Friday, March 31, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Changes in shop byelaws approved
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 30 — The first set of the much-awaited amendments to building bye-laws, relating to commercial properties, was approved by the Chandigarh Administration here today. The approval provides for a lot of scope and removes several of the grievances aired by shopkeepers in commercial areas. This includes the permission to divide the bay shops.

The amendments have been carried out on the lines of the recommendations made by a committee set by the Administration to study the amendments. The Administration had received about 3000 suggestions from citizens after an advertisement was issued seeking ideas.

The following are the prime amendments:

In the City Centre, Sector 17, a maximum of 4 sub-divisions of two bay shops of size 34’-6”x 103’-0” have been allowed at ground floor only. Any size of the shop can be taken up by the owner in the module of 17’-3” x 17’-3”. In three bay shops, maximum number of sub-divided shops shall be 6.

Regarding the specifications of the building material to be provided on front facade of the common wall and jambs, the front facade of common wall should have a material as per architectural controls applicable to the SCOs, the side jambs may be provided with building material as per the discretion of the owner. The Department of Urban Planning shall prepare a standard detail for the same and incorporate it in the architectural controls after approval.

The provision of a cut out of the maximum size of 1 square meter. With a flap door on top of it along with the provision of Cat ladder has been allowed in all SCOs or SCFs, subject to the approval of the Chief Administrator and the opening so created will have to remain within the parapet height.

In case where sub-division of the shop is allowed by the Chandigarh Administration on the payment of prescribed fees determined by the Estate Officer, Union Territory, Chandigarh, the following will be permitted.

An additional entry with door shutter opening inside the shop, subject to the condition that ventilation for the basement floor in the remaining part of the glazing is not disturbed. However, the size of the additional entry shall be of the same size as that of the existing entry.

An additional door in the rear side of the building of the same width/height and design as that of the existing door on the rear side will be allowed. The party wall between the two sub-divided shops may be constructed up to the ceiling height. This wall has to be of a fire retardant material. The shop owner shall have a choice regarding the location of door, subject to the condition that only one entrance is provided and proper light and ventilation is duly ensured.

The initial sanctioning of the building for fresh construction shall remain mandatory as at present. For realignment or readjustment of internal temporary partitions in the existing building is required at a later stage, the registered architect, supervising the building will have to ensure that the said changes are within building rules and architectural control as applicable to that building. Submission of a copy of the revised plan prior to the execution of work at site to the Estate Officer for record and reference along with a certificate conforming to the above conditions, will be a must. In this case, re-sanctioning shall not be required.

However, any change in structure or permanent features such as toilet, stairs, lifts, public health ducts shall not be permitted. The SDO(Buildings) shall visit and inspect the premises within a period of 3 months and verify the same. If the construction is not as per revised building plan submitted by the architect or any infringement of building rules is detected or in other words certificate submitted by the architect is found to be wrong, the architect shall be held responsible for all consequences and action shall be initiated against him/ her as per rules. This facility shall be available only on the upper floors of SCOs and not to the SCFs.

A zone for all services on terrace shall be fixed instead of fixing individual zones for each service. The provision of solar water tanks and cooling towers for air conditioning shall be made on the roof top, subject to the condition that its height is restricted to 10’-0” and it is placed 10’-0” away from front and rear wall and end walls and end walls and 4’-0” away from common party walls.

In view of new joinery materials flooding the market, relaxation has been given regarding the choice of specifications for external glazing. Any material except timber shall be allowed for glazing on external facades of commercial buildings. The use of timber shall, however, be allowed on show windows in the public verandas of the building. All glazing/doors/windows or openings within the enclosed courtyards or external surfaces which are behind parapets/jallis/walls etc. may be of any size as per the requirements of the owner subject to the condition that the Lintel-Soffit of such glazing/windows/doors/openings is not higher than 6’-9”. This is subject to the prior approval of building plans.

