|C H A N D I G A R H
& V I C I N I T Y
Wednesday, December 23, 1998
Give UT's share of power,
order to banks on recruitment
Fog delays trains
panchayat poll on January 16
of MIG flats begins
share of power: Jain
NEW DELHI, Dec 22 Mr Satya Pal Jain, BJP MP from Chandigarh today urged the Centre to give the Union Territory its share of 3.5 per cent of energy being generated by Bhakra Beas Management Board.
Raising the issue under rule 377 in Lok Sabha today, Mr Jain said the Union Territory of Chandigarh came into existence after the partition of Punjab in 1966. Hence it is a "succeeding state" as per the Punjab Reorganisation Act, he said.
Mr Jain said that though every "succeeding state", as per law was entitled to its share in power produced by the BBMB, yet Chandigarh was denied its share, causing injustice to the city for the past 30 years.
Mr Jain said there was an acute shortage of power in Chandigarh and the Administration had to purchase power from outside because the city had no power plant of its own. It raised the cost of power which ultimately adversely affected the industry and employment.
The government, he said, should take steps to remove this injustice and make suitable arrangements for proper power supply to Chandigarh. He also urged the government to compensate the Union Territory for the losses suffered by it for the past three decades because of the denial of its legitimate claim by the Central Government.
He demanded that the
Centre should accord approval to the setting up of a
power plant in Chandigarh so that power shortage could be
sorted out and demands of residents could be fulfilled at
bail plea of lawyer fails
CHANDIGARH, Dec 22 The Additional Sessions Judge, Mr S.S. Lamba, today rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Mr A.K. Maleri, a lawyer, who is apprehending arrest in connection with a case registered by the Chandigarh police against him on a charge of forging orders of a Civil Judge.
In his order, Mr Lamba observed: "If such activities are conducted by a responsible officer of the Bar Association which tarnish the image of the judicial system as a whole in the eyes of the public, such attempts should be severely dealt with".
The judge added: "The police is to probe the nexus between the petitioner and others including officials of the court, if any, so that the truth may be elucidated. The involvement of such persons is yet to be ascertained and that can be revealed only by Mr A.K. Maleri, who had sent the status quo order along with a letter in his own hand. As a result I am constrained to hold that no special circumstances for the grant of anticipatory bail are made out. The application as such fails and is dismissed".
The prosecution had stated that a letter had been sent by Mr K.C. Garg, Civil Judge, Chandigarh, to the SSP of Chandigarh on December 8, alleging that on December 6, 1998, an application was given by Brig Charanjit Singh, Additional Chief Engineer, Western Command, Chandimandir, saying that orders of the court of Mr K.C. Garg had been forged.
It so happened that Sharma
Construction Company was allotted a contract worth Rs 3
crore. The active partner of the firm was Mr Shanti Amit.
As the work of the firm was not satisfactory, the
allotment of further work to it was stopped.
cases: New order to banks on recruitment
CHANDIGARH, Dec 22 The Central Government has told the public sector banks not to take any decision on appointments of dependents on compassionate grounds in the case of deceased employees facing charges of major financial irregularities.
However, in the case of employees who face minor charges or were awarded minor penalty at the time of death, the banks are free to take action in consultation with the board members.
It may be recalled that prior to 1991, the managing directors of banks were competent to take decisions in all such cases at their own level without even consulting their board members. It was on February 20,1991, that the Government of India had asked the banks to obtain its approval in respect of proposals for appointments of dependents for deceased employees where disciplinary proceedings were pending or were being contemplated at the time of death of the employee or where the employee was proceeded against before death and punishment was awarded. Banks were advised not decide such cases on their own despite the fact that all the usual conditions for such appointments are satisfied.
