Saturday, January 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Close schools run from homes, orders High Court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
In a significant judgement, the Punjab and Haryana High Court, has declared that the use of residential sites, buildings, shop-cum-flats and offices in Chandigarh, urban estates and SAS Nagar for running educational institutes amounted to “misuse” within the meaning of the relevant Act and rules.

Delivering the verdict on a bunch of petitions, a Division Bench of the High Court headed by Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi, also ruled that the proceedings initiated by the authorities concerned for the cancellation of allotment or resumption of sites and buildings “did not call for interference by the court”.

The Bench directed the Chandigarh Administration and the Chandigarh Housing Board to take steps for stopping the running of all private educational institutes which were unrecognised or which were not fulfilling the norms laid down by the Education Department. The Bench added that the action in this regard “may be taken immediately after the end of the current academic session. This would necessarily involve giving notice and opportunity of hearing to the persons likely to be affected due to the cancellation of allotment or resumption of sites or buildings”.

Regarding the recognised private schools fulfilling all norms laid down by the UT Education department, the Bench directed the Administration to constitute a high-powered committee headed by the Adviser to the Administration for examining the feasibility, viability and justification of allowing continued running of such educational institutes. The Bench also directed that “if the committee decided against the running of private schools in the residential premises, then a year’s time should be allowed to the schools for shifting from the present site”.

In their detailed order, the judges also asked Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority and Haryana Urban Development Authority to take steps “to stop running of all such educational institutes which were not recognised or did not fulfil the norms laid down by the Education Department concerned. Action in this regard may be taken immediately after the end of the current academic session”. They also told PUDA and HUDA to form panels.


Rs 77-cr central package for UT
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

*Rs 15 crore to clear long-standing BBMB arrears.

* Rs 54 crore for land acquisition made in Phase III sectors

* Rs 5 crore grant-in-aid for the Municipal Corporation.

* Rs 1.89 crore grant for Panjab University.

Chandigarh, January 25
A Rs 77-crore package has been sanctioned by the Union Finance Ministry for various pending works and projects in Chandigarh. A communication in this regard was received this week, well-placed sources confirmed.

The ministry had agreed in principle to the demands after a delegation of the Administration along with officials of the Union Home Ministry held a high-level meeting in Delhi in the first week of December.

Most important is the Rs 5 crore grant-in-aid for the cash-strapped Municipal Corporation. This will help bail out the MC from its financial mess. The MC has been asking the Administration for a share in excise and revenue collections for a long time to meet its expenses but in vain.

In the past five years, the budget of the MC has witnessed a gradual cut from the Centre with each passing year. The idea is to the make MC self-sufficient. The move on paid parking which in Sector 17 alone has netted Rs 1.16 crore for the MC.

Another Rs 1.89 crore has been sanctioned as grant-in-aid for Panjab University. The university has been asking for more money from the Centre as it is a central university.

A sum of Rs 15 crore in the package is aimed at clearing Chandigarh’s outstanding arrears with the Bhakra-Beas Management Board, a major power supplier to Chandigarh. Interestingly, the BBMB has been showing arrears running into crores as it wants 29 paise per unit at the minimum rate for the 3.5 lakh units it supplies each year.

Chandigarh has been insisting that it will pay only 5.63 paise, the rate applicable for other partner-states. About 15 per cent of the city power comes at subsidised rate and another 50 per cent comes at the global rate from the BBMB .

Another chunk of the package, Rs 54 crore, has been sanctioned for payment of land acquisition made in villages of Chandigarh. The Administration has acquired about 350 acres of land and this requires crores of rupees to be paid to landowners. Just yesterday the Land Acquisition Officer sent a reminder to the Administration, seeking funds for disbursement to landowners. Part of the package is for other smaller projects.

It has largely been due to the efforts by the Punjab Governor, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) personally that the Centre has allocated a substantial sum for the UT. Good performance of Chandigarh in revenue collection was highlighted. In the last financial year, Chandigarh collected a surplus of Rs 82.73 crore.


CAT notices to Home Secy, DPI
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, January 25
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has issued notices to the UT Home Secretary, Mr R.S. Gujral, the UT Director Public Instructions (School), Mr D.S. Saroya, the Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Human Resources, Department of Education, New Delhi, Mr B.K. Chaturbedi, the Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure, New Delhi, Mr Ajit Kumar for March 5, 2002 to file a reply on a contempt petition filed by 17 work experience instructors of the UT Government High Schools on January 14 this year.

