Wednesday, April 26, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UT told to identify consultant for
power privatisation
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 25 — The Chandigarh Administration has been asked to identify the consultant by the end of July this year to work out modalities for privatisation of power distribution in the Union territory.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the high powered committee on privatisation of power distribution held in New Delhi last week. The committee was chaired by the Special Secretary in the Ministry of Power.

The Adviser to the Administrator of Chandigarh, Mrs Vineeta Rai, and the Finance-cum-Engineering Secretary of Chandigarh, Mr Rakesh Singh, are members of the committee, which has two Joint Secretaries of the Ministry of Power as its members.

The committee also made it clear that in the process of privatisation of distribution of power, interests of the employees of the electricity wing of the Engineering Department of the Administration would be fully protected and safeguarded.

The committee also decided to set up an empowered committee under the chairpersonship of Mrs Vineeta Rai. Two other members of the committee would be Joint Secretaries from the Ministry of Power, including those dealing with Finance and Accounts and Power. Mr Rakesh Singh would be its Member-Secretary.

The empowered committee with assistance from the Power Finance Corporation would decide about appointing a consultant so as to finalise all the modalities of privatisation of power distribution.

The Power Finance Corporation would also provide financial support for the consultancy work. It would also provide secretarial support for the work of the empowered committee as well as consultancy.

It may be mentioned here that in Chandigarh the distribution of power is handled by the electricity wing of the Engineering Department. Unlike the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, it does not have any state electricity board, nor does it have any organisation like DESU of New Delhi.

Chandigarh generally follows the Punjab pattern or PSEB norms with regard to power distribution. Though the department has been facing an acute shortage of staff, the privatisation will indirectly solve this problem. At one stage, the Administration had decided to create as many as 279 posts at various levels to bring Chandigarh at par with PSEB norms on manpower to power connections.

Now when a decision in principle has been taken to privatise power distribution, any further demand for creation of new posts or subdivision in the electricity wing will automatically be shelved.Back


The storm over controversial PU
appointments continues
By Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 25 — The storm over controversial appointments on Panjab University campus refuses to die. After Dr Vandana Rakesh, wife of the Finance Secretary, another teacher has been denied appointment in the Mathematics Department.

Dr Urmil Rani, number one on the waiting list for the selection of lecturers in the department, said another candidate of the Evening Studies Department had superseded her and had been appointed. A representation in this regard has been forwarded to the Vice-Chancellor.

A senior official, on the condition of anonymity, said proper procedure had not been followed in the appointment. Even the Vice-Chancellor promised to reinvestigate the matter.

Separate advertisements had been released for the posts in two departments. Dr Gurmit Kaur was selected to teach in the Department of Mathematics and Dr Urmil Rani was placed first on the waiting list. Dr Kirti Vandana was selected to teach in the Evening Studies Department. Dr Dinesh Khurana was placed first on the waiting list.

However, later, Dr Khurana was shifted to the regular classes and informed about his appointment. Dr Rani said when the advertisements had been released separately, there was no point in her being sidelined for the post. She has approached the university authorities.

Senior fellows of the campus agreed that there had been a procedural flaw and said an eligible candidate was being unnecessarily victimised.

The Head of the Department is also learnt to have sent information about the eligible candidates. Dr Rani, even in this list, was placed ahead of Dr Khurana.

Dr Urmil said she had an M.Sc (honours) degree in mathematics with 89 per cent marks. She also holds a doctorate in the subject, besides having seven research papers to her credit.

Dr Rani said she had contacted the higher authorities and would try to visit them personally. Sources said the issue needed a clarification on part of the university at the earliest. There were a few vacant posts in the department, but, in a separate category.

However, the burning issue continues to be the rejection of Dr Vandana Rakesh for a post of lecturer in the English Department. The Vice-Chancellor is said to have blamed the Finance Secretary, husband of Dr Vandana, for non-release of university funds. The Finance Secretary said the Senate and the Syndicate were supposed to clear the accounts and not the office of the Finance Secretary.

Another case was of the selection of a teacher in the History Department past year. The candidate was reported to have applied at two places "with incomplete information". The VC had assured that he would look into the matter. Another case was regarding some selection in the Sanskrit Department where the ward of a member of the section committee was to appear for the interview.

