Tuesday, April 16, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Panchkula schools flouting HUDA norms?
Buildings expanded in violation of law
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 15
Is Haryana Urban Development Authority ( HUDA) toothless when it comes to dealing with the powerful school lobby in the township? The answer could well be in the affirmative, if the way these schools are flouting the HUDA norms with impunity is any consideration.

Most of the schools in the township have upgraded their levels without obtaining permission from HUDA. A recent survey conducted by the HUDA authorities shows that most of the schools allotted sites for nursery schools have been upgraded to primary level and primary schools to higher secondary level, by seeking direct affiliation from the state education board or the Central Board of Secondary Education.

HUDA rules , it is learnt, clearly specify that the site meant for a nursery school or a primary school cannot be upgraded as it tantamounts to misusing the site for the purpose other than what it is allotted for. Also, the Education Board giving affiliation to these schools is required to get a No Objection Certificate from HUDA , before the affiliation is granted — a practice that is not being adhered to.

The authorities, meanwhile, say that they are finding it difficult to take cognizance of the rules being flouted by the schools and have now sought directions from the Chief Administrator, HUDA, in this regard. Though notices have been issued to defaulting schools, no further action (resumption proceedings, as the rules specify) has been taken against them .

Interestingly, senior officials in HUDA admit that their hands are tied when it comes to initiating any action against defaulting schools. “ Most of the schools have former bureaucrats on their Boards of management or enjoy political patronage, which ensure them a cover,” says a senior official in HUDA.

Sources in the District Town and Country Planning Department informed that there are as many as 51 nursery school sites , 50 primary school sites and 18 high school sites in Panchkula, Panchkula Extension and in Mansa Devi Complex. While the size of a nursery school site is 800 sq. meters, primary school site is one acre and a high school site is of five acres.

However, a number of primary schools have come up on sites having area adequate only for nursery school and in some cases even for creches. In some cases, higher secondary schools have come up on a piece of land fit for running a primary school.

In blatant violation of the building bylaws, these schools have expanded their buildings by adding floors and leaving little open spaces.

Also, three schools have also come up in the Industrial Area. The District Town and Country Planning Department informed TNS that they have not earmarked or allotted any school site in Phase I or II of the Industrial Area. These schools have also been granted affiliation by the Education Board. A few primary schools in the township are also running in two room sets, and have also been affiliated to state education board. It is learnt that these schools are now demanding that the rules be reviewed and their upgraded status be recognised by HUDA . Meanwhile, a number of schools have also given representations to the Secretary, Town and Country Planning , in this regard, but no decision has been taken as yet.


MC enforces water restrictions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15
Municipal Corporation officials today enforced a ban on watering gardens and washing cars in the mornings.

Nodal officers of each sector today inspected houses to tell the people about the ban on car washing and irrigating gardens in the morning.

The officials would avoid issuing notices and taking punitive measures for the initial two days, and would only make requests to the people, officials told Chandigarh Tribune.

The ban is applicable only in the mornings as the demand during this time is generally very high compared to that in the evening.

If still people do not abide by the ban, then the corporation will take measures and may even discontinue water supply to those who do not adhere to the ban.

The corporation has, however, decided for now to continue the afternoon water supply, which was to be reviewed today.

The continuance of the afternoon water supply was requested by the Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi, but skeptics had said it would be discontinued.

But the supply may again have to be reviewed when the gap in the demand and supply of water really peaks.

The corporation sources said that the afternoon supply will continue without even rescheduling the morning and evening water supply in the wake of availability of water for now.

The Mayor had been asserting that the afternoon water supply would continue throughout the peak season but in the wake of shortage there could be small rescheduling.

The city is likely to have a gap of 32.5 million gallon litres a day during the peak season this year as per an estimate of the Municipal Corporation.

The availability of water is 65 million gallon litres against a demand of 97.5 million gallon litre per day this year.

The shortage of water starts the moment coolers are used and sweltering heat forces the people to take a minimum of two baths.

Absorption of a high volume of water by green places in the city during hot days also causes pressure on the water supply, sources said. Certain green spaces consume treated water reducing the burden on the supply, they said. The hardest hit people during the shortage are likely to be those on the second or third floors of multi-storeyed buildings.

Complaints from Mani Majra have already started pouring in as two of the four tubewells supplying water for 20,000 residents were reportedly under repair.

Mani Majra localities, residents said, were not getting the afternoon water supply for at least a week and overhead water tanks are not filled these days. Certain residents said the afternoon water supply was seen only once after it was started.

Though the city is amongst those places where the per capita per day water supply is double the national average of 70 litres per person per day, unrestrained use of the natural resource at a cost of Rs 15 crore annual loss to the Corporation has still not led to water saving and harvesting in the city.

The low-lying colonies, however, are said to be the ones receiving the highest water supply as water is reported to be available 24 hours in these areas. If a proper supply had to be maintained in the city without augmentation of supply, the Municipal Corporation may have to think of launching a save water campaign due to the depleting water table.

The concretisation is leading to environmental degradation. One of the main target areas for checking water misuse could be toilet flushes which could be operationalised at half the water use.


CBI books senior PGI functionary
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15
Following preliminary investigations into reported irregularities in the recruitment of a junior engineer, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against a senior PGI functionary for his alleged involvement.

While CBI sources have confirmed that the Superintending Hospital Engineer (SHE), Mr G.S. Rosha, has been booked, the PGI’s Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO), Ms Meeta Rajivlochan, when contacted, denied to comment on the issue. Sources add that the CBI had written to the CVO two days ago, intimating the PGI authorities that a case had been registered.

Mr Rosha is on deputation to the PGI from the Chandigarh Housing Board.

