Sunday, April 2, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Notice issued to PU V-C
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 1 — The Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued notice to the Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, Prof M.M. Puri, on a contempt petition preferred by Dr R.K. Sapru, a Reader with the university’s Public Administration Department, alleging that the Vice-Chancellor did not comply with the judgement of the High Court delivered on January 20 quashing the appointment of Dr. B.S. Ghuman as Professor in Public Administration.

Mr Justice VS Aggarwal, before whom the petition came up for hearing, directed that the contempt petition be listed for hearing on April 17. In the meantime, the respondent-university has been directed to file an affidavit, at least seven days before the next date of hearing, in its defence, if any.

In his contempt petition Dr Sapru stated that he had questioned the appointment of Dr Ghuman. A Division Bench of the High Court consisting of Mr Justice NK Sodhi and Mr Justice NK Sud had allowed his petition on January 20 and quashed the appointment of Dr Ghuman.

The petitioner claimed that he had conveyed the factum of the judgement to the university and had urged the university to comply with it. He further claimed that he also sent a representation to the university through his counsel.

Although more than two months had passed by since the judgement was delivered, the university did not comply with the directions given by the High Court.Back


Will Anandgarh project affect SAS Nagar development?
By Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 1 — Will the dream project of the Punjab Government — Anandgarh city — pose threat to the further development of Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar, being marketed by the government as the future Silicon Valley? Will the planners of SAS Nagar, wooing the information technology (IT) industry to set up their bases there, lose the game to Anandgarh ?

If not how will the government strike a balance between the two projects? These questions are doing rounds in town planning circles and amongst the potential clientele. The Urban Housing and Development Minister, Dr Upinderjit Kaur, was not available for comments. Sources in the government say that already a “subtle” pressure was being felt in official circles about as to what would be the line of action once the Anandgarh project starts rolling.

The planners of Anandgarh city were targeting economic drivers to attract clientele to the city. The IT sector was one of the potential areas to be welcomed in the new project. Sources say there were plans to attract big names in the IT industry, which required large chunks of land to set up their infrastructure. Interestingly the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) — the nodal agency developing SAS Nagar — has earmarked one full sector, measuring over 130 acres in the southern part of the town.

Other segments being targeted by the Anandgarh Sahib Urban Development Authority (ASUDA) were the services sector like super-speciality hospitals and professional educational institutions. A detailed exercise to plan the category of residential areas was being done.

The Chief Administrator of PUDA, Mr KBS Sidhu, said there was no competition between the two projects, as SAS Nagar had registered its natural growth. Both projects cater to different segments.

Town planners say though the basic infrastructure was in place in SAS Nagar, there was limited land available for the clientele looking for large pockets of land. Such investors could be attracted to Anandgarh. They feel that Anandgarh could be a hot place for speculators who could pump in money learning from the experiences of Chandigarh and SAS Nagar.

Another section of town planners believe that parameters like proximity to developed settlements, better linkages and overcoming development inertia would govern the success of a urban project. Most important was the agency handling the project. They see no competition between the two places.

Only 60 per cent of the planned area (around 4500 acres of the total 7000 acres) could be developed in SAS Nagar after three decades of being conceived and it would also take some years for developing Anandgarh city.

The Chief Administrator of the ASUDA, Ms Vinni Mahajan, when contacted by TNS, said the demand of urbanisation increased once a suitable area was found. She said the land pricing in the new city would be in consonance with the type of services to be provided. She said there was no competition between SAS Nagar and Anandgarh. Back


PU to discuss amalgamated funds
By Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 1 — The amalgamated funds issue in Panjab University continues to be a problem area with the university deciding for a special meeting on the issue.

The budget presentation was postponed in the last Senate on March 26. The university also saw the postponement of the special meeting on amalgamated funds the next day.

The question regarding the exact ground-level expenditure of the amalgamated funds has figured in the Senate several times previously. In case of private colleges, it has been repeatedly pointed out that the account saw mismanagement. A committee was constituted to study the amalgamated funds issue for 2000-2001 and the revised budget for 1999-2000.

The agenda clearly asks to consider the estimated expenditure amounting to Rs 5,44,100 out of the fund on water-proofing, treatment of roofs and changes in pipes.