The issue of appointments is to feature in the forthcoming Syndicate meeting later this month. There is also a move to defer the current recommendations. There are indications that the house will oppose selections at the moment.Back


Vivek School’s stand vindicated, candidates failed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 25 — The case concerning three students of Vivek High School moving court against their Principal and class teacher took a reverse turn today with the city court dismissing the applications of the said students on grounds that “the plaintiffs had failed to come to the court with clean hands as they had failed to mention in their plaint that they had already applied for school leaving certificates.” The court held that in the given circumstances the plaintiffs could not be treated as students of the said school and hence the relief of promotion to class XII of the school could not be granted.

Passing the judgement here today, UT Civil Judge (junior division) Ms Jitender Walia vacated the stay passed by her in the case here on April 11. The point of significance which was raised by the Vivek High School authorities was that the students had submitted applications for issuance of school leaving certificates prior to filling the suit on April 6.

In their reply, the defendants added that the school leaving certificates had already been issued to the plaintiffs on April 8 and in that case they have ceased to be students of the school. The defendants also placed on record copies of the issued certificates along with a copy of the school prospectus which clearly mentioned that 50 would be the minimum pass percentage for promotion to any class.

As regards the application of CBSE conditions, the defendants stated that the CBSE conducted only class X and XII exams, while class XI exams were internally held in accordance with the school bylaws mentioned in the prospectus.

Agreeing with the defendants the Judge held that the plaintiffs had never challenged internal bylaws of the school. She observed, “Had the plaintiffs any grouse against the norms fixed by the Vivek High School for its internal assessment, they should have moved the court in the beginning of the session itself.”

It was also held that the plaintiffs had secured less that 50 per cent marks which, as per the school prospectus, were not sufficient for qualifying for promotion. The applications of plaintiffs were dismissed on grounds that no prima facie case was made out in their favour.Back

Raising Day celebrated
By Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 25 — “Give the Regiment its head, ride loose reign and at full gallop, dig your spurs in, but use the whip sparingly.’’

Over one and a half centuries later, the command doctrine evolved by one of the world’s oldest and highly decorated mountain artillery batteries continues to be the guiding force for gunners in the deserts of Rajasthan.

The 152-year-old 4 (Hazara) Mountain Battery of the erstwhile Frontier Force formed the nucleus of the 56 Field Regiment, when the latter was raised at Aurangabad in April 1964. The regiment observed its 37th Raising Day last week.

The battery was raised as the Hazara Mountain Train on May 18, 1848, in Hazara district (now in Pakistan) by Major Sir James Abbot as part of the East India Company’s forces. Maj Abbot later rose to the rank of General.

The need for mountain artillery was felt to keep the trade routes to Central Asia free from raids of tribesmen.

Created out of the artillery of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the battery etched its mark in military history and went on to become the most decorated mountain battery in the world.

For the next 50 years following its raising, the battery took part in operations in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), Burma and the far east. Thereafter, the battery embarked for East Africa, where it saw action during the First World War.

World War II witnessed the battery’s guns pounding the enemy in Malaya, Singapore and Burma. In between the two great wars, the battery was engaged in several operations in the NWFP, including the historic Battle of Kilahari.

The battalion has to its credit an envious list of seven Battle Honours, which include kabul, Ali Masjid, Afghanistan, Burma, Chitral, East Africa and Jitra.

Following directives from Army Headquarters, the honour title Jitra, which was awarded to the battery for its actions in malaya during 1941, was later taken over by the 56 Composite Regiment (Pack) of which the battery now forms an integral part.

The battery persists in calling itself a ‘’mountain battery’’ even though it is part of a ‘’field’’ regiment and performs functions required of an artillery unit meant for the plains.

During the early 80s, when the equipment used by both, mountain and field regiments began to be similar, it was decided to do away with the ‘’mountain’’ prefix and to call all such units as ‘’field regiments’’.

the Hazarians, however, refused to accept this and the then Commanding Officer of 56 Field Regiment exercised his prerogative and permitted the battery to retain the old title handed down to it from the days when it was a ‘’mountain train’’ in the British Artillery. Those were the days when heavy ‘’screw guns’’ were dismantled and loaded on to mules to be transported across mountains. A train of mules crossing frontier passes near Gilgit, Bannu, Nomal or Kabul in the Hindukush range had been a familiar sight in the 19th and early 20th century.

