Sector 15, a proposal was mooted in the budget of 2008-09 to convert rest of the eight dhobi ghats situated at Sector 7, 15 19, 20, 22, 27 and 32 into automatic laundry units for which Rs 5.32 lakh was proposed. This year the authorities have again approved an estimated budget of Rs 150 lakh for these projects.

The proposal to convert them into modern dhobi ghat was recommended so as to avoid the traditional method of washing, which is the major cause of water pollution, creation of dirt and unhygienic condition, wastage of water and chances of spread of diseases. Till date these projects are in the pipeline. During the visit to the dhobi ghats of Sector 7 and 20 it was found that the infrastructure of these ghats was a shambles.

Renovation of 2 cremation grounds
For the past four years the authorities have been stating in the budget report that the cremation furnace installed in Sector 25 in 1975 is in unserviceable condition and estimates are proposed in the budget for making them functional. Similarly, the status of installation of LPG-based cremation furnace in Sector 25 cremation ground has yet so see the light of the day for which the authorities have been proposing funds in the past two years’ budget.

Interestingly, the estimates were approved in the General House twice for undertaking this project but the work is yet to start. In 2009-10 the budget estimates of these two projects was Rs 50 lakh, but due to increasing cost of construction and raw material, the cost of this project has been doubled in the proposed budget to Rs one crore. In the budget for 2012-13 a proposal of Rs one crore has been mooted for these projects.

Bird slaughterhouse
In 2009, after a detailed market survey, a mechanised bird slaughterhouse was proposed by the Medical Health Office for which an estimate of Rs 920 lakh was approved in the budget. This year the proposed cost for the project in is Rs 15 crore. The report stated that there was consumption of approximately 25,000 birds per day which was expected to go up to 40,000 birds per day for which no mechanised bird slaughter house was available in the city. In the last three budgets, the proposal is being approved by the General House but till date the work has not yet commenced.

Carcasses utilisation centre
To dispose of dead animals, the municipal corporation had proposed commissioning of incinerator at a cost of Rs 10 lakh in 2009 budget, which has been increased to Rs 16 lakh in the budget of 2012-13. The authorities have got the land for this project from the administration, but the project is yet to start. The project was mooted as the authorities had to spend a huge amount of money for disposing off dead animals by hiring private contractors. But the construction of the project is still in the pipeline.



Stp technology
Councillors to go on study tour when info just a click away
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
For seeking information of sewerage treatment plant (STP) technology which is just a click away, the municipal corporation is going to spend lakhs of rupees to organise a study tour of the councillors and officials. In the general House meeting today a proposal was approved by the councillors that a study tour would be organised for monitoring the technology used for the installation of sewerage plant in the city. It has been decided that the councillors will visit those places where STPs had been installed with different technology and after the visit a decision will be taken to finalise the installation of STP at Maloya.

Interestingly, BJP councillors Saurab Joshi and Arun Sood who had raised the issue of adoption of outdated technology for the proposed STP at Maloya have gathered all the information about the latest technologies across the country through the Internet. But when it comes to its implementation, they too feel that a study tour would be beneficial to get better knowledge and judge which technology was the best. For the same project earlier, a consultant was hired by the authorities by spending corporation funds. 

The Mayor on Tuesday denied to withdraw the orders of cancellation of free-parking passes and informed the House that no new policy would be drafted for free passes, now. BJP councillor Arun Sood asked why recovery of passes had not been made from those councillors who were given more passes than they were eligible for?

BJP councillor Satinder Singh said that he had conducted a sting operation on tubewells of Maloya where it was found that the employees who were deployed by the contractor were not getting salary fixed by the corporation.



Misuse of EWS houses
Illegal occupants issued final notice
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Acting tough, Tanvi Garg, Subdivisional Magistrate (SDM), East, has issued final 15-day notices to illegal occupants of 60 EWS houses in Sector 29 and another 26 to EWS illegal occupants in Sector 26 that were meant for migrants from Jammu and Kashmir.

The notices have been issued under Section 5 of the Public Premises (PP) Act, 1971. The illegal occupants have been given the final time failing which they will be forcibly evicted. Around 185 families are living in these houses.

