Sunday, March 31, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Unregistered property dealers thrive
Now, their licences won’t be renewed
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 30
The practice of allowing unregistered property dealers to negotiate deals continues here. The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has been losing lakhs of rupees due to this, as officials of the Estate Office do nothing to stop it.

Under the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act of 1995, every real-estate agent has to get himself or herself registered and give a bank guarantee of Rs 10,000 plus a fee of Rs 2,500 (for five years). However, the rules remain on files and property deals continue to be negotiated without agents paying any service tax to the government.

Sources in the Estate Office say that there are over 500 property dealers in the town, out of which, 160 are registered real-estate agents. Even some of the registered property dealers have not got their licences renewed, but continue to do business with the Estate Office.

A number of property dealers have been doing business through newspaper advertisements to avoid any penalty. A PUDA official said the rules required a registered real-estate agent to put a stamp of his licence number on the papers of every property deal submitted to the department. This helps the department check any irregularity.

There have been several cases when unscrupulous elements have cheated PUDA in property deals. Under the Registration of Promoters and Estate Agents Regulation of the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act of 1995, even real-estate agents who are operating in the periphery have to get themselves registered.

An official of the Estate Office, on the condition of anonymity, said erring property dealers had received notices. The official said, to keep such property dealers in check, PUDA was not renewing the licenses of dealers who operated from houses.

Though PUDA had agreed to extend the provision of allowing medical practitioners, lawyers, architects and chartered accountants to run consultancy services from residential premises to property dealers, the formalities were yet to be worked out.

However, such property dealers say that their “commercial activity” does not affect the business run from commercial premises. They seek the use of 20 per cent of the covered ground-floor area (15 sq m at maximum).


Holi revellers have field day
61 injured in clashes in Panchkula
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, March 30
All roads led to celebrations yesterday as youngsters, armed with water pistols and balloons, took to streets on their bikes and cars to play Holi.

As the morning sun peeped from behind the buildings, tearing passion broke loose. Children rushed out of their homes to target innocent passers by. Clutching water balloons, they aimed at cyclists and pedestrians. Even those traveling in cars and buses were not spared. Neat and clean clothes were no deterrent as they poured water mixed with colour on the helpless victims.

Hooligans too did not miss the opportunity. In Sector 35, Sector 11 and in front of the Panjab University campus, they tried to stop young couples cruising on their two-wheelers, but disappeared as soon as they spotted men-in-khaki.

For dealing with them, the Chandigarh police had deployed a massive force all over the city. Barriers were also set up at strategic places. Police gypsies patrolled the length and breadth of the city.

Meanwhile, disc jockeys mixed “some cool music” for the enthusiastic revellers to tango at several places in the city. A rain dance was organised at the Chandigarh Club. As the water poured, the members danced enthusiastically.

The residents welfare Association, Sector 32-A, organished Holi celebrations. All residents of the area including their guests, participated. Ms Lalit Joshi, Mayor, was the chief guest and Ms Pushpa Sharma, councillor, was the guest of honour. A cultural programme was also organished by Ms Shiwani Sharma.


The district police, it seems, decided to let the Holi revellers have their own way yesterday which was evident from the lack of police presence in different parts of the township. Though the celebrations were by and large peaceful, yet a few incidents of clash were reported from the township and its peripheral villages.

The festival was , however, lacklustre. Except for a few youths, with their faces painted in black and silver , zooming past the market places in Sector 7, 8, 11 and 15, roads bore a deserted look. Some youths also put hooters on their scooters and removed silencers to announce their movements.

Traffic violations like driving without helmets, overspeeding and triple riding. were witnessed at various places , but their was no traffic police deployment to check this.

Various resident welfare associations organised Holi celebrations at their community centres and parks. Tambola was played followed by community lunch.

Meanwhile, according to information available from General Hospital, as many as 61 persons were admitted in the hospital yesterday after they suffered injuries in clashes. It is learnt that four of them with serious injuries are still recuperating. Three persons brought here were reffered to the PGI, Chandigarh.