The shop-owners have been given freedom to adopt any design and material for flooring in public corridor in order to make shop entrance more attractive. The shopowners shall be at liberty to adopt any material/design within the area earmarked as laid down in the design prepared by the Department of Urban Planning, Chandigarh Administration. However, the material used in public corridor shall not be glazed or slippery and existing level has to be maintained. The architectural controls of all SCOs and SCFs will be amended accordingly after obtaining approval of the Chief Administrator.

The sky-light on roof top of commercial buildings which are not visible from the street shall not be compulsory, provided minimum light and ventilation as stipulated in building rules is ensured. Sky-lights will not be compulsory in all those commercial buildings where deficiency of natural light and ventilation is compensated by artificial lighting, ventilation and air-conditioning. Back


Goel’s plea rejected
No injury found on him
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 30 — The much talked about writ petition filed by Mr K.B. Goel alleging physical torture at the hands of the local SSP Vigilance, was today dismissed by Mr. Justice T.H.B. Chalapathi of the Punjab and Haryana High Court following the submission of a medical report by a board of PGI doctors.

Mr Goel, who is under suspension, is the President of the UT Secretarial Employees Welfare Association. He had reportedly made a confessional statement before an Executive Magistrate, Mr Ashish Kundra on the night of March 14 about his alleged role in the bribery scandal that has rocked the Chandigarh Administration in recent days. The case is being investigated by the CBI’s special cell. Sources in the CBI reveal that a majority of the persons , who figured in the confessional statement of Mr K.B. Goel, have already been questioned by investigators.

Meanwhile, in the court today, the report on Mr Goel’s medical examination conducted by a board of three doctors from the PGI was submitted.

Sources confirm that no injury mark was found on Mr Goel, during the medical examination, the report of the doctors said. The doctors were from the Forensic Science, Surgery and Skin Departments. This was done to give a wider scope of coverage to check for any injury, a source in the PGI said.

Mr Justice Chalapathi, it may be recalled, had, on the last date of hearing, March 28, asked the PGI Director to get Mr Goel medically examined and submit the report by March 30. Pronouncing the orders, Mr. Justice Chalapathi had also directed the medical examination of Mr Goel “by a competent doctor nominated by the Director of the PGI”.

He had alleged torture by the Senior Superintendent of Police (Vigilance).

Seeking the registration of a case against senior functionaries of the Chandigarh Administra-tion, Mr Goel had earlier stated that he was being continuously harassed by “the Central Bureau of Investigation, the CIA staff as well as the Vigilance Department on one pretext or another”.

Claiming the violation of “freedom and fundamental rights”, he had also asked for “action against the officers for illegally and forcibly detaining him in illegal confinement despite the grant of anticipatory bail”. Back


Keep offices open to collect taxes: RBI
By Akanksha Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 30 — In view of the financial year ending, the regional office of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), located, here, has directed nine branches of the nationalised banks to keep their offices open to collect taxes till the time each tax payer, who enters the bank within the specified banking hours, has paid taxes.

The RBI has further advised that tax payers should not be turned back without payment of taxes merely because the banking hours have got over. Abiding by the RBI Instructions are the State Bank of India, Sector 17 and Sector 7 branch. The working hours of the banks have been divided in to three shifts of 9 am to 5 pm, 5 pm to 11 pm and 11 pm to 2 am, to complete the transactions within the stipulated time.

Estimatedly, transactions of about Rs 200 crore are carried out on the last day of the financial closing. Though the pressure is high, it will not delay the clearing of cheques of saving bank accounts and current account holders unless the cheque is deposited late. The Sector 17 branch of the SBI is the agency bank for UT and Haryana while the sector 7 branch is the agency bank for Punjab. Mr. Ajit Singh, Chief Manager, SBI, Sector 17 says that their full staff is dedicated to help every customer who enters their premises to file the return. He recollected: ‘‘Last year the bank was open till 8 AM on 1 April.’’

