Wednesday, December 26, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Time for PU Senate to discuss DoB rules
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
A special note sent by Justice D.V.Sehgal comes up for consideration in the forthcoming senate meeting. The note says that rules regarding change in date of birth should be abrogated and the pending applications should be rejected.

It has been argued that a period of almost 30 years has elapsed since PU conducted matriculation examination. Lapse of such a long period of time has rendered the rules redundant.

According to Justice Sehgal, rules for change in date of birth have lost their efficacy and effectiveness. These rules should be dropped by the Senate. The pending requests should be declined on the ground that the university does not deem it fit to entertain requests for alternation in date of birth at such a later stage’.

It may be remembered that the issue of the date of birth committee has rocked several Senate meetings in the past few years. It has been pointed out that a number of government servants who were nearing their retirement age sought a change in their date of birth to be able to serve a little more.

It has been pointed out that ‘ as many as 106 applications are pending for the correction of date of birth. About 25 cases are those which have been referred by the Syndicate back to the committee. Either the Syndicate or the committee was not satisfied that there existed any justification for effecting any alteration in the date of birth in such cases.

As many as 40 cases are pending due to non-existence of the date of birth committee. About 41 cases are pending for want of required information and supporting documents. In many such cases there has been no response from the candidates.

According to the note, “ In almost all the cases the applicants are nearing the age of 50 years or are already above 50 years of age. The purpose of alternation of date of birth is only to enlarge the tenure of service and postpone the date of superannuation. There is not a single application where a date of birth sought to be altered by an earlier date”.

The note further says “Rules provide that the delay in filing application for correction in date of birth after a period of three years from the termination of education career of the applicant in the university will have to be explained by the candidate. If the delay is not satisfactorily explained by the applicant, it will be considered as a factor against the applicant.”


5 hurt in vehicle collision
Miraculous escape for ITBP bus passengers
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 25
It was a miraculous escape for more than a dozen persons travelling in an ITBP vehicle, who were caught in an accident between three trucks near Nadha Sahib, on the Panchkula Naraingarh highway this morning. However, five persons were injured in this accident.

According to information available, the ITBP vehicle, a Swaraj Mazda (CH-01G- 1033) ran out of fuel and was parked on the roadside near the crossing that leads to Morni hills from the highway. A truck (HP- 12- 8991) , coming from Delhi and moving towards Baddi, tried to overtake the Swaraj Mazda parked on the roadside.

As this truck tried to overtake, another truck (HP- 14- 0909) was coming on the highway from the Morni hills. The drivers of the two trucks were unable to see each other, because of the Swaraj Mazda, and as a result, the two trucks collided into each other.

The truck (HP-12-8991) overturned and fell on the road. The driver of this truck, Baldev Singh, was injured as were the driver, Madan Lal, and cleaner, Ajit Singh of the truck ( HP-14- 0909).

At that very moment, a military truck was coming from Panchkula side. The military truck (86R- 3377(L) collided into the truck (HP- 12-8991) that had overturned and fallen on the road side.

This collision also embroiled the Swaraj Mazda of ITBP that was standing on the roadside. The driver of the ITBP bus, Des Raj, and a sixteen year old girl travelling in the bus were also injured.

It was later that the police was called and the vehicles were lifted from the road. The injured were transferred to the hospital for treatment, where Madan Lal and Baldev Singh are stated to be in a serious condition.


City swings to Xmas spirit
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, December 25
Christmas was celebrated with religious fervour and gaiety in the city today.

Celebrations started well in advance on Christmas eve with bursting of crackers as the clock struck 12 at night. In the early morning, devotees dressed up in bright clothes visited churches to pay obeisance to Lord Jesus. Long queues could be seen outside churches, Catholic Church, Sector 19, in particular.

A Santa Claus distributes sweet among the Bal Niketan inmates at Sector 2, Panchkula on Tuesday.

Kids wearing tiger masks participate in the ‘roaring competition’ organised on the occasion of Christmas at Sector 17, Chandigarh on Tuesday.