Holi went off peacefully without any untoward incident having been reported from the town. Though celebrations remained low key, yet revellers had a field day as the presence of the police was thin due to its deployment at Hola Mohalla celebrations in Anandpur Sahib. A person, Lalhan, was arrested for allegedly carrying 12 bottles of IMFL at the Phase 6 barrier.


PU divided over complaints
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 30
The Panjab University Syndicate and Senate seem to be divided over how the PU should process complaints against the university or its officials, teachers or students. The Syndicate had approved recommendations of a committee in this regard, but the Senate deferred the issue for reconsideration.

These recommendations are regarding issues related to finances, admissions, examinations, appointments, plagiarism and miscellaneous allegations. The members of the committee included Justice D.V. Sehgal, Prof M.M. Sharma, Prof Satya Pal Gautam and Mr Sodhi Ram. The committee says that complaints will have to be accompanied by affidavits. A number of Senators said they had reservations on this because most persons were “scared of legal wrangling”.

The committee recommends that any allegation should be made in writing. Anonymous letters of complaint, with no signature, full name or address of the complainant, will not be entertained. Any other complaint will be entertained only if it is accompanied by an affidavit of the complainant on a stamp paper attested by a Class I magistrate or notary.

It says that the VC will appoint a standing committee that will scrutinise all such cases. The committee is required to call the complainant and record his or her statement on whether his or her signatures on the complaint and the affidavit are genuine or not.

After verification, the committee will perhaps cross-examine the complainant further to find out whether or not there is any substance in the allegation. The committee will record its decision and submit it to the VC for action.

Prof Charanjit Chawla said filing an affidavit was not a solution for keeping away frivolous complaints. Under present work conditions, it is difficult for the junior staff to lodge signed complaints against their heads, though, unsigned complaints, too, sometimes, carry revealing information. Students will also be reluctant to lodge complaints against their teachers.

At a Senate meeting last year, Mr Satya Pal Jain had stressed the need for having signed complaints. Those who were against the committee recommendations included Prof R.D. Anand, Mr Ashok Goyal and Mr M.G. Gandhi.

A senior member of the PU faculty said the filing of an affidavit might not be a good idea, but having a signed complaint might be it. “The PU should form a high-level committee that would receive complaints and keep the names of complainants a secret. Perpetrators of malice should be tracked down and punished,” he said.


Telecom services restored after 18 hours
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 30
The telecom system which collapsed in the southern parts of the city around 8 p.m. on Thursday night could be restored only after 18 hours yesterday. And that too after advice was sought from Japanese experts over telephone. Sources said the computer software running the system had got corrupted leading to the fault.

The corruption had occurred due to fluctuation in power supply, the sources said. Telecom engineers struggled throughout the night on Thursday but could not rectify the fault.

The Japanese company, Fujitsu which manufactured the equipment was called yesterday for advice.

The company has wound up its operations in the country and contacting them in Japan was the only option.

Exchanges catering to levels 60, 61, 65, 68 and 69 and also partially to level 64 had gone dead.

About 50,000 telephone connections are run through these exchanges.


A day of victory for shoeshine boys
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 30
The past 25 days had been days of acid test for them. Right from March 5 when five shoeshine boys from Janata Colony broke a record of sorts by becoming the first-ever slum children from the city to take Class V examination, they had all been awaiting the declaration of results with bated breath.

But thanks to this day which did not come without hope, three out of the five boys today came out with flying colours. As the CBSE declared results this morning, time seemed to have halted for Arun, Vinod and Arjun, who surprised themselves by clearing the examination comfortably. Though they were sad for their friends, Sumit and Sahil, who will have to reappear next year, they were more than happy with their own performances.

In fact, Arun and Vinod could not believe that they had actually done so well. Said the twosome, “We were not expecting to clear these examinations. This was the first time we were looking at a question paper. We were apprehensive all through these 25 days because we never had the experience of taking examination. But now that we have done it, we will have a party today.”

Arjun, on the other hand, was confident. “I knew I would clear the papers in the first shot. I was not afraid at all.” The interesting part is that Arjun hardly used to attend classes run for slum children in Aasha School (on the premises of Government High School, Sector 24). Said Arjun’s teacher Geeta, “He used to complain of severe headache whenever he attended school. So his mother stopped sending him to school. He has still managed to clear the tests. I am pleasantly surprised.”

