Monday, May 6, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Octroi revenue lures MC to expand limits
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 5
With the reimposition of octroi, the SAS Nagar Municipal Council has sought permission from the Punjab Local Government Department to expand its limits. An additional annual income of Rs 1 crore has been projected with the inclusion of new developed areas in the township.

A survey of the areas proposed to be included in the limits of the civic body has already been undertaken. “The exercise to increase around 2000 acres of area had been shelved after octroi was abolished in December last”, said an official in the civic body.

The civic body has sought to include factories located in the industrial estates set up by the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) in Phase 8 here. A number of software development companies, Godrej GE and some other units would come within the extended limits. The construction of the railway station at Kambala village along the Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link would allow the civic body to levy octroi on the outgoing freight.

Earlier, the civic body had proposed to include 2,000 acres, which included five new sectors (Sector 76 to 80), Badmajra village, area of the proposed railway station and certain area of Balongi, to increase the revenue from octroi collection.

But the Punjab Town and Country Planning Department had earlier urged the Local Government Department to include only those areas for which planning had been completed. Officials of the department have expressed their apprehension that once the area was brought within the municipal limits, approvals of site plans and other constructions would rest with the civic body.

Enquiries reveal that in case of civic bodies of Dera Bassi, Banur and Kharar, the State Government in the past had accorded permission of change of land use subject to approval of the buildings plans by the State Housing and Urban Development Department. Officials of the civic body did not rule inclusion of the area of Balongi and Ballomajra nagar panchayats as the Local Government had been writing to the civic body to include it within its limits.

As per the existing limits of the civic body (around 8,000 acre), the area from which it was collecting revenue included residential areas from Phase 1 to 11, Sectors 70 and 71, Matour village, Phase 6 and Phase 7 of the Industrial Area, and a major part of Phase 8 and Phase 9 focal point.


Cops beat up man, get roughed up by mob
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Tension prevailed in the Ram Darbar colony after a 26-year-old resident of the colony, Naresh Kumar received serious head injuries on being reportedly beaten up by two policemen. An angry mob which gathered on the spot also manhandled the policemen and damaged their scooters. Naresh was taken to the Sector 32 GMCH, from where he was referred to the PGI.

According to eyewitnesses, the incident occured at about 6 pm, when Naresh approached the two beat constables to report the theft of his bicycle. An argument ensued between the complainants and the cops, who alleged that the complainant was under the influence of liquor. The policemen, identified as head constable Anil Kumar and constable Sanjeev Kumar, began to thrash him and even banged his head into the windscreen of a van parked nearby. The shattered pieces of the windscreen were lying scattered on the road.

Naresh, a daily wager, is reported to have glass splinters embedded in his head and was profusely bleeding. He has two children, a five-year-old daughter and a four-month-old son. The fracas continued till about half an hour. Localities say that even Naresh’s 50-year-old mother, Sunehri, was beaten when she tried to intervene. She sustained a bruise under one eye after her spectacles broke.


Little research work in PU colleges’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Due to lack of proper environment and motivation in colleges affiliated to Panjab University, little research work is being done to further academic excellence.

This has been indicated in the report of the Academic and Administrative Audit of the colleges. The committee completed the audit of 102 out of 110 colleges affiliated to the university. The conveners for different zones included Prof S.K.Kulkarni, Prof Satya P. Gautam, Prof S.C. Vaidya and Prof P.S. Jaswal. The overall coordination was handled by Prof Ramesh Kapoor, Dean, College Development Council.

The preliminary report submitted to the university indicates that although teachers have considerable free time after taking classes, yet there is hardly any mentionable research nor academic activities such as writing. In most of the colleges, the audit has indicated inadequate use of library facilities. It has found that majority of the libraries are not subscribing to any major scientific journals.

It has been found that even recent and updated versions of old journals have not been procured. It has been suggested that steps need to be taken to encourage teachers to actively participate in value-addition activities.

There is a demand for the introduction of a mechanism to obtain feedback from the faculty and students for the improvement of syllabus being taught at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. It is worth mentioning that the university has already initiated steps in this direction. A letter sent to the colleges has sought “constructive suggestions” from principals in this regard by May 15.

During discussion, the audit team members learnt that syllabi of some of the subjects being taught at the undergraduate level included topics which were a mere repetition of what the students had learnt at the plus two level. Repetition of topics without any value addition made students non-serious in attending the classes. The Board of Studies has been asked to look into the matter.

The audit team has said as a feedback from students and the faculty, there is a lot of appreciation. A large number of them are of the view that at least 20 per cent of marks should be for attendance, house tests and project works.

The audit has indicated that in many of the colleges, practical classes in science subjects are not being conducted satisfactorily. Conduct of tutorials in B.Com classes has also been found lacking in expected standards. Maintenance of laboratories has not been paid much attention. Much of the equipment remains unutilised.