Acting on the contempt petition a Division Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), said in its order that " the Tribunal has issued the notices to the UT Home Secretary, and others to show cause as to why proceeding under the contempt of courts Act read with Central Administrative Tribunal (Contempt of Courts) rules, 1992 be not initiated".

The petitioners had filed contempt petition under contempt of courts Act for taking action against the UT Home Secretary and others for their alleged, willful and intentional disobedience of the earlier two orders regarding their revised pay scale passed by the CAT last year.

The petitioners had stated in the contempt petition that inaction by the authorities was resulting into recurring loss to the them in terms of pay and increments and consequential allowances of HRA, CCA conveyance allowance and entitlement for government accommodation. They also alleged that despite the fact the Government of India had issued three reminders to Administration after an order passed by CAT on an earlier petition by the same petitioners but the required information had not been received in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The petitioners further alleged that the Administration was supplying misleading information to the Government of India to cause prejudice to their claim instead of supplying the information with regard to corresponding revised pay scale to which they were entitled.

Taking note of the reply filed by the Administration counsel on the earlier petition that a decision in consultation with the Ministry of Finance and Human Resource and Development would be taken within three months, the CAT had disposed of the petition with a direction to the UT Home Secretary and others to take a decision in the matter as directed by the Tribunal by February 19, 2001 within a period of three months.


PSIEC ‘plots’ against PUDA
Rajmeet Singh

SAS Nagar, January 25
In a move which could give the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) a run for money, residential plots will be offered by the Punjab State Industrial and Export Corporation (PSIEC) in its industrial estates throughout Punjab.

To attract investors, the corporation would be pricing the plots at rates much less than those offered by other government agencies. So far the corporation had identified at least 150 acres of land, spread over 10 industrial estates. The corporation was looking at demand of plots in the prime urban estate like SAS Nagar. Compared to the allotment price of around Rs 3,700 per sq yard in the PUDA’s SAS Nagar urban estate, the allotment price of plots in industrial pockets would be less, said sources in the corporation.

The new scheme, named ‘Industrial Housing Scheme’ was recently granted approval by the state government. The scheme would be a withdrawal from earlier policy of allowing 20 per cent covered area of residential purposes in an industrial plot. Now it had been decided that an area, varying between 20 per cent and 30 per cent, would be reserved in each industrial sector for residential plots.

The sources said priority would be given to the entrepreneurs and the industrial workers. The remaining plots would be offered to other category of applicants. Already 18 acres of land in Industrial Area, Phase VIII here, which had been allotted to Videocon about five years ago, was earmarked for the scheme. The corporation had cancelled the allotment of the land to the Videocon after the latter failed to pay the enhanced land compensation price of around Rs 6 crore.

An official of the corporation said that the Godrej GE, which had been allotted over 75 acres of land, had been asked to pay 25 per cent of the total land enhancement cost of Rs 11 crore. The corporation was learnt to have written to the Godrej GE to deposit the money failing which the land allotment would be cancelled. The land could be offered for the industrial housing scheme. 


Ghaggar bridge to be closed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
Due to a special repair work to be undertaken on the Ghaggar bridge between Dera Bassi and Zirakpur section of the Ambala-Kalka National Highway No 22, that section of the highway will remain closed for vehicular traffic from January 30 to February 2.

According to the Executive Engineer, Central Works Division, Punjab PWD (B and R) branch, the traffic coming from Ambala side for Chandigarh or Kalka would be diverted from Dera Bassi via Mubarakpur-Ramgarh-Panchkula. He said the traffic going from Chandigarh and Patiala to Ambala side would be diverted from Zirakpur via Panchkula-Ramgarh-Dera Bassi. Heavy vehicles coming from and going to Ambala from Chandigarh may also go via Zirakpur, Banur, Tapla road. He said a temporary diversion had been constructed through the Ghaggar bed.


Residents throng Khadi Ashrams
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
From tomorrow residents will be allowed to hoist the Tricolour atop their homes, work tables or outside the offices. The flag can be purchased from the Khadi Ashrams in Sector 17 and 22, which have witnessed a heavy rush in the past few days.

* Flag can be displayed outside homes

* Police seeking clarification if flag can be put on cars.

* Private offices can also hoist the flag. 

Rates of the Tricolour

Flag size Cost
4. 50 X 3 feet

Rs 525

2 X 3 feet Rs 211
9x 6 inches Rs 46



City Major among chopper crash victims
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh January 25
The mortal remains of Maj A P S Mahal, who died in a helicopter crash in Turtuk in Jammu and Kashmir yesterday, were brought here today. He is survived by his wife, Mrs Navjot Kaur and a nine-month old daughter, Guneet.