Earlier, they had been issued notice under Section 4 of the PP Act by the SDM (east) after the Chandigarh Administration had been asked by the Punjab and Haryana High Court to explain its stand on the illegal occupation of government houses in the city meant for “migrant labour from Jammu and Kashmir”. The notices have been issued to the illegal occupants after assistant the Labour Commissioner, Jammu and Kashmir, Chandigarh, intimated the UT Estate Office that the houses were occupied illegally. On the basis of the communication, the SDM (East), exercising powers under the Public Premises Act, 1971, issued eviction notices to residents of about 60 dwelling units.

The ongoing action against the Sector 29 occupants had put the UT officials in jeopardy, as the parallel probe by the UT Estate Office to verify the possession of the original allottee of EWS houses across the city had indicated towards large--scale practice of selling and renting of the dwelling units. Around 15,000 EWS houses have been allotted across the city under the rehabilitation schemes of the Chandigarh Administration.

Though the final report in the probe is yet to be submitted, a majority of the houses have been either sold or rented out. In a majority of the dwelling units, there were major violations of the building bylaws. Different teams constituted by the Assistant Estate Officer were visiting the houses in Sectors 26, 29, 30, 35, 38, Dhanas, Maloya, Khuda Lahora and other parts of the city. “If the Estate Office is taking action against the illegal occupants in Sector 29, it will have to take action against similar cases in other parts of the city”, observed an official. 



booth scam
Panel to recommend cancellation of booths
UT estate office completes probe; cases to be registered against violators
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
In the infamous booth scam, the UT Estate office has completed its inquiry. Sources revealed that the committee was going to recommend cancellation of more than dozen booths. Besides, the committee is also going to recommend registration of police cases against the allottees, who have violated terms and conditions in the allotment of booths in Sector 41 Krishna Booth Market.

After sitting over the inquiry report, the UT Administration in November last had termed the report prepared by former UT Additional Deputy Commissioner PS Shergill as incomplete and had issued directions to the Deputy Commissioner to conduct a complete probe.

After the directions from the UT Administration, the Estate Office had issued show-cause notices to the 88 allottees. In his approximately 1,000-page report, Shergill had pointed towards the involvement of top politicians and senior officials, including city MP and Union Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, former UT Adviser Pradip Mehra, former Deputy Commissioner RK Rao and former Mayor Pardeep Chhabra, among others.



road gullies
Cleanliness drive an eyewash, say councillors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Tall claims of the municipal corporation for the monsoon were exposed today at the General House meeting when a majority of councillors complained that the special cleanliness drive of road gullies in the city was a mere eyewash as nothing concrete had been done in this regard.
Broken road gullies and garbage lying on a roadside at Sector 20
Broken road gullies and garbage lying on a roadside at Sector 20. Tribune Photo: Manoj Mahajan

The councillors complained that in most of the sectors, heaps of garbage was lying on the side of road gullies even after cleaning. The councillors commented that the purpose of cleaning was meaningless until lifting of garbage and “malba” was carried out side by side.

Rajesh Gupta, BJP councillor, pointed out that for the past three days the garbage which was collected after clearing the road gully outside the corporation building was lying on the side of the road gully which showed as to how effective the drive of the public health department was in the city. Referring to his ward he said that there were a number of road gullies, which were lying in a broken condition or were not covered during the cleanliness drive. He questioned as to why no action was taken by the team to replace the broken covers. BJP councillor Saurab Joshi and Asha Kumari Jaswal also raised the problem of unclean road gullies in their wards.

Another issue which was taken up in the house meeting today was shortage of water or muddy water in their wards. BJP councillor Heera Negi raised the issue that water pressure in her ward had not improved for the past one week even after a number of complaints were lodged with the authorities. Congress councillor Gurbax Rawat complained that there was no water supply in the civil dispensary of Sector 40. BJP councillor Davesh Modgil demanded that the authorities should install booster in southern sectors to improve water pressure. While BJP Councillor Rajinder Rattu complained about the muddy water in her ward due to mixing of sewage water in the drinking water pipeline.

