|Saturday, July 8, 2000,
MC showing fictitious water
demand to justify tubewells
CHANDIGARH, July 7 Although the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation is on a tubewell installation spree on grounds that the demand of water in the city is rising, reliable sources in the corporation indicate that much of the demand being shown by the MC is fictitious.
It is also reported that many of the tubewells installed in the city are not being made functional. Interestingly, the water level in reservoirs in the city has gone down from 11 feet about two years back to 8 feet now, whereas the level should technically have risen had the tubewells been in use.
Says a highly placed source, "The whole point is that the corporation is mainly interested in getting tubewells installed by keeping the so-called shortage of water alive. Many such tubewells are not being made functional." An analysis of MC records reveals that much of the water available with the MC is not even being released wholly, despite its claim that there is water shortage in the city. MC officials, however, maintain that the tubewells are being used and the available water is being released. But frequent complaints about non-availability of water on the second and third floors in the SDE, MC, PH's office indicate otherwise.
Significant to note is another fact that while the city is a declared red zone by the Geological Survey, the corporation is still getting new tubewells sanctioned. The ground level of water in the city, which was about 50 feet about two years earlier, has come down to about 1,000 feet now. Currently, the city has about 120 tubewells, while 10 more are in the process of being installed. Meanwhile, the MC has also obtained sanction for 15 new tubewells for the year 2000-2001.
It is further learnt that the corporation is not following the proper pumping schedule of 2:30 am to 9 am and then from 5 pm to 9 pm. A June 29 letter from Sub Divisional Engineer, MC, PH, subdivision number 11, to SDE, MC, PH, subdivision 1 clearly indicates that the pumping schedule is not being adhered to. The letter mentions, "Instead of taking corrective measures to supply water at adequate pressure by adhering to pumping schedule, you have totally sidetracked the issue by ignoring information supplied by this office." MC officials were not available for comment in this regard.
As for figures, the daily water requirement is shown to be 96 million gallons per day (MGD), out of which the MC claims that 35.64 MGD is required for the irrigation of lawns, parks, gardens and other green belts. Insiders, however, point out that tubewells have already been installed in all the parks in the city, and also in all main green belts. It is further learnt that a tertiary water plant embarked upon by the UT in the 1980s is also supplying water to such green belts.
Points out an official, "The maximum requirement of water in these areas is 5 MGD because tertiary water is already going there, and tubewells are also installed. So this demand of about 30 MGD is simply being shown for reasons unknown to us."
The MC records indicate
that the water availability with them is 64 MGD, but
sources further point out that only about 50 MGD water is
being released. Also, an official points out that this
figure of 64 MGD does not include the output from
tubewells. Further, it is learnt that the UT
Administration has an independent source of water, which
supplies about 2.5 MGD.
Notified Market Area poll
CHANDIGARH, July 7 The Chandigarh Administration has suspended the process to hold elections to the Notified Market Area after final publication of the electoral rolls.
The Administration had announced that elections to the Market Committee would be held before August 15 this year. But on the day when the final election notice was to be issued, a technical issue was reportedly raised by the local leadership of both Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiromani Akali Dal, saying the Administration should nominate a nine-member committee to manage the affairs of the Notified Market Area rather than hold elections, as has been the practice before.
The BJP-SAD leadership based its objection on the basis of the amendments carried out to the Punjab Agricultural Produce Market (Election to Market Committee) Rule, 1961. According to the amended Act, the State has powers to nominate the committee instead of holding direct elections to either nine-member or 16-member committee, depending upon the size of the committee.
In Chandigarh, the committee has nine members. The Chandigarh Administration has, however, not adopted the amended Act so far. As such, the previous Act, as applicable to the Union Territory, provides for direct election alone.
On pressure from the BJP-SAD alliance, the Administration has now reportedly referred the matter to the Union Home Ministry for advice as to whether the Administration should extend the provisions of the amended Act to the Union Territory of Chandigarh or continue to hold elections to the Notified Market Area. According to an earlier order, preliminary publication of the electoral rolls took place on June 26. The last date for filing claims and objections was fixed for June 30 and on July 3, final publication of electoral rolls took place. The electoral rolls have been published with reference to April 1, 2000 as the qualifying date.