The Hazarians were then known to claim that their guns could reach wherever an infantry trooper could go with his rifle. In fact, when General Williams had come to India from England during the Afghan War, he declared that he had not formed a very good opinion of this country and that there were just three things worth seeing — Taj Mahal at Agra, the way General Jough handled the Cavalry — and the Hazara Mountain Battery on a hillside.

Though mules were disbanded from service with artillery units in 1967, one of the most cherished trophies possessed by the battery is a mule’s hoof mounted on silver. The hoof belonged to Granny, the carriage mule of the battery’s No.1 gun and the mule which led the battery into action in many campaigns.

According to regulations then in vogue, mules were retired from service at the age of 15. But as Granny remained unusually sturdy and dependable, an exception was made and it continued to remain in service till she was 29. Even after it retired, officers of the battery paid for its rations and upkeep and it spent retirement years with the battery. After it passed away at the age of 35, British officers, in its memory, had its hoof cured and mounted in silver.Back


Ten war widows honoured
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 25 — Ten war widows hailing from Panchkula district were honoured today on the second day of the ex-servicemen’s rally, being held at N-Area near the Chandigarh airport.

Maj-Gen Bachittar Singh, who was the chief guest on the occasion, gave away gifts to the widows. The Secretary, Zila Sainik Welfare Board, Panchkula, Mr D P S Budhwar was also present on the occasion.

Addressing the ex-servicemen, Maj-Gen Bachittar Singh requested all central and state agencies entrusted with the welfare of ex-servicemen to accord top priority towards the welfare of war widows and dependants of martyrs.

The priority, he said, should be towards the disabled soldiers who need proper rehabilitation and resettlement. Appreciating the Haryana Government’s efforts for the welfare of ex-servicemen he said better care of the serving and retired soldiers would also attract the future generations towards joining the forces. He also appealed to the ex-servicemen to take advantage of schools and professional institutes established by the Army for the benefit of their wards.

Those honoured on the occasion include Ms Vidyawati (W/o Sep Ram Saroop), Ms Jagir Kaur (W/o Sep Gudit Singh), Ms Darshan Kaur (W/o Sep Gurdev Singh), Ms Salochna Devi (W/o Sep Om Parkash), Ms Dayal Kaur (W/o Sep Tirlok Singh), Ms Ram Piari (W/o Sub Budh Singh), Ms Swarno Devi (W/o Sep Rameshwar, Ms Anju Goel (W/o Nb Sub Mehar Chand), Ms Guddi Devi (W/o Sep Raj Kumar) and Ms Sumeri (M/o Sep Sarup Singh).

A seminar on environment was also held to create awareness among ex-servicemen. The Conservator of Forests, Chandigarh, Mr Khajan Singh, citing the example of ecological task forces comprising ex-servicemen said they had done a remarkable job in greening the desert along the Indira Gandhi Canal in Rajasthan as well as the barren hills around Mussoorie.

He also requested ex-servicemen to form co-operative societies to launch afforestation schemes for which funds were being provided by the central government. The ex-Chief Principal Conservator of Forests, Punjab, Mr P L Kler also emphasised the need to involve ex-servicemen in development and afforestation projects.

A free medical camp, CSD canteen outlet, pension grievances cell and other stalls providing information on recruitment, resettlement and rehabilitation have also been put up, besides an exhibition on military farms, solar energy and pre-fabricated buildings.

War widows, disabled soldiers and war heroes from Punjab will be honoured on the concluding day of the rally tomorrow.Back


Why have open spaces in the city become dumping grounds?
By Monica Sharma

CHANDIGARH, April 25 — The open spaces in Chandigarh have become a source of nuisance. Heaps of garbage and waste material scattered on vacant spaces in the city is a common sight. While not denying their responsibility, officials of CMC say that vast open places were taken for granted by the common man and housewives who throw the waste material at these places.