A Santa Claus distributes sweet among the Bal Niketan inmates at Sector 2, Panchkula on Tuesday. — A Tribune photograph

Kids wearing tiger masks participate in the ‘roaring competition’ organised on the occasion of Christmas at Sector 17, Chandigarh on Tuesday. — Tribune photo Pradeep Tewari

People exchanged pleasantries and wished merry Christmas to near and dear ones. From morning till late at night all were busy wishing merry Christmas, exchanging gifts with their relatives and friends. Houses were tastefully decorated for the festival with evergreens, a wreath of holly o the front door and garlands of holly, ivy and fir indoors. Christmas trees decorated with bells and lights were a common sight.

Traditional food item — sweet mince pies, rich Christmas cake full of nuts, dried fruit, brandy and Christmas puddings were prepared in every Christian house.

A Christmas get-together was organised in the evening at Catholic Church, Sector 19-A. Rt Rev Dr Gerald John Mathias while addressing a selected audience, said, “Lord Christ descended on the earth with a message of peace and salvation . We want the world should have peace and should flourish. We should shed hatred and it is possible only if we follow the path shown by Lord Christ.”

The chief guest of the function, Governor of Haryana, Babu Parmanand, said, “The message contained in the Bible is the same as in other religious books. Lord Christ has shown us the path of brotherhood. His message “as you sow so shall you reap” is still relevant.”

On this occasion, carols were sung both in Hindi and English. Father Thomas proposed a vote of thanks to the chief guest and the elite of the city who had joined in Christmas celebrations.

About 900 children participated in a rally for world peace organised by the Sri Satya Sai Seva Organisation to celebrate Christmas today. A large number of children from villages and slums also participated in the rally.

The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, celebrated Christmas with the inmates of Sri Satya Sai Old Age Home, Sector 30, and dedicated ‘Sai Darshan Hall’ to the service of mankind.

The rally started with “ved parayan” sung by Bal Vikas children. The rally was flagged off by the District Education Officer, Mr Brahmjit Kalia. Children were holding placards carrying slogans “love all, serve all”, “help ever, hurt never” and “there is only one caste-the caste of humanity”.

The district president, Dr Subhash Mahajan, said, “the objective of the Sai mission is to unite entire mankind as one family through the bond of brotherhood.”

Children of Kishangarh village also participated in the rally.

Christmas was also celebrated with great enthusiasm by the Scheduled castes and Scheduled Tribes Welfare Federation and the SC/ST Cell of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee at Valmiki Bhavan, Sector 24, today.

A ‘Sadbhawna sabha’ was organised for peace and prosperity of the country. The president of the federation, Mr Amar Nath Sarhadi, asked people to follow the teachings of Lord Christ.

Members of the New Kuteer Group Housing Society, Mansa Devi Complex, Panchkula, also celebrated Christmas with great enthusiasm today. Houses were decorated with bells, balloons, stars and Christmas trees. Games were also organised on the occasion.

Christmas was celebrated by students of Tiny Tots Preparatory School, Sector 38-A. Kids dressed up in colourful attires participated in a fancy dress competition organised on the occasion.

Spreading messages of joy and love, various organisations of the city celebrated Christmas amidst fun and frolic today.

It was non-stop fun for the visitors at Hotel Jasmine in Sector 35 where the Artiste Bank organised a 12-hour-long cultural bonaza that included dance items and fun games. Visitors who joined the dance floor along with the dance troupe from the Artiste Bank were encouraged to put their best foot forward by announcing prizes like “Best Dancer”, “Best Couple Dancer” and “Best Dressed Couple.”

The comedy act put together by director of the bank Rohit Batra that dotted the programme was refreshing. To complete the spirit of Christmas, Santa Claus came loaded with gifts which he distributed generously among the participants and guests.

In another function Balaji Event Organisers wished the kids a Merry Christmas by organising the ‘Britannia Tiger Award’ in which kids painted their faces as tigers and roared like tigers to win a host of prizes. Two Santas who distributed surprise gifts to all attracted a lot of onlookers.