The issue was also reportedly discussed at the meeting of the Institute Body, presided by the Union Health Minister in New Delhi on April 10. It was then stated that the investigations had been taken over by the CBI after the Union Ministry of Health lodged a complaint with the CBI on October 25, 2001.

The irregularity in the recruitment came to light when the PGI Employees Union wrote to the CVO in this regard, demanding “immediate and suitable” action against “malpractices and violating rules”.

As per the allegations, Mr Sushil Kumar Sharma was appointed as a junior engineer in the PGI’s Engineering Department on an ad hoc basis. No notice was issued or an advertisement was published in any newspaper nor was any requisition sent to the Employment Exchange as was statutorily required. Mr Sharma was also stated to be 35 years old where as the maximum permissible age for the said post was 30 years.


Admn fixes rates for IT park sites
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15
The rates for sites in the upcoming 111-acre information technology park in Kishangarh have been fixed. It will cost an applicant Rs 2.55 crore to get a 6-acre site while a site between two to six acres will cost the buyer Rs 1.02 crore per acre. The sites will be allotted on freehold basis.

  • Six acre site to cost Rs 2.55 crore
  • Smaller sites will be available at Rs 1.02 crore per acre.
  • Companies with Rs 500 crore turnover can apply for six acre site.
  • Rs 200 crore turnover a must to be eligible for sites less than six acres.
  • Sites will be on freehold basis.

Notifying the Chandigarh Information Services Park Rules 2002, the Chandigarh Administration has laid down that the applicant company will pay an earnest money of 10 per cent of the cost of plot alongwith the application. Another 25 per cent of the amount will have to be paid within 60 days from the issue of allotment letter. The balance can be paid in lumpsum within 180 days or in three equal annual installments with an annual interest of 10 per cent. The rates applicable now are liable to change in the times to come.

The Administration will be offering three types of sites to companies. The top most category is of main campus sites which will measure six acres in area and will be put to use for the construction of an independent campus for the exclusive use of the allottee. Eligibility criteria will be: A limited company with turnover in the information services sector of a minimum of Rs 500 crore per annum in each of the past two years for activities based in India , or minimum turnover of $ 500 million in each of the past two years for activities based overseas. A company will have to satisfy at least one of these minimum benchmarks.

The company will have to show availability of funds for making investment in the campus to the tune of Rs 50 crore over the next three years and availability of at least Rs 25 crore immediately. Preference will be given to companies engaged primarily in high value added activities like software design and development. Internationally recognised certification of software development capability equivalent to Capability Maturity Model of Software (CMM) laid down by the USA and this will require level V certification for a period of at least two years and also an ISO-9000 or higher certification.

Companies applying for small campus sites which measure between two to six acres are to be developed as self-contained campus with one or more independent buildings for the exclusive use of the allottee. The eligibility criteria will be: A limited company with a turnover of Rs 200 crore in the IT business for activities based in India, or a turnover of $ 200 million in each of the past two years for activities based abroad.

The applicant company will have to make available funds for making investment for the campus to the tune of Rs 20 crore over the next three years and immediate availability of at least Rs 10 crore.

Apart from these two categories the Administration will also be offering build-to-suit sites which may consist of independent buildings let out on lease or on rent. These can also be in the form of apartment or floor of the building.

Another category will be of “adjunct sites” may be used for purposes relevant to development and functioning of the IT park. These sites can be for providing infrastructure, recreation, sports, cultural activities, retail outlets, office services, hotels, restaurants, food court, among other services.


Booming business for barbers
Bipin Bhardwaj

Panchkula, April 15
With a number of devotees queuing up to have the heads of their newly born infants shaved during the auspicious Navratras at Mata Mansa Devi temple complex for the third consecutive day here today the barbers seem to be having a good business as well as a busy time these days.

On the first two days the rush was more this time as this year there was the rare occasion when Navratras and Baisakhi coincided. Hundreds of devotees from Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Chandigarh and the surrounding areas thronged the Mundan Ghat at the temple to get the heads of their children and infants shaved.

The religious sentiments surely have an edge over the sensibilities as heads of scores of infants are being shaved with not many giving a second thought to the unhygienic conditions and instruments being used by the barbers.

A visit to the site, however, revealed that most of the barbers were “equipped” with unsterilised razors. Apart from this a pond in the “Mundan Ghat”, in which the infants are given a dip by their parents as part of the ceremony too, was filled with muddy water that further poses a threat of spreading skin diseases among the children.

Moreover, the barbers who have been given the contract by the Sri Mata Mansa Devi Pooja Sthal Board on fixed terms and conditions were found to be charging much more from the devotees. The mundan could cost anywhere from Rs 51 to 501 and more.

However, some of the parents were seen giving their children a bath under a hand pump to avoid the dirty water of the ‘Mundan Ghat’.

Mr Rajesh Jogpal, Secretary of Sri Mata Mansa Devi Pooja Sthal Board, however, denied this and said the barbers were sterilising their equipment regularly and were using fresh blade for each “mundan”. He also made it clear that pond at the Mundan Ghat was being cleaned and disinfected daily.

The administration have pressed special flying squad teams in service to check irregularities and violations of directions by traders during the Navratra Mela, added the Deputy Commissioner Ms Jyoti Arora.

She further said the Chief Medical Officer and the District Health Officer, today visited the shrine to ensure that the barbers were using fresh blades.

However, a barber claimed that they were charging as per the terms and conditions fixed by the board. “Some parents pays us more of their own will and what is wrong in it,” asked another barber.


Sweetshops raided
Tribune News service

Panchkula, April 15
The district administration today launched an offensive against those selling eatables in the open and under unhygienic conditions. A number of sweetshops, specially in the rural areas, were raided by a team of District Health officials.

A team comprising District Health Officer, Dr B.D. Chugh and Food Inspector, Mr K.K. Sharma, raided various places Sharma Sweetshop in Haripur village and Gurnam Sweets in Railly and collected samples of “barfi”.