Reacting to these complaints, MC Commissioner V P Singh said that the proposal for installing nine boosters was lying pending with the UT administration and after their installation there would be no problem of water pressure in the city.

BJP councillor Desh Raj Gupta complained that the booster which was installed in his area, four months ago, had not begun working as the authorities had failed to get electricity connection for it till date.

garbage still littered
Councilllors complained that in most of the sectors, heaps of garbage was lying on the side of road gullies even after the cleanliness drive. They said that the purpose of cleaning was defeated until lifting of garbage and “malba” was carried out side by side.



Will contest elections against ex-husband, says Fiza
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 19
Fiza today announced to contest elections against her ex-husband Chander Mohan, former deputy chief minister of Haryana. "I am all set to enter the politics. I have decided to contest against him (Chander Mohan)," said Fiza while claiming that the BSP had asked her to join the party.

"I am yet to take a decision in this regard," said Fiza.

She also added that the BSP leaders had asked her to contest the municipal corporation byelections from Maloya in Chandigarh.

Fiza had also launched her party, Fiza-e-Hind, in June last year and she had also announced to contest the general elections from Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh. The elections will be held in 2014. 

Police books three for murder bid

* Meanwhile, the police has registered a case of an attempt to murder against Sanjay Aggarwal, Neeru Aggarwal, Lalit Joshi and Deepa Joshi for launching an attack on Fiza in January this year. DSP DS Mann said they had added the Section 307 to the FIR on the basis of the medical report which stated that injuries were inflicted on her by the trio.

* Fiza had sustained serious head injuries. On May 31, she was arrested by the Mohali Police on the charges of trespass, wrongful restraint and voluntarily causing hurt on the counter complaint by the other party and was sent to judicial custody by the local court.



Buses on metro route flagged off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
On high-passenger volume routes, the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) today started a dedicated ‘Metro Route Bus Service’. Two routes, connecting the PGI with Panchkula have been initially marked for running of the service that will run at a frequency of every five minutes, against the routine service provided at an interval of every 20 minutes.

Anil Kumar, UT Transport Secretary, today flagged off the first bus on the dedicated route from the PGI. While on one route, the bus will run between the Sarangpur barrier near Mullanpur and Panchkula, the other route is from the PGI to the Chandigarh Housing Board, Mani Majra. TPS Phoolka, Director, Transport, said the dedicated service had been christened as the ‘metro route bus service’, as it would run on the metro route proposed by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).

It has been proposed that the bus service will run till 2018, the scheduled time of starting the metro rail service. “The route has been studied to see the passenger load. The other route is from the Sector 17 bus stand to Mohali”, said another official. He further said that the buses on the road to Mohali would be also be started soon. The buses would run from 7.15 am to 9.45 pm. He said the buses would stop at all the designated stoppages enroute.

SP Parmar, General Manager, CTU, said 24 buses (20 non-AC and 4 air-conditioned buses) had been put into service. He said to provide buses on the dedicated route, buses from the low occupancy routes had been shifted. In lieu of that, some buses from the non-profit making out-station routes had been put on the peripheral routes. On the first day, the buses had low occupancy as many commuters were not aware about the buses being run on the dedicated routes, admitted the UT officials while adding that they were hopeful that the occupancy would go up in the coming days. 

Next: Night service on cards
The CTU is all set to start night bus in the city. Going beyond the standard timings of 9 pm, the buses service will run from Saranpur to Panchkula via the Sector 17 bus stand and from Mohali to Panchkula via ISBT-17 and ISBT-43. The buses will touch almost all the parts of the city. It had been seen that cine goers to the multiplexes in Industrial Area, Phase 1, IT Park and Zirakpur had no mode of public transport available. Initially, 10 low floor buses will be run on six such routes. Presently, CTU runs night service between Sector 17 ISBT and Sector 43 ISBT and to the railway station.



Aeronautical society's 20th Foundation Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
As part of its 20th Foundation Day celebrations, the Chandigarh chapter of Aeronautical Society of India organised a technical meet on aviation at No.3 Base Repair Depot (BRD).

