Thursday, June 15, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Government violates own bylaws on UT buildings
By Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 14 — Infringement of building bylaws is not a new phenomenon in the city, but when the said infringement becomes visible in the buildings owned by the government, the problem sounds grave. A survey by Chandigarh Tribune revealed that all was not well with the frame of many government buildings located in Sector 17 and the basic structure of many of them had been tampered with in glaring violation of Punjab Capital (Development and Regulation) Act, 1952 as amended up to 1996.

Although it is difficult to cover every building as far as violation is concerned three main government buildings will be focused in this connection, the first among them being Townhall building or the old Police Headquarters building as it is popularly known as.

Townhall building’s outer frame: The outer frame of this building is in clear violation of existing rules. As one faces the building one can see that walls of concrete have been erected in the verandahs provided in the building. These enclosures which can be seen on the other side of the building too are being used by the Administration to keep records, whereas rules seek that the outer frame of all government buildings should be in uniformity.

Rule 3, subrule (bb) of the Act cited above, specifies: “A person who erects or re-erects a building in a frame control area shall...comply with the rules given in frame control drawing and any other direction that may be issued by the Chief Administrator.” That means the structure of all buildings has to be kept uniform.

Significantly, all buildings in Sector 17 fall under the frame control area and their outer frame cannot be changed. One can notice that verandahs in all buildings in Sector 17 are similar. Hence, the erection of concrete walls in the verandahs is in clear violation.

Townhall building’s basement storey: Now about the basement storey of this building. It is significant to mention that the basement which was meant to be used as an underground parking has been converted into a record room. A wall has been constructed in the basement and a steel door has been installed to make room for records. This is again in violation of the law.

Rule 28 (C) of the above mentioned Act deals with the uses of basement storeys and clearly states that the basement can be used only to keep “incombustible material”. The basement of Townhall building, however, is housing records which contain paper, a combustible material.

Further Rule 28 (D) specifies that the basement must have windows of the minimum area which is one tenth of total floor area, but this basement has no windows.

Further there is violation of Rule 28 (E) which requires damp proofing which is missing in this basement.

Partition in office of SDO (Buildings): Ironically, SDO (Buildings) is the officer who issues notices to those who violate building bylaws. His own office is in violation of existing norms. The law specifies that no wooden partition should exceed seven feet height and if it does there should be ample room for air and light (which rules out use of glass in construction of partitions). Right at the entrance of this office, there is a partition extended up to the roof and it uses glass.

DC Office: Further it may be mentioned that the structure of DC office was also changed some time back when service windows outside were done away with to provide doors.Back


High Court order on PMT
Students studying in city can appear

Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 14 — Just four days prior to the Punjab pre-medical entrance test, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today provisionally allowed students who were bona fide residents of Punjab, but studying in city institutes, to appear for the examination.

Taking up an appeal filed against the Single Judge’s order, the Bench, comprising Mr. Justice V.K. Bali and Mr. Justice K.S. Garewal, also issued notice of motion for July 3.

Pronouncing the orders, the Bench clarified that students who appeared for the test in pursuance of the directions “would not be able to say even if they succeed that since they have cleared the test they should be allowed to continue”.

Dismissing the writ petitions filed by students passing the plus one and plus two examinations from Chandigarh but declared ineligible for the test, the single Judge had earlier held that the amended clause in the brochure was not suffering from the vice of arbitrariness.

Today, in their appeal against the judgement, counsel for the petitioners — Damandeep Singh and others — stated on their behalf that the order deserved to be set aside on the ground of being based on wrong facts. Counsel added that there was no legal justification for upholding arbitrary and discriminatory rule.

The Single Judge, he added, should have accepted the plea of students as Chandigarh besides being a Union Territory was also the capital of the State of Punjab. He further added that the Single Judge “had erred in law by not following the judgement in matter of Rupinder Kansal where the Court had held that Chandigarh, though a Union Territory, continued to be the capital of Punjab and therefore it could not be said that students passing examinations from institutions located in Chandigarh, affiliated to Punjab School Education Board, were not residents of Punjab.