As a result of this Government of India's directions to the banks the powers of not only the managing directors but also the bank boards stood completely withdrawn and in routine all cases seeking appointments of dependents of deceased employees on compassionate grounds were sent to the government. The procedure became so cumbersome that it took months, and in some cases years to make appointments effective even in very genuine cases. In absence of powers to recruit staff the situation gradually deteriorated and resulted in further shortage of staff. However, some employees with clean records made use of provisions by securing premature retirements to secure jobs for their children at a time when they could draw full retirement benefits of service in the bank.
Also, under the GOI's order the majority of proposals referred to the government for approval were cases where deceased employees had been charge-sheeted and/or punishment had been awarded for minor misconduct namely irregular attendance, disobedience and misbehaviour. Having reviewed the situation the government has now decided that in future the banks may consider, with the approval of their board, proposals regarding appointments of dependents of the employees on compassionate grounds in cases where the deceased employees had been awarded minor penalty or disciplinary proceeding against the employee was pending or contemplated at the time of the death of the employee, which would prima facie, have resulted in award of a minor penalty.
Thus cases involving minor penalty need not now be referred to the government and may be decided with the approval of the board subject to the condition that all other requirements of the scheme of appointments on compassionate grounds are fulfilled. However, all proposals where the employee was involved in financial irregularities, embezzlement of funds, frauds irrespective of whether a minor or major punishment had been awarded or cases where disciplinary proceedings were pending/contemplated in cases of financial irregularities, embezzlement of funds, frauds etc would also continue to be referred to the Government with the recommendation of the board.
The cases already referred
by banks to the government and on which no decision has
been conveyed by the government so far may be reviewed by
banks in the light of the new guidelines and if necessary
fresh reference can be made after obtaining board's
approval in deserving and fit cases.
poll on January 16
CHANDIGARH, Dec 22 Elections to 17 panchayats of Chandigarh will be held on January 16.
This was announced by the UT Election Commissioner, Mr B. Prasad, here today.
The filing of nominations will start from January 1 and the last date will be January 6. The scrutiny of documents will take place on January 7 and January 9 will be the last date for withdrawals. Polling will take place on January 16 between 8 a.m and 4 p.m.
The commissioner had earlier appointed returning officers(RO) and assistant returning officers(AROs) for the panchayat elections.
According to sources, he met senior officers of the Chandigarh Administration and discussed matters relating to the poll. He also met deputations of villagers and listened to their complaints and grievances.
Elections are due to 17 panchayats of 18 villages. Makhan Majra and Raipur Kalan villages have a common panchayat.
Meanwhile, a deputation of residents of Kajheri village accompanied by Mr Kuldip Singh, sarpanch, met the commissioner and urged him to dereserve their village which has been notified as a seat for Scheduled Castes. They said that as per the latest survey by the administration the Scheduled Castes' percentage was lower than the other general seats.
fort needs healing touch
CHANDIGARH, Dec 22 The only major archaeological and historic monument in the City Beautiful the Mani Majra Fort is in a state of neglect thanks to the continued administrative apathy.
The fort was built by a local chieftain Garib Dass and his son Gopal Singh in the second half of the 18th century. Several portions of the fort, including the wall enclosing the huge compound, have decayed at many points thus rendering the fort area vulnerable.
In the absence of any conservation work the magnificent fort is dying a slow death. The walls and wooden balconies have decayed and developed cracks over the years.
Of the five bastions supporting its four corners and the centre, one weather-beaten bastion caved in during the rains recently thus posing a serious threat to the fort as a whole as these bastions are the main pillars supporting the structure.
Meanwhile, alarmed at the dilapidated condition of the fort, the Chandigarh Circle of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), has written to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr R.K. Rao, urging him to provide the revenue records of the fort so that the conservation work could be undertaken.
According to Mr C. Dorjee, Superintending Archaeologist, a team of the ASI had visited the fort twice for an on-the-spot study of the damage to the fort. The administration, it is learnt, has asked for revenue records from the "patwari" of Mani Majra for determining the ownership rights.