In his address, the chapter's chairman, Air Commodore Suresh Singh, delved upon the indigenisation efforts for self-reliance and modernisation of the military and civil aviation industry in the country.

He highlighted various achievements made by Indian establishments in the field and also appreciated the contributions by the society members and Indian research organisations.

Wing Commander GVG Yugandhar, secretary of the branch, delivered a talk on "Aircraft Structure Health Monitoring", in which he emphasised the importance of improving the reliability of aircraft systems and sub-systems for enhancing operational preparedness.

He discussed various technologies and methodologies in vogue to investigate the structural strength of aircraft components and efforts to mitigate the challenges in this field. Pradeep Kumar Majhi, a scientist posted at 3 BRD, spoke on the applications of rubber technology in the aviation industry.

On the occasion, three members were honoured for their contribution to their respective professional fields.

These included PS Kohli, Director, Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness, Chandigarh, who has been closely involved in the approval of design and development of the head-up display for the LCA and upgradation of night operation abilities of the MI-17, MI-35 and Cheetah helicopters, and Prateek Kishore, Group Director, Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL), who is associated with the design, development, testing and production of warhead structural elements and systems engineering of strategic missiles.

Director, TBRL, Dr Manjit Singh, general manager, Bharat Electronics Limited, Panchkula, N Suresh, Director, Central Scientific Instrument Organisation, Dr Pawan Kapoor, former Air Officer Commanding 3 BRD, Air Cmde JS Kalra were among a large number of society members present on the occasion.

The society comprises armed forces officers, scientists, academicians, professionals and industrialists associated with the field of aviation and space.



UT told to speed up implementation of power reforms
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
P Uma Shankar, Union Power Secretary, today asked the UT Administration to speed up the implementation of power sector reforms especially to prepare the online data of consumers, power connections and entire power infrastructure of the city. Shankar said that these steps were important to minimise the transmission and distribution losses and to improve the electricity distribution system.

Shankar was speaking at the review meeting of senior officers of power from northern region states on the Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (R-APDRP) here.

VK Singh, UT Finance-cum-Power Secretary, said in the meeting it was discussed to implement the projects like preparation of the base-line data for consumer indexing, GIS mapping, metering of distribution transformers and feeders and automatic data logging for all distribution transformers and feeders through the Information Technology (IT).

He further said that the Union Power Secretary appreciated the efforts of the UT Administration to implement power sector reforms. He added that the UT Administration had already initiated the steps to implement the IT in the power sector and soon the Administration would be able to prepare the online data of power services as well.

The R-APDRP project has been initiated to bring down the transmission and distribution (T&D) losses by upgrading the power infrastructure and introduction of the information technology (IT), the officials added.

The UT Administration is receiving around 200 MW from different Sources, 47 per cent from Mohali (PSPCL), about 5 per cent through the Dhulkote BBMB and the remaining 48 per cent through Nalagarh. Besides, 110 MW was being supplied from different power stations in the region every day, nearly 30 MW was channelised through Jammu and Kashmir as per a bilateral agreement.



1.23 lakh children administered polio drops

Mohali, June 19
The local administration has claimed to have achieved its target by administering pulse polio drops to about 1.23 lakh children (below five years) during the three-day drive that concluded today.

Civil Surgeon Dr Usha Bansal said about 1.23 lakh children were administered the drops. She claimed that their teams had even visited makeshift houses at various slums and sites that were under construction. — TNS



Illegal sale of  Shiv Temple land
Notice issued to realtor, priest
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 19
The local court today issued notices to a Gurgaon-based realtor and a priest of the Shiv Temple in Pinjore in the alleged illegal sale of the prime land of the shrine.

Civil Judge Junior Division Gurvinder Kaur issued notices to Alam Yadav and priest Nafe Nath, district collector and sub-registrar, Kalka, for June 29.

Notably, the prime land of the shrine, which was set up by erstwhile ruler of Patiala, had been sold for just Rs 7 lakh by the priest-cum-manager.

