Saturday, August 5, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Oil depots coming up in city
CST saving will be Rs 10 crore 
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 4 — City residents may be saved from the impending hike in petrol and diesel prices due to a changed tax structure even as approximately Rs 10 crore will be saved from the UT resource pool as major oil companies are in the process of setting up oil depots in the city.

With this, the Chandigarh Administration will not be paying any central sales tax (CST) on petrol or diesel in the neighbouring Haryana or Punjab, where oil depots are based and products are presently sourced for consumption in Chandigarh. The adjoining states refused to allow any concession on this front after the uniform sales tax structure came into being.

The UT was asked to pay its own CST on petrol and diesel while also paying the 4 per cent CST at the pricing point that is presently in Haryana or Punjab. The point of pricing is fixed from the place where tankers fill oil for transportation. Once these depots come up, the point of pricing will change and the billing will be in Chandigarh itself. This means the saving on CST alone would be approximately Rs 10 crore, say sources while explaining the need to set up depots.

Had this not been done, the Chandigarh Administration would have had to deposit CST on petrol and diesel twice: once from the point of pricing and secondly on sales. This would have meant that a large part of it would have been passed on to the consumer while resulting in a price hike on both products. A disparity between prices prevailing in Chandigarh and those in Panchkula and SAS. Nagar would have possibly triggered a shift in business.

At the moment, oil companies have been offered land in Sector 25. The modalities of a depot are yet to be worked out. Sources in the petroleum sector say these are likely to be notional depots from where the requirements of the city's needs will be met.

When asked why similar depots cannot be set up for LPG to avoid taxation, sources in the Chandigarh Administration said for this, an LPG bottling plant is required and it entails an investment of several crore, whereas this is not so in the case of oil depots. The benefit from an LPG cylinder which costs around Rs 200 would not be all that to force such a big investment.Back


PU removes Puri’s recruits
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 4 — The Panjab University Syndicate today decided to remove of at least six superannuated personnel recruited during the term of former Vice-Chancellor M.M Puri.

Though recommendations regarding their removal had been made earlier by the university House, no formal action was taken. The names in the list include those of the Chief Security Officer, Mr Sita Ram, Prof G.S. Gosal and Mr B.S. Ojha.

Prof Charanjit Chawla and Prof R.D. Anand were asked to look into the matter of 42 appointments made during the last days of the Vice-Chancellor. Prof K.N. Pathak, the new Vice-Chancellor, said serious attention was being given to the issue for a suitable action.

The issues of misuse of amalgamated fund in Guru Nanak College, Ferozepore, and non-payment of salary to the staff of Guru Nanak College, Muktsar for nine months were raised by Professor Chawla and Mr Satish Sharma, respectively. A committee will look into the matters.

The appointment of Mr Devender Marwaha, assistant in the former VC’s office in a senior grade in an alternate department, was questioned by Prof Ram Prakash, Ms Sneh Mahajan, Prof I.M. Govil, Mr Kehar Singh, Professor Chawla and Dr R.D. Anand. Mr H.S. Deol, Mr Gopal Krishan Chatrath, Mr Satish Sharma and Prof Raghuvir Singh supported the appointment.

However, the item was sent back for re-consideration. The Vice-Chancellor was asked to look into the matter.

The deans on the agenda were given a one-year extension. A member said powers should be given to the Vice-Chancellor to look into the appointments.

The university Syndicate decided to increase the seats of the BBA and the BCA courses from 30 to 40. The House also cleared the proposal to increase the seats in the Bachelor of Commerce course from 60 to 70, sources said.

The item relating to allowing the prosecution of Dr Sodhi Ram, former Controller of Examination, under scrutiny for a ‘paper leakage’ case would be taken up at the Senate meeting on August 13.

The university budget featured in the second half of the day. 



Procedure followed in poll: MC
By Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 4 — The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), apparently not happy at the legal advice from the UT Legal Remembrancer (LR) on the elections of the Chairpersons and Deputy Chairpersons of the seven subcommittees, has written to the Chandigarh Administration, saying that “procedure and convention” were followed in the elections.

In a letter to the UT Finance Secretary and Secretary Local Bodies, Mr Rakesh Singh, the MCC has claimed that proper procedure and convention, set by the elected body in 1997, were followed in the elections. It was resolved to constitute the seven subcommittees as per Section 42 (3) of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, as extended to the Union Territory of Chandigarh at the second meeting of the elected corporation held on January 21, 1997.