With the postponement of notification of the election process, there is strong resentment among members of some gram panchayats and even members of the market committee and commission agents. They allege that the BJP-SAD alliance wants to scuttle the election process and has been pressing the Administration to nominate the committee with functionaries of the local units of both the partner political parties.
Sources in the
Administration maintain that they will go by rules and
orders of the Home Ministry. In case the amended Act is
extended to the Union Territory, they do not rule out the
possibility of a nominated Market Area Committee taking
over. In case the Home Ministry does not agree to adopt
the amended Act, the committee will have election for all
Complainants or suspects?
CHANDIGARH, July 7 Inconsistencies in statements and the failure to reveal the actual sequence of events to the police is pointing a finger of suspicion on the complainants who had alleged that Rs 6 lakh had been stolen from their car parked in Sector 23 yesterday noon.
According to police sources, the complainants Mr Lakhbir Singh, who does business with Bhushan Industries, Mr Virinder and Mr Dharampal, employees of the local firm had in fact withdrawn Rs 22 lakh from the Sector 28 branch of Punjab National Bank and not Rs 6 lakh, as revealed by them in the initial statement to the police.
They withdrew the money and took along with them Mr Birla, a peon of the bank. Mr Lahbir dropped Mr Virinder and Mr Birla to deposit Rs 6 lakh each to the Sector 17 BOI and the Syndicate Bank. He went off alone to deposit Rs 10 lakh at the Sector 16 PNB, but decided to have a drink at the Sector 22 liquor vend. After depositing the money, he went to pick up the duo waiting form him in Sector 17.
Sources said here he was reportedly told that Syndicate Bank had refused to accept the money, following which they went to Mr Lakhbir's house in Sector 23, from where the money was stolen after breaking a window pane with a hammer.
Police sources said an eyewitness saw a car drive up, which had its boot open, from which two persons embarked and broke open the window glass, the sound of which was also heard by the neighbours of Mr Lakhbir from across the street.
All this time, the
complainants claim they were sitting in the drawing room,
while Mr Lakhbir was making a phone call to someone,
which was quite strange, the sources opined. Meanwhile,
further investigations are on.
Hectic schedule at ITIs,
CHANDIGARH, July 7 Polytechnics and industrial training institutes are witnessing a hectic work schedule, in the coming academic session in the city.
Detailed academic schedules, in addition to the options available and the required conditions, have been circulated in details. The reservation policy this time is clear. As many as 85 per cent of the total seats will be filled by students who pass their qualifying examination from schools and colleges recognised by the UT Administration and situated in the city. The remaining share of seats will be for students who pass their qualifying examination from the institutions located outside Chandigarh.
The Industrial Training Institute will have two types of training: technical and the non-technical. Technical training category includes welder, foundrymen, mechanical tractors, mechanical diesel plumber, fitter machinist, computer operators, instrument mechanic and electronics mechanic, among others. The duration is three years. The non-engineering categories include hand compositor, stenography and letter press machine minder, among others. There are also courses available for Class-VIII pass students in technical categories. There are also courses which ask for higher qualifications. The Central Polytechnic has provision for part-time (evening) diploma courses. The part-time diploma course in mechanical, civil and electrical engineering is equivalent to the regular diploma for all purposes. The object of the course is to train persons already working in government departments, industry and other areas for advancement in their respective groups.
The Central Polytechnic has a three-year diploma course in engineering and architectural assistantship, besides a one-year post-diploma course in production engineering. The major courses include diplomas in civil engineering, mechanical, electrical, architectural, engineering on sandwiching pattern and electronics and production. One has to be matriculate with mathematics or having passed the examination conducted by the State Board of Technical Education after Class-XII for one-year post-diploma course one needs a three-year course in mechanical engineering.
Government Central Crafts Institute for Women has one-year courses in cutting and tailoring, embroidery and needle work, leather goods make, stenography (Hindi, Punjabi and English) and dress-making, tailoring an embroidery. Another course is intensive training in cutting and tailoring and embroidery work is also available. Candidates need to be physically fit for the work.