It said there was a need for a more effective dissemination of information concerning UGC schemes and university programmes. Vocational courses should be allocated only after ensuring their viability.

Students demand that the Administrative Office of the university should provide more effective and courteous response whenever they visit it for information or work.

The audit has indicated that in none of the colleges steps have been taken to implement the Supreme Court judgement prohibiting sexual harassment. The colleges have been asked to implement the code without further delay.

The audit has also discovered that some of the colleges, particularly in the Ludhiana zone have been found to be having double affiliation. They are primarily affiliated to PU but for certain courses run by the PTU they have got affiliated there. This needs to be checked, it says. 


Child killed as car rams into scooter
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
A 8-year old child, Sunny, was killed and his parents were injured after a Maruti car rammed into them near Makhan Majra while they had stopped to feed Sunny today.

According to the police, Surinder Kumar, a painter, and his wife Rajni, were proceeding on a scooter, when they stopped near the village to give milk to Sunny. A Maruti car, evidently out of control, rammed into them, killing Sunny on the spot. Surinder, who tried to save Sunny, was also injured. His leg was fractured after the car’s rear tyre ran over it. Police has registered a case.


Abandoned kids await adoption 
Admn fails to constitute welfare board
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 5
With the district administration having failed to reconstitute the Juvenile Welfare Board, ever since it finished its term last year, it is a long wait for four-month-old Gul to be adopted, who was abandoned at Shishu Greha in Bal Niketan here after birth.

Almost four months have elapsed since the child arrived at Bal Niketan. However, in violation of the Supreme Court directions regarding adoption of an Indian child, which have been later revised by the Ministry of Welfare, the administration has failed to appoint a new Juvenile Welfare Board, which has the authority to make a release order declaring the child legally free for adoption.

The rules say that this has to be done within a period of six weeks from the date of making of an application before the Board.

But as the board had not been reconstitute, this was not possible. It was only after a report was published in the columns of this newspaper on April 17 that the administration finally woke up and wrote a letter to Director, Social Justice and Empowerment, asking for the reconstitution of the board, after it had finished its term eight months ago.

The authorities at Bal Niketan said that no meeting of the Juvenile Welfare Board had been held for the past more than 10 months. The rules, however, specify that the board, comprising seven ex- officio members and three nominated members, was to meet every two months. It was due to this anomaly that the case of Gul could not be taken up till now, even as repeated reminders had been sent to the authorities.

When contacted, the officials concerned admitted that the board had not been reconstituted since the previous board finished its term in August 2001. ‘‘There have been amendments in the Juvenile Justice Act, and only after the new policy has been formed that a new board will be reconstituted,’’ said the official concerned .

However, the amendments in the Act had been passed by Parliament in December, 2000, more than a year ago. All states had been then asked to formulate new rules and then ensure its early implementation.

There are seven couples, who are waiting for a child’s adoption, and anxiously waiting for the administration to give release order and so as to make the child free for adoption. Luckily, the Shishu Greha here has received only one abandoned child during the past one year. The remaining seven children, who arrived here, had been surrendered by parents or family members and hence these children do not require release order.

Dr Sharma said that there was a need to sensitise the administration towards the issue of adoption. ‘‘This not an isolated case, where we have had to wait for months in order to initiate the adoption process. There have been cases where we have been forced to wait for more than one year in order to get the certificate of abandonment for the child. By the time, we manage to get the certificates, the children are more than a year old. Their adoption becomes difficult as most couples prefer younger children,’’she rued.

It was after 10 pm, on December 18, 2001, that Gul was found in the crib placed near the main gate of the centre. Because of intense cold, the child had developed a bad case of jaundice and had to be rushed to Government Medical College and Hospital , Sector 32, Chandigarh. It was after almost two months that her jaundice could be cured . However, her long wait for a family continues. 


Bhattal opens chapter of Capital Foundation Society
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Public opinion is one of the most important aspects of the democratic system and it plays a vital role in the formulation of policies and programmes of the state government.

These views were expressed by Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Agriculture, Rural Development and Panchayat Minister, while inaugurating the Punjab Chapter of the Capital Foundation Society here today. Ms Bhattal said the society was one of the finest institutions which had served Delhi with great distinction and started perennial projects covering diverse subjects. Ministers, parliamentarians, social activists, environmentalists, humanists, scientists, politicians and statesmen had shared platforms and imparted informative lectures.

Mr Justice V.R. Krishana Iyer said the Capital Foundation Society believed in investing in ideas, innovations and intellectual ferment as a votary of democracy. The ideological nexus between the Ford Foundation and the creative Capital Foundation was laudable. Fifty years of partnership was a suitable occasion for celebration. Foreign funds often had political strings attached to them and such aid made one wary of masked designs of the donor from abroad. Free from such suspicious potential and choosy in their benefactions, the Ford Foundation had indulged in fertile promotive funding in diverse fields like social justice, legal education and wealth of other creative values free from the pressure of disguised persuation.

