Wednesday, September 4, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Admn losing crores annually in stamp duty evasion
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service


Size of plot

Collector’s rate

Market rate

2 kanal

40 lakh

80 lakh

1 kanal

22.5 lakh

52-55 lakh

14 marla

17.5 lakh

25-30 lakh

10 marla

12.5 lakh

20-22 lakh

7.5 marla

9 lakh

15-18 lakh

5 marla

6.5 lakh

10-12 lakh

Chandigarh, September 3
Despite slashing the rate of stamp duty on registeration of property from 12.5 per cent to 6 per cent and revision of the collector’s rate of property upwards — the minimum rate for the consideration of the property registration — recently, the Chandigarh Administration is losing crores of rupees in stamp duty evasion annually. According to experts in the real estate market, the city was losing anywhere between Rs 8-10 crore annually in stamp duty evasion, due to the negligence of Estate Office and property registeration officials.

According to information available from the officials in the Estate Office, on an average 100 sale deeds were registered in the city, however, a large number of properties were transferred through the general power of attorney (GPA). In this case, the property was transferred through an agreement signed on a stamp paper by spending small amount of money. However, with the change in bylaws and due to legal complications in GPA cases, the number of property sale deeds had increased over the years, but the buyers were getting property registered at much lower rates. For instance, said a property dealer, a house in the northern sector costing above Rs 1 crore was still being registered at Rs 40 to 45 lakh.

Mr D.S. Baloria, Sub-Registrar, admitted, “Despite decrease in stamp duty rate, we have not witnessed any increase in total stamp duty collections so far as the parties were still quoting lower rates in the sale deeds to evade taxes. Incidentally, the Administration has revised the collector’s rate of property for the registeration of property.’’

According to a letter received by the Sub Registrar office recently, the property rates have been increased with effect from August 1, 2002, but these were still lower than the market rate. The insiders claimed that a section of the property dealers had lobbied with the officials to fix the collector’s rate on lower side.

For instance, the collector’s rate for a one kanal plot has been fixed at Rs 22.5 lakh, but the plot was available at about Rs 30-40 lakh in the market. The buyers, though paid the market rate, black money in many cases, but they would quote lower rate, to register the property.

In this manner they would not only evade stamp duty, but would also convert their black money into white as well.

The only way, say experts, is to fix the collector’s rate by conducting regular surveys in the market through some independent agency.

The transfer of property through GPA should be discouraged by changing bylaws. It would fetch additional revenue not only in the form of duty but income tax as well.


Cops to have liaison with senior citizens
Tribune News Service


 * Station House Officer (SHOs) to visit houses of senior citizens in their areas in the next four days.
 * On-the-spot verification of servants and employees would be done at special camps in all 11 police stations.
 * Neighbours and servants of the aged on the watch list of cops.
 * Verification drive for Sectors 8,15,16, 18, 27, 33, 35, 38, 47 and Mani Majra Housing Complex.

Chandigarh, September 3
After Sunday’s brutal murder of 60-year-old widow, Sheila Khanna, at her Sector 47 flat, the Chandigarh Police today decided to have a better liaison with senior citizens in the city. A random survey by the police has revealed that there are over 800 aged persons, including those living alone.

In the next four days, the Station House Officers (SHOs) and the Sub-Divisional Officers have been asked to visit all the senior citizens in their respective areas. The Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Mr Parag Jain, said he would be personally cross checking the visit of the cops.

The issue of better communication and providing a sense of security was today discussed at the meeting of the SHOs, convened by the SP. The SHOs would distribute pamphlets, entailing basic security guidelines, to the aged persons. Going a step ahead, the cops would be pasting a list of emergency numbers in the houses of the elderly where the telephone instruments had been kept.

The SSP said the SHOs would talk to the neighbours of the senior citizens and convince the neighbours to instal an alarm bell, switch of which would be in the house of the elderly. Talking to the servants and tenants of the aged persons, especially those living alone, was among the duties of the beat officials. The exercise has to be completed in the next four days.

On the demand of residents, all illegal entry and exit points in various sectors would be plugged. The SSP said another focused exercise would be started from next Sunday. A camp would be held in one sector in the jurisdiction of each police station where verification of servants and employees would be done on the spot. The verification forms would be made available on the spot.

The SSP said the entire exercise was part of the beat system of the police.


Approach roads to have overhead signs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3
All roads coming into the city will have overhead signs indicating directions in detail. The roundabout at Piccadily Cinema will be have wider diameter and will now be 350 feet across instead of the present 250 feet.