Another special issue asks considering recommendations of the Vice-Chancellor that the expenditure of Rs 1,70,094 demanded by the Chairman of the Department of Evening Studies for proper instalment of equipment and material be procured out of the UGC grant.

A very large section of the university budget shows expenditure in new constructions and maintenance of the existing infrastructure.

Under the head of income in amalgamated funds, papers show Rs 14,41,365 in the actual amount for 1998-1999 and the same for 1999-2000 is Rs 22,25,000. The house examinations show income of Rs 1,68,498 for 1998-1999. The same for the 1999-2000 session are Rs 3,20,000.

Interestingly , the films fee for 1998-1999 is shown as Rs 1,04,801 and for 1999-2000 it is Rs 1,23,000. That several students ask about when and which movies were staged throughout the session is another aspect.

Another interesting heads are the miscellaneous fee, students council members and identity cards fee. The agenda clearly shows no amounts in the previous estimated or collected amounts. However, sums of Rs 2,52,000 and Rs 98,000 are shown against revised sums of 1999-2000 against student council membership fee and identity cards, respectively.

The estimates for 2000-2001 are Rs 19,50,000 for amalgamated funds; Rs 4,05,000 for house examination; Rs 3,24,000 for student council membership; and Rs 1,00,000 for identity cards fee.

The film fee head saw no mention of a sum for 2000-2001. The issue has been a centre of controversy in the previous sessions.Students demanded shows in lieu of the money the university collected.

The budget also shows areas of expenditure which were often overlooked during discussions. These included salaries, Department of Laws and accounts branch, besides others.

However, major expenditure heads shown are literary society, dramatic club, telephones, sport activities etc. A senior fellow said it would be interesting if the amalgamated funds proposals also needed changes as the main budget. Would this mean that other budget heads also needed a change? he asked.Back


Bhatti’s Fools Day tip to government
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 1 — Members of the Nonsense Club, today, demanded the shifting of the Punjab Secretariat near the Akal Takht in Amritsar so that proper political interference could be made in the religious affairs of the Sikhs.

Members of the Nonsense Club, led by their President, Jaspal Bhatti, held a demonstration. They said government representatives were required to shuttle between Chandigarh and Amritsar for the calendar and the hukumnamas controversies.

"The existing Secretariat should be given a religious status and people should donate liberally to the state treasury for the kar seva of the place," they said.

"Besides this, any government minister or officer caught taking interest in the development work of the state should be immediately suspended since there is no need for it."

Mr Bhatti said certain rights should be given to many persons. The sole rights of destabilising the SGPC should be given to Gurcharan Singh Tohra only, Bibi Jagir Kaur should be given the sole right to sack jathedars, Parkash Singh Badal should be given the right to excommunicate persons from the Khalsa Panth. Corruption rights should rest with the kin of the ministers and the common man should have the sole right to bear the pitiable conditions in the state.Back


Judiciary overburdened, says Kirpal
Only 1.3 judges for 1 lakh persons
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April1 — Claiming the “dearth of judicial officers” to be responsible for “clogging up of the courts”, Mr Justice B.N. Kirpal of the Supreme Court of India today revealed that there were just 1.3 judges for 1, 00, 000 persons in India.

Delivering the keynote address at a seminar on India and Alternative Dispute Resolution in the New Millennium, Mr Justice Kirpal further disclosed that in the USA there were 100 judges for the same number of people as against 50 judges in the United Kingdom.

Giving details, he stated that over a 1000 vacancies existed in the subordinate courts, while 150 High Court judges were yet to be appointed.

Terming as “unfortunate” the tendency of blaming the judiciary for the delay in administrating justice, Mr Justice Kirpal asserted, “Statistics show that we are overburdened. Still the disposal by the subordinate courts is more than expected”.

The seminar, organised by the trustees of the Sarin Memorial Legal Aid Foundation and AIJA (International Young Lawyers Association), was chaired by Mr Justice Sam Variava. The Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Mr Justice A.B. Saharya and retired Chief Justice Mr Justice S.S. Sodhi were present, along with sitting judges of the High Court.

Speaking on the alternative dispute resolution, Mr Justice Kirpal stated that arbitration was meant to be inexpensive and speedy, but had become expensive and long-drawn. “Matters taking 15 minutes in the courts take two days before the arbitrator. Nobody is in a hurry. We have part time arbitration, full time fee.”