It was a fun-filled day at Bal Niketan Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 37, where Santa Claus celebrated Christmas with the students here today.

Together, they danced around a decorated Christmas tree, singing carols while the bells jingled in the background even as they exchanged felicitations. Dancing, partying and merry-making marked the celebrations at the school.


Gaeity and fervour marked the Christmas celebrations at the Bal Niketan here today, where the 50-odd inmates had dressed up in their Sunday best to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Excitement marked the simple celebrations here. Even though there were no jazzy decorations, the smiles on the faces of the children were enough to bring colour to the day. Children had made beautiful rangoli designs, using flower petals and saw dust.

The celebrations began with Santa Claus (one of the inmates, Kapil had dressed up as Santa) coming in the main lawn. The children rushed towards him and after getting their gifts, they all gathered together for singing Christmas carols.

After this, the children danced to the latest numbers and this was followed by lunch, organised by a local resident for the children.

Christmas was also celebrated at Amravati Public School in a unique manner. The children not only celebrated Christmas here, but also went to the slum areas alongwith their teachers and distributed books and old clothes, informed Ms. Poonam Gupta, Principal of the school.


A day of longing for some
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, December 25
Santa did not bring gifts for them today. As beggars in worn-out clothes stood in front of churches decked up with glittering red and yellow lights, shifting weight from one leg to another, their desperate eyes longingly followed the revellers walking down the street with glittering plastic stars and soft toys.

Living in abject poverty where the next meal was sometimes a distant dream, they were not aware of the day’s significance, not even aware of the background. They were never told that on December 25 Santa slips down the chimney before filling the stockings of “the haves” with toys and sweets. All they knew was that a lot many people were descending from jaunty cars for buying gifts and there was none for them.

“Someone told me that kids, already having a lot of toys, today are getting presents from parents and relatives,” said Raghu of Uttar Pradesh, standing in front of the Sector 19 church with outstretched arms. “So I am waiting for the benevolent devotees to give me something too”, he added.

His friend Matru from Rajasthan said, “Since morning, we have been watching people take away cheerful bright balloons, paper-trumpets and other goodies. Till now, no one has given anything to us”.

Why were they not buying toys out of the alms given to them? “We are not supposed to. The money we get is not meant to be wasted on toys. Some goes into buying flour and some is saved for buying seeds for the sowing season so that crops can be grown on the land back home”, he added.

Clutching his belly with dirty hands, he said. “You are talking about toys. Once I purchased a pastry out of the money given to me by a motorist. Mom came to know about it and was very angry with me. I was badly scolded and for three days I was not given anything to eat. That is the way it is”.

Poor Matru and Raghu do not understand that there are “haves” and “have nots” in society. There are somethings which are meant for only those who already have a lot.


Sharma orders probe into woman’s death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
The PGI Director, Dr S.K. Sharma, has asked the Deputy Medical Superintendent, PGI, to look into the cause of death of Varinder Kaur, a 38-year-old resident of Sector 27, who reportedly died within two hours of having brought to the PGI emergency with a urinary problem allegedly due to negligence of the PGI staff.

On December 10, 2001, Varinder Kaur, wife of Mr Birinder Singh, senior manager with Punjab National Bank, was taken by her relatives to PGI emergency following a day long urinary complaint. She reportedly related her problem to the resident on emergency duty but within two hours of reaching PGI, Varinder Kaur was declared dead, to the utter shock and disbelief of her relatives.

What went wrong where no one seems to know but the deceased’s husband, Mr Birinder Singh, lodged a complaint with the PGI Director alleging that the life of Varinder Kaur was lost that day in the PGI emergency “due to negligence, callous, indifferent and inhuman attitude of the staff of the so-called premier institution,” including the senior resident, the ECG staff and the ultrasound machine staff.

Varinder Kaur started complaining of not being able to pass urine easily since December 9 morning. By the night she developed pain in her legs and the urine blockage problem intensified. Since her husband was off to Bangalore for a training, she contacted her relatives to take her to the hospital.

