Saturday, February 5, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PUDA allows PCOs, fax, Internet in homes
By Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Feb 4 — On the pattern of the Chandigarh Administration permitting the use of residential premises for running facilities like PCO’s, fax, photostat and Internet, the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has decided to allow the same in its urban estates, subject to certain parameters.

Though the policy for permitting the facility has received the nod of the Finance and Accounts Committee of PUDA, the parameters like the permission fee and type of houses in which the facility would be allowed to be run was being worked out. Emphasis was being laid on the fact that the “commercial activity” did not hinder with the business activity of the PCO booths being run from commercial premises.

The area to be used for the purpose had been fixed at 20 percent of the covered area at the ground floor subject to maximum of 15 sq metres. The applicants would not be allowed to make any external changes in their building and no permission to allow any training or typing institute would be given.

Though the fee structure was yet to be worked out, the residential houses depending upon their size were likely to be divided into three categories. The EWS, LIG and other houses of up to 100 sq yard were proposed to be clubbed under one head for charging the permission fee and the security amount. The MIG houses and other houses measuring between 100 sq yard and 250 sq yard had been put under the second category and HIG houses and other houses above 250 sq yard had been put in the third category.

Earlier, PUDA had constructed around 10 STD booths in SAS Nagar during 1994 and had leased them on a monthly rent of Rs 1000. But with the increase in the population and demand for more STDs/ PCOs the decision to run the facility from residential premises had been granted.

Meanwhile, in another decision the disparity in the building regulations between the old and the new plots allotted by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has been removed. It has now been decided to allow an additional covered area and a higher Floor Area Ratio (FAR) for the plots allotted before June 30, 1997. The decision will be applicable to plots in urban estates of PUDA.

Earlier the new plot owners were only allowed to increase the covered area and the FAR of their plots after paying an infrastructure augmentation fee at a rate of Rs 36 per sq foot to be paid at the time of submission of the building plans for additional construction. The same facility had now been extended to the old plot allottees after an amendment in the building rules.

The decision taken in a Finance and Accounts Committee meeting of PUDA will be applicable to residential and institutional sites only. The Chief Administrator of the PUDA, Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, said any construction beyond the zoning restriction and in violation of the building bylaws would not be allowed.

Following the decision the owner of a one kanal plot had been allowed an additional covered area of 1125 sq ft after paying Rs 40,500. For a 16-marla and 12-marla plot the increased covered area was 900 sq ft and 1080 sq ft after paying Rs 32,400 and Rs 38,800, respectively.

In case of ten-marla, eight-marla, six-marla and four-marla plots the increased area and fee was 337.5 sq ft (Rs 12,150), 270 sq ft (9720), 202.5 sq ft (7290) and 135 sq ft (Rs 4860). Back


Sector 16 hospital emergency being expanded
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 4 — With a view to strengthening the emergency services in the Sector 16 General Hospital, expansion and modernisation of the already renovated emergency wing is going on and is likely to be completed by March.

The UT Secretary, Health, Mr Rakesh Singh said during this phase, emphasis would be to provide better co-ordinated emergency facilities in the hospital at one place. To begin with, the X-ray unit and intensive cardiac care unit (ICU) would be shifted to the renovated part of the old emergency for the benefit of serious cases. The existing minor operation theatre would also be upgraded to cater to the requirement of the 20-bedded emergency ward. The intensive care unit will also be provided with better equipment to handle emergency cases.

The Director, Health Services, UT, Dr Joginder Singh, maintains that as a step to reduce congestion in the administrative block, the offices of the Deputy Medical Superintendent and Medical Superintendent, located on the first floor, are being shifted to the the nearby serai building and even the office of State Aids Control Society, UT, would move to Sector 8 shortly. The space thus vacated would be used to shift the beds from the ICU presently in the basement of the multi-storeyed building. The basement will then be used for storage and non-clinical purposes. Subsequently, even the office of DHS, who is also the Principal Medical Officer, will be shifted to the Sector 22 Polyclinic.