Emphasising upon the need to encourage “mediation or conciliation” for helping people to arrive at resolution, he suggested that conciliation boards should be attached to the Civil Courts. “In the USA, under the Alternative Disputes Resolution Act of 1998, the district courts make neutrals available.”

The third party, acting as the mediator, should be impartial, having no interest in the litigation, should have no authority to “determine the dispute”, besides having the skills of a negotiator.

Claiming that the Lok Adalats had “now firmly established themselves as a meaningful and functional alternative dispute resolution mechanism”, Mr Justice Sodhi said, during the last four years in Punjab alone, over a hundred thousand cases were put up for hearing with over 77000 of them being actually disposed of. These included motor accident claims, matrimonial cases as also those relating to bank loans. Some property and landlord — tenant disputes were also amongst the cases settled.Back


Two busy roads to be widened
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 1 — Two important and busy road sections in the city will be widened and double-laned in the coming few months. The project has been cleared with a view to streamlining the traffic flow on these roads and making these safe for users.

The road stretch from the Cricket Stadium roundabout to Kisan Bhavan, which divides Sectors 22 and 23, will be double-laned and widened. The second on the list is the road-section which divides Sectors 34 and 44 and Sectors 35 and 43. The volume of traffic on both roads is so heavy that several minor accidents take place daily on these. This work will be taken up soon after the stretch which divides Sectors 34 and 35 and Sectors 44 and 43 is double-laned and widened. Work on this section is already on.

The Engineering Secretary, Mr Rakesh Singh, said the roads were indeed being widened and the streetlights would be shifted from the the road sides to the dividing medians which would be constructed. The maximum possible area on both sides of the road till the tree-line would be used to widen the roads, he added.

Both sections are officially, the responsibility of the Municipal Corporation. However, the Chandigarh Administration is doing the work on behalf of the cash-strapped MC which has expressed its helplessness in completing the work. The roads will still remain with the MC as the Administration is not taking the trouble of taking over the roads or giving exclusive grants for it. The work would be carried out from the expenses of the Administration, official sources added.

The opinion among officials is that the work cannot wait for the MC to sort out its financial hassles as the traffic on both roads has increased manifold in the past few years. The Chandigarh traffic police had suggested a couple of years ago that the stretch from the road dividing Sectors 31 and 47, running west towards Sector 39, needs to be widened and double-laned to prevent accidents.

Meanwhile, work is on to resurface the badly-damaged road dividing Sectors 31 and 32. The MC officials have been asked to double-lane the stretch which divides Sector 46 and 47 till the place where it joins the intersection of Sectors 48 and 49. The road is one of the worst in the city. However, sources in the MC said resurfacing of the road would be carried out only till the roundabout near the fire station in Sector 32. "Even this is being done because the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, is scheduled to visit the GMCH in Sector 32," the source added.Back


HUDA violating NBC guidelines
By Gautam Dheer

PANCHKULA, April 1 — If prior permission for implementing modified byelaws is an indicator, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) seems to be violating the stipulated guidelines of the National Building Code of India (NBC) for over a year.

The HUDA Building Byelaws and Regulations,1979, in regard to procedures for issuance of occupation certificate and provisional occupation certificate, were tampered with after a meeting held on March 11, 1999, under the chairmanship of the then Administrator, HUDA.

The Erection of Building Byelaws of the HUDA are based on guidelines of the NBC, which is the authority at the national level for framing any building regulations for various boards, corporations or other departments. Permission from the NBC of India is mandatory before implementing the amendments. The authorities concerned have reportedly neither sought permission from the NBC, nor from the state government, before implementing the amendments.

The objective of the amendments for issuing occupation or provisional occupational certificate is reportedly to simplify procedures for convenience of the masses. The nature of the amendments is allegedly violative of the basic scope of the NBC.

The guidelines of the NBC provide for safe occupancy, which should not endanger life and public welfare, before the issue of temporary or provisional occupancy certificate. However, the Convener of PVGV Group, Mr B.L. Tandan, alleged that the amendments did not fulfil the requisite conditions.

He said the amendments allowed occupancy of houses which were unfit for occupancy. The amendments allowed temporary cement flooring instead of the minimum required PCC floor, as per the specifications. Certain doors had been permitted without shutters. Toilets had been allowed without plaster. Houses had been allowed without electric fittings. The houses had been cleared for attaining the provisional certificate even without the main gate, he alleged.