Counsel also stated that the Judge rejected the plea of the petitioners “ignoring the fact that merit should not be allowed to be sacrificed in the matter of admission to medical and engineering institutes”.

The candidates belonging to the state of Punjab, he further stated, could not be denied the right to appear in the entrance test because they had passed the plus two and plus one examinations from schools situated in Chandigarh.

It may be recalled that the petitioners, challenging the changed eligibility conditions, had asked for directions to treat as eligible those candidates who were residents of Punjab state but had passed plus two and one examination from Chandigarh.

Arguing before the Single Judge, counsel for the petitioner had earlier submitted that since 1996 the only condition for eligibility was that the students should be holding the domicile of Punjab. Counsel had added that now after preparing for the test for two years the students had been declared ineligible.

Counsel had also added that the Supreme Court had held in a number of cases that reasonable expectations arising out of the policies of the Government could not be thwarted by changing the policy midway.Back


Ground water project at PU
by Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 14 — One of the lesser known and lesser attended problems of the current times is the lowering of water table. Panjab University has commenced work on tabulating the water table.

The work includes steps to ensure maximum rain water enter natural wells. Panjab University’s Department of Geology has tied up with the Ministry of Water Resources in this regard.

Stories of drying up of wells and lowering down of water table have been reported from many areas.

A project has been started adjacent to the Microbiology Department on the campus. A shaft about 40 metres will be drilled into the ground. It will have inverted filters’ and a measurement apparatus. The programme is totally funded by the Central Ministry for Water. It is likely to start within four months.

Dr K.P. Singh, project in charge, said that problem could be gauged from the fact that the water table goes down in Punjab from 22 to 23 cm every year. This has been noticed in areas of Amritsar, Jalandhar and Ludhiana among other places. From 1974 to 2000, the water table has gone down by 20 metres.

Dr K.P. Singh said that the input into the water reserves remained the same, but the exploitation had increased manifold.

Dr K.P. Singh heads the artificial recharge to ground water project. The crucial meeting which rounded off the project included the Vice-Chancellor, the DUI, Prof R.S. Chaudhary and Prof Ramesh Kakkar besides chairman of the Ministry of Water Resources, Dr D.K. Chadha, regional head of the ministry, Mr M. Mehta, and Mr M. Jindal.

Significantly Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, the Prime Minister addressed a meeting at Vigilant Bhavan, New Delhi, in May this year underlining the importance of conserving ground water. Dr K.P. Singh is also carrying on work on a project in collaboration with Stockholm University.

Mr K.P. Singh said the ground water level in the city was going down at an alarming rate. The alarming exploitation through tubewells signalled it was high time to look into the situation. The PU project, a demonstration project, uses techniques for channelising rain water into channels that connect directly with the ground water.Back


Mayor’s letter triggers row
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 14 — The letter of the Mayor, Ms Shanta Abhilashi, urging councillors to “maintain the dignity and decorum of the House” has stirred up hornet’s nest.

Terming the letter as against the spirit of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act,1976, as extended to the Union Territory Chandigarh and the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (Procedure and Conduct of Business Regulations,1996), Ms Surya Pandit, a nominated councillor, in a letter to the Mayor, has urged her withdraw the letter as it has caused great mental anguish to me and all right-thinking councillors”.

It may be recalled that in the letter of the Mayor has said: "Only agenda items will be discussed at the meeting of the corporation. No other points without the prior permission of the Chair will be discussed. After the meeting or any other day members can come to my chamber and discuss and clarify their points.”

The letter by Ms Abhilashi followed the adjournment of the meeting of the House on June 7 without transacting any business after Mr OP Goyal (BJP) had pointed out that the elections to the posts of the chairmen and vice-chairmen of the seven committees of the corporation were not held as per the rules. The Mayor had abruptly adjourned the meeting to June 15.