Subsequently, the Mayor asked the Secretary of the corporation to hold the election of the Chairpersons and the Deputy Chairpersons. Nomination papers were not filed and names were only proposed and seconded, the letter said.

In 1998 also, nomination paper were not filed. In 1999, the then Mayor constituted the subcommittees and the past procedure was followed in the election.

Three councillors — Mr O.P. Goyal, Ms Surya Pandit and Mr R.S. Kailey — had complained that elections had not been held as per provisions of the law. They had alleged that the elections were illegal and should be held again. The civic body had then referred the matter to the LR, who, in his report, has stated that the procedure similar to the one for election to the post of the Mayor should have been adopted as per the provisions of the law.

At a meeting of the corporation on July 31, the MCC authorities had received criticism from councillors for not showing them the

LR's report. The Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Des Raj Tandon, had then said that second opinion had been sought from the LR.

In the letter, the corporation said that at the meeting of the MCC on April 19, 2000, a resolution had been passed that subcommittees should be reconstituted by the Mayor. The Mayor had fixed the time, date and place of the elections, besides nominating councillors as presiding officers for these and the past procedure and convention had also been followed.

The letter said that the election of the chiefs and deputy chiefs were held as per procedure laid down in the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (Procedure and Conduct of Business) Act, 1996. The letter, however, said nominations had not been invited and the names had been proposed and seconded orally.

It also said the election to the seven subcommittees were held unanimously. None of the presiding officers had objected to the nominations or asked the councillors to file nominations in advance as prescribed in the Regulation 6, though they had sufficient time to point out any departure from the procedure.

The letter urged the Finance Secretary to keep the fact stated in the letter in mind while taking any decision in this regard.Back


Punwire staff held, bailed out
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Aug 4 — As many as 39 employees of Punjab Wireless Systems Limited, arrested for violating the prohibitory orders, were today granted bail by the UT Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Mr Naval Kumar.

The accused, including 20 women employees, were directed to be released on furnishing personal bonds of Rs 5,000 each along with a surety of the like amount.

They were taken in custody by the police at about 9 a.m. as they were marching towards Punjab MLA's hostel in Sector 4 here for submitting a memorandum.

According to the police, the employees were booked under Section 188 of Indian Penal Code for violating Section 144 of CrPC.

Talking to mediapersons soon after the employees were produced at the Sector 17 District Courts, Punwire employees Union leaders alleged that they were forcibly arrested by the police. They added that three ladies had sustained injuries and were badly treated at the Sector 3 police station.

The employees have been agitating at different places in the city and SAS Nagar. They were demanding the restarting of the company.

It may be recalled that Mr Justice J.S. Khehar of the Punjab and Haryana High Court had earlier appointed a provisional liquidator and had asked him to take charge of the assets and affairs of the company.

Mr Justice Khehar observed that the liabilities of the company had been mounting from year to year and the losses in the past two years had jumped up to Rs 200 crore and the admitted debt was Rs 300 crore. Besides, the wages to the tune of Rs 13 crore to Rs 14 crore were payable to its employees.

Mr Justice Khehar had also observed that none of the creditor had been paid for the past two years even the employees of the company had not been paid for over a year.Back


Chandigarh’s very own book on butterflies
By Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, August 4 — The orange leaf butterfly, found in the city, resembles a dried leaf when it settles on a plant. This and more information about the butterflies of Chandigarh is carried in the book, Butterflies of Chandigarh, which will be available in the market shortly.

Co-authored by three professors, Dr H.R. Pajni, Dr V.K. Walia, both from the Department of Zoology, Panjab University, and Dr H.S. Rose from Punjabi University, Patiala, the book has colour photographs of many species of butterflies found in Chandigarh and information on them.

According to Dr Walia, 65 species of butterflies belonging to eight families inhabit the city environs. The smallest known butterfly of the world is also found here. Known as Freyeria putli, this small insect has a wing span of 16 mm to 18 mm. It is a low flier and can be seen flying slowly around grass.

The largest butterfly known to Chandigarh is Pappilio bolytes romulus, and has a wing span of 90 mm to 108 mm. It lays eggs on the lemon plant.

The book will be useful for a wide range of readers, including college teachers and school teachers, research scholars, entomologists, butterfly lovers and students. The book will also cater to the needs of a layman who has a keen interest in butterflies since it has been written in a very simple style.

These scientists have been working on the book since 1994. “It took us so many years to collect data as extensive research work had to be carried out. The specimens were first collected, then preserved. Later, the identification work was done. Now the book is ready and under publication.” says Dr Walia.