Raids were also conducted on two sweetshops in Abheypur and on a packaged drinking water unit in Industrial Area, Phase II. The samples collected have been sent to the laboratory for testing.

It is also learnt that the teams also inspected the food stalls and stalls selling “prasad” at Mansa Devi during the NAVRATRA mela.


24-hr strike by power men today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15
Employees of the local electricity department will join a 24-hour all-India strike against privatisation from 7 a.m on Tuesday to 7 a.m on Wednesday thus bringing about uncertainty over the entire power supply system of the city.

The Chandigarh Administration tonight imposed the principle of “no work no pay” and warned that defaulting employees will also be liable to face other disciplinary action.

The employees will be going on strike even as there is no move for privatisation in Chandigarh. The strike call has been given by the National Co-ordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers. A spokesperson of the Chandigarh Administration said the Administration was sympathetic towards the genuine demands of the employees and there was no cause for any strike.

The Chief Engineer, Mr Puranjit Singh, said no bills would be accepted tomorrow. Those bills which have the last date as April 16 can be paid on the next working day that is April 17. Since staff of Junior Engineer’s and below will be on strike, the Sub Divisional Officers (SDO’s) and their senior will take care of the system.

They will be accompanied by staff of the electrical wing of the Engineering Department and also trained staff taken on hire from private contractors. Already arrangements have been made, the Chief Engineer added. All 11 KV substations will be locked and police guard posted outside to prevent any mischief. The 33 KV and 66 KV sub station are being manned round the clock.

Meanwhile, the employees under the banner of the UT Powermen Union, said the Central Government was imposing anti-labour and anti-worker policies at the behest of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organisation.

Numbers to dial in case of breakdown

Special teams of the power department led by Executive Engineer (XEN) rank officials will be posted round the clock for meeting emergencies and breakdowns. Residents can call at 703242, 706574, 742370 and 743940.


Jacob opens Chef-43
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15
The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Leut. Gen. J.F.R. Jacob, PVSM (retd.), today inaugurated Chef-43, a newly constructed eatery at the Inter State Bus Terminus, Sector 43, here today.

The eatery would be managed by the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation Limited (CITCO). It was the surprise visit of General Jacob to Sector 43 bus stand, a year ago that had set the pace of construction of the eatery and multi-storeyed block at ISBT, Sector 43. The passengers present at the bus stand had complained about the lack of eateries and waiting room to the Governor.

The drivers had also complained about the non-availability of a rest room to General Jacob. When the Governor asked about the expansion plan of the ISBT. He was told that there was no scope of expansion as the bus stand had been planned and constructed as a single-storeyed structure. At that time, General Jacob had ordered the construction of a multi-storeyed block having restaurant, waiting room for the passengers and a retiring room for the drivers.

General Jacob appreciated the engineering staff for completing the work in record time. Mr S.P. Singh, Managing Director, CITCO, informed the Administrator that the eatery had been started to broadbase its food and beverages activities so as to provide quality hygienic food at reasonable rates. The eatery, spread in 900 square feet area, has the same menu as had by the one in ISBT, Sector 17. Though the space for the building has been provided by the UT Administration, the cost of furniture, kitchen equipment and recurring expenditure will be borne by the CITCO.

The Administrator also went to the kitchen after inaugurating Chef-43 and appreciated the cleanliness and organisation of the kitchen. He also interacted with the passengers to know about their problems.

The other officers present on the occasion were the Home Secretary, Mr R.S.Gujral, the Finance Secretary, Mr Karan A. Singh, the Chairman of CITCO-cum-Chandigarh Housing Board, Mr G.K. Marwah, the Managing Director CITCO, Mr S.P. Singh.


Accused identified from photos
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 15
The statement of three important witnesses, Pritpal Singh, Ranjit Singh, both constables with the Punjab Police, and P.C Sharma, a CBI official was recorded in the Beant Singh assassination case before the UT District and Sessions Judge, Mr H.S Bhalla, at special court in model Burail Jail here today.

The accused, Balwant Singh, complained during the trial that he was facing inconvenience due to loud noise of speaker in the Burail Jail. After hearing his plea the Judge said he had already directed the Jail Superintendent to deal with his complaint as per the jail manual. The Superintendent of the Jail, also informed the court that he had sent a letter in this regard to I.G (Prisons) and was waiting for his reply. Meanwhile, the accused, Jagtar Singh Tara, did not appear before the court for the fourth consecutive time as he was recommended bed rest for 10 days by the doctor.

The witness, Pritpal Singh, identified the accused Balwant Singh and Dilawar Singh from photographs before the judge. The witness said he had met the accused, Balwant Singh a number of times at stadium in Patiala where both of them practiced to participate in 5000 m and 10, 000 m race competition. The witness added that he saw the accused, Balwant Singh, last time in July 1995. He also said the accused, Balwant Singh, was deployed as Special Police Officer(SPO) with one of the reporters of the Hind Samachar Group of papers.

The witness, P.C. Sharma, said he along with other officials had conducted a raid at the house of one of the accused, Lakhwinder Singh, at Kansal village. He said the room of the accused was locked when the team reached there and his companion, Gurbachan Singh, was sitting in another room.

The team recovered a number of receipts of various amounts in lakhs and other documents from his room in the presence of the Sarpanch of village and his friend, Gurbachan Singh, Sharma further informed the court.

The third witness, Ranjit Singh, a Constable with the Punjab Police made a statement before the court that he was working as driver with Director(CFSL) in 1994. The witness said he was living in Kansal village and his room was near that of Lakhwinder Singh. He informed the court that the accused, Lakhwinder Singh, was working as a constable in the UT Secretariat. He added that he had also met the accused, Lakhwinder Singh, and Dilawar Singh there.