Mr Dorjee said that after the receipt of the records, a detailed proposal would be sent to the ASI headquarters at Delhi for the inclusion of the fort in the list of the monuments of national importance and once the fort was included in the list under the Ancient Monuments Act, its conservation would become the responsibility of the ASI.
teachers hold rally
CHANDIGARH, Dec 22 Teachers from 160 non-government aided and unaided affiliated colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh staged a rally near the housing board roundabout in support of their demands here today.
The teachers who belonged to the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union raised slogans against the "failure" of the Punjab Government to implement their demands already, accepted by the government, including implementation of the pension-gratuity scheme.
Union leaders condemned the "negative" attitude of the government towards teachers in particular and higher education in general. They said the election manifesto of the ruling alliance had promised to bring all posts in aided and unaided colleges under the grant-in-aid scheme. Hundreds of families, including 1500 retiree were hit as they had not got their gratuity and could not use the GPF while waiting for the scheme to be started.
The protesters demanded revision of pay scales, including revision of allowances like DA, CCA, HRA, rural areas and transport allowance. The issue of raising the retirement age to 62 as per the decision of the HRD Ministry was also discussed.
The agitators also decided to intensify their agitation by holding rallies in the constituencies of Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Capt Kanwaljit Singh. The first such rally would be held at Banur on January 19.
CHANDIGARH, Dec 22 After the damaged rail tracks between Delhi and Ambala stirred trouble for two weeks, fog is the latest problem for the Railways.
Due to fog almost all trains running through Punjab and Haryana were delayed by several hours, while the Shan-e-Punjab running between Delhi and Amritsar, had to be cancelled for the day as its rake did not reach Delhi in time last night. The train was to leave Delhi this morning.
The late running resulted in the harassment of the public. Schedules of those wanting to catch connecting trains or flights from Delhi went hay- wire.
Even the prestigious Shatabdis have been forced to a virtual crawl, compared to their peak speeds that are in excess of 100 kmph. All Shatabdis running in the morning were delayed. This includes one of the fastest trains in the country, Swarn Shatabdi between Delhi and Amritsar that was delayed by 3 hours and 10 minutes by the time it had reached Ambala on its upward journey today.
Fog along the tracks in Punjab and Haryana has also delayed long-distance trains originating at Amritsar or Jammu bound for South. A similar story is being repeated for trains that are running northwards from Delhi.
All trains running southwards are delayed by the time they reach Delhi. This is creating a problem for bunching of trains outside Delhi. The New Delhi station is crowded and when a train arrives late it cannot be berthed at a platform as by that time, another train is to arrive or scheduled to depart. This causes further delay.
Additional Divisional Railway Manager, Ambala Division, Ashwani Kapoor said fog was a major contributory factor in the delay. The tracks are alright now, he added. However, sources added that a section of track near Panipat was still under speed restriction of 80 kmph and this is also a cause of delay.
The Shatabdi that leaves Chandigarh for Delhi in the morning was late by two hours by the time it had reached Ambala. The Himalayan Queen, running between Delhi and Kalka, was delayed by three hours and thirty minutes by the time it reached Chandigarh.
The Shatabdi Express between Delhi and Chandigarh arrived more than two hours behind schedule at Chandigarh this morning. The Amritsar-Delhi Shatabdi had been delayed by 35 minutes by the time it reached Ambala.
The story of the Himachal Express between Delhi and Una was worse. It was delayed by eight hours and 15 minutes by the time it reached Ambala. The Howrah-Kalka mail reached Chandigarh almost five hours behind schedule this morning. The Sealdah Express, Jhelum Express and Pooja Express were late by 10 hours, 7 hours and 9 hours late, respectively, on their upward journeys.
cyclists arrive in city
CHANDIGARH, Dec 22 Mrs Combes Christine and Mr Lagnion Yves, two French cyclists on a world tour, arrived in the city today.
According to Mr Yves, before entering India through Pakistan, he and his wife cycled across a number of countries including France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Iran.