With the growth of Congress grass and opium facilities, the people use these empty grounds. This further causes infections to the people who consume opium grown here. The people living in the slum areas use these open places for easing themselves, causing infection.

The beauty of green belt is getting hampered due to ignorance of the common people, lament the officials. Sometimes the wild grass grows to such an extend that it begins harbouring snakes and other insects. The residents staying near the vacant plots have to suffer a lot. Whenever a vacant plot is witnessed by the people, it is encroached upon Mr R.K. Dhall, manager of a nationalised bank, feels inconvenient due to the encroachment on the plot adjacent to his house. “We feel disturbed due to the repair shop for scooters opened here. It also hampers the concentration of children while studying”.

People from slum areas while away their time sitting in these open grounds. The Chandigarh Administration should provide civic amenities to the public.

Mrs Singh, a resident of Sector 39 says: “It is a very awkward scene in the morning when you get up and see people using the open places as toilets”.

Ramu, a jhuggi dweller says: “There are several of us staying at one place and we have no bathrooms. We have no other option but to use the open places.” The residents tend to use the vacant places as parking place. It is a traffic hazard.

The green belt should be maintained because it enhances the green cover of the city. Anju Verma, a housewife, believes that the administration should come up and present the green belt from being destroyed. Rules should be regulated so that the beauty of the city remains the same.Back


Inmates insecure without boundary wall
By Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, April 25 — The absence of a boundary wall on one side of Government Model Girls Senior Secondary School in Sector 18 which also includes the girls' hostel of the Sports Authority of India, makes the inmates of the hostel feel insecure. The rear portion of the school has a huge playground and the hostel. It had been let out by the UT Education Department to the SAI through the UT Sports Department.

The rear wall of the houses 1185 to 1195 in this sector touches the playground. For years, no resident of these houses had opened any rear door. A resident of these houses said more than ten years ago, the service lane behind the houses used to be demarcated with fence and bricks to show its distinction from the playground on one side.

Sometime ago, the Municipal Corporation Public Health Office (No. 4) covering Sectors 17 to 30, Industrial Area and Bapu Dham Colony area, built a room which blocked one side of the service lane portion. The MC Executive Engineer of Public Health (III), Mr Shyam Singh, said the residents had approached him to complain about the encroachment by the department. He said the room had been built to protect the tubewell installed there. Then, it was decided to remove the encroachment on the service lane portion by the department.

The walls of the room were demolished to facilitate the movement of labourers and other workers engaged in the construction of a house of a former Punjab DGP, Mr P.C. Dogra. Though the occupant has every right to carry out such activities in the part of the lane under his purview, the demolition has also made the school with no boundary wall on one side unprotected. Mr Shyam Singh said the department had kept the service lane portion vacant to provided the residents with an exit.

There is possibility that due to the high security cover of the former DGP, the securitymen will put their tents behind the house, disturbing the privacy of the hostel inmates.

Mr D.S. Saroya, the UT DPI (schools), said the school Principal had contacted him, but, he would have to consult the chief architect regarding the construction of the boundary wall. He said, however, the written complaint of the school principal would be passed on to the department concerned. When Mr V.K. Bhardwaj, SE (construction) of the UT Engineering Department, was told about the absence of the boundary wall, he said he would get it examined once the school authorities requested him to do so.

Meanwhile, the STC girls continue to practice in the early morning and late evening in the playground. There is an urgent need to construct the boundary wall so that nearly 60 girl trainees do not remain scared as they now are.Back


Villager brutally murdered
Tribune News Service

BHAKKARPUR (SAS NAGAR), April 25 — A 24-year-old resident of Fatehpur village, near here, was brutally murdered by at least five persons in a field of standing wheat crop in Bhakkarpur village, near here, last night. The victim, Onkar Singh, was axed to death by the assailants after he refused to accompany them to harvest their yield of wheat in Rurka village.

The victim, who was employed as a foreman on a combine, along with his brother, Jagtar Singh, and another person, Rajinder , hailing also from Fatehpur village, had been engaged by Gursharan Singh of Bhakkarpur village on April 22 to harvest his yield of wheat. The victim, who was stabbed before being hit in the neck with an axe, apparently died of excessive bleeding on way to the Sector 32 Government Medical College Hospital (GMCH). He was declared brought dead at the hospital, said sources in the police.