These were among the major decisions taken at a meeting between top officials of the Chandigarh Administration and the Chandigarh Police on the management of traffic.

Besides this, the entire stretch of Madhya Marg starting from the PGI to the housing board chowk near Panchkula will have an iron railing on the central verge. This will prevent people from crossing over and causing accidents.

Iron railings will also be installed on the central verge of the outer Dakshin Marg (Vikas Marg). This will be done from Sector 48 to Sector 56.

Now all major roads like those coming from Ludhiana, Panchkula or SAS Nagar will have road signs. At present only the road coming in from Ambala has overhead signs.

It is learnt that the Piccadily chowk will later have traffic lights, but the structure of the roundabout will remain as it is.


Re-admit Kang: Syndicate 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3
Putting an end to the long-drawn controversy over the re-admission of Malwinder Singh Kang, president of the Panjab University Student Union, the Syndicate today decided to allow him re-admission in the Law Department.

Kang’s admission was cancelled as he had not attended 33 per cent lectures in the first 10 days and for allegedly submitting a ‘fake medial certificate’ later as a reason for not attending classes. The university also decided to re-admit other candidates whose admissions had been cancelled on the same grounds.

The re-admission of Kang, however, will be provisional subject to verification of the authenticity of the medial certificate which remains at the core of the controversy. Kang, however, said he had not submitted the certificate under question.

The Vice-Chancellor had summoned a special Syndicate meeting on the issue today. The syndicate decided that “Malwinder Singh Kang be re-admitted provisionally”.

The Syndicate decided that “the Vice-Chancellor shall appoint an Inquiry Officer to hold the probe. The Inquiry Officer will submit his report within a week of his appointment. In case, Kang is found guilty of having submitted a fake medical certificate, his admission will be cancelled.”

Interestingly, other candidates will also be allowed re-admission on the same grounds. The Syndicate says “as pointed out by the Board of Control, in case the medical certificates submitted by other candidates to be re-admitted are found fake, their re-admission also stands cancelled”.

The university decided “seats be created to the extent that such candidates are re-admitted. The seats so created shall be adjusted against the seats which may fall vacant, otherwise, these seats be treated as additional seats. The “General Guidelines for Admissions to teaching departments” will be re-considered and suitably amended for the future in light of the regulations”, the university decided.

The Board of Control of Law Department had earlier cancelled Kang’s admission. The university constituted a special committee under Justice D.V.Sehgal. The committee members included Mr G.K.Chatrath, Mr Ashok Goyal, Dr M.M. Sharma and Prof Bal Krishan. The committee recommended that Kang be readmitted provisionally and his certificate be verified.

The recommendation was unacceptable to members of PUSUs rival group the Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU). The University then appointed a one-man mediator, Dr Deepak Manmohan, Chairman of Sheikh Baba Farid Chair. Subsequently another committee under Mr Chatrath was appointed which also suggested that Kang be re-admitted.

The Law Department witnessed a spate of ‘dharnas’ for about a week during this period. The SOPU and the PUSU supporters pitched their tents opposite each other at the entrance to the department. The ‘dharna’ ended with arrest of both the presidents in a tussle in front of Hostel No VI and both parties alleged involvement of the opposite camp.


No amenities in Industrial Area
Tribune News Service


 * Narrow roads, which have not been re-laid for years.
 * Open spaces have been encroached upon by scrap-dealers.
 * Poor drainage of rainwater. Upcoming Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link had blocked natural outflow of water.
 * Water supply is bad.
 * No streetlights.

Chandigarh, September 3
Narrow broken roads, non-functional streetlights, poor water supply, and rainwater drainage system, and open spaces encroached by scarp-dealers. This is the local Industrial Area, which seems to be nobody’s baby.

Adding to the existing bag of problems is the upcoming Chandigarh — Ludhiana railway line. The track has to be on a raised platform. The platform being built for the track has blocked the natural outflow of water from the roads, holding back the rainwater.

Officially, the Industrial Area is under the Municipal Corporation, However, none of the owners of the 2000-odd units or their 15,000 workforce are registered as voters of the area. This means none speaks for the Industrial Area and its problems in the House. Roads which should have been re-laid years ago await a nod from the cash-strapped MC. Same is the case of the width of the main roads in Industrial Area Phase II. The width has remained the same in the past two decades despite the fact that the number of vehicles has gone up manifold.

Local entrepreneurs say‘‘ We would be better off if the Chandigarh Administration takes over every thing.’’ The general secretary of the Federation of Small Scale Industries, Mr Rajeev Gupta, says we pay the highest sales tax, central excise and income tax still have the worst facilities in the city. Why this disparity? asks Mr Gupta.