CHANDIGARH, Dec 22 Water supply to the Modern Housing Complex, Manimajra, was disrupted in the afternoon following a rupture in a water supply line from a tubewell near the complex.
Residents said the pressure of water was low in the morning itself but no water was available on the top floors of the four-storeyed complex. People had to queue up to get water from a water valve of a pipeline.
CHANDIGARH, Dec 22 Air Marshal V. Patney, Air Officer Commanding in Chief, Western Air Command, arrived at the local Air Force station on a two-day visit.
He was received by Air
Commodore A.V. Kumar, Air Officer Commanding, Air Force
Station. The Air Marshal will be inspecting various air
force operational, training and maintenance installations
during his stay
CHANDIGARH, Dec 22 The Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) will launch a special drive for the recovery of outstanding dues from defaulting employers of factories and establishments from January 1 to March 31.
CHANDIGARH, Dec 22 Members of the Punjab Market Committee Karamchari Union held a rally near the Housing Board roundabout in support of their demands here today.
The agitators were demanding immediate release of the bonus amount. The role of the Chairman of the Mandi Board was decried. The issue of a common cadre for employees was also discussed.
of MIG flats begins
SAS NAGAR, Dec 22 Construction work on 434 MIG flats of PUDA has begun in Sector 66 here.
Stating this here yesterday, Ms Seema Jain, Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA, said the two-bedroom flats would be of two storeys to start with, but expandable units. Each plot measured 160 sq yd, with a covered area of 650 sq ft. The construction work had been allotted to three groups.
Ms Jain said 696 LIG dwelling units would also come up in the same sector. In this case, work had been allotted to four groups, but construction was yet to begin.
She said a survey was undertaken in Phase XI here to determine why flat owners had indulged in building rule violations. Designs for the new dwelling units had been modified in the light of the survey to make these more comfortable.
celebrates Corps Day
CHANDIGARH, Dec 22 The Judge Advocates-General Department (JAG), the judicial wing of the Army, celebrated its 15th Corps Day in Chandimandir.
A get-together was organised at which Lt Gen H. B. Kala, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, was the chief guest. Justice Kuldip Singh and a large number of serving and retired officers were present.
In a message, the Chief
Justice of India stressed the need for objectivity and
impartiality in the opinions of the department. The
opinions were indispensible in the administration of
justice to the Army.
CHANDIGARH, Dec 22 Prof M.M. Puri, the Vice-Chancellor of the Panjab University presided over a seminar on "Employment Potential for Youth in Rural Industry" organised by the Centre for Vocational Studies, Department of Zoology, in collaboration with the Khadi and Village Industries Commission at the campus here today.
While stressing the need for creation of jobs for youth by setting up cottage industries in rural areas, Professor Puri said the ongoing race for urbanisation would result in a number of problems such as cut-throat competition, criminalisation and pollution. "Take the example of Delhi. You cannot even breath due to pollution. Moreover, such form of urbanisation indeed results in crushing basic human feelings like sincerity," he added.
Professor Puri said the need of the hour was that "we should not make distinctions and comparisons between rural and urban areas".
"How many of us realise that there is hardly any distinction in the rural and urban areas in this region as had been 50 years ago when the rural areas were completely isolated and had limited population," he said, while adding that the level of penetration of urbanisation in the rural areas was different in different states.
He further said as had been advocated by Mahatma Gandhi in place of running to cities people, especially the youth should try to confine themselves to areas closer to them, where they could be more creative and peaceful.
Professor Puri said we should follow Switzerland as a model for growth: "Switzerland, which is a perfect example of harmony between rural and urban areas and at the same time is prosperous", he added saying that if adopted such pattern could eliminate the problem of unemployment.
Mr G.S. Sandhu, the Managing Director of Markfed, said in spite of globalisation, rural India still supported the economy of the country. He said establishment of vocational centres would help younger generation find opportunities of self-employment rather than hankering after government jobs.
