Monday, May 20, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Govt school collecting ‘unauthorised’ funds
Principal claims having permission; Education Dept denies
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
Unauthorised collection of funds at Government Girls High School, Sector 25, has practically gone unnoticed by the UT Education Department, while parents of students studying in the school claim it has been going on for the past three years.

On investigation, it was found that senior students, 400 to 500 in number, were being charged Rs 5 as funds in the name of examinations, while over 1,600 students of the junior classes were contributing Rs 7 for the same.

Also, a few teachers and some students of junior classes admitted that the school was collecting Rs 2 a month against a sanction of Rs 1.50 for general category students and 75 p for students from the Backward Classes under various heads.

However, on being asked, the teachers at the school tried to justify the collection of funds on the grounds that the amount sanctioned by the UT Education Department for the examination purpose was not enough to meet the expenditure. Also, they admitted that Rs 2 were being collected to avoid frequent collections from students for Red Cross tickets which were sent to the school at least four times in a session and each cost Rs 2.

A teacher of the senior wing and in charge, in absence of the school Principal, Ms Amita Khanna, said that though the school had made several representations to the Education Department, additional funds had not been sanctioned. Reproducing bills since 1999, she claimed that all sanctioned funds had been used to conduct examinations. ‘‘The situation is similar in other government schools and they, too, are collecting similar funds,’’ she added.

Speaking for the junior classes, Ms Swarn Lata, said,‘‘We don't have any funds in the name of examination. So, we have to make these adjustments in school. Sometimes the principal also meets the shortfall and makes arrangements at her level.’’

When contacted, the Principal, Ms Swarn Walia, who is on medical leave, said that the authorities in the UT Education Department had given verbal permission to collect such funds from students. But later, she denied collecting any such funds from the children and alleged that a clerk in her school was spreading such rumours. ‘‘I don't get along with him because of which he is creating trouble for me,’’ she stated.

Contrary to all claims, the DPI (S), Mr DS Mangat, and the DEO, Mr Brahmjit Kalia, said that no such permission, written or verbal, had been given to any principal. ‘‘If they are collecting any such funds, it is unauthorised,’’ Mr Mangat added.



Building bylaws flouted in Industrial Area
Schools, furniture shops galore
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 19
Is failure on the part of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) to develop the Industrial Area here a reason for the authorities turning a blind eye towards large-scale violation of building bylaws? The answer could well be in the affirmative, if the blatant misuse of industrial plots in the township is any consideration.

Though the Industrial Area — both Phases I and II — were developed by HUDA almost 20 years ago, it has failed to come up to the expectations. Of the 900 industrial plots spread over two phases, only 300 are operational as of now.

However, a recent survey conducted by the HUDA authorities shows that most of the developed industrial plots are being misused and instead of manufacturing units, hardware and furniture shops, textile and garment retail outlets, schools, a career academy, computer training institutes and even gymnasium are operational here.

Interestingly, in several plots, where a manufacturing unit is operational, the plot allottees have further rented out space in their plots for running more than one business venture. This in spite of the fact that HUDA norms for allotment clearly specify that only one unit can run in a plot.

Also, three schools have come up in here. The District Town and Country Planning Department informed Chandigarh Tribune 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.

The HUDA rules, it is learnt, clearly specify that an industrial plot cannot be used for any other activity other than for manufacturing industrial goods. This tantamount to misusing the site for the purpose other than what it is allotted for and the sites of violators can be resumed. Though officials maintain that resumption notices are regularly issued to the defaulters, it has failed to deter the plot allottees .

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

Sources say that even if there is violation of building bylaws in the Industrial Area, at least some commercial activity is going on here, thus helping in the development of the area. As of now, there are 80 ancillary units of Hindustan Machine Tools functional here along with a few other units. Construction work is yet to start in around 300 plots here, while 300 industrial plots are lying locked.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the industrial organizations are now demanding that rules be reviewed and the plot allottees be allowed to run two or three business from a single industrial plot, as in the neighbouring Union Territory of Chandigarh, where liberal policy is being followed. Says Mr S.S. Goel, general secretary of the Panchkula Industrial Association, “The matter has been discussed with the Deputy Commissioner and the Town Planning Department were asked to check the relaxations given in Chandigarh, in order to provide relief to industrial plot holders here. However, decision in this regard is still pending ,” he said.