A visit to the area brings one face-to-face with the problems of the area. Enter the place from the Sector 31 side. Once in the Industrial area, the road is so narrow that two trucks coming from opposite directions leave no space even for a two-wheeler to pass. In Industrial area Phase I, enter from the slip road next to The Tribune Chowk and the road is missing. There are only craters to be negotiated in the name of a road.

On the water front, the story is the same. During summers, the supply is reduced to a trickle. The answer is that entrepreneurs have built their own underground storage tanks. With several of the units having round-the-clock shifts, street lights are required but the Industrial Area has no provision for this. In Phase II, certain areas are dangerous at night. An employee of a unit said it is sometimes risky, as this is an isolated place with no streetlights. It is an open invitation for any anti -social element. Open spaces in the Industrial Area have either thick wild growth or have simply been encroached upon by scrap-dealers. The scrap-dealers are illegally sitting on lands which are valued at crores in the open market and have become a nuisance for their neighbours.

There is no earmarked space for the transporters. At present, small trucks are parked in a haphazard manner at places which are not meant for trucks. Another problem is that manufacturers are resenting the forays of traders into their domain. Entrepreneurs say if a manufacturer sets up a small-sale counter, it is okay as he needs to display his wares.

However, traders who have no units should be dealt with severely. The Administration should take action, they demand.


‘Victim had prepared will’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3
Investigations into the gruesome murder of a widow, Ms Sheila Khanna, have revealed that the victim had ancestral property worth lakhs of rupees. She had prepared a will to bequeath the property among her four daughters.

However, the deceased, who had got the will prepared from her brother, was yet to sign it. After the murder, a black bag containing property documents was found lying open on a bed.

Sources in the police said it appeared that the murder was the result of an instant reaction by the assailant(s). An examination of the body and the circumstantial evidence revealed that one of the accused got hold of her left hand (two fingers of the hand were found broken) and the other, sitting in one corner of the room where the body was found, apparently hit her on the head. It is suspected that the assailant(s) in a fit of rage pierced the scissors into her forehead and throat.

“The assailants knew that if the victim had survived, their designs would be exposed. They ensured that blows were fatal”, said a police official. The half empty cups of tea and two glasses of water indicated that the assailants knew the victim. The police has almost ruled out the theory of robbery, though the entire house was found ransacked. 


Ford Foundation to focus on poorest
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3
“The disadvantaged 30 to 40 per cent population will be the central focus of all future schemes,” says Dr Gowhar Rizvi, who heads the Ford Foundation in India, maintaining that “development is a partnership and not a charity”.

Dr Rizvi, who went to Oxford as a Rhodes scholar and after his doctorate taught there for 27 years, was here to participate in a two-day international conference on conflicts management at the Sector 19 Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID).

“There are neither any conditionalities nor any strings attached to the projects taken up by the foundation. Tolerance, democratic participation and gender equity are the values the foundation stands for. The south-Asian orientation of the foundation achieved in recent years has seen some of the projects being taken across international borders and is reflected in our report on “beyond boundaries”, says Dr Rizvi.

“It was Pt Jawaharlal Nehru who invited the foundation to India in 1951. The successes of Indian democracy reflects achievements of the foundation. The Green Revolution has been the foremost of these. In the early 50s, many apprehended famine or an acute food shortage in independent India but today India is a food-surplus state.

“ Last year when we celebrated our 50 years in India, we had a special budget of $ 55 million against a normal annual budget of about $ 30 million. While looking back we feel satisfied that India has made remarkable progress, especially in the field of education where it stands next to the USA with world renowned institutions like Jawaharlal Nehru University, National Institute of Design and Indian Institutes of Technology, besides several others. In all these endeavours, the foundation had been a partner.

“Besides the Green Revolution, the foundation has been associated with the concept of micro-credit and gramin banking. If India has not done well in the past 50 years, it has been that fruits of progress and development have not gone down to masses. As much as 30 to 40 per cent bottom-placed population continues to be disadvantaged as it continues to struggle against poverty, illiteracy, poor healthcare facilities and pitiable living conditions. It is this section of population which includes Adivasis, Dalits, women and other tribals.

“We always held that we are not donors but partners. The philosophy of our President is very clear. She says that when people come to the foundation, do not force solutions to their problems on them. We remain facilitators and help them in solving their problems on their own,” says Dr Rizvi.