Dr B.L. Dhar, scientist from the National Centre for Mushroom Research and Training, said mushroom cultivation offered great avenues of employment for rural youth. Moreover, it offered profit ranging between 40 to 50 per cent and the climate of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh was conducive for growth of three major varieties of mushroom.
Prof K.K. Tandon from the Department of Zoology, PU, said for being a non-vegetarian state fisheries had tremendous potential of growth. Mr Nishid Bhatt said fish-culture could transform waste-lands into production zones and it could give better returns to the farmers of the region.
Prof V.K. Mishra from Horticulture University, Solan, Mr Karnail Singh, the Director of Khadi and Village Industries Commission and Mr Robert Kolasinski, an expert on bee keeping also spoke on the occasion.
NSS camps: Over 4200 National Service Scheme (NSS) volunteers will participate in the 10-day NSS camps to be held in villages of UT and Punjab during the ensuing winter vacation.
According to the Programme Coordinator, Dr C.L. Narang, the theme of the camps will be, "Youth for Sustainable Development". During the camps, the volunteers would work for environment protection, creating awareness among slum-dwellers about AIDS and eradication of illiteracy.
Results: Results of supplementary examinations of B.Ed, Gyani, MA I (Geography), MA II, (Psychology) and M.Sc (Maths) of PU will be declared on December 23.
Memorial lecture: Dr R. Chidambaram, the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India and Secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy, will deliver, "M.R. Sahni Memorial Lecture" on December 28, at the Physics Department Auditorium in campus.
CHANDIGARH, Dec 22 Mr Iqbal Singh Gill, has been cheated to the tune of Rs 2.5 crore as he was handed over a fake bank draft when he sold an antique sword. The sword was reportedly presented to his forefathers by the Mughal emperor Akbar nearly 500 hundred years ago.
Harinder Singh Mander, a Delhi resident, who has cheated Mr Gill had been trying to buy the sword since May. The deal was ultimately struck for Rs 2.5 crore and Mr Gill demanded that the money be paid through a bank draft. Harinder accompanied by his accountant, Srivastava, and an unidentified person from Germany came to Mr Gill's residence on December 13.
They presented the draft drawn on Syndicate Bank, Calcutta, and took away the sword and a scabbard, the police informed today. They requested Mr Gill not to present the draft for a few days. Mr Gill reportedly agreed to this and went abroad for a few days. After he came back he went to deposit the draft . The bank authorities informed him that the draft was fake. A case under Sections 406, 420, 467, 468 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered.
Stolen: A Maruti Esteem (CH-01-V-8966) owned by Mr Subhash Chand of Panchkula has been stolen from Sector 40 here. In a separate incident a scooter ( CH-01-T-0964) belonging to Mr Sunil Kumar of Sector 23 has been stolen from his residence.
Husband booked: Paramjit Singh, a resident of Kishan Pastina village, in Patiala district, was booked by the local police for allegedly harassing his wife, Manjit Kaur for bringing more dowry. A case under section 498-A and 34 of the IPC has been registered.
Accidents: A pregnant woman was burnt to death when a stove burst at her home while a rag picker was crushed to death by a truck at Mani Majra in separate incidents here today. The woman's husband was seriously injured and is admitted to hospital.
Ishwari Devi, a resident of a labour colony near Kajheri village, was injured when a stove burst inside her hutment, according to sources. Her Husband, Bhagwan Swaroop, was admitted to the PGI where his condition is stated to be serious.
Meanwhile, Shekhar, a rag-picker was crushed to death by a truck (HP-55-1637). The truck had come for repairs in the motor market. Shekhar was crushed as the truck was reversing. The driver of the truck, Subhash, a resident of Hamirpur has absconded. A case has been registered and the truck impounded.
CHANDIGARH, Dec 22 A triangular contest for the posts of Mayor and the Senior Deputy Mayor is on the cards in the elections to be held here tomorrow.