Slum kids ready for new challenges
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
For the first time in the history of Chandigarh, three children from the lowest rung of society are being offered the privilege of academically rehabilitating themselves in a reputed boarding school in Solan. Come May 23 and Arjun, Arun and Vinod, shoeshine boys from Sector 25 slums, will take their first step towards a bright future. Seeing them off from the UT Secretariat building in Sector 9 will be the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R Jacob (retd), himself.

With the help of some persons and local societies, the office of Adviser to the UT Administrator, which has been overseeing development in this case, has mobilised about Rs 20,000 for meeting the expenses of the children. Equal efforts have been made by Zulfiqar Khan who runs Aashiana School for the children in Sector 24. The money will be sufficient for three children during the coming year, as the annual expense of each kid has been worked out at about Rs 6,000. Although the children have cleared Class V, they will be re-admitted to the same class in Solan so that their skills can be better developed.

Just two months ago, the Adviser to UT Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, had floated the idea of lifting the children from the slums and giving them a chance to realise their ambitions. After the boys cleared the Class V examination of their own accord, the Adviser suggested that they be lodged in Navneet Brahmachari’s school in Solan. Right from March 30, the day when this suggestion was made, officials along with Zulfiqar Khan has been engaged in mobilising funds for the purpose.

Now that the funds are ready, the children are preparing to leave on May 23. As the TNS talked to them, they looked thrilled over the very idea of a fresh life. But their parents wore a sad look. Zulfiqar Khan said, “It has been tough for us to convince the parents of these children.” Where the parents had agreed to the suggestion in front of the Adviser in March, they backed out on their commitment later. Only after a lot of pestering from the kids and their well wishers, the parents gave their consent. They will now accompany them to Solan in the jeep which will be provided to them by the office of the UT Adviser. Meanwhile, it is important to talk about the people and societies which have come forward to help these kids. Ms Tuli from the Cancer Society has already adopted two of the three children. The other two people who donated Rs 6,000 each for the noble cause are Sheela Garg from Sector 49 and Munish Johar. Ms Vishesh Sharma from the Fortis Heart Institute in SAS Nagar has also given Rs 2,000.

Apart from this, the miscellaneous expenses of children in the boarding will be met by Mr Kewal Kumar Bansal of the Lions Club. He has offered to meet all the other expenses.



Sec 35 showrooms ransacked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
Two adjoining showrooms in Sector 35, one dealing in electronic items and the other in Kinetic Honda scooters, were broken into in the wee hours today and goods worth several lakhs were stolen.

According to the police, the thefts were discovered today morning. A tea stall owner near Bhatia Agencies, an electronics goods shop, informed its owners that the shutter and the front door of the shop were open.

Several locks were broken by the burglars to gain entry into the electronics showroom premises. The shop was ransacked and goods were lying strewn around. Even the lock of the safe was reportedly broken. A large number of air conditioners, TV sets, microwave ovens, cordless telephone sets and music systems had been stocked in the showroom. Electronics items and some cash were stolen from the showroom. The total loss is estimated at Rs 4 lakh.

The other showroom, CMPL, was also broken into and spare parts, accessories and some cash were stolen. No attempt was made by the burglars to take away any new scooter.



Power supply limps back to normal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
After sweating for the past 24 hours, people here had some relief when power supply to the city was restored today. An official of the UT Electricity Department said there had been no scheduled power cut here today.

The power supply here was erratic yesterday, with there being no power in some sectors for 13 hours at a stretch. The disruption in power supply was due to a snag in an SAS Nagar substation that supplies power to some southern parts of the city. Officials said the snag had been removed by 6.30 today.

The snag had developed in two circuits of a 220 KV substation, soon after which, the system through which the city gets its power supply had collapsed, affecting about 80 per cent of its sectors.

Though officials said the power situation was, now, normal, reports of intermittent power cuts were still being received from some parts of the city.

The university campus remained without power for about two hours in the afternoon today and Sector 19 also saw disruption in power supply.