In a press note, Ms Pandit, while saying that the contents of the letter were “shocking”, said all members of the House were quite conscious of maintaining the dignity and decorum of the House." However, being representatives of the people and the corporation being a democratic institution, every member has a right to point out his or her point of view in the beginning of the meeting about which he or she feels seriously and which is not covered under the normal agenda of the meeting. There is no provision in the Act which debars the members from doing so,” it said.

The purpose for writing this letter uncalled for appears to be the point raised by Mr Goyal regarding the procedure adopted for the elections. This method had also been questioned in writing by another member Mr RS Kailey (nominated councillor) and also

myself in my capacity for conducting meeting of the Legal Affairs Committee. No reply or explanation had been received from your office to both of us which is our legitimate right, she said.

“Whenever any point is raised by any member in writing , specially those involving legal complications, it should be the prior duty of the office to clear those points. In case it had not been done earlier, yourself while presiding over the meeting of the Municipal Corporation held on June 7 should have cleared those points rather than sitting silent and watching.That I think is not the role of the Mayor whenever a member raised any important issue”, she said.

If the point is not clarified or replied to it amounts to ignoring the views of the member raising the point which indirectly involves disrespect to the House, she added.


Sector 9 training institute heading for more trouble
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June14 — Bad days seem to be ahead for the Sector 9 Nursery Teachers’ Training Institute with the Director Public Instructions, (DPI), issuing another show cause notice to the institute in view of “fraudulent assurances about NTT course and recognition of the institute by the competent authority.”

The DPI (schools), Mr DS Saroya, had earlier served a notice to the Principal of the institute asking her to explain her position within three days regarding the false claims made by her about the course.

The Principal had written a letter back to the DPI stating that since 1985 the administration had given recognition to the NTT course run by her school. Subsequently in 1986 the administration had sent the syllabus and scheme of studies to the school.

In 1990 the recognition was withdrawn. The order was challenged in the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the order of the administration was stayed. The stay order was confirmed in 1991.She had further stated in her letter that the school was run legally and any action by the DPI would apparently amount to interference in the administration of justice and also would be in wilful disobedience of the stay order passed by the High Court.

In his second notice to the Principal, the DPI has stated that “the letter smacks of total contempt of law of the land. The Principal is guilty of spreading misinformation deliberately with an ulterior motive for concealing the facts and has thereby attempted to befool people.”

The DPI has also cleared in the letter that the B.Ed and B.P.Ed courses run by the local administration at Government College of Education and the ETT course at State Institute of Education are as per the requirements of the National Council for Teachers Education Act,1993.

Answering the second letter sent by the Principal that the institute did not receive any letter cum memo by him asking it to get itself recognised by the Regional Committee of the NCTE, Jaipur, the DPI has stated that “ignorance of the law is no excuse.” He has further said that the institute has not taken any step to dispel the false impression that this course is recognised by the Central and the State Government as stated in result cum detailed card.

The DPI has further asked the Principal to show cause within three days time suggesting why civil and criminal action be not initiated against her for making false statements thereby befooling the students.


Swimming pools in bad shape, overcrowding common feature
By Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 14 — Out of the three swimming pools with the Directorate of Sports, Chandigarh Administration, two are in bad shape. These are the nursery pool and the one in the yoga centre — both in Sector 23. The third one in the Lake Club is looked after quite well. After all, it is the pool frequented by the VIPs and who’s who of the city.

Needless to say that a swimming pool requires a lot of water. Of course — to swim in and for the most compulsory and mandatory shower before and after each swim. “A shower before the swim ensures that the water in the pool does not infected by germs and infections, usually carried on the skin, quite common in summers,” says Dr Maleeka Sachdev, a skin specialist.

However, the showers and taps in the nursery pool are dry, all through the rush hour. The one at the yoga centre doesn’t have a shower at all. According to Dr J.P.S. Sidhu, Joint Director Sports, Chandigarh Administration, the water supply to the two pools is linked to the normal domestic supply. “ The pools were constructed when there was no water shortage in the city. Besides, there is no provision for a tubewell at the pools.”

Which also means that other basic public health services, lack in these two pools. And the water of the pool is changed only after a month. For this normal cleaning exercise, the pool remains closed for around 10 days.