Talking about the coming projects, Dr Rizvi said the foundation was a partner in a $ 6 million project on providing quality education to both belonging to the “disadvantaged” people and also to the people of “remote and backward areas” by taking institutes of excellence there. Under this project the foundation will not only provide scholarships and fellowships to bright and disadvantaged students but also take centres of excellence to the rural areas.

Community policing was a project in Punjab in which the foundation was a partner. The foundation was also feeling disturbed about the recent Census report which reflected the declining population of women in Punjab because of the tragic practice of female foeticide.

The foundation was collaborating with the CRRID for the study of conflicts and conflicts management. It was also keen on participating in another programme on training of local government people, especially empowerment of women panches and sarpanches so as to make the grassroot-level democratic institutions more effective.

Dr Rizvi also talked about how the foundation’s programme on “track to dialogue” has been working successfully in resolving disputes through negotiations and interactions. “Tolerance comes from knowing and understanding each other. And tolerance is the best tool for resolving disputes,” he said while referring to how the waters dispute between India and Bangladesh was resolved through a track-to- dialogue programme.


Decision on patients’ I-cards shelved
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3
With the decision of the UT Health Department to give treatment to patients in government hospitals on the basis of an identification card, like ration card or voter identity card, proving to be impractical, the authorities have virtually been forced to do away with the move within two days of its implementation.

It was on the basis of a notification issued by the Health authorities on July 31 that it was decided that treatment would be given to a patient in a government hospital on the basis of an identification card. However, the decision proved to be impractical during the first two days itself, compelling the authorities to clarify the position.

The new Director Health Services, Dr C.P. Bansal, visited the Mani Majra and Sector 22 hospitals to clear confusion over the orders. “I personally visited some of the hospitals, and issued verbal orders to the staff to treat every patient, even if they did not produce any I-card”, said Dr Bansal.

He said it was after going through the files that he found that an amendment had already been made in this notification on August 14. “It was due to lack of proper communication that an impression had been created that those who failed to produce an identity card would be denied medical care,” he clarified. He stated that though for official record, it was still necessary for people to produce an I-card, it was not mandatory and irrespective of it treatment would be given.

On the other hand, there had been a sharp criticism of the decision, seeing its impracticality and the inconvenience that would be caused to the people, especially from the slums and the lower economic strata. “The decision is totally impractical as it was just not possible to produce an identity card for accident cases and when there is an emergency, as the only need of the hour would be medical treatment,” rued patients, some of whom got to know of the decision, only after coming to the hospital. In fact, the decision had come in for sharp criticism from the BJP, who had termed it anti-public, anti-poor and against the central government’s policy of providing free health facilities to all, especially the weaker sections of society.

The BJP, had threatened to launch an agitation against the decision from September 9 in case the government did not withdraw it immediately. The Director, Dr Bansal, said that instructions would be issued to all the UT health institutions, to treat patients, even if they did not produce an I-D card, by just taking down their address.


Functions to spread awareness about elders’ problems
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3
In order to send across the message that charity and sympathy alone cannot help solve the problem of loneliness among the elderly people, the Chandigarh Senior Citizens Association, is observing Senior Citizens’ Day, with the hope that the reservoir of knowledge that they have will be used in nation building.

“With shift from joint family system to nuclear set up in our country, the elderly people are nor just faced with health and financial problems but with loneliness too. As it becomes a major curse for them”, remarked Brig (retd) Keshav Chandra, president of the association, while addressing a press conference, here today. He said it was essential to make the elderly people in the family feel wanted and cared for.

“We have chalked out an extensive month-long programme in connection with the Senior Citizens’ Day, on October 1, so that awareness is created amongst the younger generation to respect and care for their elders, who are going through the inevitable ageing process,” said Brigadier Chandra. The function in this connection will begin tomorrow, with the holding of a medical camp at the Lajpat Bhavan and another one for the slum dwellers of Karsan village.

The members of the association, said no doubt it was difficult for the government to implement the National Policy for the Aged Persons immediately as there were more pressing national problems, but their bare minimum requirements should be taken care of. They added that a large number of elderly people in the city were facing a major problem of loneliness as their children had migrated to foreign lands and they had nobody to share their problems with.

During the almost month-long observance of functions in connection with the Senior Citizens’ Day, five medical camps will be held, a cultural programme, sports event at the Sukhna Lake, a picnic and interaction with legal, income tax, police and administrative experts to solve the problems being faced by the senior citizens.

The association has chosen the theme “Senior Citizens and the Nation”, to highlight the fact that the elderly people not only want to be respected and cared for but each one of them wants to contribute to the society, keeping in mind the vast experience and knowledge they have. The association has over 500 members, from all walks of life and professions.