While Mr Rajinder Kumar is the official BJP candidate, the group owing allegiance to the local MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, has fielded Mr Kewal Krishan for the post. Mrs Kamlesh of the Congress is also in the fray.
Meanwhile, chances of a compromise between the two BJP factions receded further today with the party president, Mr Dharam Pal Gupta, shooting off another letter to the seven suspended BJP councillors urging them not to vote against the official party candidates.
In his letters, Mr Gupta has threatened that if they vote against the party candidates, they will stand expelled from the party.
Seven nominated councillors are expected to play a major role in the triangular contests tomorrow. Two nominated councillors Ms Surya Pandit and Mr Parsun Kaur are stated to be out of station.
For the post of Senior Deputy Mayor, the BJP-SAD alliance has fielded Mr Mohinder Singh of the SAD. The Jain group has fielded Mr Kanhya Lal for the post.
CHANDIGARH, Dec 22 A Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, comprising Mr Justice H.S. Brar and Mr Justice K.S. Kumaran, today stayed the order convening a special meeting of members of the Municipal Committee, Bhiwani Khera (Bhiwani), for considering a no-confidence motion against Mr Sagar Mal, president of the Municipal Committee.
The Bench also issued notice of motion to the respondents, the Deputy Commissioner and others for January 18.
A writ petition was filed by Mr Sagar Mal for quashing the impugned notice, dated December 7, for convening the special meeting on December 23, for considering the no-confidence motion.
It was pleaded that the local MLA had not been given notice and that 15 days' notice, as prescribed under the rules, had not been given to members.
The Municipal Committee comprises of 13 elected members, an MLA and three nominated members.
It was pointed out that the petitioner received the notice on December 19, and the vice-president received notice and acknowledged service on behalf of three other councillors.
Challenging the procedure adopted for convening the meeting, it was contended that there was no personal service on the three councillors of ward nos 3,9, and 10.
CHANDIGARH, Dec 22 Mr K.K. Jerath, UT Chief Engineer (under suspension) now under judicial custody in connection with corruption cases against him, today moved an O.A. before the Central Administrative Tribunal for quashing the inquiry report dated November 28. The inquiry report had accused him of wilful absence from headquarters without permission and not appearing in spite of a non-bailable warrant having been issued against him and thus the finding that he violated Rule 3(1) (iii) of the Punjab Employees Conduct Rules, 1966 (for behaviour unbecoming of a government servant).
Mr J.S. Dhaliwal, judicial member of the tribunal, issued notice to Mrs Anuradha Gupta, UT Home Secretary, and the Inquiry Officer for December 28. On a prayer from counsel that an order may be passed against the applicant without considering his reply, the tribunal desired that the final order may not be passed against him without considering his reply for which the applicant was given two days' time.
The CBI registered a case against Mr Jerath under Prevention of Corruption Act and raided his house on January 15, 1998.
It was submitted by the applicant that he had been charged for absenting from headquarters when actually he was arranging for his bail from the High Court. He submitted that no charge of absenting from headquarters without permission is made out against him.
Counsel for Mr Jerath submitted that the applicant was suspended on November 24, 1997 and a suspended employee was not required to stay at the headquarters, since he could not perform any official duty. The main grievance of the petitioner was that he was not informed of his date of appearance of (November 19, 1998) when evidence of the presenting officer was led and he could not lead his defence before the Inquiry Officer on November 27, as he was in custody. Thus an ex parte report had been submitted against him.
He also submitted that although he had been supplied a copy of the inquiry report for filing his reply, but the statements of witnesses and other material relied upon in the inquiry had not been supplied to him to enable him to submit a reply.
Counsel also pointed out
that once the relationship of master and servant between
the applicant and the administration had been suspended,
the administration could not complain that the applicant
was absent and that no order or direction would be issued
requiring him to either mark his presence or remain
present at any place.
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