Grid substations for Sectors 68, 71
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, April 15
Two new grid sub-stations are planned to be set up in Sectors 68 and 71 here for improved power supply.

Sources in the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) said today that these sub-stations were being provided under the Accelerated Power Development Programme (APDP). At present Sectors 68 and 71 are being supplied with power from Phase I and VII feeders. Although it may take some time to set up the sub-stations, once the plan is implemented during the current financial year residents of the two areas will get relief.

The sources said additional transformers have also been provided at a number of points in the town where the problem of overloading existed. Another feeder has been planned to be put up for Phase I, IIIA, IIIB1 and IV. At present these areas are being supplied power from two feeders.

PSEB officials felt that power supply problems in the area arise as consumers do not intimate increase in loads. The number of air conditioners in use was on the rise. Every year the power supply was augmented to the extent of 10 per cent to 12 per cent but this usually proved inadequate as the exact load could not be determined. Voluntary Disclosure Schemes (VDS) were introduced from time to time but many consumers failed to take benefit under such schemes and the exact power load in a particular area could not be calculated.

The VDS is open for the public once again and the formalities under the scheme have been minimised by the board authorities. The load can now be regularised on the very day a consumer discloses this. All that is required is the deposit of the necessary fee with the PSEB.

The sources said APDP was a boon as Rs 280 crore is to be spent under the programme on improving power supply in SAS Nagar, Patiala and Khanna. Some grid sub-stations are covered under the scheme.

Electronic meters are also planned to be installed on selected feeders.

The APDP for the Mohali circle was launched by Mr Suresh P. Prabhu, Union Minister for Power, at the PCA stadium here on March 15.


Records indicate Chandigarh was meticulously planned
Rahul Das
Tribune News Service

Ambala, April 15
Meticulous planning was put in towards establishing Chandigarh, which was not only to be an administrative capital but also considered to be one of the most important schemes for rehabilitation for the urban population.

This is evident from the records available with the regional repository which reflect the schemes for setting up of Chandigarh.

A ‘Draft for Approval’ states, “As the Government of India is already aware the Punjab Government has had under consideration the construction of the capital for the state at Chandigarh now for sometime. A number of schemes have been prepared and examined. It has been decided that we should plan an administrative capital for a population of roughly 1,50,000 to start with capable of being expanded ultimately to cater for a population of above 5 lakh”.

“It is estimated that for a town of this magnitude we would need to acquire roughly 8000 acres of land and the town will cost approximately Rs 11.4 crore, including the cost of development for providing such essential amenities as water supply, drainage, roads communications etc, and essential government buildings such as secretariat offices, Legislative Assembly chambers and a High Court on a permanent basis and other requirements of the government on a temporary basis,” the draft states.

The draft observes: “The construction of the capital is one of the most important schemes of rehabilitation for the urban population so far envisaged by the government. “The rehabilitation of the rural population has naturally been upto now the main preoccupation of the government on account of the vast number of people involved and the inability of this section of the population to rely on their own resources. But the state government cannot overlook the pressing need for rehabilitation of the urban population which is equally or perhaps more important from the point of view of rehabilitation of the economy of the province.”

The Ministry of Rehabilitation, Government of India, had proposed to provide a sum of Rs 1 crore annually for the rehabilitation of the displaced persons in the capital for the next three years. “Infact, Rs 1 crore has already been provided in this year’s budget for this purpose. The high-powered committee appointed by the Government of India under the chairmanship of Shri Gopalaswami Ayyangar, while recommending the allocation of this amount to the Union Government, stated that a scheme of this nature cannot materialise unless the state government was prepared to find money for getting on with other aspects of the scheme.”

The draft points out that the Punjab Government’s scheme for the construction of the capital is self-supporting as far as the productive works are concerned, but in the earlier stages of development i.e. till after the end of the first year of construction when “we will be in a position to popularise the sale of plots and government is in a position to move down, which will be an added incentive for the persons to settle in the capital, it is not possible to expect returns of any magnitude to make scheme self-financing”.

“Further, no gainful employment to the displaced persons can be provided without first taking these development works in hand. It is, therefore, proposed that out of this sum of Rs 1 crore loan expected from the Government of India, we may spend Rs 75 lakh on these works and the balance of Rs 25 lakh on providing residential accommodation for the displaced persons. This expenditure, besides being able to provide employment to the displaced persons, will enable us to proceed with the scheme which will be the biggest step in the direction of the rehabilitation of the urban population,” it states.

“A note for the consideration of the capital committee of the Cabinet to be held on 27 May, 1950”, states the master plan is based on alternative scheme originally put upto the Capital Cabinet Committee on 5/6 May 1950.

The salient feature of the scheme are: (a) The capital should be located in the peninsula lying within the two arms of Sukhna Cho with the government house on the hill and the High Court on one side of it. (b) The shopping centre is in the centre of the town and adjoining it is the civic centre. (c) The university is proposed to be located beyond the High Court on the north-west. (d) The residential area has been divided into a number of living units which have been classified into three categories L,M and U representing Lower, Middle and Upper class accommodation — the essential difference being in the size of the plots and other attendant needs consequent on this planning.

The planners of Chandigarh gave thought to each aspect of the city. Water supply and particularly the location of the railway station was extensively deliberated upon.

Documents in the Regional Repository show that nothing seemed to have escaped the attention of those who planned Chandigarh.

On May 22, 1950, Mr P.L. Varma, Chief Engineer, Development Punjab wrote to the Chief Administrative Officer, Eastern Punjab Railway regarding the location of the railway line and the railway station.

Regarding the location of the railway line and the railway station in the new capital of the Punjab at Chandigarh there were four alternatives of treating the railway complex.