The family states that Varinder related her problem to the doctor on duty. She was then administered six bottles of glucose within the next one hour along with some other medicines. When she started complaining of breathlessness, she was put on oxygen. Reportedly, through the oxygen mask, Varinder Kaur also gave consent to the doctor to allow them to make a cut on one side of her chest for some test.

According to the family present there, the cut proved fatal for her. “Immediately after the cut she started turning blue and became unconscious. The doctor asked us to pump her chest but all efforts proved futile. We had walked in with her at 3.30 am and by 5.20 am she was declared dead.,” the family stated.

Varinder’s husband also alleged in the complaint that the staff of duty at the ECG and ultrasound machine was totally indifferent and careless. “The doctor on duty did not bother to ensure that she is put a urinary bag till the time she collapsed. She had complained of not passing urine properly. Along with the glucose the pressure build-up in the body could have proved fatal.”

Varinder Kaur was reportedly a health conscious lady and had her routine tests just a few months back. She was neither suffering from diabetes nor did she have any cardiac problems, the family reported.


Swearing-in function: Admn overrules plea
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 25
The UT Administration has overruled the representation by a section of newly elected councillors to hold the swearing-in ceremony at Tagore Theatre or UT Guest House. The ceremony will be held tomorrow in the Assembly Hall of the Municipal Corporation.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramshekhar said the venue of ceremony had been decided as per law. It may be recalled that last time the oath taking function was held at the lawns of the UT Guest House.

Earlier, councillors had given a representation to the UT Administrator and Governor of Punjab, Lieut Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), that their swearing-in ceremony should be held at either at the UT Guest House or Tagore Theatre so that members of public could witness the occasion. They have resented the idea of the ceremony being held at the Assembly Hall of the Municipal Corporation.

A councillor said as the swearing-in ceremony is an important moment his supporters should be present to witness it. The Assembly Hall according to him was not the right place as it could accommodate a maximum of 15 outsiders. Another councillor, Mr Gian Chand Gupta, said the ceremony should be held at a place where general public could witness it.

Ms Harjinder Kaur, outgoing Mayor, who has once again been elected to the corporation also did not like the idea of holding the function at Assembly Hall. The three councillors of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch had also urged the Administration to shift the venue to a place where members of public could also witness the ceremony. However, some of the councillors who were indifferent towards the venue. Ms Lalit Joshi, a Congress councillor said, ‘‘I will take oath at any place’’.


2 more zoo animals die
Our Correspondent

Chhat Bir, December 25
Within a period of about 24 hours after the death of a stork chick, a monkey and a sambhar were also found dead in the Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park here on Sunday.

Sources in the zoo revealed that the monkey was found dead in an enclosure while the decomposed carcass of a sambhar was noticed by a zookeeper in the Deer Safari.

Zoo authorities maintain that the animals died in a mutual fight, however, some zoo employees held the zoo staff responsible for these deaths. 


Archaic rules buried, legal hassles reduced
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
It has been the year of reform, that too the biggest reforms in 50 years since Chandigarh was planned. Archaic rules and bylaws relating to residential and commercial property in the city gave way to a set of more meaningful and people friendly rules, which will change forever the city’s face and reduce legal hassles for residents.


* Apartment Act, which allows sale of residential and commercial property on floor-wise or section basis, brought in.

* GPA holders allowed to get property transferred in their own names.

* CHB flat owners can get flats transferred in their names after a two-decade struggle.

* Need-based changes allowed in 41,000 CHB flats.

* Several minor alterations allowed in houses.

* Amendments affected in residential and commercial building bylaws

Looking back at 2001, it is evident that changes have been substantial. It will be difficult to pinpoint the single most important change affected by the Chandigarh Administration in the past 12 months. Everything seems important as it had been long pending. Topping the list has been permission for General Power of Attorney (GPA) holders to get the property registered in their name after paying stamp duty. Around 41,000 flats and about 30,000 plots having been sold on leasehold, the owners had sold their properties on GPA basis in the past four decades.