Large parts of the city had plunged into darkness early yesterday due to the snags and the power failure had affected the afternoon water supply here. The affected areas included Sectors 27, 20, 21, 23, 24 and 31 to 47, besides the Industrial Area, its surrounding areas and the Air Force Station.

The situation forced the department to impose rotational power cuts in various parts of the city till the things normalised.

The worst hit was Sector 33, where there was no power supply for 13 hours together. The Industrial Area were also badly hit. Power cut continued in the area even today.



400 participate in Shramdan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
As many as 50 officers of Indian Overseas Bank along with their Assistant General Manager, Mr Milap Kapoor, 150 employees of Haryana Higher Education and 50 personnel of the Chandigarh police, besides 150 regular shramdanis participated in the shramdan-2002 at Sukhna Lake here today.

The shramdan-2002 was inaugurated on May 14.



Tourist hit by vehicle, killed
Our Correspondent

Lalru, May 19
A Tamil Nadu-based tourist, R. Mukam, was killed by an unidentified vehicle on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway, 1 km from here, early this morning.

Sources in the police said Mr Mukam along with his family and other fellow tourists were on their way back to home town from Shimla yesterday. They opted to stay for the night by the side of a local petrol pump and parked the bus in which they were travelling along the highway. The victim, while crossing the highway to answer the call of nature, was hit by an unidentified vehicle at about 5 a.m.



Rotation of headship at Panjab University has its pros and cons. On the pro side, it has resulted in greater democratisation of decision making in the departments and on the con side it elevated many stature-less people to a position of leadership.

Not endowed with leadership qualities, many worthies of the university have had a difficult time being leaders of their departments. For the past many years such heads have been found carping and complaining to the Vice-Chancellor, the Dean University Instruction and far worse, to the newspapers, about the uncooperative attitude of their colleagues and students.

Little wonder that some members of the university community have begun to have doubts about the value of the rotation principle and want a review.

Woman power

The current Dean of University Instruction at Panjab University is overwhelmed by her gender. At almost every seminar, she emphasises her being the first woman DUI at the university, throwing broad hints that the Dean’s appointment has had a gender bias in the past.

Many women working in the university, including heads of the department, nod sagely in agreement, almost vowing to right the perceived wrong.

Promoting tourism

The UT Administrator and Punjab Governor, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), is certainly doing his bit for promoting tourism in the city. After inaugurating the functions that he is invited to, the Governor, at the end of the ceremony calls for everyone’s attention and asks the audience to visit the various places in the city. His favourite spot remains the museum in Sector 10 which he explains has a fine collection of Gandhara art.

What was refreshing to see after an inaugural ceremony of this variety which took place in the auditorium of the art gallery and museum was that the audience after the end of the function walked around the place appreciating what the Governor had suggested.


The shenanigans of Panjab University syndics and senators have always held the local public in awe. The latest awe-inspiring performance was of a senior syndic known to be the “guruji” of many rising stars of the local political firmament.

Using a Syndicate meeting to lecture the Vice-Chancellor at length on the benefits of taking firm decisions all by himself without any consultations, he said that formation of sub-committees was in fact “Sub ki mitti”.

Such remarks seem funny considering that all our experience indicates that universities function best in a congenial atmosphere. The other syndics seem to agree since they have always rejected the advice of “guruji” with voice vote.


Censorship on teachers speaking to the press and pre-censorship of their academic publications imposed by the PU is not unique. The PGI Administration had also not so long ago informed its faculty members to keep quiet or talk to the press at the risk of dire consequences.

However, while at the PGI, none complained, at PU a substantial body of teachers protests against such rules. Come to think of it, while these rules are part of service conditions of all government employees, the civil servants continuously write and speak to the press without any objections being raised.

In fact, most of the time they are far more critical of the government and its policies than even the radical academics. It seems the government has greater faith in its officers than the academicians have in their colleagues.

No seats

The newly promoted set of 26 professors at the PGI seems to be having some identity crisis. At the recently held meeting of the staff council — a body which includes all PGI professors and heads of departments, these “freshers” were not invited. While these 26 did give a representation to be included in the Staff Council, they were simply told by the Medical Superintendent’s Office that they cannot be accommodated in this meeting as there were not enough seats for everyone.