Government Polytechnic for Women, Sector 10, offers courses in architectural assistantship, electronics and communication engineering, interior design and decoration, all of which are for three years duration. Courses in library science and decoration and pharmacy are for two years each, library. Candidates with compartment in mathematics, English and all branches of science are ineligible.
Application forms of
courses at ITI, Sector 28, are last expected by July 17.
Last date for application forms for courses at Government
Central Craft Institute, Sector 11, will be July 21.
Central Polytechnic also expects the forms latest by July
17. The Civil Engineering course interviews are slated
for July 24; electrical engineering on July 25; and
mechanical engineering on July 26. Interviews for various
courses of the ITI commence from August 7 till the month
end for different courses. Interviews for courses at
Government Central Crafts Institute for Women commence on
Notice to CBI in Jain case
CHANDIGARH, July 7 On UTs former Home Secretary N.K. Jains application for grant of bail in a corruption case, Mr Justice N.C. Khichi of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice to Central Bureau of Investigations standing counsel for July 18.
The hearing on the petition was adjourned today as notice had not been served upon the premier investigating agency. The notice issued to the UT Administration had, however, been served.
Claiming the absence of allegations regarding the payment of money directly to the petitioner, Jains counsel had earlier contended on his behalf that there was no direct or circumstantial evidence regarding the former Home Secretarys direct involvement in the alleged crime.
He had also stated that the statement of co-accused in the K.B. Goel case, recorded by the Sub Divisional Magistrate, was inadmissible even against him as such statements could only be recorded by a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate.
Counsel had further added that keeping Jain in custody would not advance CBIs case in any manner as all the records were with the premier investigating agency.
Jain, booked in a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act along with Superintendent K.B. Goel, was earlier arrested by CBI after he surrendered before it on May 9, after his applications for anticipatory bail were rejected by the Special Judge, the High Court and the Apex Court.
It was alleged in the First Information Report that Jain was operating in tandem with Goel to receive money from parties interested in the settlement of their cases pending before the Administration. Jain allegedly, dropped a charge sheet against Goel, who had paid him Rs 25,000 for the purpose.
He had allegedly asked Goel to get in touch with people interested in the settlement of their cases. He had also allegedly passed favourable orders in all such cases, which indicated that the parties concerned were accommodated by breaking rules. The FIR also stated that as per the evidence, Goel was collecting money from people.
About Rs 2 lakh were
allegedly collected from one Mr Baljit Singh, who was
promoted from the rank of a Sectional Officer to that of
Assistant Secretary, State Transport Authority. One Mr
Amarjit Singh, driver in the Weights and Supplies
Department, had also paid money for being promoted as
inspector in the Weights and Measures Department, it was
Keen to learn about their
CHANDIGARH, July 7 There is a group of foreigners in town. And they would like to talk with you in Punjabi. The Columbia-UCSB Summer Programme in Punjab Studies has brought in 18 persons to town this year.
Participants in the programme are more likely to say, Ki haal hai ji, than Good morning. It is a truly international group, consisting of persons from five countries and nine universities. We have 12 persons from the US, three from Canada and one each from France, England and Sweden. Out of them, 13 of them are doctoral students, one a school teacher, one a social worker and two undergraduates, says Dr Gurinder Singh Mann, the man behind the show.
The disciplines they belong to are equally diverse: religious studies, anthropology, comparative literature and Indian studies, ethnomusicology, sociology and linguistics, asserts Dr Mann, who holds the Kundan Kaur Kapany Chair in Sikh Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara, USA. Dr Mann started this programme four years ago while he was at the University of Columbia in New York, USA, where he taught in the Religion Department.
Nine of the group are of European and North American origin. For Kristina Myrvold, who studies Religious Studies at Lund University, this six-week programme will provide her with a broader picture of Punjab. Some time ago, the issue of Sikhs having the freedom to wear a turban at work arose in Sweden and she wrote an article on turbans for a local magazine, which brought about a wider awareness of the significance of this religious symbol of the community, numbering around a thousand persons in that country. In time, laws were amended to guarantee the right to (wear/display) religious symbols.
The attitude of the French is, however, quite different. Francisco Luis, who is from France, carries his scholarship lightly and displays a marvellous knack of mimicking accents. He talks of how various communities are facing problems due to the French schooling system that is aggressively secular in not permitting religious symbols being worn to school, including the Muslim dress for women and the turban.