The property, however, remained registered in the name of the allottee and not the buyer. Now GPA holders can get the property transferred in their own names. Conversion from leasehold to freehold was simplified. Also permitted was the conversion of Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) flats from leasehold to freehold basis.

One of the significant changes has been notification of rules which will permit people to sell floors of their property or sub-divide it in sections for sale. For the members of the public, this means they can sell a floor in need of a financial emergency. Also two claimants or heirs can divide the same property and each portion will be registered in their respective names. This is expected to have an impact on prices of flats which will be available at cheaper rates. The new policy comes at time when families are going nuclear and need for separate apartments is rising due to fast-changing lifestyles and patterns.

For long, owners of about 41,000 owners of CHB flats had been demanding that need-based changes be allowed due to increase in family members. The Administration moved in and permitted a series of changes.

Amendments in bylaws permitted need-based relaxation to residents of residential properties, which were not done during the past 50 years. These included small things like covered garages in houses of 10 marla. Amendments in bylaws relating to commercial properties giving permission to sub-divide shops, use residential space in shops for commercial purpose, were among the series of changes affected by the Administration, driven by the Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd). Amendment in bylaws relating to industry provided for more coverage area to expand the existing industry.

On the residential front, the date of sewerage connection is treated as date of completion for concessional plot holders, benefiting thousands of plot holders, including retired soldiers. They were earlier paying 33 per cent of unearned profit on the value of the property to the Estate Office.

A transparent approach was adopted in the Administrator’s discretionary quota for allotment of CHB houses. A committee now invites applications and decides on merit, unblike the past, when all kinds of allegations of favouritism were levelled as the flats commanded a hefty premium. General Jacob prefers to forego discretion in favour of merit. Most houses have been allotted to paraplegic ex-servicemen, martyrs’ families, terrorist victims and their families.

The Estate Office, long riddled as the den of the corrupt, adopted a computerised file tracking system under which any senior official knows where the file has been stuck up. A visitor is given a specific date for completion of the task.


More commitments, more deployment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
The year 2001 saw significant increase in security commitments of the Chandigarh police over past year, both for VIPs as well as for important events hosted in the city.

This year, a total of 25,397 police personnel were deployed and over 1,42, 810 man-hours were spent in making necessary security arrangements. This was in addition to the regular protected persons residing in Chandigarh.

The number of personnel deployed registered an increase of 45 per cent last year, while the man-hours spent on providing additional security rose by about 13 per cent. In 2000, 17,500 police personnel were deployed while 1,26,000 man-hours were spent in making necessary arrangements.

According to the police’s annual review, important events where security cover was provided during the year included the All India Conference of Vice-Chancellors in December, the cricket match between India and England at SAS Nagar in December, several events of the National Games in November and the meeting of presiding officers and secretaries of legislative bodies in during June - July.

During the year, there were 432 occasions where security arrangements in the city were made for the Governor of Punjab and 90 occasions for the Governor of Haryana. Security cover was provided on 186 occasions for the Punjab Chief Minister and on 186 occasions for the Haryana Chief Minister. There were 96 occasions when security cover was provided to Governors and Chief Ministers of other states.

There were 113 occasions during the year when security cover was provided to visiting central government ministers and 59 programmes which were attended by foreign delegates. Judges of the Supreme Court attended 13 programmes in the city, while security arrangements were made for 142 programmes which were attended by judges of high courts from all over the country.

Arrangements were made on 197 occasions for VIPs of X, Y, Z and Z+ categories, while there were 189 programmes where security was provided to high-ranking dignitaries from all over the country. There were a total of 1826 functions organised in the city during the year which were attended by VVIPs or VIPs. Past year, there were 1667 such functions.

The annual report stated that Chandigarh was the gateway to Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, and as such was frequented by central ministers and high-ranking dignitaries at the airport and the railway station. In addition, important conferences, seminars, exhibitions and trade fairs were also organised in Chandigarh, which were visited by VVIPs and VIPs.