Dr Singh disclosed that another priority area is the commissioning of the incinerator by March so as to meet the deadline of the High Court and also the Supreme Court directions. The apex court had earlier asked all 500-bed hospitals in the city to make the incinerator functional by December 31. However, the construction work is still going on and the pathological and other waste is presently being sent to the PGI incinerator for disposal.

There is also a move to revise the rates of the private rooms in the hospital. The present charges of the ordinary and AC rooms at present are Rs 200 and Rs 250 per day and they are given to only those whose monthly income is above Rs 6400. The same are, however, given free to the government employees of Punjab, Haryana and UT in this income group. After the proposed hike, the same would be available for Rs 400 and Rs 450, respectively. However, even after the hike the charges would be much lesser than the prevailing charges of GMCH-32 and the PGI. The rate of Rs 25 per bed in the general ward for people whose monthly income is above Rs 1000 is also likely to be revised.Back


Jhuggis spread despite demolitions
By Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Feb 4 — Encroachments by jhuggi-dwellers in the township have spread like wildfire and what is alarming is the fact that the focus of these illegal settlements has shifted from developing sectors to those already developed. From the outskirts, they have gradually found their way into the heart of the township and their tarpaulin-covered tents can be seen at most of the vacant plots between sprawling bungalows and open spaces in the sectors.

The Estate Office, it seems, has turned a blind eye to the 'developments' and the enforcement staff have adopted a "casual approach" to the settlements. Officials in the department contend that touching these settlements at the time of election is like playing with fire and none of them wants to burn his fingers in the process. Again, they maintain that there can be no permanent solution to the problem especially since these people refuse to leave lock, stock and barrel from the place they once inhabit.

"We have cleared these umpteen times and taken their tarpaulin with us. It has been no deterrent to them because all their settlements require is a few sticks to prop the covering on. They are also aware that once we come and clean the area of their jhuggis, we will return only after a couple of months with mopping up operations,'' an official informed.

The department also holds people in the vicinity responsible for the influx of jhuggi-dwellers into developed sectors. "Most of the residents have their maids living in these jhuggis. During one such operation, a resident came to the rescue of a jhuggi-dweller, stating that the department should have no objection to the jhuggi, especially since he had had none,'' he added.

While only a handful employ maids from these settlements, the other residents see these as breeding grounds for crime and a blot on the face of the township. "If they refuse to budge from the plots, the department should act tough and take away all their belongings. Once this happens, they are bound to leave the place immediately, otherwise it will add to their burden once they get a stay from the court or a ruling in their favour as has been our experience with them,'' Mr OP Bhatti, a resident of Sector 9, says.

Another resident of Sector 16, Mr Kidar Nath, rues, "I bought my house after returning from abroad a couple of years back. The property dealer told me that the jhuggis would be wiped out by the end of the month since action was being taken against the illegal occupants by the Estate Office. However, now two years have lapsed and there have been very few days when we have not seen these jhuggis. They are removed and they return without any qualms and settle on the same piece of land.''

Others contend that in the event of politicians takings sides with them and promising them permanent settlements, they have received a shot in the arm and are encouraged to return to the same place. In such a situation, the staff of the Estate office are unwilling to touch them.

Sources in the Estate Office point out that though they are authorised to remove the settlements which come up in open spaces and vacant plots which have not been allotted, they have no authorisation to lay their hands on those who have built their jhuggis in allotted plots.

However, officials are well aware of the most vulnerable pockets in the township. The illegal settlements are concentrated at vacant plots in Sectors 8, 9, 10 while the most susceptible to these in Sector 14. Repeated action against them has failed to have any bearing on the mushrooming of jhuggis in the open spaces.Back


A case of negligence and delayed relief
By Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 4 — Mr Krishan Kumar Sharma, father of a 13-year-old mentally retarded child, could not have had it worse. His son, Sameer, is leading a vegetable existence after consuming a medicine believed to be of potency higher than the prescribed level. This is not the end of it. The consumer courts where the complaint has been pending for the last three years has also not come to his rescue to grant him the compensation he is demanding.

