Thursday, March 28, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Compartment cases at PU: third time lucky?
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 27
The fate of those students of Panjab University who could not clear their compartment in the two chances provided by the Punjab School Education Board hangs in balance. They have cleared their respective papers in the ‘third special chance’, but PU has not given approval to the result.

The students in question cleared their compartment in a ‘third, special chance’ granted by the Board in September, 2001. These students were earlier admitted to the first year of BA I at PU. The university did not declare their results of the first year because they were unable to clear their compartment in the two chances permitted earlier.

With the annual examination around the corner, PU has not yet allowed roll numbers to be issued to them. The anxious students have approached the fellows of the university and the issue figured in the last senate meeting.

Mr Ashok Goyal, raising the issue, said that the university had had a precedent when such a chance had been allowed in September 1999. This was not a pre-time exception. Now when the Board had allowed a third chance, the university should declare their results immediately and allow them to appear for the forthcoming annual examinations.

Mr Goyal said in case the university did not accept the third chance, it would mean the students would not be eligible for admission even in the future because they had exhausted their two chances. Mr Goyal had submitted a note to the Vice-Chancellor for “immediate action”.

Mr Ashok Raj Bhandari, the Joint Controller of examinations, said the case had been forwarded to the Vice-Chancellor and a formal reply was awaited, following which the university would take immediate action.

Mr Bhandari said that Board allowed two chances. However, a special chance was earlier allowed in 1999. That time PU had responded and gave a corresponding leniency at the university with regard to the compartment cases. Now a similar situation had arisen and the university decision was awaited.

A student pointed out that incase the Punjab Board had taken a decision and the university had responded earlier, there was no reason why the same concession should not be made this year.

An official said the university would have to take a serious look at the issue because the university was not open not only to students of Punjab Board. If Boards of other states made a similar concession, the university would have no option but to adjust them as well.

On the other hand, it was pointed out that while the university was refusing to take notice of the Board having given a third chance to clear the compartment, here the university itself has announced a third ‘special’ chance to students to clear their compartments. This move was being dubbed as ‘double standards’ of the university.

A fellow said giving a ‘special chance’ was not at all in the academic interests of any institution. Two chances to clear a compartment were sufficient, failing which a student should be declared failed and not given any more chances. The university should deliberate on the issue of giving endless chances to all students to clear their compartment. However, under such a circumstance, no student should be promoted to a senior class until he clears his compartment in the lower class.


Hiccups over, spirit returns to liquor trade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 27
The promise shown by liquor trade in Punjab and Haryana showed its affect on Chandigarh today. After auctioning 78 liquor vends, the Chandigarh Administration earned Rs 63.30 crore — a 6.88 per cent increase.

Increase in revenue through auction of vends

Year Revenue in
Rs crore
2002-2003 63.30
2001-2002 59.22
2000-2001 58.68
1999-2000 54.34
1998-99 51.24
1997-98* 54.58
1996-97 44.99
1995-96 37.07
1994-95 35.16
1993-94 30.22
*In 1997-98, prohibition was in force in Haryana.

Vends are auctioned for a year beginning from April 1. This year, the trade looked gloomy when the increase in revenue was only Rs 53.50 lakh more than revenue in the previous year.

Then, even this marginal increase was being considered good in excise circles because the auctions in Punjab and Haryana had been at rates below the bids last year.

This year, in Punjab and Haryana, auctions of the liquor vends have been good. Punjab earned Rs 99 crore more than last year and Haryana got Rs 14 crore more than last year. Rates in contiguous areas have to be more or less the same for traders to survive and smuggling of liquor to stop.

In Tagore Theatre here today, the vends were auctioned in five groups according to location, which hardly took more than one hour with 132 bidders there. The vends clubbed with those near Sector 26 earned the UT Rs 16.21 crore in auctions — Rs 1.66 crore more than this year. The minimum increase groupwise was Rs 11 lakh. Last year, two groups had seen a decline in revenue.

Successful bidders deposited 5 per cent of the bid money as security at the fall of the hammer. Another 5 per cent will have to be deposited before March 31.

They will have to deposit 2.5 per cent of the bid money by April 7. The rest of the money is recovered over the entire financial year; vend owners keep depositing excise money with mounting sales.