The main function will be held at the Tagore Theatre on October 1, where the Punjab Governor, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), will be the chief guest. School and college students will be involved in a big way this year in the programmes scheduled to mark Senior Citizens Day falls on October 1.

Stating this here today the secretary-general of the Chandigarh Senior Citizens Association, Mr V.S. Sodhi, said the association would organise a declamation contest at DAV College, Sector 10, on September 27 and functions in all school on October 1. A seminar on “Senior Citizens and the Nation” would be held at Senior Citizens Home, Sector 32, on September 28.

A picnic programme with residents of Old-Age Home, Sector 15, was also scheduled for September 29 followed next day by a lunch hosted by the association for students of the Institute for the Blind of Sector 26.

The association would organise medical camps at various places in the city beginning with one at Lajpat Bhavan in Sector 15 on September 4 and concluding with the camp at Senior Citizens Home, Sector 32, on September 25.

Mr Sodhi added that association members would interact with the Commissioner of Income Tax at Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10, on September 14, arrange brisk walks from the Sukhna Lake on September 24 and interact with the Inspector-General of Police at Lake Club the following day.


3 hurt in mishaps
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3
Three persons were injured when their vehicles hit a bump on the road dividing Sectors 7 and 8 here today.

The mishaps occurred as no illuminating signs had been put up on the bump left by workers of the corporation after repairing an underground service.

A good Samaritan, Mr Kultar Singh, told TNS that while going to the Sukhna Lake with his daughter, he noticed a dug-up portion of the earth beneath the road and there was no sign indicating a diversion. “ I informed the corporation officials, who promised to get it rectified. But when I was returning at about 7 pm, I noticed that a girl riding a scooter had fallen near the bump”, he added.

Later, an elderly couple and another person were also injured after hitting the bump. After repeated hammering a white coloured box was placed on the bump.


Resignation of Bansal sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3
Heads of five frontal organisations of the BJP today demanded the resignation of the Congress local MP, Mr Pawan Bansal, and the Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi for their “failure on all fronts” and challenged them to seek a fresh mandate.

The Mahila Morcha president Ms Nancy Ganju, the Scheduled Castes Morcha chief, Ms Urmil Devi, the Kisan Morcha president Mr Harbhajan Singh, the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha president Mr Satinder Singh and the Minority Morcha convener, Mr Salim Khan, accused the Congress leaders of “failure to improve living conditions of the people.” In a joint statement, the BJP leaders sought the withdrawal of water charges levied by the Municipal Corporation recently.

They said the management by the Congress was exposed by rain yesterday with water-logging in all colonies and certain parts of the city. The leaders also expressed full faith in the local leadership coming under fire from the Congress which had accused them of indulging in “illegal and corrupt activities”.


Transfer of dowry death case to CIA sought
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 3
The brother of a young victim of dowry death here has demanded a probe into the case and the arrest of the accused.

Mr Anil Upreti, an Air Force personnel, has requested the Superintendent of Police, Ms Charu Bali, to transfer the investigation into his sister’s death, to the Crime Investigating Agency, Panchkula. He has accused the present investigating team of hobnobbing with the accused .

It may be noted that Renu Sharma, was found hanging at her in-laws house in Sector 15 here on July 27. Her brother had accused her husband, Jatinder Kumar, father-in-law, Sichanand Sharma , mother-in- law, Kamlesh Devi and brother-in-law, Bhanu Dutt, of harassing the victim for getting more dowry. She had been married on August 7, 2000 and had recently given birth to a son.

“Though the police had registered a case of dowry death under Sections 304-A, 498-A and 406 of the IPC and arrested Jatinder and his father, the other two accused are still at large. In spite of the fact that their bail applications have been rejected by a local court, the police is not making efforts to arrest them, he has alleged.

Mr Upreti said he had also sent a copy of the complaint to Director General of Police, Haryana, Chief Minister and Home Secretary.


Computer course for slum kids a success
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 3
In an effort to bring the underprivileged children to the mainstream education, Children and Women Development Corporation has introduced a six-month ‘O’ level computer course’ specially for children living in slum areas of the city. The scheme, which was introduced at the corporation-run Computer Training Centre in Sector 24 two months ago, has drawn a favourable response from the slum dwellers.

Giving information, the centre head, Mr Sanjeev Lalotra, said at present the centre had enrolled 25 students. “Before starting the course, a team from the centre carried out an intensive door-to-door campaign about the course materials and the benefits of such courses in various colonies and found the residents warming up to the concept of sending their children to learn computers,” he said. So much is the response that the centre has a long waiting list of candidates.