Thank you, readers!

Whatever the cynic of today might say, the milk of human kindness is flowing through the region in full gusto. After reading a story that first appeared in the Chandigarh Tribune about how a young daughter was donating her kidney for her father to save his life and all that they were waiting for was enough money for the operation at the PGI, The Tribune readers promptly lined up at the PGI to chip in all they could for the family.

At last count, the PGI had collected almost Rs 2 lakh for the operation. Well, we at the newspaper can only say thank you to our readers with all our heart.

Bulldozer cometh!

The Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, on May 16 destroyed the green cover maintained by residents at their own cost in the vacant land in front of the flats of the Modern Housing Complex, Manimajra. Surprisingly, there is no developed park or green belt in this complex of more than 20,000 residents.

This greenery, which was protected by hedges to keep out stray animals and miscreants, was not a traffic hazard and quite a distance from the internal road.

The Chief Engineer, MCC, Mr VK Bhardwaj, claimed that only those hedges were removed which were coming in the way of metalling the roads and were less than six feet from the road. Residents protested that the design of the flats was of semicircle nature, the buildings on its two corners were only two feet from the road. How could the six-foot distance be justified ?

The other day Mr Balraj Singh, Deputy Mayor of MCC and municipal councillor of the area, visited the area and condemned the act of the MCC. They were of the view that advance notice should have been given to those defying the provisions.

Moreover, now the carpeting of the road has begun after more than five years. But the green cover which included small plants, has been destroyed and gives a shabby look. Is it not the duty of the MCC to beautify the area. What it had failed to do so in the vacant land, the residents were doing at their own expense. Instead of punishing them , they should have been rewarded.

9 to 5 protest

All things change with time. Even unionbaazi has come a long way from leaders bred on Marxism and working for the rights of the common man with a desire to not rest till the goal is achieved.

The present-day agitations can be best described as 9 to 5 exercises. Some 200 contractual employees of a city government hospital have been agitating against being relieved from duty. Their “agitation” starts at the hospital gate minutes before the cars of various authorities pass into the hospital. After that there is a general dispersal. The next show of strength takes place at five after which all posters come down, banners are folded and everyone goes home tired and weary after a long day’s work of “agitating”.

Karate man

For lovers of martial arts the name of Raghavan is synonymous with karate. Few know that he is also a trained anthropologist. Since March, he has joined as a Senior Research Scientist at the School of Anthropology and Archaeology at Canberra (Australia).

He has written to tell us that his project entitled “Contribution of South Asia to the Peopling of Australasia” has started. As an additional component, he was told to conduct the biometrical and histological investigations on human skeletons roughly 62,000 years old from Murray River deposits. The analysis will provide valuable clues about their South Asian connection.

Efforts will also be made to conduct the sedimentological and petrological investigations on palaeosol horizons of India and Sri Lanka by a team led by a distinguished Professor of Panjab University, Dr Ahluwalia. The Canberra institute will also hire his expertise to study sedimentary structures and conduct petrological investigations on South East Asia where the possible land route of migration took place during the Pleistocene period.

A former Professor and a famous Physical Anthropologist, Prof. S. Prakash, will be the chief coordinator. Prof R.Y. Singh will assist in the studies. Prof Alok Srivastava, currently a visiting Professor in Germany, will help in the advanced techniques of this international project. Mr Raghavan says that the staff members of Australian National University are highly obliged to Panjab University for providing intellectual support.

He will be visiting India for about five months this year for a personal contact programme on behalf of the Australian National University to highlight the Australian aboriginal heritage programme at various educational institutes in North and North-West India.

No space

The occasion of inauguration of the new manuscript section at Government Museum on May 18 proved to be rather inconvenient for many visitors. For the first time in the past one year, one had seen such a gathering at the museum auditorium.

Call it some miscalculation on the part of Museum authorities or anything else, the result was that over 60 to 70 guests had to stand in the auditorium for lack of seating space. Some top officials of the UT Administration, including CITCO MD S.P. Singh, were also standing.