In his complaint filed on behalf of the child in April 1997, Mr Sharma has stated that they had been undergoing treatment for the mental abnormality of their son, Sameer, both in India and abroad. With a view to lessen his mental affliction, they took him to Prakriti Brain and Nerve Research Centre, Sector 8, where Dr S.K. Bansal after conducting various tests prescribed three medicines — namely Epilax 200mg; Serenace 1.5 mg and Pyridoxin 40 mg.

Mr Sharma has further alleged that the doctor had prescribed 1.5 mg of Serenace tablet to be given to the child in dosage of half twice a day. However, when he handed over the prescription to Emm Kay medicos, CMC in Sector 17, the attendant gave him Serenace 5 mg instead of 1.5 mg. Since, Mr Sharma did not get to know that a medicine of wrong potency had been given to him, the child was given the medicine in the prescribed dosage. But after two days itself the child developed complications in walking, sitting and talking properly. Mr Sharma has pointed out that they thought it to be a temporary impact of the medicine which might disappear with passage of time.

However, after 14 days of taking the medicine the child became unconscious and secretion of saliva started from his mouth. Dr Bansal on examination observed that the condition of the child had deteriorated because of the heavy dosage of tablet Serenace (nearly three times the prescribed dose). The child, thereafter, required treatment to alleviate the hazardous consequences of heavy dose medicine.

Highlighting the gross negligence on the part of the chemist in selling medicine of a higher potency which aggravated the suffering of the complainant, Mr Sharma has sought a compensation of Rs 4.50 lakh for the pain distress, harm and injury to health the child suffered. He has also pointed out that but for the timely action on his part, the child might have lost his life.

Dr Bansal, when contacted, said that drugs like Epilex and Serenace were prescribed to soothe his abnormal behaviour and epileptic activity. He pointed out that by taking a medicine of higher potency, the child had taken in more than three and a half times medicine. This can result in drowsiness and can aggravate the underlying disease of mental retardation, he added. Generally, higher doses of medicine cause temporary damage, but in some cases they persist for years. In this case, the child continued to improve with the drugs later reduced.

The chemist on his part maintains that the prescription was not very clear and 1.5 mg could be read only as 5 mg. He questions as to what would be his interest in administering a medicine of higher potency.

Though the stipulated time during which these cases are to be settled is 90 days, one of the members of District Forum-I attributes the delay to the increase in the number of cases being filed everyday. Moreover, the opposite party further adopts delaying tactics by taking time to file the reply or in producing the evidence, he added. This case is presently at the stage of recording the evidence of the opposite party following which arguments will be heard. Back


Kalagram complex to be completed by July
By Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 4 —After hanging fire for over a decade, the prestigious Kalagram complex for the artists and the artisans at Mani Majra will be completed in July this year, according to official sources.

Planned on an area of about 14 acres transferred by the Chandigarh Administration to the North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC) on the busy Chandigarh-Shimla highway, only the first phase of the project will be completed by July by the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), which has been entrusted with the job.

Under the first phase, to be executed at a cost of Rs 2.3 crore, the administrative block, the open air theatre and three dormitories-cum-artists workshops would be completed. A ticketing counter, a toilet block and over 3,400 feet-long boundary wall, which has already been constructed, will be the other features of this phase, according to the sources.

Besides, a restaurant, a multi-purpose hall and food stalls are being constructed by the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) at a cost of Rs 1 crore at the Kalagram.

It may be mentioned here that the land for the project, aimed at educating the people about the rich cultural heritage of the country, was given to the NZCC by the administration years ago. Though the foundation stone of the complex — then known as Shilpgram — was laid by then Punjab Governor and the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen BKN Chhibber(Retd), on November 21,1995, with much fanfare, the project could not make much headway reportedly due to problems of traffic, sewerage and storm water disposal.

It was only in March last year when these problems were solved to a large extent that the project was revived and the CHB given the task of completing the first phase. The CHB undertook the work in right earnest and appointed noted Delhi architect, Stein Mani Chowfla, for the project.