This group goes through an intensive programme of lectures and classes, interacting with local scholars like Dr J. S. Grewal, who was delivering a lecture today, Dr Indu Banga and Dr B.N. Goswamy, as well as a wide cross-section of experts and creative persons, including Shiv Singh who would present his paintings, and Idu Sharif, who would sing to them. Eight of the participants are of South Asian origin. Preet Dutt is a teacher in Princess Margaret Secondary School, Surrey, BC, Canada; Prabhjap Jutla is studying religion at SOAS, London University; Anita Khandelwal is a student of anthropology and history at Yale University; Veena Dubal is studying in Stanford University; and Varun Soni is student of religious studies at University of California, Santa Barbara. They represent a generation of Indians of foreign descent that is keen to learn more about the culture and the milieu that they originally belonged to.
Gurdit Singh and Ami
Shah were a part of the programme when it started in
1997. They have come back to teach Punjabi this time.
By now, 47 scholars have participated in this
programme and we already have people lined up for the
year. Last year, Ann Murphy helped me, and this year,
Gurdit Singh and Ami Shah are helping me. We have
got great support from local scholars and by the time
these people return after six weeks, they would have
extensively travelled in the area, they would have met
most of the important scholars and would know about
Punjabi history and culture. The effort is not only to
bring in scholars with a western orientation, but local
scholars like Piara Singh Padam and Giani Gurdit Singh. I
feel that I would have done my job if I can help produce
a generation of scholars interested in Punjabi
studies, says Dr Mann. On a lighter note, as it was
time to leave, there was talk about a woman wanting to
change the area of research to Sikh air force pilots
between the ages of 25 and 35.
Science citys first phase by
Dec 31, 2001
CHANDIGARH, July 7 The governing body of the Pushpa Gujral Science City Society said today that the first phase of the science city project would be commissioned by December 31, 2001.
The Principal Secretary, Science, Technology and Environment, Mr Rajan Kashyap said today that the governing body took several important decisions regarding the appointment of architects and overall management structure of the project.
The project, costing Rs 70 crore, is funded entirely by the Government of India. The state has provided 71 acres. The Centre released Rs 7 crore in 1999-2000 and Rs 15 crore for the current year.
Mr P.K. Bhaumik, one of the top scientists from the National Council of Science Museums, has been appointed as Director-General of the science city project.
The project, as approved by the Union Cabinet, consists of six hi-tech modules, namely, astrovision hall, science exploration hall, evolution, entrance plaza, convention centre and cyber centre.
The governing body decided to appoint Dr Saroj Ghose, former Director of NCSM, Dr N.K. Sehgal, adviser, Department of Science and Technology, Mr N.S. Sodhi, specialist in civil engineering and construction management, and Mr S. Bagchi, specialist in popularization of science, as consultants.
It was also decided to approach eminent scientists of international repute, including Prof Yash Paul, a former chairman, UGC, Dr Raja Raman, former chairman, Atomic Energy Commission.
Mr Arun Khetrapal,
Additional Secretary, representing the Government of
India, Dr A.P. Mitra, former Director-General, CSIR, Mr
Basant Kumar of the Indira Gandhi National Centre of Art
and Dr T.K. Mandal from the Department of Science and
Technology, Government of India, were among the
scientists who attended the meeting. The meeting was
chaired by the Chief Secretary, Mr R.S. Mann.
Presentation on Sector 17 improvement
CHANDIGARH, July 7 A Delhi-based consultancy firm, Infrastructure Professionals Enterprises (IPE), today gave a presentation on the improvement of Sector 17 and making it a tourist attraction.
Officials of the company gave a presentation before the councillors and senior officials of the Municipal corporation of Chandigarh. The corporation had invited consultancy bids from consultants for carrying various functions like the maintenance and management approaches for the common areas, detailed survey of the names of the residents, shop owners, office-goers and visitors to the complex and organisational structure of the implementing agency.
The IPE had quoted the lowest rate of Rs 4.75 lakh, apart from a service tax of 5 per cent, for carrying out the job
It may be recalled that the House of the corporation, at one of the meetings last month, had desired that the presentation be made before the councillors.