In fact, Mrs Navjot Kaur, who is the daughter of an Air Force officer, had lost her brother, Flt Lt Jodh Singh, in a MiG-21 crash last year.

Major Mahal’s co-pilot, Capt Pramod Lal was also killed in the incident, involving a Cheetah helicopter belonging to the Army Aviation Corps.

The 33-year old officer had been commissioned into the 33 Medium Regiment in 1989 and had later volunteered for the Army Aviation Corps, where he earned the ‘Silver Cheetah’ for standing first in the conversion training course. He got married in 1997.

Keeping a calm poise despite the tragedy, Mrs Navjot Kaur said that Major Mahal was a religious minded person, very kind at heart and had balanced views. He had been here in December on a 10-day leave and had spent the entire time with the family. He had spoken to the family about eight days back and was very keen about how the baby was doing, she added.

Grief-stricken relatives started pouring in on learning about the tragedy. Mrs Navjot’s mother was also here with her daughter. Major Mahal’s parents, however, were settled in the USA and were expected to be here in a day.

The funeral, with complete service honours, was expected to be held on Sunday. The body has been kept at the mortuary in the Western Command Hospital, Chandimandir.

Officers known to him described him as a good and helpful person, who was popular among those donning the olive green. He had served three tenures in Jammu and Kashmir and had already completed about two years in Leh.

Son of an Army officer, Col O S Mahal, Major Mahal had studied in various schools across the country before joining the National Defence Academy.. His younger brother, Capt V P Singh is also in the Army.

Meanwhile, the body of Capt Pramod Lal has been airlifted to Jaipur. He is survived by his wife and two children. While the exact cause of the crash is yet to be ascertained, a court of inquiry has been ordered into the incident.


BJP irons out differences
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The Congress today indicated its two spare votes of councillors would be transferred to two of the nominated councillors who are in the fray for five vacancies to the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) elections scheduled for January 28.

The BJP today seemed to have ironed out its differences in the SAD-BJP alliance with its ad hoc committee convener Yashpal Mahajan and senior leader Satya pal Jain claiming the SAD councillor, Ms Harjinder Kaur, was merely a covering candidate for official alliance candidate Rajesh Gupta.

The Congress Leader in the Municipal Corporation and its general secretary, Mr Subhash Chawla, said that there was no question of sparing its two spare votes to the BJP and the Chandigarh Vikas Manch and they would only go to nominated candidates.

The Congress move was being seen as befriending nine nominated members whose support in the House could only ensure its success in the future as the party was two short of absolute majority in the 30-member House.

The nomination of two candidates from the SAD-BJP alliance, however, came under fire from the SAD local unit president, Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar, who said that Mr Jain was bent upon spoiling the prospects of the alliance in Punjab by putting up candidates only to loose

Mr Riar charged M Jain with playing into the hands of the Congress as he had allegedly managed to send signals of a loosing alliance by first becoming instrumental in the rout of the alliance in corporation elections, then alliance mayoral candidate getting defeated by a historically high margin during five years’ of corporation’s life.



6 to be honoured on R-Day
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 25
The District Administration will award six persons for their meritorious services on the 53rd Republic Day celebrations to be held at Parade Ground here tomorrow.

The awards will be given by the Commissioner, Ambala Division , Mr Maha Singh. The awardees have been selected from amongst the local cops, students, industrialists and freedom fighters.

While Divya Sharma, a student of Chaman Lal DAV Public School, has been selected for this award on account of her bringing laurels to the city by winning gold medal at the National Children Science Congress held at Pune, a freedom fighter, Mr Anand Singh Bist is being honoured for giving his life time pension to the dependents of security cops who had lost their lives in the December 13 attack on Parliament. The SOS Children Village Association, Bal Niketan is also being honoured for meritorious service regarding the rehabilitation of destitute children.

Two policemen — ASI Pardeep Kumar and Constable Joginder Singh are also being honoured. The former had seized fake currency in the denomination of Rs 500 to the tune of Rs 40,000, while the latter had helped solve the blind murder of a watchman in Industrial Area and recovered property worth Rs 1 lakh. The administration is also honouring Mr Hari Om Verma of Ramani Automation System Pvt. Ltd. for individual achievement and national development of export quality machine. He also helped in saving foreign currency to the tune of Rs 4 lakh.