The sources said the Kalagram, when completed, would create an ideal environment for the development and preservation of the rich cultural heritage of the country, in general, and the states of Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and the Union Territory of Chandigarh, in particular.

Apart from encouraging artists and artistes to improve their professional skills, the complex will help preserve traditional crafts of the country.

The sources said the second phase of the project comprising, among others things, museum, emporium and art gallery could also be planned depending on the response to the first phase and the availability of resources.Back


‘I plan to make a German film on sati in Rajasthan’
By Sonoo Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 4 — “Entertainment is not only Amitabh Bachchan or Dharmender spouting forth dialogues like ‘Tujhey Jaan Sey Maar Doonga’, but is certainly much more. Something more realistic, and that is the kind of film-making I am into”, said Baldev Haeussler, an Indian film-maker now settled in Germany, and who is today waiting for the Indian Government’s permission to shoot a German film on sati in Rajasthan, titled ‘Carpe-Diem’.

A Latin word, ‘Carpe-Diem’ means ‘enjoy the day’. And what does his last name mean? “That is my wife’s last name”, Baldev said and added: “When I got married to Christiane, I told her parents that since you are giving me your daughter, I am also ready to take her name. And so the Haeussler part has been attached to me ever since”.

In the city today, Baldev, in an exclusive interview with the TNS, talked about his new film, his impressions about Bollywood and the controversial aspects of the film.

In the context of Deepa Mehta’s latest film ‘Water’ being targeted as a controversial film that would hurt the sentiments of a community, Baldev said: “I don’t want a ‘Deepa Mehta’ to happen to my film, but I am also confident that the same would not happen with me because I would be going behind the psychology of sati. Nothing controversial about my film, and it also raises the issues of religious conversions. My film is more on the lines of how human rights are often subjugated when dependent upon the power of economic interests”.

Tracing the suffering and agony of a Rajput’s German wife who has been coerced to embrace Hinduism, though her real self remains unchanged, ‘Carpe-Diem’ that also includes the subject of conversion, has Baldev himself in the lead role while the search is on for a “fresh face” for the role of the German wife.

And is his Rajput-style elaborate moustache A part of the get-up for the film? “No, I have always had this style of mouch, because I had read that the citizens of Germany at one time had been barred from sporting such facial hair. In fact those having such a moustache were be headed, so I went ahead for this style”, he laughed. Interestingly, this moustache style of his has generated such interest that Baldev has also been offered modelling roles for liquor industries here in India!

Settled in Germany since 1989, Baldev, who hails from the Mandi Dabwali area of Punjab, has been in the business of making documentary, films mainly on the issues of animals, after graduating from the German Film School in Cologne. This film would be his first venture into feature films, and since it would be made in German, French, Spanish and English, it would be financed by the German Cultural Ministry along with the European Union.

Written by his wife, Christiane Haeussler, who has studied religions, the 157-minute film is being planned to be shot at Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Bikaner, in a period of just one month.

About bringing the film over to India, Baldev retorted that it would depend on the Indian Government’s permission though he was sad about the fact that being an Indian he was making a film in German. “Otherwise if I had to make a film on the same subject in either Hindi or Punjabi then only me and my wife would be watching the same”, he added.

But he did maintain that the fate of film industries was the same the world over, with Hollywood ruling the roost and the regional industries not making much money.Back


Sewerage system to be privatised
From Bipin Bhardwaj

ZIRAKPUR, Feb 4 — The Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat has decided to invite private agencies to take up the maintenance of the water supply and sewerage system of the area on a build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis.

The Panchayat authorities had taken up the matter with the Punjab Government. The government has now approved to hand over the sanitation of the area to private agencies on a BOT basis from next year.

The authorities had launched two schemes to maintain cleanliness in the Nagar Panchayat area by involving the residents in the effort, but, had failed to get their cooperation.