Later on, Mr Justice Krishana Iyer also presented a memento to Ms Bhattal on behalf of the society.


Admn urged to rationalise paid parking charges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Samadhaan, a pressure group for social justice, has urged the UT Administration to rationalise the paid parking zones in the city to minimise inconvenience to people and avoid their fleecing by the contractors.

In a statement issued here today, Mr R.P. Malhotra, president of the group, said that in a bid to implement the paid parking system in the city’s commercial areas, the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, had again put the parking lots under the hammer. The system, which was initiated on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to facilitate smooth and secure parking, had now been turned into merely a source of revenue for the corporation. In the process, the manner it was being implemented, had created serious problems for the general public.

Paid parking system had been in force in places like hospitals, tourist places like the Sukhna lake and Rock Garden, cinemas, bus stand and railway station of the city since long and there had never been any such problems there. Hence, the fault was not with the system but with its implementation, Mr Malhotra argued.

While earmarking the areas for paid parking, the Administration had left no space for free movement of vehicles. Almost 90 per cent of the available space had been turned into paid/pass parking zone, thus forcing each vehicle entering the shopping complex to pay the cess. Generally, a distinctly identifiable area was earmarked, where only those vehicles, which did not find space in the free parking zones, voluntarily opted to park their vehicles at the paid parking zones. Areas of traffic congestion and accident-prone areas ought to be marked as tow-away zones to ease the traffic congestion for a smooth flow.

However, the corporation had not spared even the road berms and traffic bottlenecks such as the turning in front of the Central State Library and the road stretch in front of Mehfil leading to overhead bridge — the areas ought to be marked as tow-away zones.


Frolic at Fun City ends in fall
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 5
Fun and frolicking for three friends, who were visiting the Fun City near here today, ended when two of them were hurt because of unfixed tiles in the newly introduced Fun Wave Pool.

Three friends — Gopal Krishan Sharma, Sanjay Sharma and Varinder — residents of Chandigarh, had gone to enjoy the newly introduced water feature in the Fun City, where artificial waves are created.

The youth maintain that the tiles in the pool were not fixed properly and as a result, sharp edges of the tiles caused cuts and abrasions on different parts of their bodies. However, the management of the Fun City denied this. When Contacted, Mr Kanwaljit Singh, owner of the amusement park, said that the youth had not received injuries in the Fun Wave pool.

Mr Gopal Krishan, however, said that he was administered first aid at the park itself, but the officials asked him not to report the matter.


Funeral procession of NDA govt held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
The Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress (CTYC), the District Congress Committee-Urban (DCC-U) and the Minority Cell held a funeral procession of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

Raising slogans against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and the NDA government, protesters marched from Vikas Nagar in Mauli Jagran to the Housing Board lights in Mani Majra carrying effigies of Mr Modi and the Central Government.

Banners and placards carried by Congress activists read “Gaddi chhodne ki karo tayari, Atal Behari, Atal Behari and “Mukh par mukhota, dikhta bechara hai, Atal Behari tu insaniat ka hatyara hai.”

The CTYC chief Mr H. S. Lucky, said the hollowness of BJP’s claims had been exposed.

The DCC-Urban president, Mr Pawan Sharma, said the days of the Central Government were numbered and Mr Vajpayee had proved to be the weakest and the most incompetent Prime Minister the country had ever had. Mr Shiv Nath Sharma Kittu, political adviser to the Indian Youth Congress president, Mr Randeep Surjewala, said the Vajpayee government had lost the confidence of all sections of society.


Help govt in serving people, Ratra asks NGOs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Mr Y. S. Ratra, Chief Secretary to the Punjab Government, has asked the NGOs to be more active in the field of social service and urged them to work in coordination with the Punjab Government.

Mr Ratra was speaking at the 29th annual multiple convention of various Lions Clubs, Nai Disha, held at Himachal Bhavan last night.

The convention was attended by about 700 Lion members from different cities of India from Varanasi to Leh. Lion Dr N.K.Gover, multiple council chairman, who presided over the function, laid emphasis on the quality of members who could justify their association with the organisation. Lion L.M.Goyal, international director, speaking on the occasion, said, ‘‘Serving together we light the path to service and humanity’’. He said that theme of their next international president Key. K.Fukushima was ‘‘Öne World, One heart and build a better tomorrow’’.

‘‘Let all Lions pledge today to complete and achieve the programme of our international president. The convention concluded with the distribution of awards to Lion members for their contribution throughout the year.


Bansal lauds role of co-op societies
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, May 5
The Congress MP from Chandigarh, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, commenced the development work of the Sarv Mangal Cooperative House Building Society (Phase II) project at a function held in Lohgarh village here today.