Investigations reveal that when the harvesting operations was going on at Bhakkarpur village on April 24, the alleged assailants — Tej Singh, Bheera Singh, Nachattar Singh, Kirpal and Bhagwan — came to the spot at around 9.30 p.m and demanded that the combine be taken to Rurka village to harvest their yield of wheat crop. The assailants were residents of Kumbra, Rurkee and Bhakkarpur villages.

When the foreman on the combine refused on the plea that he had already been booked by another party of Kurdi village, the assailants got enraged. Mr Jagtar Singh, brother of the deceased, said that they were repairing the combine with the help of a emergency bulb in the darkness when his brother was stabbed in his back by Kirpal. The youth fell on the ground after another person, Tej hit him in the neck. Then the assailants kicked Onkar before running away from the scene.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr SS Gill, said the Station House Officer of the Sohana police station, Inspector Balwinder Pal, reached the spot but the assailants had escaped under cover of darkness. He said the police was on the lookout for the assailants. A case under Sections 148, 149, 302 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered.Back


Body of a woman recovered
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 25 — The police have recovered the body of a woman from her house in Hallo Majra village here this evening.

According to police sources, the body of 25-year-old Asha was found by her husband, Bhupinder Bahadur, in their one room accommodation in the village at about 5 p.m. She was reportedly suffering from TB for the past many years and had been undergoing treatment for the past 14 months.

The mother of three had been operated upon some time back but the opening for aspirating the fluid in her chest was still unhealed. The stench from the body was all pervading in the neighbourhood. She had apparently died in the morning but her body was found in the evening.

The husband of the deceased works as a painter in a factory in the industrial area making gas stoves. Further investigations are on, sources added.

Harassed for dowry: Mrs Vijay Bansal, a resident of Mauli Jagran, reported that she was married to Sunil Kumar, a resident of Kaithal, in 1994, and had been harassed for bringing inadequate dowry ever since. She alleged that her in-laws had sent her back to her parents house on numerous occasions. She was presently residing with her parents in the complex.

A case under Sections 406/498-A/363/323, IPC, has been registered.

Hit by vehicle: Sector 45 resident Rajesh Kumar, his wife Rajni and son were hit and injured by an unknown car near the Sector 22 \ 35 roundabout. They were admitted to the PGI and a case under Section 279 \ 337, IPC, has been registered.

Held for gambling: The police has arrested Jagtar Singh and Jakar Hussain, residents of Maloya colony, on the charges of gambling at a public place in the colony. A case under Section 13/3/67 of the Gambling Act has been registered at the Sector 39 police station.

Case under Excise Act: The police has arrested two persons — Randhir Singh and Om Parkash -— from various parts of the city and recovered 26 bottles of whisky from their possession.

Body found: The body of a truck cleaner was found in the vehicle which was parked near an LPG godown in Colony Number 5 here today. The driver of the truck has been arrested.


Rickshaw-puller dies: April 25 — The rickshaw puller, who was found dead on his rickshaw in front of the main exchange in Phase 4 here last evening has been identified by the police as Ram Kumar. A police official said that victim had died after consuming excessive liquor. The autopsy was today conducted at the Phase 6 Civil Hospital here.

Property dealer booked: A property dealer of Phase 1 has been booked by the police for allegedly cheating a Non-Resident Indian (NRI). According to the information available the NRI, Mr Harmohan Singh Grewal, complained to the police that in April 1995, he was offered a SCF in Phase 6 here by the property dealer, Mr Ram Krishan, at a cost of Rs 8.16 lakh.

Though the plot had been resumed the property dealer had assured the complainant to get the plot released. In May 1995 the property dealer produced a unregistered GPA of the above said SCF and said the plot had been freed from resumption. In lieu the NRI gave his Rs 4 lakh in two instalments. But when Mr Grewal did not get a registered letter from PUDA he approached the latter only to know that he had been cheated. The case is being investigated by the Anti-Fraud Wing of the Ropar Police. Back


Funds allocated for Sector 16 waterworks
By Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, April 25 — The proposed waterworks project in Sector 16, pending for over two years with the Haryana Urban Development Authority, will finally see the light of day with funds having been allocated for its construction this year.