Mr Prithi Chand, SDM Central and Collector of Excise conducted the auction. The Administration’s observer was Mr Gurmail Singh, Additional Deputy Commissioner.


Confusion over Holi holiday
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 27
When is Holi ? and when is the holiday? Well, states and the Chandigarh Administration have applied different yardsticks to decide on Holi and Good Friday.

What’s closed and when

On Thursday (March 28) All offices of the Punjab Government, Panjab University, all banks in Punjab and also the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

On Friday (March 29) Chandigarh Administration, all offices of the Punjab Government, Panjab University, all Central Government offices like Telecom, Income tax, Excise and taxation, offices of the Haryana Government, Educational institutions in Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana. Banks in Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. District Courts in UT and the states. Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Good Friday will naturally fall on Friday while the date of Holi has been juggled around. The Punjab Government has closed down its offices on Thursday , March 28. In Chandigarh and Haryana, Holi and Good Friday fall on the same day. This has resulted in confusion as to when will banks open, when will schools close and will the courts be open?

Since yesterday, there has been talk in official circles about the holiday. The rumour mill was working overtime in offices in Chandigarh and Haryana that a holiday had been declared on Thursday in line with the holiday in Punjab. Nothing of that sort happened. Several residents in the city and around who go to Himachal Pradesh daily, were anxious to know the date of holiday. The Punjab and Haryana High Court and Panjab University are closed till Monday.


Holi bash at Fun City today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 27
It will be splashes of colour in the water pool and music during a Holi bash to be held at Fun City starting 11 a.m. tomorrow (Thursday).

It will probably be the wettest Holi of the region featuring famous Punjabi singers like Pammi Bai, Romey Gill, Gursewak Mann, Lucky Singh, Surjit Khan, Gaurav Trehan, Sukhwinder Sukhi, Saztwinder Bugga, Raj Brar, Jinder Jinda, Bill Singh, Yudhvir Manak, Sarabjit, Balli Singh, Gippy and many more to set the crowd on fire.

To add to the excitement there will be jazz groups dancing to the tunes of the Punjabi numbers. The extravagant show is being jointly organised by Fun City and ACME Event organisers


NRI gifts school to govt
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, March 27
An NRI and former Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Assembly has set an example for others to follow by constructing a Rs 40 lakh school building in his native village, Majatri, near here. The keys of the building were handed over to the Punjab Education Minister at a function organised today.

Mr Baldev Singh, who is now settled in Clarksville, Maryland, USA , said the school building was the brainchild of his wife, Ms Pushpinder Kaur, who was working as a professor at the PAU before moving to the USA. He said since he was born in this village he always felt he owed something to his birthplace. And with the help of his wife he could give concrete shape to his feelings.

He said the school had been planned on the pattern of elementary schools in the USA and they had tried to provide all those facilities here as well. But he wished the school building was maintained the way it was handed over to the government.

He said that some of his friends from the Education Department did not want him to hand over the school building to the government saying that it would be ruined. He said if the government really maintained the building, he would try to persuade more NRIs to invest in Punjab.

The school has eight classrooms, a staffroom, a library water coolers and various electrical fittings.

Initially a primary school, Mr Khushal Behal, Education Minister, Punjab, upgraded it to the middle level by making an announcement in this regard today. Mr Behal directed the DPI to complete all the formalities in this connection. Mr Baldev Singh said if the school was further upgraded he would get more rooms constructed.

Mr Behal requested Mr Baldev Singh to bring forward more NRIs who were interested to invest in the education sphere. He said 92 per cent of the schools in the state were in rural areas and such investments would help in creating a proper atmosphere for school students. The development of the personality of a child depended on the environment he studied in, added Mr Behal.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh, MLA, Kharar, who had accompanied the minister, said the school would be developed as a model school.

Mr Joginder Singh, sarpanch of the village, said at present the school was running in a dharamshala and it had only three teachers for five classes. There were about 150 students on the rolls.


Punjab, Haryana for immediate announcement of MSP
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 27
Pressure from the Punjab and Haryana Chief Ministers notwithstanding, the Union Government is yet to announce the minimum support price (MSP) for the coming rabi crops which will start arriving in the grain markets in the next few days.