(1) As originally planned, the railway line and the railway station together with all your requirements should be located on the east bank of Sukhna Cho. This scheme has already been investigated. In this case, industry was to be placed between the railway line and the Sukhna Cho.

(2) The railway station to be located on the west side of Sukhna Cho and the industrial area also to be located on the same side towards the south of the railway station. This would involve realignment of the railway line so as to cross the Cho at a suitable point towards the south and a return towards Chandigarh.

(3) To keep the railway alignment as per item no. 1 but carry a spur across the Cho to the railway station which may be located on its west side. This spur will be feeding the railway station only.

(4) The railway station to be as in item no. 3 but the spur will also cater to the industrial siding on the west side of the Cho.

Regarding construction of new jails in the new capital, a letter states, “In accordance with the recommendations of the Jail Reforms Committee, the Inspector General of Prisons, Punjab, has requested, that two new jails, one for casual prisoners and the other borstal institution-cum-women’s jail be located at the headquarters of the Provincial Government i.e. in the capital.”

A site measuring 200 acres was required for the proposed jails. This would also make up the deficiency in jail accommodation in spite of the construction of the Central Jails at Ambala and Ferozepore and the camp jail at Hisar.

“The Chief Engineer, capital is of the view that according to the latest concept with regard to the location of jails, the tendency was not to locate these institutions in administrative centres, adding that this view prevailed also in the Joint Punjab where there was proposal to shift the Central jail and the borstal institution to a place near Jallo. The Inspector General of Prisons, Punjab, however, maintains that in almost all states in India, big jails were located at the old capital towns and there was no reason why any exception to this principle may be made in the case of Punjab state.”

A paper on the water supply proposals for the capital at Chandigarh of 1950, states, “In reviewing the water supply position for the capital to be constructed at Chandigarh, the proposals for water supply may be divided into two parts” first phase — catering for the needs of a town of 1,50,000 population, second phase — catering for the eventual requirements of a town of 5 lakh population.”

According to the decision of the government, “We are at present proposing to build an administrative capital at Chandigarh to cater for a population of 1,50,000 only covering a total area of about 8000 acres, capable of growing eventually into a town with half a million population spread over an area of 32,000 acres.

“While our immediate objective is to prepare a scheme of water supply to cater for a population of 1,50,000 only, but it will be appreciated that in working out these proposals we must also keep in mind the eventual requirements of the town and how they are to be met so that the natural growth of the town is not restricted or hindered from consideration of non-availability of water supply at a later stage,” the paper states.

“Assuming that the population of our town will grow progressively from a population of 2000 this year upto a total of 1,50,000 within the next five years, our total water requirements, as far as the domestic water supply is concerned, for this population at the end of 1955 would be of the order of 6 cusecs. Another 20 cusecs would be required for irrigation purposes.”

Interestingly, when Chandigarh was being planned, there were people who had certain reservations about the project.

Superintending Engineer, Public Health Circle Punjab (on leave) in a letter dated 9-8-1950 writes, “As a person who was connected with the Lahore Improvement Trust for over five years and where only financially sound schemes were sponsored in the earlier stages, I would take the liberty of pointing out that a town which is being designed on an average population of 20 persons per acre would prove very costly at first as well as maintenance costs. The development charges will be very high and beyond the means of ordinary people.”

The letter further states, “Greater Bombay with all its satellites will have an average population of 50 persons per acre. The Old Bombay with many extensions in its closer vicinity will have an average population of 150 persons per acre. It may be a good idea to give a rural setting to an urban area but can we afford this extravagant layouts?”


Don’t take Musharraf’s words lightly
Pritam Bhullar

General Pervez Musharraf, in an interview to German magazine Der Spiegel, said on April 5 that he was prepared to use nuclear weapons against India in the event of a war. Musharraf’s threat should not be taken lightly by India. For, he, unlike other nuclear powers, does not consider his nukes as a deterrent but a capability which, he thinks must be used when he is pushed to a corner.

What makes this threat more real is that Musharraf knows fully well that in a conventional war, Pakistan stands no chance against India. Therefore, only a nuclear strike can bring him distinct advantage against India. Moreover, Musharraf knows that the nuclear button in Pakistan, unlike in India, is in military’s hand and India is committed to “no first use” of nuclear weapons. This leaves the initiative of first destructive strike with Pakistan. The past experience tells us that “the military brain” in Pakistan when put in a helpless state can go to any extent.

Another factor that we cannot afford to ignore is that even when India strikes a big city in Pakistan, the latter’s lack of geographical depth will cause tremendous damage to the border cities of India due to the blast and thermal radiation.

There is no denying the fact that India cannot match Pakistan in madness. We should, therefore, for the well being of mankind, bring full diplomacy into play to convince the “international referee” George Bush to ensure the non-use of N-weapons by Pakistan. How? He knows better.

Children’s medicare

Nothing pleases a young mother with a new-born child more than the good care of her baby. For this, the Paediatrics Department of the Command Hospital (Western Command) Chandi Mandir should come in for praise.

The department has 25 paediatric and eight neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) beds and is one of the most modern ones. For the new-born babies, neonatology (open and close) system has been introduced. These machines cure new-borns of all infections such as jaundice in a few hours. The children born pre-maturely cannot only be saved but can also be helped to develop into normal children.

Mercifully, neonatal mortality rate in this hospital is only about 8 out of 1000 live births, which is far less than the national average. Under the “Baby friendly hospital initiative”, stress is laid on exclusive breast-feeding of neonatals.

Regular blood transfusion services are provided to the children suffering from thalassemia. The hospital also coordinates with institutions like ‘ASHA’ at Chandi Mandir and ‘Prayas’ at Chandigarh which provide specialised services to mentally handicapped and spastic children.

Besides providing curative, promotive and preventive health services, the department is also conducting post-graduate training in MD paediatrics.