The matter had come to light when advocate Vijay Bansal, an Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader, and president of the Shivalik Vikas Manch, along with former municipal councillors, had filed a public interest litigation in the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking the cancellation of the sale deed dated April 20, 2007. The petitioner had alleged that the manager in a fraudulent manner and without any authority had sold the property of the temple, which had been further registered on May 9, 2012.

However, as the Panchkula civil court was competent to cancel the sale deed, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed Bansal to withdraw the petition and file the same in the civil court under Section 92 of the Civil Procedure Code.aBansal said as per revenue records, the total land measuring 4 kanal and 14 marla, was part of the temple set up in 1909 by the then Maharaja of Patiala and since then, various persons had held the post of manager as disciple and not by way of natural succession. He had alleged that not only the temple, but the government had also been cheated as against Rs 1.5 core, the consideration was shown to be Rs 7 lakh only.



Police stations to have live scanners
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 19
Live scanners and fingerprint input devices will be installed at all police stations in the district to facilitate quick verification of identity. Director General of Police Rajiv Dalal stated this after inaugurating the double-storeyed building of OR's Mess in Police Lines at Moginand village, near here, today.

He also inaugurated the exhibition of telecom equipment organised by the telecommunication wing of the Haryana Police.

Dalal said the police would also be able to take the fingerprints of prime witnesses to refrain them from becoming hostile during trials.

He said equipment costing about Rs 20,000 would be installed and the staff would be imparted training to record the fingerprints to prevent fraud and identification of criminals. The process would not only facilitate quick verification of identity, but would also save time, he added.

The DGP said Haryana is among the first few states that has acquired the technology after Rajasthan, Karnataka, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Uttarakhand. The first Automatic Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), which was installed at the State Crime Record Bureau, Madhuban, recently would soon be connected with New Delhi.

The AFIS that was installed at a cost of Rs 2.2 crore, has the capacity to store 5 lakh fingerprints. It is a biometric identification methodology that uses digital imaging technology to obtain, store and analyse fingerprint data.

"The AFIS will give results in just 40 seconds," Dalal added.

Director of State Crime Record Bureau Laik Ram Dabas said the AFIS would help enhance the efficiency of the police. All districts will be provided with local fingerprint recording and matching station known as Remote Query Terminal (RQT) and will be connected with a main server at the SCRB through State Wide Area Network (SWAN). The device used for scanning live fingerprints into AFIS is called "Live Scan".

The DGP said the Haryana government had approved Rs 100 crore in the 13th Financial Commission for the Haryana Police which would be spent on the modernisation of the police department .

He said OR's Mess would soon be constructed in all districts of Haryana.

Among others present included ADGP BS Sandhu, Mohinder Lal, Anil Dawra, K Selvaraj, IGP Rajbir Deswal, Alok Rai, AIG Ved Prakash, Commissioner of Police, Ambala-Panchkula K.K. Sharma, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Parul Kush Jain, DCP Ambala Simar Deep Singh, DCP Ambala Rural Najneen Bhasin and SP Karnal Shashank Anand.



Chandigarh Scan

Revenue officers’ training
A three-month training programme for senior and middle level revenue officers of the Punjab government was inaugurated at the Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration, Punjab campus, by Revenue Secretary Gurdev Singh Sidhu on Tuesday. About 12 officers from all over the state will participate in this training programme.

They have been deputed by the Punjab government to get institutional training of three months as prescribed in the Punjab Tahsildars (Training) Regulation, 1984.

While addressing the revenue officers, Sidhu asked them to regularly update their knowledge about the rules and regulations. He told the participants that they should facilitate reforms in the revenue administration in order to serve the society as a whole and the farming community in particular.

He said that land management and maintenance of revenue records were their primary duties and the training acquired during this programme must be used for carrying out their duties with honesty and transparency.

Cow protection
In the wake of the recent cow slaughter incident in Punjab, civil society group, Aawaaz, in association with a group of other organisations, organised a press conference on Tuesday.

The aim of the press conference was to sensitise the public about the issue of protection of cows from being slaughtered. Advocate Gaurav Goel, Aawaaz, said it was strange that India where cows are considered holy was now becoming the largest beef exporter.