While the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, met the Prime Minister in New Delhi today to demand Rs 690 as the MSP for wheat, the Punjab Council of Ministers at its meeting this afternoon reviewed the arrangements being made as per last year’s MSP of Rs 610 per quintal , including incidental charges.

The Punjab Government hopes to procure 84 lakh metric tonnes of wheat through its state agencies for which it will require Rs 6045 crore. The Finance Department has been directed to release the required funds. The Punjab Council of Ministers also reviewed in detail the arrangements for the procurement of the rabi crops.

The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, who presided over the meeting, had met the Prime Minister, the Food Minister and the Agriculture Minister early this month to demand the announcement of the MSP at the earliest so that the procurement operations could start in time from April 1.

Mr Chautala, however, apprised the Prime Minister of the difficulties the farmers might face in case of any further delay in the announcement of the MSP. Justifying an increase in the MSP, Mr Chautala reportedly insisted that there had been a steep increase in the prices of inputs, including fertilisers, diesel, pesticides and insecticides, since the last crop. The Haryana Chief Minister, like his Punjab counterpart, reiterated that every grain of wheat would be procured. Both Chief Ministers have been making promises of prompt payment and quick hassle-free purchase of their crop.

After the Punjab Council of Ministers’ meeting, a spokesman said that the Director, Agriculture, had estimated that 152.33 lakh tonnes of wheat would be produced, out of which 120 lakh tonnes would be the marketable surplus . This surplus would be procured by six agencies: the Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department (12 lakh mt (10%); Markfed 24 lakh mt (20%); Punsup 21.60 lakh mt (18%); the Punjab State Warehousing Corporation 12 lakh mt (10%); the Punjab Agro Industries Corporation 10.80 lakh mt (9%); and the Food Corporation of India 39.60 lakh mt ( 33%).


Help the underprivileged, says Governor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 27
The Punjab Governor and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, PVSM (retd.), today called upon education institutions and NGOs to start a campaign to provide education to the underprivileged sections of society.

Speaking at the annual function of DAV College, here today, General Jacob said that the administration had been running night classes in 17 schools for slum children, who have to perforce work during the day.

Calling upon the DAV institutions to participate in this campaign, the Administrator said that with higher education becoming costlier day by day, we would have to ensure that it did not remain the prerogative of the elite only.

“Education is the birthright of every citizen and providing education is our duty,” he said. He hoped that the DAV College would run a separate section in each class for the underprivileged to provide them free education and books.

Lauding the role of the college, General Jacob said that this Institution was one of the most esteemed colleges of the region. For 31 years in a row, the college has been winning the Sir Shadi Lal shield for general efficiency and excellence in sport and has produced many international sportsmen.

General Jacob said that with the world becoming a global village, students should widen their horizons of knowledge. He advised students to participate in outdoor activities, especially, adventure sport.

Earlier, the Governor honoured old students of the college, who had made a mark. Mr Yog Raj Singh got an award on behalf of his son, Yuvraj Singh. Dinesh Mongia’s father was also honoured.

Mr P.K. Chaudhary, Commissioner, Education, Haryana, and Dr Nipun, IAS were also honoured on this occasion. General Manager Railways, Mr Vijay Sehgal, was also honoured.

Earlier, the Governor inaugurated the ‘Shaurya Bhavan’ constructed in the memory of four highly decorated former students of this college who had laid down their lives defending the country.

The Governor also laid a wreath on the memorial constructed in their memory. Principal S. Marriya read the annual report of the college. He promised to donate some manuscripts from the library to the Chandigarh Museum.

Earlier, the Principal S.C. Marriya, reading the annual report, informed the audience about the tremendous achievements of the college, students who won distinction in national and international contests and the laurels won in co-curricular activities. He added that the Sir Shadi Lal Trophy of Excellence and Efficiency in sport went to the college for the 31st year in a row.


BJP-SAD turns heat on Cong
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 27
The combine of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiromani Akali Dal accused the Congress here today of “influencing” inquiry against Ms Usha Rani, wife of the Deputy Mayor, Mr Balraj Singh. When the meeting of the MC House began here today, a BJP councillor, Mr Gian Chand Gupta, asked the Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi, to place the report of inquiry against Ms Usha, an MC employee, before the House. She is facing charges of embezzlement.