Encroachments removed: The Enforcement wing today cleared a number of encroachments from the Sector 18 market.
The action followed
verbal warning given to the shopkeepers a few days ago. A
number of goods of shopkeepers kept illegally for sale on
the varandah meant for general public were seized. Over
30 encroachers were challaned in the drive which
continued for over three hours.
CHANDIGARH was conceived as a planned and modern city for a population of about 2 lakh. With its wide roads, lush greenery and architecturally beautiful buildings and cleanliness, it has come to be known as City Beautiful, offering a high quality of living to its residents. With the city being capital to the governments of Punjab and Haryana and headquarters of the Administration of Union Territory of Chandigarh, there has been a phenomenal growth in its population. Infrastructural facilities in the fields of education, health, roads and railways links, have also grown tremendously.
Chandigarh is a city cherished by its residents. With institutions like PGI, Sector 32 Hospital, Punjab University, CII and PHD Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the city has become a centre for various national/international level conferences and conventions. A number of family members of its residents have immigrated to West Asia, Europe and America, besides the large population of Doaba region, who have there relatives abroad. The city is preferred as the first landing site by international travellers. Besides, it is a gateway to the tourist attractions in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, not to mention the pride of the place, which Chandigarh itself enjoys on the tourist map of India.
According to a study, more than 25 per cent of the international travellers at Delhi International Airport are from this region, who have to encounter various hardships to reach to their destinations in and around Chandigarh. With the Government of Punjab setting of a 400-acre Information Technology Park in SAS Nagar, the absence of having an international airport at Chandigarh is going to be felt greater than ever before.
With the revolution in Information Technology and opening of the international economic barriers, the world has become a small global village, where mergers and international joint ventures have become commonplace. The international travellers are hesitant to come to this part of the country for lack of direct flights and due to the hassles faced by the businessmen from abroad at the New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport. This notwithstanding, the cheap availability of manpower (both skilled and unskilled) and the relative peace prevailing in the region.
Fortunately, Chandigarh already has a domestic airport, which can be easily converted into an international one by increasing its length of runway and setting up of additional customs/immigration clearance facilities and X-ray machines. The investment in the above infrastructure will more than repay in the form of resultant faster growth and development of the region and the prosperity of its people.
We should also not
forget a major factor that with more than 60 per cent
population living in villages, the economy of the region
is heavily dependent upon agriculture. There is
tremendous scope for export of fresh fruits and
vegetables to the middle-east countries, which are
otherwise importing their requirements from Europe and
America at high cost. In case we have an international
airport at Chandigarh, fresh fruits and vegetables, which
are available in plenty in the region, can be air-lifted
to the middle east countries, resulting in earning of
foreign exchange in billions of dollars. This will help
not only the farmers, but also in the overall
development of the states around Chandigarh.
Jacob visits library
CHANDIGARH, July 7 The collection of books should be expanded and more books on environment, horticulture, agriculture and information technology should be introduced, said, Lt-Gen JFR Jacob (Retd), UT Administrator, on a visit to the British Council Library.
He had come over to just have a look at the library. The Administrator showed great interest in literature, English, economics, information technology, computers and history sections. Mr Sushanta Banerjee informed that the library was having a collection of 6000 books.
The Governor interacted with the library members.He also invited suggestions from the members on how the Central State Library of UT can be improved.He was impressed by the working of the library and suggested that the basement of the building should can also be used.
Mr Sushanta Banerjee, Library Manager said that the books available in this library could not be found in the Indian market.
Delegation meets IGP
CHANDIGARH, July 7 A delegation of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal met Mr Bhim Sain Bassi, IGP, and apprised him of various issues relating to the trading community.
Better traffic management and wider parking areas in the markets, stronger security, especially during the closed hours, impartial role of the police in commercial property disputes and periodic interaction of the police with members of the mandal were among the issues discussed with Mr Bassi.
Lions Club members take oath
SAS NAGAR, July 7 Mr K.S. Bedi took over as President of the Lions Club Mohali at a function held here today.