It was thus a red letter day for these three children, who were the special guests of Ms Kuldeep Kaur, Principal, Government High School, Sector 24, which was also the centre for their Class V exams. The principal was so happy with their performance that she honoured them by calling them over to the stage in front of the school gathering. The children, in turn, took sweets for her.

After sharing unlimited moments of joy with one another, the trio were heard discussing how they would start preparing for Class VI. Vinod said, “We have many well wishers in our uncle Zulfiqar, our teachers Geeta didi and Vikram bhaiya.”


Narrow escape for car driver
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 30
The driver of a Maruti Esteem car, Suresh Kumar, had a narrow escape when his car over turned after colliding with a Haryana Roadways bus near the Labour Chowk on Dakshin Marg here in the afternoon. Mr Kumar was the lone occupant of the car.

According to eye-witnesses, both car (DL-2-CL-3134) and the bus (HR-63-0141) were coming from the Zirakpur side. They said that the car overtook the bus from the wrong side. As a result, the left side of the bus hit the car’s rear, sending it in a spin. The car ended upside down on the road divider. Later passers-by helped put it back on wheels.


Sorry state of affairs at PU dispensary

THE Panjab University dispensary is in a terrible mess. Instead of a dispensary, it looks like a slum mela. People would be able to know the true state of affairs in this dispensary if some representatives of PUTA, PUSA and students, either individually or in groups, visit it and meet doctors and patients. The law of the jungle seems to be prevailing here.

Earlier, the dispensary used to help the students by providing medicines available in its stock and those not available by procuring them from outside. Now the poor students and employees have to fend for themselves. They are charged medical fee. For what? If the PU authorities have abdicated their responsibility in providing medicines, why should they charge medical fee from the students?

On top of all this is the height of rudeness. Even senior professors are asked to bring ration cards to prove that their mothers are dependents of the employees and hence entitled to treatment. Patients suffering from heart disease are rudely told that they eat away the entire funds of the dispensary.

Another shameful incident is the humiliation meted out to one of the retired doctors of the dispensary. When the old doctor visited the dispensary for reimbursement of medical treatment, he was humiliated in front of other patients, by the present Medical Officer, who had been very junior to him, and had never treated the doctor and his wife.

Enough is enough. The immediate solution to stem the rot in this dispensary is to convert this into an evening department and change the head of the department by rotation.

M. S. GILL, Mohali

Indiscriminate felling

Despite repeated protests, contractors of Em Pee Motors, Bajwara petrol station (dealers of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited) in Sector 22-C, Chandigarh, have felled neem and shahtoot trees, planted by us, for providing shade and greenery. Indiscriminate felling of these fully grown trees is a grave offence and we appeal to the authorities concerned to punish the guilty for having committed this heinous crime.

It is said that the contractors have felled these trees for providing fencing on the boundary walls of the petrol pump and fixing a huge signboard inside the boundary wall of the petrol pump.


Of judges & courts

Supreme Court Chief Justice S. P. Bharucha has admitted that more than 20 per cent Judges are dishonest and corrupt. He has lamented that the Indian judiciary no longer enjoys the people’s trust and that the credibility of the majority of Judges has suffered because of the deeds of a small minority. By his own admission, he has proved that no institution in India is free from corruption.

Taking action against corrupt judges may be a cumbersome process, but what is the Chief Justice doing to ensure that innocent citizens do not suffer at the hands of corrupt Judges? At least when he receives complaints, he should immediately make arrangements for a speedy review by a larger Bench of the allegedly illegal, erroneous and unfair political verdicts and orders.

Scrutiny of such judgements will pave the way to identify the minority and be severely dealt with and no innocent citizen suffers at their hands. This will also help people to get to know of the corrupt Judges and improve upon the judgements delivered by their peers.