Mr Gupta was joined by her party colleagues and allies like Ms Kamla Sharma and Ms Harjinder Kaur in demanding a quick action against Ms Usha. The BJP raised the issues in answer to Mr Gupta’s questions on councillors being kept in dark about new parking rates, charges of urination in the BOT toilets and why committees were not being formed.

The leader of the Congress in the House, Mr Subhash Chawla, said none of the party functionaries would pressurise the inquiry officer, the Commissioner, for favouring Ms Usha. Mr Gupta said the inquiry report should be placed before the House, which caused a commotion.

Mr Chawla said the party was prepared to place the report before the House if the BJP also tabled such reports on power theft and Nehru-Park-allotment scam. The MC Commissioner, Mr M.P. Singh, advised the House not to seek such reports as it would affect quasi-judicial inquiries.

Nominated members, Ms Amar Kulwant Singh and Major General A.S. Kalhon, sought division on the issue and said they did not want that this report be sought. The SAD-BJP councillors entered the well of the House and called for walk out, but the Mayor announced tea-break to scuttle the move. Later, Mr Gupta made her promise that the parking-fee issue would be discussed in the House after the next meeting of the Finance and Contracts Committee.

Ms Harjinder Kaur called for action against the corrupt before a fixed time. The Congress, however, recovered well and finished all work on the agenda by the evening.

A member of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch, Ms Harpreet Kaur Babla, proposed an increase the budget for streetlighting from Rs 40 lakh to Rs 1 crore. The amount increased to Rs 80 lakh and the allocation for landscaping was increased to Rs 1.5 crore.

The House decided to launch a quarterly magazine for countering negative publicity. The F and CC recommendations of doubling the rent of liquor vends and having bus-queue shelters, besides 51 toilet systems on build operate and transfer basis, were approved. The House passed a resolution to seek more share from the Administration and give civic amenities in Mani Majra, Burail, Butrela, Badheri, Attawa and the other villages of the UT.

Ms Anu Chathrath of the Congress moved a resolution to have the MC undertake development work near the PGI, Punjab Engineering College and Panjab University.


Rs 100 for cable connection
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 27
Various residents welfare associations of Sector 28 here on Monday unanimously decided to pay only Rs 100 per month per connection instead of Rs 200 to cable operators from April 1.

At a meeting held here today, they also decided that if the connection of anybody was discontinued due to this decision, all residents would surrender their connections and look for alternative cable operators.

Residents welfare associations of Electricity Colony, Press Colony, sector 28-B, Air Force Colony and common pool houses, Sector 28-C, today held the fifth meeting in a series on the issue.

The meeting criticised cable operators’s unilatral decision to increase the monthly charges from Rs 100 Rs to 200 saying the salaried class was under a financial strain.

The meeting was addressed by Mr Swaroop Singh Rawat, president of the Electricity Colonies Welfare Association, Sector 28.


PPSC chief has no heart ailment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 27
The Punjab Public Service Commission, Chairman, Mr Ravinder Pal Singh Sidhu, does not have a heart problem. This was stated by doctors of the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, today.

Mr Sidhu who was admitted to a private room of GMCH yesterday underwent some tests which have ruled out the possibility of Mr Sidhu suffering from any cardiac problem. ‘‘Mr Sidhu is diabetic and hypertensive and both these were not under very good control when he arrived in GMCH, but that was taken care of and by the morning, his condition was relatively stable,”said Dr Atul Sachdev, Head, Department of General Medicine.

Stating that Mr Sidhu has not been officially discharged from GMCH, Dr Sachdev informed that one more test was to be done on Mr Sidhu.


Job satisfaction should be priority

Job satisfaction and leading a settled life should be priorities with the youth. In this age of declining resources, youth must aim at having a job in hand as early as possible, gradually moving on to the next step of marriage. These are the views of Rakesh Nagpal, a 26-year-old, Telecom Officer with the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited.