Mr Bansal, who was the chief guest on the occasion, highlighted the role of the cooperative societies in providing houses to the people with modern facilities in the surrounding areas of Chandigarh.

Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Punjab minister, appealed to the society to construct houses as per the norms of the Town and Country Planning department.

Earlier, Mr Anil Sharma, secretary of the society, highlighted the facilities being provided to the members.

Mr Amarjit Singh Dhindsa, SDM, and Ms Sheelam Sohi, a member of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, were also present.


Relay fast enters 27th day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
The UT Electrical Workers' Union's relay fast entered 27th day here today. The protesters are demanding withdrawal of charge from Superintending Engineer V. P. Dhingra along with filling up vacant posts of trade mates, electricians, SOs and lift operators etc on the basis of old seniority lists, arrears of technical scale from Jan 1, 1986, to March 3, 1991, implementation of technical scales of all employees, assured career progression scheme and confirmation of group C and D employees.

They are also demanding cycle and scooter parking in economically weaker section government houses in Sectors 37 and 38 and equal division of work in all sections.

Rakesh Kumar, general secretary of the union, and Baljit Singh, president of the union, said if their demands were not met, the proposed strike on May 16 would be held on May 22. They also appealed to workers to take out a protest march on May 14.


Murdered girl cremated
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 5
The 21-year-old girl, who was stabbed to death by her father in Phase 2 here on Friday night, was cremated at the Sector 25 Crematorium, Chandigarh, today. The family members of the victim and her husband, Ashwani Arora, were present.

A police official said both the families decided to perform the last rites amicably. Earlier Arora had sought that he be allowed to perform the last rites as he was the husband of the victim.

The police said though the girl had died due to bleeding, the exact cause of death would be known after getting the postmortem report.

The police was examining the contents of the letter which the girl had reportedly given to Arora before her death.


SUICIDE: Mr Raminder Singh, a resident of Sector 4, Ms Raminder, committed suicide by consuming acid on Saturday night. She was taken to the General Hospital, Sector 6, and was later referred to the PGI, where she died.

BURGLARY: The residence of a Housing Board employee, Mukesh Vohra, was burgled on Sunday. A sum of Rs 11,000, gold and silver jewellery and some documents were stolen from a room. The police has registered a case.


Four rickshaw-pullers held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
In a drive launched against rickshaw-pullers plying their rickshaws on the wrong side of the road, the police has arrested four persons near the Sector 17 ISBT. The accused have been identified as Jeet Singh, a resident of Patiala, Devi Parshad, a resident of Uttar Pradesh, Sham Lal, a resident of Kajheri and Jeevan Kumar, a resident of Colony No 5. Separate cases have been registered against them for causing danger and obstructing public way.

One arrested

The police has arrested a resident of Nehru Colony, Menu Deen, from Sector 52 and seized 100 pouches of whisky from his possession. A case under the Excise Act has been registered against him.

Gold jewellery stolen

A resident of Bapu Dham, Anil Kumar, has reported that his bag containing four gold rings, a gold necklace, a pair of gold ear rings and a gold tikka, all valued at about Rs 65,000, have been stolen from the Sector 17 ISBT. The police has registered a case.

Purse stolen

Sector 7 resident Amardeep Dhillon has reported that his purse containing Rs 6,500, PAN card and identity card has been stolen from his car, parked in Sector 21. The police has registered a case.

Car stolen

Sector 21 resident Baljit Kaur has reported that her Maruti car (CH-01-D-3001) has been stolen from Sector 34. The police has registered a case.

Maruti stolen

Sector 20 resident Surinder Singh has reported that his Maruti car (CH-01-H-6463) has been stolen from his residence. A case has been registered.


Grooming day for contestants
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 5
The two-day training programme for the 14 quarter-finalists of the musical talent hunt in Punjab, “Pepsi Banjaa Staara Yaraa Contest”, began at Saffron Touch studio here today.

All 14 short-listed candidates for the semifinals are being imparted training in singing, phonetics, body language, stage presence, hand movements etc. by noted music director Atul Sharma. While seven of these contestants were given training today, the remaining contestants would be given training tomorrow.

Atul Sharma held group discussions with the candidates on various aspects of singing and stage presence. Later, a one-to-one rehearsal was also held for the candidates.

The highlight of today's training was the generation of awareness among these contestants about their weak points and dispelling their fright. Nine-year-old Kanak Joshi from Solan who was among the short-listed candidates, was however the main attraction, who despite being young displayed perfection in modulating his voice at different scales.

It may be noted that as many as 800 entries were received for the contest from all over the country. Of these, 24 were shortlisted for quarter-finals and 14 of were finally selected.

The semifinals will be held at Jalandhar on May 8 and Patiala on May 10.

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