Mr. P L Bhatti, District Treasury Officer says, ‘‘We are efficiently clearing payments of bills presented by various departments, everyone is very busy so that the budget allotments and allocation are met and do not lapse. Reports of the final debit and credit are submitted by the authorised bank branches and offices to the RBI regional offices by 1 pm on April 1, every year which is finally submitted to the Central Accounts Section, Nagpur, Where all accounts are centralised said Mr. Manoj Sharma, Assistant General Manager, RBI.

According to Mr. Ashwini Kohli, Managing Director of a private concern, bank employees are very cooperative and send regular updates about the foreign exchange changes or the tax structure, but these two dates can be extended to a duration of a week.

The RBI has also designated the State Bank of India, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Central Bank of India, State Bank of Patiala, Punjab National Bank,Syndicate Bank, Allahabad Bank, Bank of India and UCO Bank located in the city to collect taxes. The authorities of the respective banks are at liberty to decide which branches will carry out the operations. Back


Brawl at petrol pump, and beyond
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 30 — A retired army officer who manages a petrol pump in Sector 21, got a first-hand account of the power of bureaucracy when his staff was allegedly assaulted on March 11 while his car was damaged late last night.

The two Punjab cadre officers allegedly involved in the case are R. Venkat Ratnam, IAS, and M.S. Sidhu, PCS. The former is posted as the state Labour Commissioner, while the latter is the Regional Transport Authority (RTA), Patiala. A case (FIR 53) under Sections 452/ 427, IPC, has been registered at the Mani Majra police station.

Recounting the sequence of events, Lt Col J. S. Brar, who manages the BP outlet in Sector 21, alleged that on March 11 at about 7.30 p.m. a worker, Mr Mam Chand, profusely bleeding from the head was brought to his office. He was told that a customer had tried to drive away his car while he was still filling the air in the rear tyres of the car. As a result of this, the air filling unit toppled injuring him.

He personally went to the site and requested the customer (Venkat Ratnam) to wait till he attended to the injured person and went back to his office. While he was doing so some workers again came to his office and informed him that a gentleman (Sidhu) had slapped Sanjay Singla, another employee.

He tried to pacify Sidhu who, he alleged, was under the influence of liquor.

By then a police party headed by Inspector A.S. Jaggi arrived and it was on their arrival that the duo disclosed their identities.

Showing due respect for their status, Brar said he agreed to a compromise. While leaving the place, however, they threatened that they would get people from Punjab and teach him a lesson, he alleged.

Subsequently, he said some unknown persons chased his cashier on the night of March 24 while he was away to his native place, Moga, in two cars — PB 30 6010 and PB 05 0010 — and the matter was reported at the Sector 19 police station.

He also brought the matter to the notice of the UT SSP on March 27 who gave him a patient hearing.

On the night intervening March 27-28 he was awakened by lathi blows and the splintering of glass outside his house at about 11.30 p.m. As he opened the door he saw his car, PB 05D 0414, had been badly damaged. The roof had been beaten in and all the windowpanes besides the front and rear windscreens had been shattered.

He was joined by some neighbours besides the night watchman, who told him that he had seen a white car speeding from his house. He, however, could not take down the number.

In his complaint to the police, Brar alleged the incidents of the previous days, coupled with the threats given by the two officers, were connected and following this attack, he feared for his life.

Meanwhile, Mr Venkat Ratnam could not be contacted since he was out of station and is stated to be on tour to Mumbai.

Mr M.S. Sidhu, while terming the allegations as being false and concocted, said he had noticed Mr Ratnam being surrounded by three workers of the pump who were not letting him go. Since he knew him, he got down from his car and enquired about the matter.

At the time Col Brar came and asked his workers to surround us. We were subsequently manhandled. A worker told us that the machine had toppled due to his mistake, he alleged.

Not wishing to pursue the matter, a compromise was worked out. He however, added that he had written about the whole matter to the UT DM and the senior officers of the BPCL about the way they had been treated at the station.