The photography has been done by Dr Walia himself using a canon 500S camera. He has not used any additional light for his photography and the pictures have been clicked in normal light.


HUDA, MC allotted tasks
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Aug 4 — The issue of duty-sharing by officials of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and the proposed Municipal Council (MC) was thrashed out at a high-level meeting convened recently.

Among the important recommendations made by the committee are that HUDA will retain the Public Health Department comprising water supply and sewerage while the Municipal Council has been assigned the role of regulatory authority managing maintenance.

“The MC will be allotted the task of streetlighting, cleanliness and collection of taxes and duties in the city,” an official said. Sources said that a rough estimate indicates that the proposed civic body would have to spend Rs 15 crore annually just on maintenance.

It is learnt that the Public Health Department is always in the deficit and this was the primary reason for retaining it with HUDA. This deficit would be met by the state government while the MC has been handed over departments which have been in the surplus. “Water and sewerage are made available at subsidised rates to the public which explains for the deficit,” he explained.

The task of granting approval to building plans will remain with HUDA. This decision comes in the wake of absence of technical hands with the civic body. HUDA will also continue to charge building and compounding fees and issue completion certificates to the house owners while funds so generated will be shared by both the MC and HUDA.

The recommendations make it clear that only the developed sectors will be handed over to the MC. These lay to rest the apprehensions of residents who were opposed to the formation of the MC on this account. The committee had decided that even for sectors handed over to the MC, HUDA would carry out works specified in the master plans


Muslims told about loan schemes
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 4 — The Department of Social Welfare has launched a special drive to popularise various loan schemes of the Chandigarh Scheduled Castes, Backward Classes and Minorities and the Financial and Development Corporation and the Child and Woman Development Corporation.

Under the drive, an awareness camp, was organised today at the masjid in Burail for the Muslim community. The department distributed 77 forms under the National Corporation Scheme and nine of the Child and Woman Development Corporation. Besides, three forms under the scheme for the handicapped and seven in the NORAD Computer Scheme were also disbursed.

A camp for the SC, ST and the BC persons was organised in Maloya village on July 29. A camp, for the Christian community will be organised in the Sector 18 church on August 6.

These loans are given for agriculture and allied sector, small business and commercial vehicles under the national corporation and the bank tie-up schemes.

The department and the corporation acts as a channelising agency for the National Minorities Finance and Development Corporation (NMFDC). The loans are disbursed to persons having an annual income of less than Rs 31,000 in the rural and Rs 42,000 in the urban areas.

According to field officers, besides the proof of residence and the caste certificates, those seeking loans also have to provide sureties of government servants.

The aim of organising these camps is to popularise the various schemes to facilitate people avail these loans. Officials from the department gave information about the schemes in this camp besides providing assistance for filling in the forms. Processing and verification will be done later. The effort will be to cut down the time taken for the processing.

In the year 1998-99, Rs 17.94 lakh was disbursed by the corporation out of which Rs 14.64 was given by NMDFC. As much as Rs 17.93 lakh was given as loans in 999-2000. The NMDFC share in this was Rs 12.90 lakh. This year a demand for Rs 25 lakh has been made by the corporation to the NMFDC.

The interest on loans up to Rs 2 lakh is 7 per cent. The corporation pays the NMFDC 4 per cent per annum. On a loan above Rs 2 lakh, beneficiaries pay 10 per cent whereas the corporation pays 7 per cent to the parent organisation.


‘Bangladesh aiding terrorists in Tripura’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 4 — The law and order situation in Tripura is getting out of hand with the terrorist groups taking charge and becoming more and more aggressive, said Justice J.V. Gupta, Uttar Kshetriya Sangh Chalak of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh. While speaking at a press conference here today, he called on to protest against the kidnapping of RSS workers in the state last year.

Mr Gupta said despite several efforts by the organisation, the Marxist government in the state had failed to secure the release of the four RSS workers. "Several memoranda have been submitted to the Chief Minister as well as the Governor, besides the Human Rights Commission, last year. Our sources now reveal that the kidnapped persons have been kept somewhere in Bangladesh, the headquarters of the National Liberation Front of Tripura," he said.

He also blamed Bangladesh and the Christian missionaries in aiding and abetting the terrorist groups. "Foreign missionaries are creating havoc in the country. The NLFT is being openly supported by them and the neighbouring country which in turn is assisting in training its cadres," he added.

To draw the attention of the state and the Central Government towards the situation, the RSS would organise dharnas, meetings and processions all over the country on August 7.