According to the Joint Director Sports, the maintenance and cleanliness is under the supervision of the Public Health Department. “For this we pay them Rs 7 lakh for a season.” The water is changed after an interval of 15 days. And the pool remains closed for a maximum duration of four days.

But the fact remains that the nursery pool had re-opened just yesterday after being closed for more than 10 days.

Considering that the pool opened sometime in the month of April and since then the water has been changed at least three to four times, the pool has already remained closed for more than a month this season. This is besides the usual Sundays and other public holidays.

The authorities concerned say that the water pressure is so low that normally it takes more than five to six days to fill the pool. Lack of water also mean that the toilets and bathrooms, most of the times, are in a bad condition.

Mr Aswini Sharma, a resident of Sector 44 who comes to the nursery pool regularly with his two kids, Sakshi and Rishabh, says that the toilets are so bad that it is impossible to use them. “They really smell,” say the two kids.

According to Mr Sharma, another major problem is the congestion. Earlier, the beginners were given one hour, now they are all squeezed in between little more than half an hour in the evening. “It takes 15 minutes to change because of the rush,’’ says Mr Sharma. “Moreover, coaches are also not bothered at all. Like all things ‘sarkari’, they too work on ‘sifarish’.

Randhir Kumar Verma, a bank officer whose two sons practise regularly at the yoga centre swimming pool, says that most of the problems arise due to the fact that the Sports Department doesn’t look after these pools itself.

“Rather than passing the buck to the public health, which in turn gives it to private contractor, why can’t they do the maintenance themselves,” he asks. “ Most of the men hired by the contractor are illiterate. What would they know about how and which chemical to use and when.”

According to him, most of the kids have got infections sometime or the other.” My son recently had a severe ear infection due to the pool,” he says.

According to Dr Ganesh Dutt Rattan, an ENT specialist, if the water is not cleaned properly, it can cause nasal infection like sinusitis. “The most common fungal ear infection is otomycosis. The affected person suffers from pain and irritation in the ear.”

“Besides, there is another condition called ottitis externa, in which the outer canal gets severely infected and a patient experiences extreme pain. Needless to say that if not checked in time, they can create a lot of problems,” he said.

Dr Rattan also says that these ailments are very common these days and he gets many such cases in a day. According to him, if not cleaned properly, swimming pools can also cause conjuctivitis of the eye, gastro intestinal diseases and jaundice.

The gutters in yoga centre pool don’t have ‘jali’ covers on either of their ends. At times, one odd snake managed to make its way in to the pool. Besides, the pool also doesn’t have bare essentials like a first-aid kit. “Last year my son got hurt. He had to be taken to the doctor,” said Mr J.V. Sharma, father of one of the young swimmers.

In direct contrast to these two pools is the one in the Lake Club. Here the water is changed regularly each fortnight. The showers work, toilets are well maintained and clean. The water supply is also not dependant on the domestic supply.

It gets water from a tubewell in the vicinity, which ensures uninterrupted water supply. “Of course, that one is the VIP pool,” says Mr Randhir Singh.” All top bureaucrats frequent it. A problem is immediately rectified.”

The pool rarely has any problem. It has all facilities, including the coach and daily cleaning facilities, in proper working order.

However, Dr Sachdev says that excessive chlorination does cause dryness of the body and bleaching of hair. It is bad for skin. But most common are the skin infections like warts and Molluscum contagiosum due to dirty water.



Project for street children: it may be a rags-to-riches story
By Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 14 — Kismat Ali is 12. He is a rag-picker and moves from one sector to another to pick scrap. This practice fetches him Rs 50 to 60 everyday. A resident of Mauli Jagran, this tall boy with chiselled features and keen eyes nurtures a dream. He wants to become a doctor. This dream is lend to him by ‘Pustak’- a project for street children started by Youth Technical Training Society which has made such children, otherwise deprived of childhood, dream about their future.