Shady defence deals

That the defence deals on which depends the safety of the country, the fighting potential of the Army and the life of our brave soldiers should be struck with utmost care and honesty cannot be denied. But sadly enough, our Ministry of Defence (MoD) is gathering notoriety for shady deals with every passing day.

Recently, Defence Minister George Fernandes cleared a contract worth about Rs 45 crore for the purchase of thermal imaging devices from a notorious French company called Thales Optronics. This has been done despite an investigation being carried out at present by the Chief Vigilance Officer of the MoD against this firm. And it was only last year that the MoD had issued a circular blacklisting Thales Optronics until it was cleared of all charges.

Surprisingly, this firm is being favoured by the MoD for negotiating several other multi-billion dollar contracts by completely ignoring the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG’s) report that had censured the MoD for violating procedure for the purchase of hand-held thermal images for about Rs 41 crore from this company in February 2000. Not only that, this company has also been coming in for adverse criticism by the Chief Vigilance Commissioner since 1992. Tehelka, too, has mentioned this firm’s name in its report.

Earlier, the CVC and CAG reports had criticised the MoD for various purchases worth crores of rupees for the Kargil war. Imagine the effect of all such deals, which seem to be continuing unabated, on the morale of the troops. Is there no one in India who can stem this rot?


Lecture on problems of modern world
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15
Fundamentalism and clash of civilizations are the main causes of terrorism being faced by many countries. This was stated by Dr S.S. Mahapatra, former MP and former general secretary of the AICC(I), while delivering the Tara Chand Memorial Lecture organised by the India-China Friendship Association (Punjab) at Panjab University here today.

Dr Mahapatra also highlighted the problems being faced by the modern world and advocated the role of two great nations India and China in solving these problems.

The function was presided over by Mr Khushal Behal, Education, Minister, Punjab. In his presidential remarks, the minister called upon intellectuals to take up challenges faced by India after Independence. He said intellectuals had a big role to play in this era. He also appreciated the efforts of the India-China Friendship Association in increasing understanding among people for resolving bilateral issues.

Earlier, Maj Jiwan Tewari, president of the association, introduced the speaker and explained the functioning of the association.

The association also honoured its four members, Prof G.P. Sharma, Dr Sansar Chandra, Ms Surjit Kaur and Dr Jayanti Alam for achieving distinctions in their professions. The function concluded with a fan dance performed by a group of Korean students.


Agents honoured on Women’s Savings Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15
The role of women agents and their sincerity and hardwork in achieving small savings target came in for appreciation on the “Women’s Savings Day” function organised at Government Girls Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 18, here today.

Organised by the National Savings Organisation and the Directorate of Small Savings, Chandigarh, women agents were honoured for their contribution to making the scheme a success. Addressing the agents, the Joint Secretary, Finance, Mr Pirthi Chand, said women played a pivotal role in the development of the country by attracting more savings and depositing these in the Small Savings Securities. The Regional Director, National Savings, Mr M.K. Malhotra, said the concept of Women Savings’ Day was introduced by the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, who initiated the “Mahila Pradhan Kshetriya Bachat Yojna”.

He said against a target of Rs 84 crore, the city had Rs 99 crore net collections for 2001-02, exceeding the target by Rs 15 crore, a record achievement in the history of small savings from the city.

The District Savings Officer, Mr B.S. Dhaliwal, said the role of agents was important in making the scheme a success. He said the SAS agents, Mahila agents and PPF agents had collected Rs 198 crore in the long-term securities of small savings in 2001-02. Further, 127 agents were added to the existing staff. Help was also sought from social organisations like the Lions Club, Rotary Club, NSS volunteers, Jan Sikshan and Regional Centre for Adult and Continuing Education, Panjab University.

Earlier, a colourful cultural programme was also presented. While giddha was presented by girls of GGSSS-18, a bhangra item was performed by students of GMSSS-44.

An inter-school on-the-spot painting contest was also organised for the students on the theme of savings. Category I: Dhamma Meetra Patil — GMSSS-21 (1), Sonia — GMSSS-46 (2) and Priyanka Mehta — GGSSS-18 (3); Bhavna — GMSSS-18 (1), Arvind Thakur — GMSSS-46 (2) and Sonia Malhotra — GGSSS-18 (3).


Demand to check illegal marble trade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15
The Chandigarh Marble and Stone Association has urged the UT Administration to remove the unauthorised marble dealers operating from fields and other sites in Sectors 51 and 52 immediately.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Mr Mahavir Prashad, general secretary of the association, said the administration should not allow them to continue their trade at the present sites for more time on the pretext of finding alternative sites. He alleged that certain UT officials were hand in glove with the marble dealers and had turned a blind eye to the illegal trade which was causing a heavy revenue loss to the administration. He also said the dealers were facing “unfair competition” from the unauthorised dealers who were operating from rented premises of showrooms in the city.

They said 58 sites for marble dealers to be auctioned in Sector 39 on April 30 were insufficient. “We not only need more sites but also bigger ones because the present sites were not spacious enough for installation of machinery and stocking of material, he said.


CTCC to observe fast today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15
The Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee will observe a day’s fast tomorrow to pay homage to those killed in Gujarat and demand the dismissal of the state Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi.

The Congress has held Mr Modi responsible for attack on journalists and the Sabarmati Ashram.

Meanwhile, the Chandigarh District Congress Committee (Urban-II) has urged the President, Mr K.R. Narayanan, to dismiss the Modi Government in a memorandum sent through the UT Administrator, Gen J.F.R. Jacob.

The signatories to the memorandum are DCC (Urban-II) president Pawan Kumar Sharma, chairman Minority Cell Mohmmed Sadiq, president of Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress H.S. Lucky, among others.