Mr Gupta also condemned the recent killings of the innocent persons in Jammu and Kashmir. Blaming the Farookh Abdullah government, he said the Chief Minister should have had his perceptions clear as to what was going on in his state. "Till the talks are on with Hizbul Mujahideen, there should be central rule in the state," he demanded.

He said as far as the autonomy was concerned, it was right to give more powers to the states but not at the cost of making the Centre weak.


6 kg water found in LPG cylinder
By Monica Sharma

CHANDIGARH, Aug 4 — Have you ever seen a gas cylinder filled with water instead of the LPG? An Indian Oil Company cylinder (No. S528491) was found containing water after about six days of its use by a local resident.

Mr Sudershan K. Ghai, a resident of Sector 21, got the cylinder against card number 3360 on July 3 from a gas agency in the city. Ms Mamata Ghai, his wife, installed the cylinder a few days after this, but it stopped functioning within six days. She then called the gas agency which had sold it.

A worker of the agency came to their house and told them that there was only water in the cylinder. According to the worker, the weight of water in the 14 kg cylinder was 6 kg. However, nothing was done to replace the cylinder.

Mr Ghai said, “I had paid Rs 210 for the defective cylinder and later, an agency official asked me to pay Rs 60 for a new cylinder in place of the defective one. A worker also said as the weight of water in the cylinder was 6 kg, the agency would compensate the loss with a six kg cylinder.”

Ms Ghai said the delay in replacement showed negligence on part of the agency. “We have suffered due to carelessness of officials of the agency and they should replace the cylinder.”

A senior official of the agency said such incidents were rare and only one in 10,000 cylinders was defective usually. He said when the bulk LPG reached the plant, it was decanted for storage. “At the bottom of the tank, traces of water can be found at times, but normally, the water is drained out and it is rare that water is left in any cylinder.”

“If a water-filled cylinder is received by a customer, it is sent back to the plant for replacement. It has to be emptied before refilling, but sometimes, due to negligence of workers, it gets refilled as such and circulated again. It takes time to get a replacement from the company as it is a long procedure,” he said.


Liquor worth Rs 9 lakh seized
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 4 — In one of the biggest recoveries of liquor, the police has busted a cartel engaged in the smuggling liquor to the city. Country liquor worth Rs 9 lakh was recovered by the cops.

According to sources, Inspector K. I. P. Singh, in charge , Sector 31 police station, received information that a large consignment of liquor had been smuggled into the city and was being offloaded in a godown in the Industrial area.

Acting on this tip-off, a team was constituted and the godown raided late last night. A truck (HR 58 0682) was parked in factory number 10. The employees present on the occasion, Azad Singh, a resident of Sector 27, Ram Babu, a resident of Fatehpur ( the driver of the vehicle), Varinder Kumar, a resident of Kullu and Yoga Singh, a resident of Kurukshetra, were asked to produce a valid permit or relevant papers to store or transport such a large quantity of liquor.

When they could not do so, they were arrested. On checking, the cops found 600 cases (7,200 bottles) and 150 bags containing 30,000 pouches of country-made liquor in the vehicle.

Earlier, the police informed the Excise Department and Mr B. S. Nehra, ETO (Excise) was deputed to assist the cops in the raid. Mr B. D. Bector, DSP, South, supervised the operation.

After initial interrogation, the driver produced forged excise permit used for transporting the liquor from Chhatterpur in Madhya Pradesh to the city. A delivery challan in the name of Cox India Ltd, Nowgang, MP, was also handed to the cops by the accused. The liquor was meant for the l-13 licensee of the Industrial area.

A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act and Sections 467, 468, 471 and 120-B/34 of the IPC has been registered. A case has also been registered against the company for transporting liquor for distribution in local vends, thereby causing a huge loss to the Excise Department.Back


Man hit by jeep, injured
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 4 — The police has registered a case against the driver of a jeep for hitting and injuring a Sector 33 resident.

According to police sources, Lalit Jha’s moped was hit by the accused near the Sector 28 petrol station. He has been admitted to the Sector 32 GMCH. A case under Sections 270, 337 and 304-A, IPC, has been registered.

Two arrested: The police has arrested Rakesh Kumar and Neena, residents of Ram Darbar, on the charge of outraging the modesty of a girl in the same locality. A case under Sections 354 and 34 of the IPC has been registered.

Cheating case: Sector 21-A resident Atul Sharma reported that a person, Kamaljit Singh, took away his car (DBA-4564) on the pretext of going for a test drive. The accused sped away in the car and has not returned till now. A case under Section 406, IPC, has been registered.