The Convener of the group said the NBC guidelines quoted that a building or a part of the building should be completed in all respects, according to the sanctioned plan. However, with these amendments being implemented, the basic nature of the NBC guidelines, which ought to be considered as a model for acceptance under the rules, had been tampered with, he alleged. There had been neither any notification in this regard for the public nor had it been formally incorporated in HUDA bylaws, he added.Back


Civic amenities in Baddi bad
From Rajendra Sharma
Tribune News Service

BADDI, April 1 — Contributing about Rs 30 crore every year to the exchequer of a fund-starved Himachal Pradesh by way of excise duty and sales tax, this industrial town has been crying for basic civic amenities for years. None, however, has cared to pay any heed to the vows of local industrialists.

Sprung up at the once most neglected area on the border of Punjab on one hand and Haryana on the other, this industrial area suffers from frequent power fluctuations.

While the low voltage of power affects the functioning of industries, the high voltage burns transformers. Until the burnt transformers are replaced or repaired, the industrialists cannot resume their work. The junior engineers and sub divisional officer stationed here have no authority to get burnt transformers either repaired or replaced. They have to prepare estimates and submit them to the chief engineer for sanction. This process consumes several days, if not weeks. During the interregnum the industrialists suffer huge losses. Although the employees are rendered idle, the employers have to pay them salary.

Providing employment to more than 16,000 workmen, mostly from Himachal Pradesh, there are no adequate medical facilities. The Baddi industrial area has only one ESI dispensary, housed in a private dilapidated building, to cater to the needs of 16,000 workers families. And remember this figure does not include daily wagers and construction workers employed by industrialists.

The grouse of industrialists and their employees is that they pay about Rs 20 lakh to the ESI every month by way of employer-employee contribution, they hardly get any medical facilities.

There is no doubt that the dispensary is equipped with enough medical and paramedical staff, it does not have sufficient medicines. The result is that workers are forced to buy medicines prescribed by ESI doctors from chemists. The bills of the medicines so purchased are submitted to the ESI for reimbursement. Since the ESI does not have enough funds, the workers have to struggle for months to get their medical claims settled.

The stand of the ESI on the other hand, is that if medicines and other equipment for diagnosis and treatment are not available at the ESI dispensary Baddi, patients are referred to the Parwanoo dispensary which has a 50-bed hospital.

Mr S.S. Bharmoria, an industrialist, says that what the ESI authorities do not understand that if industrial workers are referred to the Parwanoo dispensary, they have to seek leave for the day, apart from meeting to and fro travelling expenses. No wonder most of the employees opt to go to the PGI or the Sector 16 General Hospital at Chandigarh which have far better medical facilities both for diagnosis and treatment.

Says Mr Bharmoria: “We have voiced these problems from time to time at different forums but none redressed our grievances.”

Seeking anonymity another industrialist points out that there is no sewerage at Baddi. Septic tanks remain choked most of the time or overflow. This results in spreading malaria and typhoid.

Dr Chand Sharma, Member-Secretary of the Industries Department, admits that the Himachal Pradesh Town and Country Planning Department has taken little pains for the proper development of the area. There are no planned roads. No wonder the growth of the industry is haphazard. What the government does is that it grants permission in renting for the setting up of industries without preparing any master plan. Entrepreneurs buy land from private agriculturists without assessing whether there is provision for proper infrastructure.

Industrialists suggest that the government should first acquire land, develop it in a planned manner and then allot plots.

This town does not have any bus stand, much less inter-district, if not inter-state, bus terminus. It is true that local buses ply between Baddi and Pinjore, there is no rain shelter to provide protection to the travelling public.

The Himachal pradesh government has announced on several occasions that it intends to develop Baddi as a satellite town of Chandigarh. This dream, h`1owever, cannot be realised until the 4 km track of road linking Siswan in Ropar district of Punjab with Baddi is constructed.Back


‘Include Panchkula in Khalsa march’
From Our Correspondent

PANCHKULA, April 1 — The Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Sector 7, Panchkula, has urged the state government to include the township in its route chart for the Vishal Khalsa March, scheduled to begin from Nada Sahib, near Panchkula, on April 8.