The waterworks project at the place will pump in over 24.5 lakh gallons of water everyday into the township and would cater to residents of Sectors 16, 17, 18 and Indira Colony. A boundary wall has already been constructed on the 1.5 acres of land which will enclose the waterworks.

Also, out of the 10 tubewells sanctioned in different pockets of these sectors, eight are already complete and functional, one of which will be inaugurated tomorrow. This will be in addition to the drilling of seven new tubewells undertaken to ease the water problem encountered during the peak summer season.

Presently, the waterworks in Sector 8 feeds Sectors 16, 17, 18 and parts of Sector 7, besides Sector 8. Coming up of the waterworks in Sector 16 will greatly reduce the burden on the present “supplier” which can eventually cater to Sectors 10 and 11 which is being fed by the water works in Sector 1. This will also solve the water pressure problem in all pockets of the township permanently.

The project in its new shape packages a clear water tank with a storage capacity of eight lakh gallons of water, a boosting chamber and three 150 hp pumps.

Initiated in December 1998, the project was initially estimated to cost Rs 1.54 crore which was later reduced to Rs 78.46 lakh in the face of budgetary constraints. A few additional facilities which included two clear water tanks and more tubewells were slashed and the new proposal was given the green signal by the lower works committee which deals with such matters.

Sources in the department said that the project had been hanging fire for a long time primarily because the original sector plan had no provision for the same and selecting a suitable site entailed a lot of labour. Again, the cost of the project was too big for it to be executed immediately and finances had to be arranged. For this reason alone, the scope of the project was also reduced and minimum provisions were given the go-ahead.

Sources in HUDA said that the budgetary estimates initiated in 1996 had finally got the approval of the Comptroller of Finance with provision for its construction made in Budget of the present financial year. The matter is presently pending with the finance wing of HUDA.

Meanwhile, residents of Sector 16 have been perturbed over the inordinate delay in construction of the waterworks. They complain that the enclosed area has become a nuisance for them ever since its inception with the area serving the purpose of a lavatory for the jhuggi-dwellers in the colony across the road.``The boon for the residents has proved a bane in the past years and besides being an eye sore, there is stench in the air all through the day, making it difficult for us to sit in our lawns,’’ Mr Rama Dhawan, a resident in the vicinity, says. Back


PGI to implement ACP Scheme
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 25 — The PGI has decided to implement the Assured Career Progression Scheme (ACP), recommended by the Fifth Central Pay Commission, for the benefit of the non faculty employees working in the institute. The orders to this effect were passed by PGI Director, Dr S.K Sharma, last week ,after it was ratified by the governing body in its meeting held on March 15. It will be implemented with effect from August 9, 1999.

The scheme, which will benefit the group B, C and D employees, assures them two promotions and financial upgradation after 12 and 24 years respectively. However, it will be applicable only to those employees who have completed 12 years of regular service and not ad hoc, casual and daily wage earners. The Central Government had earlier implemented the recommendations of the Fifth Central Pay Commission with regard to the ACP scheme for the civilian employees in Ministries and departments of the Central Government.

In addition to this, PGI employees drawing pay scales on the Punjab pattern will now be paid transport allowance at par with the employees drawing Central Government pay scales. This will also be implemented with effect from August, 1997.

Orders have also been issued with regard to changing the nomenclature of various posts in accordance with AIIMS. For instance senior receptionists post has been ratified as Junior reception officer. Similarly, Medical Report Supervisor in the Central Registration department has been redesignated as Junior Medical Record Officer. An additional post of medical Record officer has also been created.

Sanction has also been accorded to grant washing allowance to 5-6 left out categories such as animal supervisor. The pay anomaly cases of assistant manager, canteen and guest house care taker have also been resolved. Patient care allowance will also be given to Group B employees.

Meanwhile, the co-ordinator of the PGI employees Co-ordination Committee, Mr R.K Khanchi, has welcomed the decision of the authorities to immediately implement the long pending demands of the employees. According to Mr Khanchi, this is for the fist time in the last five years that Central Government recommendations have been implemented for the benefit of the non-faculty employees within a week’s time. He has hailed the implementation of the ACP scheme, which will put an end to the problem of genuine stagnation and hardship faced by the employees to lack of adequate promotional avenues.Back


Work on first phase of Botanical Garden from May
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 25 — With the establishment of nursery and a hot house on 50 acres, the work on the first phase of Botanical Garden will start next month.