However, the noble gesture of the Administration does not stop at just providing computer education to the children. The corporation, keeping the poverty angle in mind, have decided to pay Rs 100 to each children. “The money is to be used for buying stationery required for the course,” said Mr Lalotra. “Besides this, the stipend has acted as a lure to bring the children to the classrooms,” he added.

The centre has made it convenient for the slum children by fixing their timetable in the afternoon slot, a time when most of them are free. “Most of the children are doing odd-menial jobs and only in the afternoon they are relatively free to spare two hours at the centre,” said the centre head.

The main criteria for getting admission to the course is that a candidate should be above 16 years and below 22 years. He or she should also have a minimum qualification of attending a formal school atleast till Class VIII. The course material which is divided into two halves — theory and practical — within the six months time, teaches fundamentals of computer software and information technology.

Maintaining that the campaign to generate awareness about the benefits of computer training among slum children still continues among various underprivileged sections of society, the Director of the Department of Social Welfare, Ms Madhavi Kataria, said most of the government schemes had failed to achieve its target because of the communication gap between the implementing authority and beneficiaries. “To rectify this problem we are trying to remain in constant touch with our target group and get regular feedback on our course to make it a success venture,” she added.

The centre, which was inaugurated two years back, has a successful track record so far. Though initially the centre was established with the sole motive to impart computer education free of cost to the women and children below poverty line, has now introduced a few paid seats as well. “There has been constant demand from the students studying in different colleges for admission in the centre,” said Mr Lalotra. “As most of them belong to the affluent class, the authority decided to impose an admission fee for these students,” he added. However, in comparison to the other private computer training centres, the fee which is Rs 6,000 per annum, remains quite nominal for the students, specially as the centre is providing all latest software and hardware computer technology.


Dissolution of MC sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3
A Chandigarh Vikas Manch Councillor, Ms Harpreet Kaur Babla, here today sought the dissolution of the Municipal Corporation, if it was not immediately provided funds by the Chandigarh Administration.

“Either release funds to the MC or the only option left will be to dissolve the corporation,” Ms Babla said in a letter to the Administrator, Mr J.F.R. Jacob, today.

Ms Babla’s demand for the dissolution of the Municipal Corporation comes in the wake of the corporation deciding not to take up any fresh projects till November due to the paucity of funds.

The Chandigarh Vikas Manch Councillor pleaded that the developmental aspirations of voters were not getting fulfilled making the elected body redundant.

Ms Babla said that during the past eight months, the corporation officials had every month been showing their inability to take up any work due to shortage of funds. The councillor said: “We were elected to the House to represent the people and reflect their developmental needs in the House, but to no avail.”

Ms Babla said every elected councillor came to the House with a dream turning their ward into the most beautiful place in the City Beautiful but the result has not been as aspired by the people.


Meat supply may be hit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3
Meat supply to the city is likely to be halted from tomorrow with the Meat Sellers’ Welfare Association striking work for an unspecified period to oppose the new system of removal of skin in the slaughter house.

However, sellers of chicken, fish and pork have not associated themselves with the strike.

The association president, Mr Balak Ram, said after the protest yesterday, sellers had decided to go on strike till the authorities promised in writing to go back to the old system of removing the skin.

A delegation of meat sellers today met the Mayor, Ms Lalit Joshi, who assured them of looking into the matter and not hiking the fee “for now’’.

The supply of meat is likely to be affected as meat cannot be brought to the city from outside unless permitted by the authorities.

The Superintendent of Slaughter Houses, Dr M.S. Kamboj, told the Chandigarh Tribune that the new system of cutting the animal from the middle had been adopted as per ‘’international standards of hygiene and keeping in mind the needs of tanneries.’’

Mr Balak Ram claimed that as many as 78 sellers of meat had supported the strike.

He threatened to continue the strike for even a month if demands were not met in writing.

Mr Ram said Dr Kamboj had agreed to their demands on August 29 and they removed the skins as per their wish but from September the new system of slaughtering was started.

While Mr Ram claimed that cut in the skin reduces meat’s price in the market, Mr Kamboj said tanneries only take sheep and goat skin in halves.

Mr Kamboj said the statements being issued by the sellers’ leaders were ‘’misleading’’ because of the change in the system, creating apprehensions in the minds of sellers.

Dr Kamboj said sellers would get a better price for meat due to “high standards of hygiene’’.