He says that telecommunication is one of the fastest growing field and is endless. “Here in our country, a large number of important telecom projects are yet to be implemented. The young technocrats have lots of scope in the field of telecommunication”, claims Rakesh.

When asked what should be the criteria while choosing a profession, Rakesh says, “Gone are the days when one used to be choosy about jobs. However, hard work could fetch the desired job”. He also suggested to the young people to accept any job (if a little compromise is necessary, compromise) and one should not keep waiting for the “dream” job to come his way.

Rakesh did his Masters in Engineering (ME) in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering from Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana, in 2001 and was later selected by the BSNL. OC


Liquor kills
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 27
Amrit Lal Khanna, a grocery shop owner of Dadumajra Colony, died after having liquor here today. After complaint of giddiness, Amrit Khanna (45 years) had been admitted to the General Hospital in Sector 16 at around 5.30 pm. He died at about 9.20 pm.


One killed over property dispute
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 27
Mangu Ram was killed following an altercation with seven members of his own family over a property dispute. The police has registered a case of murder.

It is learnt that when Kaushalya Devi and Sunita Devi had gone to relieve themselves last night, they were stalled by Sanjeev Kumar, who began to beat up the latter. Hearing her cries for help, Shyam Singh and Mangu Ram reached the spot, where the seven accused, Balbir Singh, RaJ Kumar, Jai Kumar, Husan Kumar, Tara Chand, Kalawanti and Radha- were waiting for them.

An altercation took place between the two groups and Raj Kumar attacked Mangu Ram with a lathi. He was killed on the spot.


Rajinder Kumar has complained that unknown miscreants broke into his shop in Sector 11 and stole three cameras and Rs 1000 .


The local police has arrested Kishori Lal from Barot Bhoj village and recovered 110 pouches of liquor from him. He has been booked under various sections of the Excise Act.


Scooterist hit

During the past 24 hours, the local police registered two cases of road accidents. A scooterist, Mr Shammi Kaplush, resident of Sector 11, was injured after being allegedly hit by a jeep, near the sector’s Fire Brigade turn yesterday morning. The driver of the Jeep had been arrested.

In the second case, Rajinder Kumar, resident of Sector 52 and were hit by a car near the Sector 44 Gurdwara Sahib, yesterday morning. Both the victims were admitted to the General Hospital, Sector 16 for treatment.


Mr Satpal, a resident of Sector 39, reported to the police that his Bajaj Chetak scooter had been stolen from Sector 22 yesterday. While, Mr Arvind Chhabra, a resident of Sector 38, complained that some one stole petrol from his car, which had been parked at his residence. Meanwhile, the principal of Government College for Boys, Sector 11, started that three fans had been stolen from a room of the college sometime around March 23. A case under Section 380 of the Indian Penal Code had been registered.

Molestation attempt

A Sector 43 resident reported to the police that one Patras Masih, a resident of the same sector, tried to outrage the modesty of his wife. The alleged incident took place near the complainant’s house. A case under Section 354 of the IPC had been registered.

Man found dead

Sazish, a 23-year-old resident of Imphal was found dead in his rented accommodation in Behlana village here today. The police suspects it to be a case of suicide. However, no suicide note was found.

As per police sources, no injury marks were found on the body of the deceased. The deceased was the only occupant of the room on the third floor of a building, which also houses a branch of the UCO bank. He was said to be a resident of Imphal and was earlier in the Indian Army. Sources that inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC would be initiated.


‘Change bylaws for new-look Sec 22’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 27
The Market Welfare Association of Sector 22-D sought here yesterday that shopkeepers be allowed to modify shop fronts according to modern architecture.

Some of the association members met the UT Administrator and put up their demand. They said the height of each building need not be changed and shop-floor depression of upto 4 feet should be allowed. They also sought permission for installing capsule lifts on premises.

They sought flexibility in floor-height to explore new architectural concepts. The association wants permission for having 100 per cent coverage in case of shop-cum-flats. However, the coverage of rear courtyard on ground floor has already been allowed.

Chandigarh, in spite of being a modern city, has not changed with times, compared to the rest of the country. Bylaws framed in 1952 are still in force in Sector 22, first market of the city. The Estate Office may resume any SCO for changes in the outlook of shops.

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