The review added that threats posed by terrorist groups in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir such as KCF, KLF, BTFK, Babbar Khalsa, Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hijbul Mujahideen needed to be taken seriously and greater vigil was necessary.


Poor drainage system brings misery for villagers
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, December 25
Residents of Kandala village here are forced to live amidst unhygenic conditions due to indifferent attitude of the officials of the sewerage wing of the Public Works Department (PWD). Dirty water has inundated bylanes in the village as there is no arrangement for its disposal. Villagers have been “living” with the nuisance for the past over six months.

An agitated resident of the village, Ms Amarjit Kaur, said she was the worst sufferer as the boundary wall of her house was on the verge of collapsing. The worst affected area was near Guga Maadi locality where the dirty water was collecting, she said.

According to residents, the problem arose after the natural channel of water got blocked due to construction of a link road.

Expressing an apprehension that the stagnant water may lead to outbreak of epidemic, the villagers seek that an alternative arrangement for disposal of the dirty water be made immediately. Another resident of the village, Mr Amar Singh, who has written to the health authorities about the problem, said the gram panchayat of the village had failed to do anything.

Mr Randhir Singh, sarpanch of the village gram panchayat, said Rs one lakh had been sanctioned by the Chief Minister but the money could not utilised due to rivalry between two groups in the village.


Solar food festival early next year
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
A solar food festival will be organised by the city administration early next year with an aim to popularise solar cooking among city residents. This was stated by the Adviser to the UT Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, chairing a workshop on ‘‘Propagation of Non Conventional Energy Resources’’ at the CYP Asia Centre Commonwealth Secretariat, Punjab Engineering College campus, here today.

Organised by the People for Animals, the workshop was attended by over 25 representatives of various government, non- government and individuals working in the field.

Ms Nanda stated that there was no need of notification of a scheme or a plan if we wanted to popularise a particular scheme. In the workshop, the hub of discussion revolved around solar energy and disposal of domestic waste both organic and inorganic. Ms Nanda stressed that in the field of solar water heating, there was a need to locate good manufacturers of solar water heating equipment followed by their audit to know whether any scheme with them would be successful or not.

It was resolved in the workshop that solar restaurant workshop could be held during or preferably on May 1, 2002. Ms Nanda desired that a solar food festival be arranged at Kalagram-Baithak Restaurant, Chandigarh, where the solar cooker, solar heating water system, solar lanterns could be displayed in order to make people aware of their effective use.

While speaking on the occasion, Ms Neeru Nanda advocated that houses having spacious lawns should not throw the kitchen refuse outside their houses. Instead they should have a pit in a corner of their house and dump the kitchen waste which would produce compost for their gardens.

It was also stressed at the workshop that there was a need to enlighten the people of the city to segregate kitchen waste into organic and inorganic so that these could be dispatched to their destination.

Vermiculture, should also be popularized be used by city residents to make the disposal of the kitchen refuse judiciously as this scheme had been successfully adopted by the residents of the city of Bangalore.

Mr Bhausaheb B. Ingrole, Chief Executive of International Energy Consultancy, spoke on setting up of biogas plants in the open spaces available in each sector of Chandigarh which would result in generating two cylinders of gas and compost for the gardens. It was also resolved that hand driven carts having two separate compartments for organic and inorganic kitchen waste be made available by Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh to the voluntary organisations.


Where cycle rules the road
Shashi Pal Jain

Even if the bicycle is considered a poor man’s vehicle, in the small town of Kharar, it remains the favourite means of transport in every section of society including students, professionals and businessmen.

In the mid-nineties, the sale of bicycles had shown a downward trend, but in recent years the sales have picked up.

Even people belonging to the middle class and well-to-do families are showing a preference for cycling. Short distances and narrow lanes in this town also make the cycle a convenient and economical means of transportation.

But a major reason for the rise in the town’s cycle population is the influx of migrant labour. These men work in the industrial units in Mohali and Chandigarh, and find the bus fare rather high for commuting. They prefer to use the bicycle. A large number of students also come to Kharar every day from the surrounding areas on cycles.