Mr Ram said the new system would lead to wastage of meat and spoil its look.


Seeds at subsidised rates
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 3
Due to delayed monsoon, the Haryana Government has asked the farmers to cultivate urad, toriya and barseem for which seeds will be provided on subsidy.

The Deputy Commissioner said 200 bags of 5 kg seeds of urad, 500 bags of 2 kg seeds of toriya and 100 bags of 5 kg seeds of barseem would be made available to farmers at 50 per cent subsidy. She said similarly to improve the cultivation of toriya, 150 metric tonne gypsum would be provided on 75 per cent subsidy in the district.

She said the farmers willing to obtain the benefit could obtain seeds and gypsum on the recommendation of respective Agriculture Officer, Agriculture Development Officer and Agriculture Inspector from nearest office of the HSDC and sale centre of the Haryana Land Development Corporation.


Tributes paid to Karanth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3
Rich tributes were paid to renowned theatre artist B.V. Karanth as also to renowned poet Dr Ramanath Awasthi at a function organised by the Haryana Sahitya Akademi here today.

On the occasion, academicians and artistes paid tributes to Karanth and music maker Dr Awasthi. 


Jana to open Haryana A-G office building
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 3
The Union Minister for Law and Justice, Mr K. Jana Krishnamurti, will inaugurate the office building of the Advocate-General, Haryana, on the premises of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on September 4.

According to a press release the inauguration ceremony will take place at 3.30 pm. 


Child’s death: guilty to be punished
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3
Action will be initiated against officials who are found guilty in the case of the electrocution of a child in Makhan Majra village.

A report has been sought from the Superintending Engineer (electricity), Mr V.P. Dhingra. Besides, the Chandigarh Administration is also considering giving compensation to the child’s family.


Encroachments galore in Panchkula market

Illustration by Sandeep JoshiThe Haryana Urban Development authority (HUDA) has in the recent past taken steps to clear encroachments in the shopping centres of some of the sectors in Panchkula. I would like to draw their attention to the market in Sector 4.

In the corner where the post office is located, there is an open-air dhaba, albeit under a tree. A few feet away, a fellow prepares jalebis and samosas in the open space. In the nearby corner, there are three more hawkers cooking and selling aloo-tikki, pani-puri and noodles in the open. The entire arrangement is unhygienic and also results in making the place dirty. Added to this is the haphazard parking of a large number of bicycles and autorickshaws.

Worse, the dhaba outside the Post Office blocks the free passage to the letter box for the convenience of the general public. The authorities need to decongest this area to help people use the post box conveniently. They should also examine how these eating joints can use domestic gas cylinders for cooking.

P.K. Handa

Illegal demolition

On January 19, 2000, the security walls (4.5’’) raised on the terrace walls facing the stairs of House Nos. 431 A, 432 A and 441 A and 442 A in Sector 61, Chandigarh were demolished without any notice from the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB). As these walls were raised purely from the security point of view and not for beautification, they cannot be considered as encroachment in any manner.

Clause 14 of the CHB’s by-laws says: “The Board by its officers and servants at all reasonable time and reasonable manner after 24 hours notice in writing enter in and upon any part of the said dwelling unit for the purpose of ascertaining whether you have been duly observing the conditions of allotment.” It is shocking to note that nobody has cared to check this high-handedness on the part of the staff, more important, this naked violation of Clause 14 of the bylaws.

On January 19, 2000, on behalf of all the residents, I had represented the authorities concerned for immediate restoration of the two walls. The CHB Chairman was aware of this, but little has been done in this regard.

During a visit to the houses in question on February 13, 2000, Senior Superintendent of Police Parag Jain had admitted that the Union Territory police will be writing to the CHB authorities to be less stringent on imposing the rules as the CHB dwellings were in a particular pattern which makes thefts rather easy.

Unfortunately the CHB authorities are not transparent in their dealings with people. I have been representing the victims’ case for the last two years with a view to compensating the residents. But there has been no response from the CHB authorities. In a communication, the CHB chairman, Mr G.K. Marwah, IAS, was requested to visit the houses and satisfy himself about the illegal demolition. I had also written to him on July 3,2002, which was duly received by his office. In this letter, I had blamed the CEO as she was heading the demolition squad.

Bal Krishan Gupta

Recruitment blues

I would like to draw the attention of the Director, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Kurukshetra University, and the Director of Higher Education, Haryana, towards the false advertisements for faculty positions in the engineering colleges. Generally, as a formality, engineering colleges advertise vacancies in their respective departments. In the advertisements, either it is clearly mentioned that the posts are regular in nature or a corrigendum is issued after a few days to show the nature of posts.