The participating organisations included Gopal Dham Gaushala, Chandigarh; Gau Raksha Dal, Punjab; Vishwa Hindu Parsihad; Gopaldham Gaushala, Zirakpur; Animal and Bird Care Foundation; Gao Sewa Samity, Sri Anandpur Sahib; Rashtriya Gao Sewa Mission; Sankirtan Mandal, Panchkula; Naga Akhada; Hindu Mahasabha; and all the Gaushalas in the tricity region.

Gargi is Gladrags Mrs India North
Gargi Duggal, a homemaker from Panchkula, was crowned the Gladrags Mrs India North Zone at a spectacular finale held at St Stephens School on Monday night.

Raima Prashar, a local business woman, was the first runner-up; while the second runner-up position went to Diksha Luthra, a city-based model and event manager. All the three winners will now participate in the all-India finals of the Gladrags India 2012 contest to be held in Mumbai in October.

The judges’ panel for the contest included Maureen Wadia, president, Gladrags Beauty.

Musical celebrations
Sector 17 Plaza would host mega tourism events on the World Music day eve on June 20 and World Music Day on June 21. Chandigarh tourism department and the CITCO would organise these events.

On the first day, the CITCO would organise a Punjabi musical concert for the general public and tourists. Punjabi celebrities, singers and musicians would perform at the concert. Renowned Punjabi actress Neeru Bajwa and famous Punjabi singer Daljit Dosanj would entertain the audience along with other performers, including Satwinder Bugga, Preet Harpal and Ammy Virk.

Sanitation workers’ grievances
The National Commission for Safai Karamcharis chairperson, Kamla Gurjar, today met with senior officials of the Chandigarh Administration, and the sanitation workers working in the Municipal Corporation. She had earlier visited the city last year. Actions taken on the basis of the decisions made during the last year’s meeting were reviewed by the chairperson.

Major demands of the sanitation workers, pertaining to regularisation of services, ex-gratia payment, compassionate appointment, disproportionate number of safai karamcharis, allotment of houses, etc were discussed during the meeting with the senior officials. It was decided that the Chandigarh Administration would consider the demands of the sanitation workers and review the action taken in pursuance of the decisions made today.

The Chandigarth Administration officials present at the meeting included Director Social Welfare, Joint Secretary Home, Additional Commissioner of Municipal Corporation, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Director Health Services, Medical Officer Health, Chandigarh Housing Board Secretary and Superintendent of Police (Headquarter).

Theatre workshop begins
A 10-day theatre workshop for the children of Snehalaya, Maloya, was inaugurated at the Tagore Theatre, Sector 18, on Tuesday. The workshop is being organised by the Social Welfare Department in collaboration with the Tagore Theatre.

In the workshop, children will learn various activities including choreography, body movements, concentration exercises, yoga and story telling. This would help in building their self confidence.

On the concluding day of the workshop, a performance will be given by the participating children.

Bansal meets shopkeepers
Interacting with a delegation of various shopkeepers from Palsora, Maloya, Kajheri and other parts of the city, Pawan Kumar Bansal, local M.P. and Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources, informed them that he has taken up the matter of the problems being faced by them in getting licenses under the new Food and Safety Regulations with the Union Health Minister. He told them that the Government of India has already relaxed certain conditions to help the shopkeepers in getting the licenses.

The shopkeepers had earlier informed the minister that the UT Administration had issued them notices asking them to submit an NOC from their municipality or local body to get their applications for licences considered.

Bansal had taken up the matter with the UT Home Secretary and insisted that the problems regarding NOC need not be addressed on priority. The Home Secretary had assured the Minister that all renewal cases would be reviewed again as per the government guidelines.

Faculty development
A five-day faculty development programme was inaugurated at the Doaba Group of Colleges on Tuesday. The programme, ‘Entrepreneurship in Today’s Scenario’, is sponsored by Punjab Technical University.