Theft cases: Dadu Majra resident Gurcharan Singh reported that someone stole Rs 5,750 from his residence. A case under Sections 380 and 457, IPC, has been registered.

Sector 23 resident B.R. Madaan reported that someone stole his car (CHK-7789) from his residence. A case under Section 379, IPC, has been registered. 


HSIDC, NRI clash over plot refund
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Aug 4 — An NRI from the USA, Dr Anil Chawla, has alleged that the Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation (HSIDC) has imposed unreasonable penalties on him while refunding money deposited for an industrial plot in Barwala.

However, officials of the HSIDC contend that Dr Chawla was given his letter of allotment and the amount of Rs 27,000 was deducted according to the rules of the corporation in the case of a surrendered plot.

Dr Chawla alleged that the HSIDC was given full payment of the plot in 1998 after which he was harassed to submit more documents, adding that the application submitted by him was incomplete. "I was in constant touch with the corporation while in the USA and said that I could not supply the documents time and again since I had undergone various surgeries and operations. However, my appeals seemed to be falling on deaf ears,'' he says.

Further, he contends that he should not have been allotted the plot if information in his application was found wanting. "Interestingly, I was even given my letter of allotment this year even though I have not supplied the required documents. I am of the opinion that this has been done with a view to imposing penalties and pocket the money received by way of this,'' he informed.

Meanwhile, the General Manager, Mr Satish Aggarwal, explained that a detailed reply to all queries of the complainant had been sent to him by e-mail. "It seems he was never interested in setting up a unit here and is raising a hue and cry to get a refund of the amount taken by way of penalty. This has only been done in keeping with the rules and there is nothing to hide in the matter,'' he informed.

The official contented that the documents needed to complete the application came in at regular intervals and the letter of allotment was issued only when the application was completed. "That is the time Dr Chawla chose to surrender the plot and demanded that the entire amount be refunded. When he did not see it coming, he began to challenge the orders,'' Mr Aggarwal explained.


Booked for marrying minor
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Aug 4 — The local police has booked a scooter mechanic for kidnapping a minor girl and forcing her to marry him. According to information, the 15-year-old Class X student of a public school, was allegedly coaxed into marriage by Dalbir Singh, a mechanic employed in the Sector 28 motor market at Chandigarh.

The girl, a resident of Phase 6, reportedly went with the boy on August 1. When she did not return by the next day, her mother lodged a complaint with the police.

Sources in the police said the girl had illicit relations with the boy and had conceived. She underwent abortion following which she developed complications. She had been admitted to the civil hospital in Phase 6 here. A case under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC has been registered against the mechanic.


Shop auction fetches 3.12 crore for MCC
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 4 — The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) today netted Rs 3.12 crore through the auction of commercial sites in Sector 9-C and Mani Majra.

At the auction held at Tagore Theatre here, 12 built-up booths and one SCO were leased out for a period of 99 years. Of the 12 booths, nine are in Mani Majra and three in Sector 9-C.

Besides the booths, four shops were also rented out by the civic body. The sole SCO in Sector 9-C fetched Rs 1.88 crore as against the reserve price of Rs 1.84 crore. The leftover commercial property will be auctioned in October.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Financial Corporation (DFC), a government undertaking, set up a camp at Tagore Theatre where information regarding availing of the finance from the corporation for the purchase and construction of buildings at the auctioned sites was provided.

According to a press note, the DFC is offering financial assistance at interest rates varying from 13.5 to 15 per cent and the repayment period is five to eight years.

The corporation also distributed loan application forms free of cost. 


Management, union dispute resolved
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Aug 4 — The dispute between the management of the Godrej-GE and the employees union over the wearing of safety shoes by the latter has been solved with the intervention of the Labour Commissioner, Punjab, Mr S.S. Channy. The management of the factory has reportedly agreed to shift the lockers/time punching machine to a suitable place within a period of two months.

The Labour-cum-Conciliation Officer, SAS Nagar, Mr Jacob Partap, said the workers had agreed to enter the main gate of factory with safety shoes. According to Mr Jacob, the claim of the workers that their safety shoes had been lost during a recent lathi charge by the police, had been refuted by the management. However, the management had agreed to supply a new pair of shoes at half the price and the amount would be recovered from their salary in three monthly instalments.

The management had also agreed to keep in abeyance the charge sheets issued to the workers and to drop them after observing the behaviour of the workers for two months.

The leaders of the employees union could not be contacted for their version.

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