A section of the residents has also opted for the cycle for exercise. Professionals such as lawyers, journalists and shop-keepers are also using cycles for moving around in the town.

While in the big cities, the youngsters flaunt their jaunty motorcycles to exhibit their affluence and macho image, in small towns like Kharar, they settle for cycles. But here too, they have a choice of design and style since the manufacturers have thrown several models in the market at varying prices.

This trend has given rise to a number of bicycle repair shops in every part of the town.


PUDA oversight costs dear
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, December 25
A serious flaw on the part of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority in laying a main water supply line in Phase XI is causing the state exchequer loss of lakhs of rupees. The main road, connecting Phase XI with the rest of the town has been dug up at several places to take water connection for the show rooms being constructed on the other side of the road.

To have access to the water supply line, a concrete footpath has also been dug up. The footpath was laid by the civic body without realising that the water connections for the commercial sites had to pass beneath the road berm. A Municipal Councillor of the area, Mr Amrik Singh, said so far around 10 showrooms had been completed and repaired road cuts could be seen.

When the owners of showroom ( from 70 to 75) began construction on their plots, the road was again cut at several points to have the water connection. The councillor has already suggested that a water supply on the side of the showrooms be laid so that the plot holders did not have to damage the road.


Devoted to a cause

PRAMOD Sharma is one of the few young men of the city who devoted his life to a cause. Be it environment, upliftment of slum children, AIDS awareness, Pramod has believed in it and given all he could to the cause. He has initiated solid waste management programmes for the city and Punjab. Tele-counselling programme on AIDS running in the city too was started with his efforts.

Pramod, a Masters in Philosophy, from Panjab University is now the president of Yuvsatta, an NGO launched by him, which aims at channelising the power of the youth to positive causes in society.

“Yuvsatta is also a magazine on social issues, on health and environment,” he informs. Pramod, also an MA in Gandhian and Peace Studies from PU, started a project AASHA for the upliftment of working children in slums. Pramod has edited two books and has been honoured with many awards, including one from Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Smriti, the Blood Bank Society and the Vir Deva Foundation.


Three held on unlicensed sale charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
The local police arrested three persons from Dadu Majra Colony on the charge of selling wine without a licence. The accused were identified as Om Parkash, Mohinder Singh and Prahlad Kumar, residents of the same colony.

The police recovered 28 pouches and four bottles of Gulab country-made wine from their possession. Separate cases under the Excise Act were registered against them.

Three arrested

Three persons were arrested from Mani Majra on the charge of gambling at a public place. The accused were identified as Musman Sayed, Sunil and Varinder Kumar. They were booked under the Gambling Act.

UP resident held

The Operations Cell of the UT police arrested a resident of Uttar Pradesh, Raghunath, on the charge of stealing an amplifier from a plot in Industrial Area. The stolen amplifier was recovered from his possession. He was remanded to judicial custody.

Theft charge

Two persons were reportedly caught red-handed while stealing decorative items from a Sector 35 house. The accused were identified as Bhaudev and Ved Parkash, residents of a slum colony near Phase II, SAS Nagar. The stolen items were recovered from their possession. On the basis of a complaint filed by Mr Kashmira Singh Sandhu, the police registered a case.

Scooterist hit

A Sector 20 resident, Munish Kumar, received minor injuries when his scooter was knocked down by an Ambassador car near the Aroma light point. The car driver, Jaswinder Singh, a resident of Darwa village, was arrested. The police registered a case.

Theft reported

A Sector 36 resident, Ms Raminder Dhillon, reported that a silver tray, a silver ice bucket, a gold ring, a gold kara, a pair of gold ear rings and Rs 7000 were stolen from her residence. The police registered a case.


‘Great potential for supermarket claims in city’
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
A survey conducted by a Mumbai-based organisation, Indiaproperties, has observed that there is great potential for supermarket chains to flourish in Chandigarh.