The CTYC and DCC demanded dismissal of the Modi government and his trial under the Prevention of Terrorism Act for allegedly sponsoring state terrorism.

The memorandum came down heavily on Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for taking a stand to encourage hardline Hindutwa forces.


Press Club team installed
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 15
The Press Club, Sector 27 wore a festive look during a ceremonial function held here tonight as the outgoing president of the club, Mr Jagtar Sidhu, handed over the charge to the newly elected president Mr Sarabjit Pandher.

The function started with honouring of the outgoing governing body.

The new elected governing body will comprise Mr Sarbjeet Pandher (president); Mr Amardeep Bhattal (senior vice-resident); Mr Swatantra Saxena and Mr Balbir Singh (vice-presidents); Mr Ramesh Chaudhary (secretary general); Mr Balwant Takshak and Ms Rajesh Sharma (joint secretaries). Mr Nand Lal Gupta (treasurer).

The Chief Minister of Punjab, Capt Amarinder Singh was the chief guest.

UK-based Punjabi pop singer Palvinder Dhami entertained the members and their families with his hit numbers. Starting the concert with a devotional song "Daastar Khalsa Di", Palvinder moved on to sing a few peppy dance numbers "Maar chhadappa", "Do main" and "Kya baat hain" that pulled the youngsters to join the singer on the dance floor.


House Tax or headache ?

This is in connection with the haphazard and shoddy manner in which the authorities in Panchkula are going about imposing House Tax. It seems the politicians here are in tearing hurry to form a municipal corporation for Panchkula and to impose this ill-considered tax. There is least consideration for the welfare of the general public. Actually, it is not even justified in the absence of proper infrastructural facilities. The city is not even fully developed. How can the authorities justify imposing house tax, fire tax etc? In comparison, though Chandigarh is 50 years old, fully developed, having all infrastructural facilities, excellent educational institutions etc., the Municipal Corporation has not found it necessary to levy such a tax yet.

Without any proper staff, the authorities have issued notices to the people of Panchkula, with all sorts of mistakes regarding the age of the building, the area of construction, the number of storeys etc. Some of the houses do not find mention even on their records. The little arrangement they have made to collect taxes is equally shoddy. No proper counter has been opened to collect taxes. There are no separate grilled counters or windows as in banks, post offices for women and senior citizens. All these arrangements should have been made before issuing notices or making collections. But officials seem to be in great hurry to collect taxes from the people.

The least they can do now is to announce immediately extension of the last date for payment with rebate of a month at least, by which time they can make proper arrangements to facilitate proper collection of taxes through banks, post offices as in the case of the submission of electricity and telephone bills.

Panchkula Sakshi

Preserve city’s charm

This has reference to your editorial “Chandigarh-50 and forgotton” (April 4). It is a pragmatic and painful truth today that Chandigarh is partly and surely turning into a slum, with crowded roads. It is also becoming quite expensive for the common man residing here. At the same time, there are some bright aspects of this city as well.

Beautiful places like Rose Garden, Sukhna lake and Pinjore are beautiful places to visit and relax. They are Chandigarh’s precious lung. These places need to be kept clean not only by the administration but by the visitors also.

The Punjab Government should call Chandigarh the “Gateway to Himachal Pradesh’’ from where the Shivalik Ranges start and give the viewers a hill-side view from the city itself. Whenever it rains, the roads are flooded in the absence of proper storm water drains. Even the Sector 17 shopping complex is not free from this problem. The government and the Municipal Corporation should take suitable measures to tackle this problem now itself so that roads would be okay by the onset of monsoon.

The people of Chandigarh are very polite and cultured, compared with others. We can even compare the politeness of a Babu of Chandigarh with any of the officers of our neighbouring states. There are many reasons which should make us feel proud of our City Beautiful. We should start a cleaning drive of the city right from our own doorsteps. Only then can we expect to keep this city lush-green and spacious. Chandigarh’s pet name “City Beautiful” will, then, be most appropriate.

Jind, Haryana


Mann’s comments anti-national: BJYM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15
The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha here today demanded stern action against the Akali Dal (Amritsar) President and Member of Parliament, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, for reportedly asking Pakistan not to hand over 20 wanted people demanded by India.

In a joint statement issued by the BJYM president, Mr Satinder Singh and its general secretary, Mr Shakti Prakash Devshali, said Mr Mann's statements were “anti-national and he should be punished for this.


SI demoted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15
The UT SSP, Parag Jain, today issued orders for demoting a local police sub inspector for reportedly carrying a service weapon out of town while on leave and firing in the air.

According to police sources, SI Kuldeep Singh has been demoted to ASI. He had gone to attend the wedding of his friend’s brother near Kaithal a few years ago. There he reportedly fired in the air several times and one of the shots hit the groom’s brother, killing him on the spot.


Appeal against HUDA’s penalty
Tribune News service

Panchkula, April 15
A bank employee of Chandigarh, Mr Ashok Kumar Jain, has accused the HUDA authorities of making him pay Rs 50,000 for their own mistake.

Mr Jain, who was allotted a six marla plot in Sector 7, Urban Estate, Ambala, has alleged that HUDA authorities are trying to shield their own employee, who failed to send him correspondence regarding enhancement charges at his new address. The authorities imposed a penalty of Rs 50,000 on the enhancement charges of Rs 29,608 for failing to deposit the enhancement costs in time.


Three held for bootlegging
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15
In different incidents, the local police has arrested three persons from the city for bootlegging, and recovered 30 bottles and 50 pouches of liquor from their possession. A resident of Sector 38, Chander Ram was arrested from Sector 25 with 18 bottles of country made wine in his possession, while Bapu Dham resident Digambhar Singh was arrested from Sector 26 with 12 bottles in his possession. A resident of Hallo Majra village, Alkoosa, was arrested from the same village with 50 pouches of whisky in his possession. Separate cases under the Excise Act have been registered against them.