“Entrepreneurship is an interesting, challenging and rewarding option for engineers, if they put their heart and soul into it, and pursue their dreams with commitment and dedication,”€¯ said Ashok Gupta, Managing Director of Diplast Plastics while inaugurating the programme.

Stating that the focus of technical education should not be to produce job seekers but job creators, Dr HS Batth, president of Doaba Khalsa Trust, said the event was a step in that direction. The event was attended by more than 100 faculty members from different colleges.

Hans Raj Hans to visit Naya Gaon
Famous sufi singer and Vice-President of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Hans Raj Hans, would visit an NGO, the Developing Indigenous Resources, at Janta Colony, Nayagaon, on Wednesday.

— Tribune Reporters



PU Senate election in soup
The warring senators sit over electoral reforms report
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Even after four months of tabling of Sibal committee’s senate election reforms report, the Panjab University’s registrar office is yet to start preparations for the election to be held in September.

Though a high power committee of senators recommended the poll reforms, Panjab University Syndicate referred it to the key warring senators Ashok Goyal and GK Chatrath for their recommendations.

Their recommendations are still awaited, making Panjab University’s plan to ensure a smooth, fair and transparent senate election doubtful.

No meeting between the two senators has been scheduled till date. Registrar office tried to get their separate comments on the report but did not get the desired response, according to a senior official at registrar office.

“Though we did get comments from Chatrath in writing, we can do nothing till the two senators sit across the table and recommend. Till then we are just waiting,”€¯ said the official.

“84,000 new graduate voters have registered for this election that is expected to lead to a large amount of bogus voting this year. VK Sibal committee report had come out with practical steps to deal with such a situation, but nothing has been decided so far. The duo should realise that election preparation is a Herculean task and we need time,”€¯ he said.

Repeated attempts to contact the registrar, AK Bhandari, proved futile.

Poll reforms recommendations

* Polling booths at Delhi, Jammu, Dehradun and Sri Ganga Nagar, where only 15 per cent polling was registered in the previous election, be abolished.

* The voters at these centres should apply within stipulated time for a nearby polling booth.

* Presiding officer of university be posted at the polling booth of such educational institutes where the institute is the alma mater of the candidate contesting from the graduate constituency.

* Voters be allowed to cast their vote only upon the production of a valid identity proof.

* Life membership be abolished in future, though the exiting list may continue.

* From 2016, the voter enrolment fee be increased from Rs 15 to Rs 30.

* Polling booths be created only in areas with a minimum voter strength of about 500.

* From 2016, the security deposit of the candidate seeking election from graduate constituency be increased from Rs 500 to Rs 1500.




class XI admission
Rush for government schools in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Students aspiring for a seat in the Class XI in the city government schools will have a tough time getting admission as the education department has received over 14,500 registration forms for filling up 11,000 odd seats.

If the student wants a seat in the non-medical stream, the chances are even lesser.

"Every third application that we have got is for non-medical stream. There is a huge demand for this stream; especially in the model schools in Sectors 6, 35 and 37," said an education department official.

According to teachers, the first cut-off for non-medical stream is expected to be a perfect CGPA of 10.

"Unlike last year, when students with CGPA 9.6 got through in the first counselling for good schools, CGPA 10 will rule the roost this year,”€¯ said a model school principal.

The first cut-off for all the streams and the schools will be put up on June 30.

The rush for admission to government schools is being blamed on the private schools’ policy of going ahead with the provisional admissions even before the declaration of results.

"After getting the CBSE’s nod, a majority of private schools admitted students on basis of their pre-board marks and completed admissions in April. Many students chose to wait for the fear of losing fees," said a government school prinicipal.

The fact that students find it easier to attend tuitions for competitive examinations due to the flexibility in attending classes in government schools also attract students to these institutions.

"It is not the school but the coaching class that is important in medical and non-medical streams. The school is not enough to prepare for entrance examinations,” said Vanshika Sharma, a student.

The school principals and teachers, however, do not see this as the sole reason behind the sudden rush.

“Our good results in previous years has also played an important role in getting such a response,” a model school principal said.

The first cut-off for non-medical stream is expected to be a perfect CGPA of 10



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