Addressing the participants, Mr Bedi said he would organise tree plantation and medical camps, education drive for slum areas and construction of a lions bhavan.
Drive to make voters I-cards
SAS NAGAR, July 7 On the directive of the Chief Election Commissioner, a two-day intensive drive to make voters identity cards begins in SAS Nagar tomorrow.
Those voters from SAS Nagar, and Mohali and Matour villages who have not got their identity cards made can benefit from this drive.
As per the schedule given by the SDM, voters from Phases 10 and 11 can get their identity cards made at Government Primary School, Phase 11, voters from Phases 7 and 9 and Sectors 70 and 71 and Matour at the Municipal Council office, voters from Phases 3A, 3B1, 3B2, 4, and 5 at Government Senior Secondary School, Phase 3B1, and voters from Phases 1, 2, 6 and Mohali village at the PUDA Office, Phase 1, Estate Office.
Tribune employees bereaved
CHANDIGARH, July 7 Kulwant Kaur (80), mother of Mr Amarpal Singh Sodhi and Mr Bhajanpal Singh, Executive and Senior Bromide Paster, respectively, working with The Tribune Trust, died today after prolonged illness.
Chance arrest of two thieves
CHANDIGARH, July 7 The police has arrested two Uttar Pradesh residents who had committed a burglary in Sector 46-A.
According to police sources, the duo Asif Ali and Kasim Ali, both residents of Dhampur were travelling on a rickshaw in Sector 35 when some traffic personnel waved down a scooterist. The accused, thinking that they were being stopped, jumped from the rickshaw and ran away. The personnel, in addition to some members of the public, became suspicious, went in pursuit and caught them from some distance.
During interrogation, they revealed that they had come to the city three days ago and had targetted the house which was locked during day time. They broke open the lock of the main door and stole a VCR, two gold bangles, two ear-rings, a watch and Rs 5,000.
STD owners long wait
PANCHKULA, July 7 A couple residing in Mani Majra has alleged that the police refused to entertain their complaint made in April and subsequently in May, regarding theft of machinery worth Rs 83,000 from their STD booth in Rajiv Colony.
Mrs Harjinder Kaur, owner of the booth, said they had closed down their booth in the colony, since it was located near a liquor vend. On April 6 they found that the booth had been broken into and items worth Rs 83,000 were missing. They reported the matter to the police at the Sector 16 police post and were assured that their goods would be returned to them.
However, nothing was done about the matter and they again approached the police, but no case was registered. In the third attempt, they found that a new person had taken charge of the police post and could not help them since no complaint had been registered.
Meanwhile, Naresh Kumar, a junk dealer, occupied the booth and further rented it out to a meat shop owner who now refuses to vacate it.
We are mentally
disturbed and have no source of income. We have failed to
secure justice and are running from pillar to post. We
will appeal to the DGP to intervene and come to our
rescue in the next darbar, her husband Gurmeet
Protest march by Punwire staff
SAS NAGAR, July 7 Members of the Punjab Wireless Systems Employees Union today held a protest march towards Raj Bhavan but were stopped at the traffic lights of Sectors 7 and 8, Chandigarh. A representative of the union went to Raj Bhavan to submit a memorandum.
Meanwhile, the relay
fast by the Punwire Employees Coordination Committee in
front of Udyog Bhavan entered its 19th day today. The
committee threatened to hold a rally in front of the
resident of senior Punjab Government officials.
Prices of poultry products up
SAS NAGAR, July 7 The prices of poultry products have registered an increase once again after remaining low in April. Broiler chicken, which was selling at between Rs 60 and Rs 75 a kg, was now selling at between Rs 80 and Rs 95.
A visit to different local markets reveal that the price of egg was varying from Rs 16 to Rs 18 a dozen. A meat shop in Phase 5 was selling the broiler at Rs 85 a kg. A shredded broiler was being sold by a shopkeeper at Rs 95 a kg.
A similar trend was
noticed in the case of eggs. The poultry product, which
was selling at between Rs 16 and Rs 18 per dozen. While a
shopkeeper was selling eggs at Rs 14 per dozen, another
in the same market was selling the item at Rs 16. In the
start of the year, the eggs were priced at between Rs 18
and Rs 20 a dozen.
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