A report of the survey conducted by the NGOs research team and obtained by TNS points out that as there are a higher number of educated working couples who are willing to pay a premium for hygienically packaged food items, supermarket chains stocking these items would find ready buyers. It observed that there is also a good scope for leisure activities as there is enough spending power in the city, with very few amusement parks, water sports, multiplexes and other entertainment centres.

As regards the overall outlook of the City Beautiful, it says, Chandigarh has maintained a positive outlook that suits the image of a well-planned and designed city. Uniform, coordinated policies and timely implementation of the same have kept Chandigarh on an even keel. Growth has been controlled and zoning has kept the city profile upbeat, so that the detrimental trends of urban expansion in India are kept out and away. This real estate market in this city has a great future.

Chandigarh, it points out, is India’s first planned city, designed by the famous French architect Le Corbusier. It is a Union Territory and is the capital of both Punjab and Haryana states. Chandigarh is a well-designed city, neatly divided into several sectors. The infrastructure and facilities are good, though the growth of population has put a strain on these resources. All the real estate sectors are well developed, with residential, commercial and industrial properties getting the bulk of the focus. The UT administration has released land as and when needed for planned growth, so that prices, in general, have remained stable.

As regards the current status of residential sector, Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has been provided with the task of providing modern housing to the middle class. Even private developers must follow CHB’s plans and hence there is good-zoned development all over the city. All the sectors and roads are so well planned that the city has been able to grow without feeling the impact of crowded roads and traffic jams. The parks all around the residential areas have kept noise and pollution to a minimum level. Both the state governments have allotted land for building schemes and residential plots for auction. Several colonies have also been set up for government employees. Sectors 31 to 47, which have been allocated as residential, have higher density and have several multi-story complexes. Most of these complexes have been constructed by the CHB. Several satellite townships have grown around the city due to the restrictions in the city. To the south, Punjab created SAS Nagar, better known as Mohali. This area has grown rapidly along with other towns like Panchkula and Mani Majra and has emerged as a modern residential area. These townships have relieved the pressures on Chandigarh to an extent.

The survey notes that the rental sector is yet to mature in this city. This market is limited, due to state housing. Rentals are getting more acceptable as more IT related professionals are moving into the city, thanks to the initiatives of Punjab and Haryana governments as also the UT Administration.

The residential sector has been growing steadily as the population of Chandigarh has grown by 17% since 1997. As housing finance loans become more attractive, more end-users enter the residential market, which will see good, steady growth. This is because a proper balance is maintained between supply and demand. The outlook is good as good educational institutes, industrial centres and IT based commercial activities fuel the growth of Chandigarh. Construction activity in the small satellite towns with the creation of housing colonies adds substantially to the construction boom. This will continue for several more years.

Chandigarh has been the centre of IT-related growth in North India. Good schools and colleges have provided excellent human resources and hence, the city has seen dramatic progress in the commercial sector. Areas have been allocated for markets places and shopping centres.

Sector 62 in SAS Nagar (Mohali) has been earmarked for development of a commercial centre. This sector is ideally located and well connected with other cities. About 60 acres of area is under green space for leisure activities and another 10-acre area has been allotted for a health-care centre. The Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) has engaged an international consultant to prepare a development and marketing plan for Mohali, due to its tremendous commercial potential.

The city centre has become the informal retail cum leisure area for all Chandigarh and Mohali. As expected, it has become the favourite destination for people across both states. Sector 17 has the large Super Market surrounding Neelam Cinema. The presence of a large pool of skilled professionals has boosted the retail sector with market places and shopping centers springing up in well-planned areas across the city. As the concept of retail shopping and entertainment malls picks up, this market will continue to pick up rapidly.

According to the survey, the Greater Chandigarh Area has grown with several satellite towns like Mohali and Panchkula being absorbed by the city. This has reduced the pressures on Chandigarh as well as added to the infrastructure and population of the area. But, as the population and business grows, land will become a scarce commodity and prices will soar. So, the government has been releasing land only as needed and with a planned agenda, so that the supply - demand equation is not disturbed and prices remain stable and healthy.

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