According to Mr Surjit Singh, Administrator of the civic body, the first scheme, the Muhalla Sudhar Safai Scheme, had called upon the residents of the colonies and villages to employ their own sweepers. For this purposes, the civic body had offered a grant of Rs 1,000 for one month, in addition to Rs 25,000 for a year, to purchase the necessary articles and implements. However, the Nagar Panchayat had to drop the scheme due to a poor response from the residents.

Under the second scheme, the Nagar Panchayat gave the charge of sanitation on a year's contract at a rate of Rs 50,000 per month from February 1. It provided 52 dustbins which were being placed at suitable sites in the town.

Mr Singh has urged the resident not to throw polythene bags in the drains, since these would clog the sewerage system. However, residents have no alternative, since no dumping sites have been marked so far.

To assess the water requirements of the residents, the Chief Town Planner of Punjab, Mr M.S. Aujla, conducted a Population Growth Survey (PGS). Its report will enable the Nagar Panchayat to prepare estimates for the water supply and sewerage schemes. Deep tubewells will be dug for the water supply. At present, the water is being supplied from a tubewell maintained by the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board.

The development projects of the Nagar Panchayat include the construction of a multistoreyed building for its offices, with adequate parking space in the basement. The Panchayat office in the new building will be fully computerised. The building plan has been submitted to the government by the Chief Architect of Punjab, Mr P.R. Luthra, and construction will begin when the plan gets approved.

The Nagar Panchayat, however, has still not decided the site of the bus stand and is looking for a suitable site close to the main road. The Panchayat has the old Punjab Public Works Department's store in Lohgarh village near the police post in mind for the purpose.

However, the Residents Welfare Society of Zirakpur has expressed resentment to the Panchayat authorities for not taking it into confidence while finalising its development plans.

The society has complained that the sewerage system of the town has been blocked for the past one week. Stinking water has accumulated on the road which is causing great inconvenience to commuters and shopkeepers, besides becoming a health hazard for them.Back


Issue allotment letters: CTCC
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 4 — The Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee(CTCC) has urged the Administration to issue allotment letters to the tenement owners of Sector 38 (A,C and D) immediately.

In a representation to the UT Administrator, the Secretary of the CTCC, Ms Tarinder Kaur, and the president of the Social and Welfare Society, Sector 38, Mr BM Khanna, said there was resentment among the residents as they had not been issued allotment letters even after 20 years.

The internal roads of the sector were in a bad shape, the representation said, adding that the area was “deserted” as the Horticulture Department was not maintaining greenery properly.

It also demanded the toilet and drinking water facilities in the wool market of the sector. Back


Sunny days cut short
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 4 — The sunny days were cut short by the overcast sky and the chill in the air returned with an 8 mm rainfall recorded in the city today. The maximum temperature of 20.2C recorded during the day was two degrees below normal, while the minimum temperature was one degree below normal at 7.2C.

The rainfall, primarily due to western disturbances and induced upper-air cyclonic circulation, has already exceeded the expected amount for January and February by 4.9 mm.

Throughout the day, the grey sky was a picture of gloom and few ventured outside. Labourers and rickshaw-pullers huddled at bus-stops and lit small fires to keep themselves warm, since the business was low and there were few takers for their services. Children returning from school were caught in the drizzle.

However, by the evening, the drizzle had changed to a shower which caught the office-goers on their way back to their homes. There was little life on the roads as the night descended, with most persons snugly packed in their quilts, preferring to retire early.Back


SHO told to probe case of assault
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 4 — UT Judicial Magistrate (First Class) Jasbir Singh today directed the Station House Officer concerned to investigate into the allegations of criminal assault by Sub Inspector Dilsher Singh after registering a First Information Report.

Accusing the Sub Inspector of taking away the donations also, care-taker of Lalalanwala Pir Durgah at Daria village — Abdul Razaq Khan had earlier alleged that three gold rings too were snatched by the accused after entering the place with a dog squad on January 17.

Further accusing the cop of using “filthy language”, the petitioner alleged that the cop also “threatened him to vacate the premises within 10 days” or else face the danger of being implicated in a criminal case.