Mr Sidhu alleged that the present case had been registered since the complainant apprehended that his contract could be cancelled in light of the incident.

It was an attempt to involve us and blow up the entire episode, he added. Back


DC meets MC poll candidates
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, March 30 — The Deputy Commissioner of Panchkula, Mr S.K. Monga, in a meeting held today with the candidates for the forthcoming elections to the Municipal Corporation of Kalka, urged them to adhere to the model code of conduct to ensure free and fair elections on April 2.

Mr Monga said for the purpose, the Kalka subdivision had been divided into three parts. Three Duty Magistrates along with three supervisors have been appointed for the day.

The Deputy Commissioner said 25 polling booths had been set up. Final results would be declared the same day, he added. The DC thanked all parties for deciding against the use of loudspeakers, keeping in view the annual examinations.

Campaigning within 100 metres of the polling station would be banned on the polling day, he added.Back


Ex-Deputy Mayor seeks clear instructions
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 30 — Mr Prem Sagar Jain, a former Senior Deputy Mayor, has demanded clear demarcation of work between the Chandigarh Administration and the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh(MCC).

In a press note here today, Mr Jain resented that certain works, which were to be done by the Administration, were assigned to the civic body as if the corporation was not an autonomous body but a department of the administration. The 74th Amendment to the Constitution seemed to have no effect on the Administration.

The causeway connecting the city with SAS Nagar, which was damaged due to heavy rains, was asked to be rebuilt in the shape of a permanent bridge by the corporation. Similarly, the works on the new grain market, Kalagram and earth works of the rehabilitation colonies was assigned to the corporation.

The whole electricity bills of streetlights were debited to the MCC account by the Administration. And the resolution to impose cess on the sale of IMFL and countrymade liquor, had not been implemented in this year’s excise and sale policy.

Moreover, the Administration was in the habit of using the corporation officers for discharging its own responsibilities. Currently, the Commissioner held the additional charge of the Home Secretary. While there was no Assistant Commissioner-1, the Assistant Commissioner-II held charge of Assistant Estate Officer and the Census Officer. Similarly, the Secretary was also the Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner. Since their salary bill was paid by the corporation the additional charges affected the work of the civic body, he said.

Mr Jain urged the Administration to see to it that the newly-elected civic body survived and give it more financial support. Back


Navratra Mela arrangements
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, March 30 — Arrangement made by the various departments for the forthcoming Navratra Mela, which is to begin on April 5 at the Mansa Devi temple, were reviewed at a meeting of the Mata Mansa Devi Puja Sthal Board held here today.

The Haryana Roadways and the CTU will arrange for special bus services to the temple during the navratra from April 5 to 12. Also, two buses from Zirakpur and two from the bus stand in the township will specially cater to the devotees. Buses plying between the township and Delhi, Ambala, Patiala, Naraingarh will also be taken upto the temple. All buses plying between Kalka and Chandigarh will be travel via the temple.

Giving details of the arrangements regarding health and medicine, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Monga, said two dispensaries would be opened during the mela and two ambulances would be available at the venue round-the-clock. Teams of doctors will also be on duty at the venue in shifts. Officials of the Health Department have been asked to stock medicines for common ailments. While 24-hour electricity supply has been promised for the duration, two tubewells and 60 additional taps have been installed to provide drinking water.

The Chief Executive Officer of the board, Mr Abhilaksh Likhi, said special effort to maintain cleanliness and hygiene on the temple premises have been made. Nearly 60 sweepers will be pressed into service which include HUDA employees along with the others who will be employed on contract basis.

The Food and Supplies Department of Haryana and Confed have been instructed to make essential items like flour, rice, ghee and sugar, available at the venue at reasonable rates. The Dairy Development Department will have three special booths to supply milk during the navratra.

Mr Likhi said the Navratra Mela would be inaugurated by the Governor of Haryana, Mr Mahabir Prasad. Prayers will be held at 7 am and havan from 8.30 am to 10.30 am everyday. A shathchandi path will be held from 10.30 am to 2 pm while the bhagwad katha is scheduled for 4 pm to 6 pm everyday.