This was disclosed at a meeting called by the Administrator of Chandigarh, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob (retd), to review the progress of the establishment of the garden. Others present at the meeting included the Adviser to the Administrator, Ms Vineeta Rai; the Finance Secretary, Mr Rakesh Singh; the Chief Conservator of Forests, Mr H.S. Sohal; and the Chairman of the 11-member Committee, Dr S.S. Bir.

The Administrator said by the time the committee finalised the conceptual plan for the development of the garden, nursery could be used to collect plants from botanical gardens located in different parts of the country and to acclimatise the plants according to the weather of the city. He desired that the exotic, medicinal, timber and flowering plants from different parts of the country should be collected for the Botanical Garden and the nursery should have sufficient collection by the onset of monsoon.

To be established on the pattern of Royal Botanical Garden, Kew, London, the Botanical Garden in Chandigarh would also have research facilities for scientific conservation of flora, especially of medicinal plants. General Jacob desired that this garden should be used for experimental development, conservation and propagation of various varieties of medicinal plants like neem and cinchona, which were found in different climatic zones. It was decided to procure neem rain tree, harar, barera, ashoka teak, saal and other exotic trees from different botanical gardens.

The committee constituted by the Administration would hold its first meeting on May 5 at Chandigarh, in which it would start planning for the new garden. Dr Bir was very excited to be associated with the project.Back


Notices to 760 bye-law violators
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 25 — As part of its drive against water bye-laws violators, the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh has issued notices to over 760 persons during the past six days.

A number of hose pipes, boosters, motors and tullu pumps of the violators have been seized in the drive. It was started in the middle of this month to check the wastage of drinking water and ensure adequate supply of potable water to city residents.

According to the Commissioner, Mr M.P. Singh, those who were found wasting drinking water had been issued notices and warned to avoid the wastage of water.

Failing this, their connections would be disconnected and action as per water supply bye-laws would taken against them, he added. The civic body would impose a fine of Rs 500 on a violator who did the same offence twice, failing which his water connection would be cut off.

Calling upon consumers to help meet the increased demand of water, he urged residents to stop watering lawns and washing courtyards and vehicles, to check leakage of overhead tanks, pipes and taps, and to avoid wastage of water in public taps and illegal installation of direct pumps, boosters and tullu pumps.

Keeping in view the increased demand of water on account of summer, Mr M.P. Singh called upon residents to promptly report leakage of water from main supply lines and illegal installations on water supply lines to complaint centres of the civic body.

Reiterating the commitment of the corporation to provide better civic amenities and ensure equitable distribution of water among residents, he solicited the cooperation of residents and urged them to adhere to bye-laws.

The civic body had started the drive on April 15. Following this, morning checkings were being done in several sectors of the city by the officials of the corporation.

During the drive, the staff of the civic body confiscated the material of violators, besides issuing them notices and warning them verbally. The drive is being carried out under the overall supervision of Mr B.M. Verma, Executive Engineer (Public Health).Back


UT wants R.K. Jain to continue as CE
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 25 — The Chandigarh Administration is believed to have requested the Haryana Government to allow Mr R.K. Jain, Chief Engineer, to continue on deputation with the Administration till the end of June.

It may be recalled here that the Haryana Government in a recent communication to the Chandigarh Administration wanted that Mr R.K. Jain be relieved and sent back to his parent state at the end of his extended deputation period on March 31.

Sources reveal that the Adviser to the Administrator, Mrs Vineeta Rai, reportedly met the Haryana Chief Secretary, Mr R.S. Verma, today to request him to allow Mr Jain to continue for the time being as the case pertaining to promotion of UT cadre engineers to the post of Chief Engineer was still not finalised. A formal request letter is also expected to be sent to the Haryana Government shortly.