This project had started various schools in many slums and sectors of the city to provide education to the deprived sections of the society who had no means of survival , with education being a distant dream for them.

A survey was conducted by the YTTS and the families of street children were visited. “It was very encouraging to discover that such people were more than willing to provide education to their children but were helpless owing to the circumstances and conditions of their survival,” says Mr Vineet Khanna, Director of YTTS, who started Mauli Jagran school six years ago.

Every year a survey is conducted by the members of YTTS in colonies including Mauli Jagran, Indira Colony, Motor Market, Labour Colony, Colony No 4 and 5, Hallo Majra, Burail and Dhanas village. The students are then identified and their parents are taken into confidence. Most of the parents readily agree to get their children educated.

The school till date has 112 students on rolls. They age between seven to twelve years. They all study in a hall owned by YTTS in Mauli Jagran. These children do petty jobs for their survival. Some are shoeshine boys, some girls work in the houses, some work in vegetable market and some indulge in begging. The rest are all rag pickers and are able to earn Rs 50 to 60 per day.

These children originally belong to Rajasthan, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Their parents are engaged in small jobs including rickshaw pulling, shoe polishing, selling small items like brooms and dusters. These children usually follow their parents in their profession as they are not able to afford education.

But here in the school they come to study during the morning hours and after that they go on their respective jobs. The school provides them with food in the noon besides education. Here they learn to recite and write English and Hindi alphabets. A visit by Chandigarh Tribune to the school revealed that these children were overwhelmed with the feeling that they were studying. The hall echoed with their recitation of alphabets.

Yasmine does not know about her age. She sells vegetables in the market thus helps her parents in earning their livelihood. So impressed is she with her teacher that she wants to become a teacher. Very innocently she expressed her desire as, “I like this ‘aunti ji’ very much. She loves me and I like to study from her. I will also become a teacher and educate all children of my colony.”

Santosh’s story is no less moving in its true sense. She is the only normal child of her parents who have five children. The three of them are blind and one of them is a handicapped. She wants to become a doctor as she wants to help her brothers in reducing their agony.

Their teacher Mrs Kamlesh is all satisfied with her work. “When I am with them I forget everything else in the world. I derive a kind of pleasure that no other job can offer.” She says. She teaches from 8 O’ clock in the morning and goes back in the afternoon. Then again she comes back in the evening to teach disabled children in the same school.

“I got as many as 50 children from this school admitted in a Government school this year only. I feel elated when I see them all studying further. After all it is me who have laid their foundation. I feel this is a matchless service to mankind.”says Mrs Kamlesh.


Villagers oppose opening of liquor vend
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, June14 — Twenty villagers of Jalanwala village met the District Excise Officer to lodge their protest on the opening of a liquor vend in the vicinity here today. The vend was sanctioned by the department concerned after the panchayat of Fatehpur Diwanwala passed a resolution for the same and submitted it to them.

Though the panchayat contended that the piece of land where the vend was opened belonged to them, the villagers opposed to its opening informed the officer that it was situated on their side of the village though they later admitted that the site in question was a disputed piece between the two adjoining villages. They added that the vend had a lot of nuisance value since it had become the meeting point for all anti-social elements.

Sources in the Excise and Taxation Department contended that a formal permission had been sought from the department which had been granted within the revenue limits of the village panchayat. However, in the wake of the application, the officials contended that the revenue limits of the village would be checked again to satisfy the complainants.

Also, another vend near a dargah on the Chandigarh-Haryana highway has invited the wrath of the people which is in violation of the clause that no vend would be opened within a radius of 150 m of a religious place. The vend owner says he is willing to shut it down provided the vend operating on the Chandigarh side is asked to close down.

The department says that an on-the-spot assessment of all sanctioned liquor vend sites would be carried out and a final decision taken.


Senior citizens: remove anomaly in pension
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, June 14 — The local Senior Citizens (Pensioners) Council has demanded the removal of an anomaly in the pensions of those who retired from the Punjab Government service during the period January 1, 1986, to September 30, 1986.