Two bhajan sandhyas will also be organised during the mela. Sharma Bandhu will perform on April 8 while Nivedita Mahapatra and Sudeshna Malik will give kathak and Odissi performances, respectively, on April 9. A jagran by Kumar Vinay and his team is scheduled for April 10.

Besides, 12 local artists will participate in a painting contest on April 1 and 2 as part of the week-long celebrations. The work of these artists will be on display during the mela and the exhibition will be inaugurated on April 5 by the Governor.Back


Administration approves MCC Budget estimate
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 30 — The Chandigarh Administration has approved the budget estimate of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) for the year 2000-2001.

This information was provided at the meeting of the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) here today. The Administration would now provide Rs 48 crore under the non-plan head as against the budget estimate of Rs 100.21 crore. And under the plan expenditure the MCC would get Rs 20.60 crore as against Rs 57.17 crore.

The meeting also gave its approval to the re-appropriation of accounts within the sanctioned revised estimates for the financial year 1999-2000, and also decided to pay the cost of uniforms to 573 employees of its field category from June, 1996, to October 1997.

It may be recalled that the corporation, at its meeting in February last, had approved the revised estimates for the year 1999-2000. The F&CC took stock of the expenditures and receipts of all departments of the civic body under the plan and non-plan categories. The meeting also gave its nod to it so that the final allocation was adopted in the books of the corporation and expenditure was incurred accordingly.

Regarding the payment of the cost of the uniforms to the field staff, the committee was informed that the Finance Department of the Administration had given its approval. The Administration had transferred the employees of the Engineering Wing to the MCC along with functions and liabilities and they were to be discharged by the civic body from the period from June 1,1996, to October 31,1997. The committee ultimately gave its nod to incur the expenditure for the payment of cost of the uniforms to the eligible employees of the Public Health, and the Building and Roads wings of the corporation.

It may be mentioned here that the approval of the budget estimates does not include the approval for the creation of the posts mentioned in the budget documents of the MCC for the coming year. The UT Administrator also observed that the new posts would only be created with the prior approval of the administration.Back


MC opens cell for complaints
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, March 30 — The local Municipal Council has opened a cell to attend to complaints from residents related to the civic body.

The Council Administrator, Mr O.P. Popli, today said the cell would be opened on all working days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Saturdays, it would function from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Complaints relating to all matters within the council’s jurisdiction could be made on telephone number 670377.

Mr Popli said complaints would be attended to within three days. If this did not happen, the aggrieved person could meet the administrator for redressal.Back


DGP to hold open darbar
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, March 30 — The sixth monthly open darbar to hear grievances of the public and policemen will be held on April 3 by the Director General of Police of Haryana at the police headquarters in Sector 6 from 2 pm onwards.

Any member of the public or police official on leave can appear in the darbar for getting his grievances related to the police department redressed. Anybody who has appeared in the past darbar and whose grievances have not been redressed, can also appear.Back


Streetlight repairs neglected : MC
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, March 30 — The Administrator of the Municipal Council has accused the power board of failing to provide proper services to the civic body.

Mr O.P. Popli, Administrator, said here today that the PSEB was not attending to streetlight repair work in a satisfactory manner. This was happening despite the fact that the council was paying about Rs 13 per streetlight point to the PSEB as maintenance charges with the monthly bill coming to around Rs 1.15 lakh.

He said a meeting had been fixed with the PSEB Executive Engineer for April 5 to sort out the matter. If there was no improvement in the services after that, he would take up the matter with the higher authorities.

Mr Popli said the council was laying a prefix carpet on various damaged roads. Mild steel railings were being provided around parks. Certain parks were also being provided with benches and swings, see-saws and merry-go-rounds. Parks which had been neglected so far were being given priority in development.Back


Stolen cars being sold in parts
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 30 — The theory that stolen cars are dismantled before being sold has been proved right with the recovery of one such vehicle from two Ropar-district residents in the city. Another city resident has been arrested for buying a stolen car and selling it after dismantling the vehicle.