Poppy husk seized

The police has arrested a resident of Nawanshahar, Ranjit Singh, from the Sector 17, ISBT, and seized 27 kg poppy husk from his possession. The accused was apprehended near Counter No. 34 late last evening after beat officers checked his baggage. A case under the NDPS Act has been registered against him.


Sector 44 resident K.K. Tandon has reported that his house was broken into and while he was away and gold jewellery worth about Rs 50,000, and cash amounting to Rs 20,000 had been stolen. The police has registered a case.


The police has booked a resident of Sector 9 after a resident of Sector 49, Mr Vivek Batra, reported that the accused had tresspassed into his house on March 27 and threatened him. A case under Sections 452 and 506 has been registered.

Case registered

The police today registered a case for rash driving and causing injury in a case relating to an accident between a car and a scooter near Guru Gobind Singh Bhavan, Sector 15, on March 28. The scooterist, Sandeep Sharma, a resident of Sector 24, as well as the car driver were admitted to the PGI. Both the vehicles have been impounded by the police.


Liquor seized: A major haul of liquor has been seized by the Excise Officials near Dhakoli barrier this evening.

According to information available, 300 bottles of Directors Special whisky, 300 bottles of Bagpiper, 96 bottles of 8 PM whisky, 96 bottles of Thunderbolt Beer and 1600 pouches of liquor were seized. It is learnt that the whisky was coming from Chandigarh and was meant for use in Panchkula.

It is learnt that the Excise officials on duty at Dhakoli barrier near Zirakpur stopped a Tatya 407 vehicle ( HP-14-2679) for checking. Though it appeared from a distance that the vehicle was empty, a close inspection of the vehicle revealed that the liquor had been stacked in the four-wheeler in racks.

The driver of the vehicle, Devinder Singh has been arrested and a case under different Sections of Excise Act has been registered.

Two Booked: The police has booked two persons- Mamchand Sharma and Satpal Sharma, on charges of defrauding Primary Cooperative Agriculture and Rural Development Bank of Rs 4.5 lakhs. The two had prepared a fake project report of starting a beekeeping business. They withdrew the sum of Rs 4.5 lakh from the said bank between January 2001 and 2002. A case under Sections 471, 467, 468, 465, 420, 120-B and 34 of IPC.

Three Arrested: The police has arrested three persons — Sanjiv Kumar, Rakesh Kumar and Jitendra Kumar on charges of stealing cars and using them after preparing forged documents. They had been booked earlier under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 506 and 120-B of IPC. Mr Ramesh Kumar had alleged that Sanjiv Kumar had sold him a car for Rs 2. 20 lakh. Later, he took away the car on pretext of getting the car engine repaired.


Hindi, Marathi fonts launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15
Modular InfoTech, a leading software company, has launched a unique Shree-Lipi Dev Ratna fonts in the states of Punjab, Haryana and the union territory of Chandigarh.

Shree-Lipi Dev Ratna has the largest number of Devnagari fonts. It has 4,800 fonts in Devnagri alone and is available in three flavours — Pioneer, Professional and Universal.

Dr M.N. Cooper, Chairman and Jt Managing Director of Modular InfoTech stated, “Shree-Lipi Dev Ratna is an exclusive and enhanced version of modular InfoTech’s flagship product ShreeLipi, with a primary focus on Devnagri script for Hindi and Marathi languages.”

Ms M.R. Joshi, Director, Modular InfoTech added, “Shree-Lipi Dev Ratna also offers an official language dictionary to suggest Hindi / Marathi words for the English words used in official correspondence of government offices. Printing labels of names and addresses is another constant requirement in offices as well as households which Shree-Lipi Dev Ratna satisfies with great ease by providing a database editor and label maker. Though primary focus of Shree-Lipi Dev Ratna is on Devnagri script yet sufficient fonts have been included for Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali, Assamese, Oriya, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam and Sanskrit.”

Windows-Operating-Systems offer little support for Indian languages but Shree-Lipi Dev Ratna redefines the relationship between people and software by allowing users to use Indian languages in almost all popular Windows applications. The company also realises that the need of the software users changes with time and advent of new technology, hence Modular InfoTech has been constantly living up to such user expectations. Shree-Lipi Dev Ratna not only symbolises company’s continued effort in this direction but also scores a first by offering many enhanced features.


A gift for brand and quality-conscious
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15
This is for the brand and quality conscious. The city now has a quality leather showroom offering branded leather products, including gift items, handbags for ladies, footwear and various accessories.

Gads Leather, a high-product leather showroom, has recently been started in Sector 19 here. The showroom, started by Col ADS Gill, offers leather products in different price ranges, from handbags for women to wallets, briefcases, gift items, bean bags and footwear.

Enthused by the response received for his showroom of leather items opened at Panchkula a few months ago, Col Gill decided to have an outlet in the city as well, where people, he says, not only want style, but are equally particular about the quality.

“The absence of an exclusive outlet for leather products in the region prompted me to go in for this business and people have been quite receptive”, he says.

His idea is to provide a one stop shop of exclusive leather items and the coming season will have leather skirts and trousers as well, apart from jackets, coats and leather blazers.

Products by Hidecraft, the company which exports more than 90 per cent of its items, are a special attraction at this outlet. The company offers one-year warranty on its items. There are items from various other companies across the country. Among items that catch one’s attention are an executive bag for working women, gift items like spectacle covers, wallets for men in various designs and a separate section which has items for weddings and parties including embroidered purses etc.

There also are school bags stating from Rs 150 to Rs 500, stylish and durable. Attractive leather jewellery boxes, dustbins, paper weights, frames are also available.

For those who travel frequently are travel bags and briefcases in various designs.

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