Claiming to be scared, the petitioner also expressed his inability to “do the worship peacefully”. The matter, he added, had been brought to the notice of the UT Inspector General of Police but the FIR was not registered.

Seeking protection for himself and his family, the petitioner also asked for directions to the Central Bureau of Investigation, “or like independent authority” to register the FIR and investigate the matter, “if it deems fit”.

He added that investigation by an independent authority was essential as “the police was directly involved in the present case”. The petitioner also asked for “any other relief” deemed fit by the court.

He added that the Sub Inspector had no right to interfere in the peaceful possession and threaten him to vacate the premises “when the matter has already been decided vide degree 79 of 1979 in favour of the petitioner”.Back


2 bodies recovered from Sector 22
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 4 — The police has recovered two bodies from Sector 22 here today.

According to police sources, the body of a 65 year old man was found from the market. The man was wearing tattered clothes and was reportedly a beggar. He is said to have died from cold.

In the second instance, the body of Uday Parkash, a 26 year old youth, was recovered from his house. His parents, who live on the ground floor, reportedly found the body in the morning and informed the police.

The upper part of his body was half burnt. The deceased had been divorced some days back and was working with the Punjab Public Relations Department at Hoshiarpur.

Whisky seized: The police has arrested Harpal Singh, a resident of Bhikiwala, from the ISBT and recovered 18 bottles of whisky from him.

A case under Section 61\1\14 of the Excise Act has been registered.

Shopkeeper’s complaint: Mr Kirti Bhalla, a shopkeeper of Sector 37 reported that one two in one, one telephone, a hair dryer and a tuner of a colour TV has been stolen by his servant Pankaj Kumar, from his shop. A case under Section 381 \ 411, IPC, has been registered.

Eve teasing: The police has arrested Deepak, a resident of Palsora colony, on the charge of eve teasing in the Industrial Area. A case under Section 294, IPC, has been registered.

Colony residents held: The police has arrested Shakila and Chameli, residents of Kumhar colony, and recovered a geyser stolen by them from a house in Sector 16. A case under Section 379\411, IPC, has been registered.

Trespass and theft: Sharon Y.M. Amulyoto, a resident of Sector 15, reported that Ali Mohammad, a resident of Mohali, trespassed in her house and took away one TV, one VCR and a CD player. A case under Section 452\382, IPC, has been registered.

NSCs lost: Mr Durga Dass, a resident of Sector 28, reported that his NSC certificates worth Rs 5, 000 have been lost somewhere in Sector 22. Further investigations are on. Back


Held for playing Satta
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Feb 4 — The CIA staff of the local police have arrested Suraj Prakash for playing satta at a public place in Bir Ghaggar. They recovered Rs 235 from his possession and Rs 130 from Kalicharan, who was playing satta near gate number 1 of Chandi Mandir. A case under Section 13 A-3-67 of the Gambling Act has been registered against the two.

The Superintendent of Police, Mr Sudhir Chaudhary, said they seized 50 pouches of country-made liquor from Dayal Chand, a resident of Kalka, and registered a case in the Sector 5 police station in another case, the police seized 35 bottles of rum from Ramlal, a resident of Naraingarh, at the bus stand in Sector 5. Also, a case under the Excise Act has been registered against Rajendra Singh for possessing 12 bottles of liquor. He was arrested at a petrol pump and a case registered at the police station in Chandi Mandir.

Besides the police recovered a car stolen from the residence of Gurmit Singh in Sector 16. According to the official spokesman, the complainant parked his car outside his residence at 8 p.m. and found it missing when he came out at 11.30 p.m. He gave the information of the missing car to Sub-Inspector Pawan Kumar, in charge of the Sector 16 police post. This information was sent to all police posts and nakas were set up all over the township. Later, the car was found abandoned near the Sector 12 and 4 nullah.

The police also seized two spare wheels and a rim stolen from a scooter in Sector 19 from the possession of Akash Bajaj, hailing from Rajasthan. He was arrested and a case under Section 379 of the IPC registered at the Sector 19 police station.Back

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