At present, the Chandigarh Administration has three Superintending Engineers of the UT cadre eligible for consideration for the post of the Chief Engineer. They are Mr Puranjit Singh, Mr V.K. Bhardwaj and Mr Jagdish Mitter.

One of the reasons given for delay for the Union Public Service Commission to convene a DPC in the case is missing of certain documents, including Annual Confidential Report, of one of the candidates. The report pertains to the period 1995-96 when the officer concerned was serving the Chandigarh Housing Board. Barring that all other documents are complete.

The Engineering Department is believed to have forwarded the entire file work pertaining to promotion of UT cadre engineers to the post of Chief Engineer to the Home Department. An internal enquiry was also held to find out whether there was any intentional delay in processing the case. The Joint Secretary, Finance, Mr K.A.P. Sinha, who conducted the enquiry, reportedly held that delay was primarily because of missing of certain documents, including ACR, of one of the candidates of the intervening period.

It was during this process that the Administration decided to recall Mr V.K. Bhardwaj from the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research where he was on deputation. Mr Bhardwaj joined back the Engineering Department to relieve the Chief Engineer of additional charge of Superintending Engineer, Construction Circle.

Mr Puranjit Singh is presently the Chief Engineer of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. The third candidate, Mr Jagdish Mitter, who was suspended after he turned an approver in the Engineering Department’s kickbacks case, has been recently reinstated and appointed Superintending Engineer (Rules).

Investigations reveal that at present, there are two positions of Chief Engineer vacant in the Engineering Department. In case Mr Puranjit Singh is shifted to the Engineering Department as Chief Engineer, Mr V.K. Bhardwaj is expected to take over as Chief Engineer, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

Once the promotions are cleared, there will be subsequent promotions in the Engineering Department. There are at least three Executive Engineers who are in line for promotion as Superintending Engineer. They are Mr S.K. Jaitely, Mr S.S. Mankoo and Mr Kishenjit Singh. All three have become eligible for promotion as Superintending Engineer.

After Mr V.K. Bhardwaj was recalled from the PGI, his place was taken by Mr G.S. Rosha of the Chandigarh Housing Board. Now the Administration has decided to send Mr S.S. Mankoo to the Housing Board as Superintending Engineer. Formal orders to this effect have already been issued.Back


501 vehicles challaned
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 25 — As many as 501 vehicles and 31 Roadways buses were challaned for various offences, following a special drive by the traffic police between 9 p.m. to 12. 30 a.m. last night.

According to Mr Alok Kumar, ASP, Traffic, this was done to intensify the drive against violators and was also an attempt to create traffic awareness among the public. Thirty two nakas were set up in the city which were manned by 155 police personnel drawn from the Traffic Department, besides cops drawn from various police stations.

Similarly, 31 buses of the CTU, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Roadways were challaned for plying on prohibited roads. The General Managers of the depots concerned have been informed so that stringent action could be initiated against the violators, he added.

The list includes 148 persons challaned for riding two-wheelers without helmets, 21 for wrong entry, 14 for sporting red lights, nine for smoking and one for using mobile phone while driving, 19 for plying vehicles without number plates, three for using curtains and sun-screen films, 15 for wrong parking, eight for drunken driving and 271 for miscellaneous offences.Back


Gp Capt Rakesh takes over
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 25 — Group Captain Rakesh Yadav took over the command of the MiG-23/27 TETTRA School at the Air Force High Grounds near here from Wing Commander P.V. Singh today.

Prior to taking over his present assignment, he was the Command Engineering Officer of the IAF’s South Western Air Command.

Commissioned in the IAF’s Aeronautical Engineering (Mechanical) Branch in January 1971, Gp Capt Yadav has served as the Engineering Officer of several fighter squadrons and Chief Engineering Officer of a forward fighter base. A graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, at Wellington, he was decorated with the Vishisht Seva Medal in 1999.Back

Basandhi is CAT panel Secretary
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 25 — Advocate R. K. Basandhi was today elected the Secretary of the Central Administrative Tribunal Bar Association. According to the Association President, Mr G.S. Bal, Mr Basandhi defeated rival Mr Sanjay Bansal by a margin of 41 votes. While 104 votes were polled in Mr Basandhi’s favour, 65 votes were cast in Mr. Bansal’s favour.Back

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