It would be in the fitness of things to expand the capacity of the museum auditorium, especially in view of the fact that the manuscript section will house the largest collection of scriptures all over North India.


For the past about six years, Sanjay Kumar had been picking waste on the campus of Government Hospital in Sector 16. But following the installation of an incinerator and then the shredder, nothing much was left to be hand picked.

Apprehensive as Sanjay was that he would no longer be able to earn a livelihood, the hospital authorities came to his rescue. They employed Sanjay in their new composting unit where the waste disposal is undertaken. Sanjay now goes from house to house in the hospital premises collecting raw waste. And guess what! The hospital had recently released a circular requesting the households to pay Rs 10 daily to Sanjay, who collects an average of 30 kg waste daily from the campus.

What a stink

Last Monday, hundreds of commuters passing through the Tribune chowk were forced to cover their nose to protect themselves from a foul smell emitting out of a pool of sewer water which was created after a sewer pipe busted. Splash of the flowing water also spoiled clothes of a large number of two-wheeler riders and pedestrians.

Interestingly, a cycle rickshaw parked nearby disappeared into the pool. The rickshaw-puller and his two acquaintances had to work for over half an hour to retrieve the rickshaw. It was by the evening that the officials concerned repaired the pipe and the flow of dirty water stopped.




 1 killed, 3 hurt as vehicle overturns
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 19
One person was killed and three others were injured when a three-wheeler (HR-37-8793) overturned and fell off the road at Majra Mehtab village, near Pinjore, yesterday.

It is alleged that the accident took place because of rash and negligent driving by the driver of the three-wheeler, Sandeep Kumar. The driver, along with Bhagi Ram and Ram Kishan was injured, while another passenger, Hari Ram, was killed on the spot.

The police has booked the driver of the three-wheeler under Sections 279, 337 and 304-A of the IPC.

Five booked
The police has booked five persons, Somu, Nand Kishore, Aman Kumar, Mahendra and Dharam Pal, on charges of assaulting Sarv Singh with sticks and sharpedged weapons. The reason for provocation was a dispute over the closure of a door in the village street. A case under sections 323, 324 and 34 of the IPC has been registered.

The tyres and bearings of a tractor-trailer were stolen from Mauli village by unknown miscreant(s). The police has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC on the complaint of Mr Jagdev Singh.

Scooterist killed
A 29-year-old scooterist, Deepak Sharma, was killed and the man riding pillion with him, Muni Ram, was injured when their scooter was hit by a canter near Sector 15 - Industrial Area roundabout late last night. The accused driver ran away from the spot. The police has impounded the canter. The deceased was running a dhaba in Zirakpur.


Woman injured
A Sector 40 resident, Manjit Kaur, was injured after she was knocked down by a scooter near the taxi stand in the same sector while she was crossing the road. She has been admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital. Police has arrested the scooterist Deep Raj, a resident of the same sector and impounded the scooter (PB-07-F-8889). A case has been registered.

One booked
The police has booked a resident of Ram Darbar, Nitu, for allegedly quarreling with and injuring a girl residing in the same colony in March. Following receipt of the medical report, the police has registered a case against the accused today.

Scooter stolen
A Sector 55 resident, Bhupinder Singh, reported that his Bajaj Chetak scooter (CH-01-B-8323) has been stolen from Sector 17. Police has registered a case.

Cash stolen
A Sector 24 resident, Vinod Kumar, has reported that Rs 1,900 have been stolen from his house. A case has been registered.

Battery stolen
A Sector 42 resident, Promila Garg, has reported that the battery of her Kinetic Honda, parked at her residence, has been stolen. The police has registered a case.

Dera Bassi

Liquor seized
The police claims to have arrested two persons and seized 17 bottles of liquor from their possession here last night.

Sources in the police said that Dinesh Kumar, son of a local municipal councillor, Mr Om Prakash Dhiman, was arrested for possessing nine bottles of liquor. He was running a saw mill on the Dera Bassi-Amlala road from where the police seized the liquor.

In an another incident, Laxmi Chand, a resident of Baraouli village, was arrested while carrying eight bottles of liquor. He was nabbed at the local bus stand. The police has registered cases against the two under the Excise Act.


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