B. S. MAKOL, Chandigarh


House building society committee members
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 30
Major-Gen, Bachittar Singh (retd), Brig Harmel Singh Bath (retd), Mr P.S. Malik, Lieut-Col Kanwar Singh (retd), Mr Vijay Uppal, Mr Atul Vig and Ms Rita Kathuria were elected members of the managing committee of the Shivalik Environ Cooperation House Building Society Limited, Saketri (Panchkula).

The Returning Officer-cum-Assistant Registrar said the general body of the society which met on March 24 in Panchkula was attended by over 150 members and was conducted under the chairmanship of Mr Bhim Sen Gupta, ARCS, Panchkula.

As per the election programme of the society, seven nomination papers were received on March 25.


Press Club poll today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 30
The annual election for the office-bearers of the Chandigarh Press Club will be held tomorrow. The election will be held on the Press Club premises. Polling will start at 9.30 a.m. and close at 3.30 p.m.

Mr Sham Singh, returning officer, said only regular members would be allowed to enter the club premises during the day. All other categories of members could enter the club only after the declaration of the result, he added.


Suicide bid by two
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 30
A resident of Sector 22, Babu Lal, reportedly tried to commit suicide by pouring kerosene on his body and setting afire. He was rushed to the PGI with 90 per cent burns. Based on a complaint filed by his neighbour, Mansa Devi, police has registered a case.

In another case, a resident of Sector 52, identified as Meena, was admitted to the PGI in a serious condition after she reportedly consumed a poisonous substance.

Liquor seized
The police has arrested a resident of Burail, Satish Kumar, from Colony No 5 and seized eight bottles of whisky and 20 quarters of Bonney Scott whisky from his possession. A case under the Excise Act has been registered against him.

Dowry-seekers booked
The police has booked a resident of Mani Majra and his mother after a resident of Sector 37, Kamaljit Kaur, reported that she was being harrased and maltreated by her husband and mother-in-law to bring more dowry.

In another case, a SAS Nagar resident, Puja Walia, has reported that she was being harrased by her Ambala-based husband, with whom she had tied the knot at the Sector 18 Arya Samaj temple in January, to bring more dowry. Police has registered seperate cases under Sections 406 and 498-A of the Indian Penal Code.

Cyclist injured
A resident of Sector 25, Amit, was injured after his bicycle was knocked down by a car near the Sector 24-25 crossing. He has been admitted to the PGI. The car driver sped away from the spot. The police has registered a case.

One held
A resident of Tappri in Himachal Pradesh, Rana Kumbar, was arrested by the police from the Sector 17-18 dividing road for rash driving. He was later bailed out. A case has been registered.

An inmate of Panjab University hostel, Aman Nayan, has reported that his moped (CH-01-E-6228) has been stolen from the hostel premises. The police has registered a case.


Four cases of theft have been registered in different parts of the district in the past 24 hours. A house in Rampur Sichuri village was burgled in the Pinjore block on the night of March 27 in the Pinjore block.

In another incident, Sanjiv Kumar and Mangal Singh, have been accused of stealing a sum of Rs 200, a stereo and steel utencils from a Shiv temple in Raipur Rani village.

Angle irons were allegedly stolen by one Kabootri from the store of CWC Building in Sector 4. She was caught red-handed and the police has booked her.

A sum of Rs 15,400 was reportedly stolen from the residence of Rambir in Bharaily village near here during the intervening night of March 26 and 27.

SP seeks help
The Superintendent of Police, Panchkula, has sought the help of PWD ( B and R) Department in finding the address of the driver of the road-roller, that had allegedly crushed a three-year-old child to death in Old Panchkula on March 28.

It is learnt that the driver of the vehicle had absconded soon after the incident and the road-roller was also taken away. The SP, Mr Manoj Yadav, had ordered a probe into the incident.


2-yr jail for taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 30
The special CBI judge at Patiala has convicted a Telecom Department functionary for demanding and accepting bribe from a Ropar resident for installing a telephone connection at his place. The accused, R.S. Yadav, has been awarded two years imprisonment along with a fine of Rs 2,000.

The accused, while he was posted as junior telecom officer at Ropar, had reportedly demanded Rs 1000 from the complainant. 

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