Sunday, July 22, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


YC for check on escalating cost of education
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 21
The Youth Congress has pleaded for effective measures to check the rising cost of education which had virtually made school education, out of bounds for the salaried class and people from lower and middle income groups.

Presiding over a function to distribute free stationery and educational aids to students in BM High School Shivaji Nagar, here, Mr Pawan Diwan, chairman, Urban Development Cell of the Indian Youth Congress, said while the standard of education was deteriorating, the schools were charging exorbitant fee and other charges. Escalating fee structure in affiliated schools and huge donations, charged at the time of admission in public schools, called for stern measures, he said.

Emphasising the need for combating illiteracy, Mr Diwan maintained that progress and development of society was not possible unless total literacy was achieved. The youth could make a significant contribution towards fight against poverty and social evils only when they were properly educated.

He criticised the government scheme of providing computer education in 5,000 schools in the state in collaboration with a private company. The fee structure of computer education from Class VI onwards was on a higher side and students belonging to poor families would not be able to afford it, he said.

Mr Diwan announced the Youth Congress would soon launch a drive against drug addiction and other social evils. The party activists would educate the youth and take up various activities to create awareness among people against drugs and other social evils.

Mr Kala Jain, general secretary, Punjab Youth Congress, also addressed the gathering while Mr Rajesh Gupta, Principal of the school, welcomed the distinguished guests. Prominent among those present at the function were Mr Ajay Gupta, president, New Sahara Club, Mr Amar Jain, Mr Anil Jain, Mr Sunil Jain, Mr Ajay Gupta, Mr Subhash Jain, Mr Amar Nath and Mr Vinay Kumar.



PUDA directed to refund amount
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 21
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) to refund the excess amount on account of non-construction fee to Dr Harpal Singh a resident of Goraya. The forum further directed PUDA to pay interest on the excess amount at the rate of 12 per cent per annum from the date of deposit till actual payment.

Dr Harpal Singh was allotted a residential plot, number 1426, of 400 square yards in Sector 32, Ludhiana, on March 29, 1993. The consumer had submitted the building plan in August, 2000, but the authority did not sanction the same and compelled him to deposit Rs 29,950 on account of non-construction fee, he added.

The consumer disclosed that since he wanted to start construction work, he deposited the said amount. He alleged that the non-construction fee was not charged in accordance with the rules.

PUDA pleaded that the plot was allotted as per provisions of the PUDA Act, 1964, and the complainant was bound to raise the construction on the ground floor within three years, on the first floor within five years and on the second floor within seven years from the date of allotment.

The authority claimed that the non-construction fee had been charged in accordance with the agreement entered into prior to enactment of Punjab Regional Town Planning Act, 1995. The controversy required interpretation of certain rules, it added.

PUDA claimed that the complainant was bound to make the payment of the said amount. It denied that the consumer was compelled to make the payment and claimed that he voluntarily made the payment of the fee.

The forum observed that the authority could charge the non-construction charges only as per the rule 13 of the PUDA Act, but it had recovered the fee on the basis of letter issued by the Chief Administrator of PUDA.

The forum gave a reference to the judgement of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, in which the court had held that the recovery of the fee on the basis of the said letter was illegal.

The forum held that in this case, PUDA was entitled to retain the fee for one year only as per the rates mentioned in the rule 13 of the PUDA Act. The excess amount was liable to be refunded, it observed.


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