The general secretary of the council said the pensioners who retired during the aforesaid period had been discriminated against as compared to those who retired up to December 31, 1985. In the case of the latter category the notional pay as fixed on January 1, 1986, had been taken as average pay. Fifty per cent of that notional pay had been treated as pension for the subsequent fixation of pension as on January 1, 1996.

However, in the case of those who retired between January 31, 1986, and September 30, 1986, the average pay calculated was based on the actual drawl of emoluments during the pre-and post-January 1, 1986, period. This method had caused a substantial reduction in the average emoluments and, consequently, in pension.

The affected persons demanded that they should be treated on a par with those who had retired up to December 31, 1985. They said the average emoluments for calculating their pension at the rate of 50 per cent may be considered as their pay last drawn instead of the last 10 months average emoluments; or they may be allowed to opt for their average emoluments fixed on January 1, 1986, in the revised pay scale for determining their pension, as had been done in the case of the pre-1986 retirees.Back

Two-day workshop in PU from today
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 14 — As a prelude to setting up of the Institute of Nuclear Science in Panjab University, a two-day workshop on “8UD Pelletron” will start at the Physics Department tomorrow.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Dr I.M. Govil, Chairman, Physics Department, said the workshop would deliberate on various aspects of setting up of the multi-field related project. The university has already earmarked 10 acres for the institute in Sector 25.

Dr Govil said the money was likely to start to pour in within a year and the project would be completed within three years.

Nearly 60 scientists from all over the country are likely to participate in the workshop.Back



Mohali to have bulk material market
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, June 14 — The first of its kind bulk material market in Punjab will be ready in this town by the end of the current year. Work on the first phase covering over 76 acres of the total area of 121 acres earmarked for the project has already begun.

Ideally located along the along the proposed Chandigarh- Ludhiana railway track the bulk material which will house trades of timber, iron and steel and marble. Once ready the movement of freight to and from the market would be easy due to its proximity with the proposed Kambali railway station.

Sources in the Town and Country Planning Department, Punjab, said following the approval of the project in the last meeting of the Planning and Design Committee the layout plans of the project were prepared with a view to provide all the essential modern amenities at one place. The estimated cost of the project was Rs 8.27 crore.

The engineering wing of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has already started the work of laying roads in the market at a cost of Rs 4.63 crore. The contract of undertaking development work of laying the sewerage, storm water, water supply and providing street lighting was expected to be allotted soon. Recently the enforcement wing of PUDA had cleared 90 acres of land adjoining Kambali village— which had been unauthorisedly covered under cultivation —falling under the site earmarked for the bulk material market.

The sources said in the first phase 163 plots measuring 250 sq yard and 500 sq yard would be auctioned for the trades of timber, iron and steel and marble. Besides, 112 shop-cum-offices and booths had also been earmarked in the first phase. Other facilities like weigh bridge, hotel, dispensary, residential accommodation, police post had also been planned.

Development in the second phase, comprising of 44 acres of low-lying area adjacent to Jagatpura village, was not being taken up presently. It would be taken up once the seasonal rivulet passing through the area was channelised.

A 200 feet-wide corridor adjacent to the bulk material market had been left for the proposed Chandigarh- Ludhiana railway track. 


Traders hail order on polythene bags
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, June 14 — The Plastic Manufacturers/Traders Association here today welcomed the modified order of the Ropar District Magistrate regarding polythene bags.

The association president, Mr Kuldip Singh, said the modified order now allowed the manufacture, storage, sale and use of polythene bags in accordance with certain guidelines.

Under the order, no vendor shall use carry-bags or containers made of recycled plastic for storing, carrying, dispensing or packing of foodstuffs. Carry-bags and containers made of virgin plastic shall be of natural shade or white. Further, carry-bags and containers made of recycled plastics and used for purposes other than storing and packing foodstuffs shall be manufactured using pigments and colorants as per IS: 9833: 1981 standards.

The order further states that the recycling of plastics shall be undertaken in accordance with IS: 14534: 1988 entitled “The Guidelines for Recycling of Plastics.”

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |