|F E A T U R E S
Monday, September 20, 1999
schools face problems
CHANDIGARH, Sept 19 Owing to lack of sufficient space, students of scores of government schools in the periphery have to sit in the open. Leaking roofs and ill-maintained buildings are a common scene.
The government schools visited by a Tribune team in Chilla, Manauli, Mullanpur-Garibdass and Perch villages show utter negligence by the authorities.
Government Primary School at Chilla village, near Sohana, is situated in the fields. There are only three rooms for five classes with only three teachers on the rolls. In the absence of any approach road, the students and teachers have to wade through waist-high crops to reach the school.
A primary school at Manauli village also lacks sufficient space. As the number of rooms are less than the required, students have to sit in the open in the inclement weather. A teacher said that in the absence enough space, teaching work was hampered. Different classes had to be combined in one room.
Another major problem being highlighted by most of the teachers was the absence of drinking water facility. Scores of teachers said students had to rush to their homes to drink water. A teacher at Government Senior Secondary School, Manauli, said they had to carry water from their homes. Students used the open space near the school to answer the call of nature, making the space filthier.
Teachers complained that they lacked other basic necessary material such as blackboards and furniture. Students had to sit on floor in the absence of stools and chairs. Students in the peripheral schools also unable to use the facility of library. The post of librarian was vacant at the Manauli school, a teacher said.
The primary teachers
further complained that the authorities had turned a
blind eye towards their problems. "Our duties during
the poll and other surveys affect studies of
students," said many teachers.
Subscribers demand deadline
KHARAR, Sept 19 More than 200 telephone subscribers of Kharar could not deposit payment amounts of their telephone bills here yesterday. Today was the last date for making the payment without surcharge. People had to stand for hours in the queue because of the mismanagement on part of the Telecommunication Department.
Rain added to their misery and many of them got wet. Though many senior officers of the department were contacted by subscribers about this and related news items appeared in many newspapers today, the department did not try to receive the payment.
Capt Nagina Singh who is 70 told this correspondent that he could not deposit the payment of his bill despite coming here for the last four days.
He said there should be no penality on late deposits as subscribers had come here to make payments but the department failed to receive these because of its own fault. Mr Hari Singh of Kharar said after a long wait he made the payment of his bill today, after coming here for four days.
He said he had contacted Mr Ram Parkash, Finance Director, and the Chief Accounts Officer but nothing happened. The clerk, however, received the payments of bills till 1 pm today instead of till 12.30 pm, the deadline fixed by the department.
subscribers met Mr Amarjit Singh Dhindsa, SDM of Kharar,
today and gave him a memorandum signed by about 170
subscribers alleging that they could not deposit the
payments of their bills because of lack of proper
arrangement. Mr Dhindsa asked the local SDO (telephone)
to accept all payments or the deadline be extended to
maintain law and order. Some subscribers raised slogans
against the department while some others exchanged heated
words with the clerk who was receiving the payments.
no to regularise constructions
SAS NAGAR, Sept 19 Damocles' sword hangs over the heads of owners of residential and commercial structures raised within the limits of the newly-created Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat, as the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) refuses to regularise the constructions, citing the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act, 1995.
Unfazed by the PUDA move to get cases registered against the colonizers and property dealers, unscrupulous elements continue to carve out colonies within the limits of the nagar panchayat. To make the matter worse, the revenue authorities are registering land below 1,000 square metres.
Concerned at the spate of construction activity, which has picked up after the formation of the nagar panchayat in May this year, the PUDA is contemplating to launch a campaign to remove misconception in the minds of unsuspecting people being lured by the colonizers. The PUDA officials say the unauthorised constructions within the limits of the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat cannot be regularised till the PUDA rules are amended.
Sources in the PUDA sayat least 47 major colonies, comprising at least 20,000 houses, have mushroomed in Bartana, Dhakauli, Himatgarh, Lohgarh, Bisanpura and Bisangarh. The hapless house owners lament that confusion over the status of constructions has surfaced as the Nagar Panchayat Department and the PUDA are working at cross purposes.
The house owners have said the State Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, at a public function in May this year, had directed the revenue authorities to start registration of land, banned earlier. On the other hand, the PUDA is getting cases registered against the violators. "Why does the government not settle the issue once and for all rather than keeping the people in the dark," says Mr Tajinder of Bartana.
Ironically the construction activity continues despite a ban on sanctioning of power connections. To get the power connection, a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) is required from the PUDA. The PUDA officials, on the other hand, say the NOC cannot be issued as per provisions of the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act, 1995. Public notices in this regard inserted in newspapers by the PUDA have failed to educate the people.
The PUDA plans to insert
public notice again in newspapers, making it clear that
illegal constructions in the nagar panchayat will not
remain immune from PUDA laws. The Punjab Apartment and
Property Regulation Act, 1995, will continue to remain in
force as applicable in municipal councils in other parts
of the state, says a PUDA official.
Govt changes cut-off date
ZIRAKPUR, Sept 19 The Punjab government has decided to regularise all constructions which had come up till December 31, 1998, in the periphery of Chandigarh. Earlier, the cut-off date to regularise the constructions was December 10.
This was stated by Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance Minister, while addressing a gathering after laying the foundation stone of a housing complex of the Sarv Mangal Cooperative House Building Society at Lohgarh village here today.
He said that a high-level meeting of officials of the Local Government, villagers and prominent persons would be called within a week to solve the issue of releasing power connections.
The minister also laid the foundation stones of the village community centre and a sports complex.
According to Mr Parbodh Lama, President of the society, the housing complex would come up on 10 acres of land. It would have all basic amenities and a park.
subscribers a harassed lot
DERA BASSI, Sept 19 The telephone subscribers of this town are a harassed lot due to the frequent breakdowns in the local telephone exchange for the past two months.
The sudden breakdown put to inconvenience the subscribers as the lines remain out of order for a longer periods.
The residents of the villages falling under the telephone exchange allege that the authorities do not attend to their complaints in time. Repeated representations to the authorities have yielded only false promises, they complain.
Mr H.S. Kohli, president of the local Small Scale Industries Association, complains that the frequent breakdown in the exchange has adversely affected the industrial production, resulting in major losses to the industrialists.
Capt Swaran Singh (retd), an STD operator, says that he has to bear the loss and sit idle because of the faulty exchange.
Mr N. Malik, SDO (Telecom), claims that the problem is due to the overburdening of the exchange. "The department is going to install a new exchange with more lines which will solve the problem of the subscribers soon," he adds.
Despatches to be speeded up
CHANDIGARH, Sept 19 To speed up the process of students receiving their printed lessons from the Department of Correspondence Studies, Panjab University, persons in charge of each course will be made responsible for the despatch of lessons from the current session.
Talking to Tribune News Service, Mrs Santosh Sharma, chairperson, said that additional counters had been created to divide the additional workload in the departmental building on the campus. The BA and B. Com counters, however, will cater to various subject combinations at one counters each because there were numerous subject combinations that the candidates could opt for.
To quicken the pace of giving lessons, the department proposes to despatch the lessons on the day the student pays the fee, Mrs Sharma said. There was a delay in the despatch of lessons earlier.
The chairperson said that the prospectus this year had been revised and several relevant additions had been made. The magazine would also contain articles, portions of radio talks and even on the library of auto talks. She said that the prospectus which was usually sidelined by the students after filling the forms would goad them to read the articles, besides the necessary rules and regulations.
The presence of teachers for informing students about the facilities and the future in various courses was also on the agenda, the chairperson said. This facility would be made available when the students came to collect their lessons.
The construction of counters for delivery of lessons was under way and the facility would be available from the current session onwards.
Unhygienic conditions irk
RATWARA (KHARAR), Sept 19 Choked sewers, broken roads and heaps of garbage have made the life of villagers here miserable. They fear the outbreak of an epidemic if timely steps for cleanliness are not taken.
The village, located 5 km from the PGI, lacks basic civic amenities for the past several years. Villagers blame the authorities as well as the local panchayat for the inaction.
Lanes are in a deplorable condition. Broken bricks of roads have not been repaired, complain residents. Water remains stagnant on roads in the absence of a drainage system. Inner lanes have developed potholes. Mr Bhola Nath, a resident, says roads have not been repaired for at least four years.
Water supply is another problem being faced by the villagers. Low pressure forces them to wait for water, they say.
In the absence of arrangements for disposal of garbage, heaps of refuse can be seen along the main road. Mr Kulwant Singh, a resident, says the dumping of waste material in open areas is a nuisance for the villagers. Despite its proximity to Chandigarh, no attention has been paid to keep the village clean.
Littered polythene bags and plastic waste have clogged open drains. Due to this, the sewers have been overflowing and slush has been stagnating in streets. Several residents have demanded that these should be cleaned at the earliest.
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