The march is being organised to celebrate tercentenary of the birth of the Khalsa. The General Secretary of the sabha, Mr Harbans Singh, said here today since the march is to begin close to Panchkula, it would be unjustified to deprive the township of the holiness of the march.Back


29 landlords, tenants arrested
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 1 — The police has arrested 29 landlords and tenants who have not furnished particulars to their respective police stations.

According to police sources, a special drive was undertaken in Mauli Jagran colony, and the persons nabbed. As many as 10 house owners and 19 tenants were booked. A case under Sections 188, IPC, has been registered.

Liquor seized: Four persons have been arrested for possessing liquor beyond the permissible limit and 58 bottles of liquor were seized.

Separate cases under the Excise Act have been registered.

Jewellery, cash stolen: Anil Dev, a resident of Sector 8, reported that gold jewellery and Rs 60,000 in cash has been stolen while he was out of station. A case under Sections 457 and 380, IPC, had been registered.


Woman knocked down: An unidentified woman was killed when she was knocked down by a vehicle on the Kharar-Kurali road on Friday.

The local police recovered the body today and registered a case under Sections 279/304A.

According to the police, the woman was mentally upset and was moving around in this area for the last two-three days.Back


One held for fraud
From Our Correspondent

PARWANOO, April 1 — A case of fraud, impersonation and cheating to the tune of lakhs or rupees has come to light here after 16 years. According to the local police, Dharam Pal Bhakhu, a resident of Ludhiana, purchased some land there in 1969. He took loan against it from his department by mortgaging the papers of registration of the land with the department. He returned the loan in 1984 and wrote to the department to return the papers along with a no objection certificate.

The department returned the papers along with the NOC and wrote that if there was any objection by the Audit Department in future, he would be responsible.

However, Dharam Pal received only the NOC along with the letter from the department, but, the papers were missing from the letter. He wrote to the department about it, but, after getting no reply, he filed a civil suit in the court. It said if anyone found using these papers, it would not be valid. After this, Dharam Pal constructed a house on the land and died in 1993.

In 1999, his sons were surprised when they received a decree orders from the court for the house. They approached the court and found that somebody, after mortgaging the registration papers with the State Bank of Patiala in 1991 at Parwanoo, took a loan worth Rs 10 lakh. They immediately reported the matter to the Parwanoo police, which after registering the case, immediately began an inquiry and arrested Ashok Jain.

Ashok Jain, during the interrogation, confessed that he had mortgaged the land with the bank for taking the loan.

After this, Ashok Jain floated a company, Yuv Raj Spinning Mill, and showed his wife and mother as directors of the company. Another person was made to sign the papers as Dharam Pal Bhakhu before he managed to get the loan. Back


Apartment system sought
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 1 — The UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), has assured the Property Consultants Association that henceforth, the auction of the residential property will be conducted on a freehold basis.

Claiming this at a press conference here yesterday, Mr J.D. Gupta, President of the association, said the Chandigarh Administration had also decided to adopt the single window system with a view to avoiding delays in the transactions related to property. The assurances were given by General Jacob to a delegation of the association, which had called on him in connection with its long-pending demands.

Demanding the introduction of the apartment system in the city, Mr Gupta said in the absence of this system, there was an acute shortage of houses in the city and the prices of dwelling units were high.

He said owners of big houses in the northern sectors were not in a position to maintain big houses. He said they should be allowed to sell part of their houses so that the housing problem could be solved to a certain extent, as it had been done in Delhi and other states. The Apartment Act should also be implemented for transactions of commercial establishments so that the common man could afford commercial space in a legalised manner.

Suggesting various measures for the improvement of the functioning of the Estate Office, he demanded that the property consultants should be registered as real estate agents on the PUDA pattern.

He demanded the transfer of commercial and residential leasehold sites purchased in auction. He said it should be allowed after the payment of 25 per cent of the auction price and the purchaser should be allowed to pay the next instalments.

The Chairman of the association, Mr R.K. Bhasin, demanding the conversion of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) flats into freehold. He said even after the expiry of 15 years, the houses had not been converted into freehold.

The monopoly of the CHB should be broken and private builders should be issued licences. This, besides providing competition to the CHB, would make dwelling units for the common man cheaper, Mr Gupta added.Back

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