Protest against paid parking put off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The anti-paid parking Joint Action Front (JAF) today withdrew its “siege-Municipal Corporation” call for January 28 on an assurance by the local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, to allow free entry in the paid-parking areas instead of scrapping the paid-parking arrangement.

This was announced by the front spokesman Jagdish Kalra following a meeting of front delegation with Mr Bansal, who informed them that the party was going to move amendments in the paid parking conditions, major among them would be allowing free entry and no charge for 10 minute parking. The decision of the front has come despite Mr Bansal rejecting their main demand of annulling paid parking itself from Sectors 17, 8 and 9.

Mr Kalra claimed that a delegation of 11 members comprising Mr Kalra, Arun Talwar, Subhash Kataria, Kamaljeet Panchhi, Neeraj Bajaj, Subhash Sethi, among others, was called by the MP for negotiations. The Congress had already decided to improve the paid-parking arrangement without scrapping it in its councillors meeting to decide the agenda of the House.

Mr Bansal’s gesture of calling the front is being seen as providing the agitators a face-saver to pre-empt their protest on the first day of the holding of the business meeting of the newly elected Municipal Corporation House.

Meanwhile, agitators in a virtual climb down today agreed to improvement in the parking arrangement than completely withdrawing parking fee for which they had given a call for Chandigarh Bandh. They had also vowed to carry on the struggle till parking fee was withdrawn completely.


HP helpline society function today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The Tribune Employees HP Helpline Co-operative Society will hold its first annual function at the Tagore Theatre here on January 26. According to Mr Raj Kumar Maria, press secretary of the society, a ‘parivar milan samaroh’ would be held which would start at 10 am.

The main features of the samaroh would be a Himachali cultural programme comprising dances, songs, and nati (paharee), followed by prize distribution.

Mrs Vidya Stokes, President, Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee, will be the chief guest.

Mrs Lalit Joshi, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, will preside over the function. Mr Rajinder Rana, best social worker of Himachal, will be the guest of honour. Mr Kamlesh Sharma, a well known industrialist, will inaugurate the function.

On this occasion HP Helpline will release its souvnier of Himachali families living in Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar.


Zoo closed today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The Chhat Bir zoo, Ludhiana zoo, Neelon deer park, Bir Moti Bagh deer park and Bir Talab deer park, Bathinda, will remain closed tomorrow on account of Republic Day, according to Dr Vinod Sharma, Chief Warden, Zoos, Punjab.


Three killed in two accidents
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 25
Three persons have been killed in two separate incidents in the district today. While one accident took place in Pinjore, the other fatal accident which claimed two lives, took place in Chandimandir.

According to information, Ram Pal was killed when he was run down by a tractor this evening. The driver of the tractor (UTC-9637), Tejpal, has been booked under Sections 279 and 304- A of the IPC.

In another incident in Chandimandir, two trucks carrying building material collided with each other and the drivers of both the trucks were killed.

One held: The Raipur Rani police has arrested Rasem Lal and covered a car stereo from him.

He was arrested from near ITI, Raipur Rani yesterday and a car stereo worth Rs 3,500 was recovered from him. He had reportedly stolen the stereo from the car belonging to Mr Ved Prakash.

Two injured: Two scooterists were injured when they were hit by a Maruti van (HR-37-0685) in Kalka yesterday. A case of rash and negligent driving has been registered against the driver of the van.

Liquor seized:
In different incidents, the police has arrested four persons for bootlegging and recovered 25 bottles and 146 pouches of liquor from their possession. Sector 15 resident Arjun Singh was arrested from the Sectors 24-25-37-38 chowk and 13 bottles of whisky was recovered from his possession, while a resident of Dadu Majra, Mohan, was caught from Sector 25 with 50 pouches of Hero whisky.

Sonu and Bablu, both residents of Kumhar Colony, were arrested near the Togan barrier with 12 bottles of rum and 96 pouches of Hero whisky in their possession. Separate cases under the Excise Act have been registered against them.

Wheels, stereos stolen: Sector 21 resident Ramanpreet Singh has reported that five wheels and the stereo of his car parked in the Sector 31 market, have been stolen. The police has registered a case.

Mohali resident Charanjit Singh has reported that the stereo of his car, parked in the Sector 31 market, have been stolen. The police has registered a case.

Sector 35 resident Jaswinder Singh has reported that the stereo of his Maruti van, parked at his residence, has been stolen. The police has registered a case.

House theft: A resident of Buterla village, Vijay Pal Singh, has reported that his house was broken into while he was away and a pair of speakers, an amplifier, a mixer 70 recorded CDs and two CD players have been stolen. The police has registered a case.

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