According to the police sources, Harvinder Singh alias Vaidan, a resident of Sohana in the Ropar district, was arrested and a car was recovered from his possession. A case under Sections 411, 420, 468 and 473 of the IPC has been registered at the West police station. The former is a resident of Sohana, while the latter resides in Sector 70 of SAS Nagar.

Dr Sagar Preet Hooda, ASP (Central), said they received a tip off that the duo were in the Sector 15 market and were trying to sell the car using fake documents. A police party caught them and after verification from the Licensing and Registration Authority, it was established that the car, a blur Maruti, belonged to Siri Ram and Company, 3387, Sector 32.

The original registration of the car was CH-01-K-2394 which had now been changed to a Delhi number, DL-2C-B-6588.

On sustained interrogation, Harvinder confessed to stealing another car from the PGI belonging to Ms Anu Garg. It was later sold to a Sector 45 resident, Hanuman, who works as a kabari. He is said to have dismantled the car and disposed of the parts. He was subsequently arrested.

Although the police had been working on this theory, it was the first time that it had been confirmed. Further investigations are on, he added.Back


7 landlords, 16 tenants held
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 30 — The police has arrested seven landlords and 16 tenants for not furnishing their particulars in their respective police stations.

According to the police sources, all the accused were arrested from Dhanas Milk Colony, following a drive. They have been booked under Section 188 of the IPC.

Whisky seized: The police has arrested two persons and seized 12 bottles and 50 pouches of whisky from their possession. While Manvalan Joseph was arrested with 12 bottles of liquor, Sukhpal Singh was caught with 50 pouches of liquor. Cases under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered.

Scooterist hit: Scooterist Paramjit Singh, a resident of Sector 30, reported that he was hit and injured by a car, CH-01-U-8460, driven by Chander Gupta, a resident of Sector 8, Panchkula.

He has been admitted to the Sector 32 hospital and a case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered.Back


PUDA auction nets Rs 2 crore
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, March 30 — The Punjab Planning and Urban Development Authority (PUDA) earned a revenue of Rs 2,26,09,000 by disposing of nine commercial sites in different phases here at an auction held in Phase I today.

In all, 21 sites for booths, SCFs and SCOs were put to auction.

All booths measuring 8 ft 3 inches by 24 ft 9 inches were disposed of in Phase IX. The maximum bid in this category was Rs 8,03,000 against the reserve price of Rs 6,84,900.

However, the SCF sites in Phase X did not attract the response expected by PUDA. Out of the six sites put under the hammer only one could be sold off. It fetched Rs 50,05,000 against the reserve price of Rs 44,51,700. The sites were meant for general trade and measured 16 ft 6 inches by 66 ft.

The SCF sites in Phase XI, however, did attract bidders. The four sites meant for semi-industrial trade were disposed of. The maximum amount a site fetched in this category was Rs 37,06,000 against the reserve price of Rs 28,55,500. The plot measurements were the same as those in Phase X. However, two booth sites in Phase XI could not be sold. Similarly five SCO sites in Sector 70 meant for general trade remained unsold.

Nearly 25 bidders took part in the auction. PUDA officials felt as March 31 was the close of the financial year, the number of bidders was not enough.Back


Insurance men on strike today
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, March 30 — On the call of the All-India Insurance Employees Association, employees of the United India Insurance Corporation, National Insurance Corporation, Oriental Insurance Corporation and the New India Assurance will go on a one-day strike tomorrow.

The strike call has been given to press for the immediate settlement of the charter of demands pending since August 1997 and removal of other anomalies in the pay scales.

The members of the Chandigarh Region General Insurance Employees Union will assemble at the United India Insurance Regional Office in Sector 17-B and hold a demonstration.Back

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