The real conjuring trick starts at the time of interview. The selection committee i.e. subject expert and nominee are so adjusted by hook or by crook that they give a comment that as no candidate was found suitable for the above mentioned posts, the interview will be held next year or after six months, and that the posts will be readvertised later.

Consequently, the college management (governing body) starts negotiations or, say, bargaining with the candidates in the interview. This way the post is filled up temporarily and the lecturer is paid a salary of Rs 6,000 to Rs 8,000 a month. The method of recruitment of lecturers is faulty and needs drastic overhaul. Will the government rise to the occasion and ensure a fair and transparent recruitment system?

Atul Kumar Ahuja

Lapses in recruitment

It was very sad to read that the Punjab Government has cancelled recruitment of 134 clerks of the Punjab School Education Board made in December, 2001. Young educated people have become unemployed overnight. The sack orders came after the Vigilance Bureau claiming to have uncovered gross irregularities in the entire recruitment process; it has recommended cancellation of the recruitment.

I feel it would be unfair and unjust to punish all the candidates. Certainly, there will be several deserving candidates appointed purely on their merit and distinction. Prior to their recruitment, some of them have also worked for about five to 10 years in the education board on daily contract basis. There may be irregularities in some cases, but deserving ones should not be bracketed with undeserving ones and punished.

On the one hand, the government claims to be tackling the unemployment problem. On the other, it is creating more problems for itself and the people. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has been doing praiseworthy work to eliminate corruption. Corrupt people should be punished. Their income from unfair means should be seized. But innocent people, especially the youth, should not be harassed. If the Education Minister, board Chairman, Vice-Chairman and others are under charges of corruption, they should be questioned. Why sack innocent youth?

Ms Gurbinder Kaur & S. Naranjan Singh
SAS Nagar


Scooter-borne youths snatch purse
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 3
Two scooter-borne persons snatched the purse of Ms Kanta Nand Wani, a resident of Sector 44, in the sector’s market last evening. The scooter reportedly bore no registration number plate and the snatchers managed to flee after committing the crime. In her police complaint, Ms Wani claimed that the purse contained a gold bracelet and Rs 1,000 in cash.

Man held: Ram Chander, a resident of Mani Majra, was arrested for allegedly beating up and threatening a fellow resident, Mr Darshan Kumar. Ram Chander was arrested under Sections 323 and 506 of the IPC.

Car stolen: The Maruti car (CH 01 D 5853) of Mr Karnail Singh, a resident of Sector 32, was allegedly stolen from his residence on Sunday night. A case has been registered under Section 379 of the IPC.

Four held: Four persons — Rajesh Kumar (Ram Darbar resident), Ashwani Kumar (Sector 30 resident), Amar Singh (Maloya village resident) and Krishan Kumar (Attawa village resident) — were arrested from Sector 22 for allegedly satta gambling at a public place. Two cases under various Sections of the Gambling Act have been registered. Meanwhile, Ashok Kumar, a resident of Karnal district (Haryana), was arrested from the ISBT, Sector 17, last evening for allegedly carrying liquor pouches.


CHAIN SNATCHED: A miscreant snatched the gold chain of Ms Tanu Ahuja while she was standing in front of her house in Sector 11 last night. A case under Section 356 has been registered.

BURGLARY: A house in Sector 15 and another in Sector 16 were burgled during the past 24 hours. While the value of goods stolen from the Sector 15 house has not been ascertained, clothes worth Rs 6000 were stolen from the house in Sector 16. 


MIA executive body ‘dissolved’
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, September 3
The infighting in the Mohali Industries Association (MIA) intensified with a section of the members claiming that they had “dissolved” the executive body being headed by Mr B.S. Baidwan and held fresh elections.

The new set of office-bearers were introduced to media persons here today by a former president of the MIA, Mr S.S. Sandhu.

The breakaway group held a special general meeting yesterday and elected a new executive committee. Mr Tarsem Bansal was elected as the new president while Mr Anurag Aggarwal was made the general secretary of the MIA. Mr Yogesh Sagar was elected as vice-president, Mr Sukhjit Lehal as joint secretary and Mr R.K. Goel as treasurer.

Members of the executive committee said that the special general meeting was held at the request of more than 120 members of the association which was attended by more than 150 members.

Mr Sandhu said the general house unanimously passed that the earlier extension of the executive committee was illegal and unconstitutional and hence as the tenure of the team was over, the committee was “dissolved” and the house empowered Mr Gurkirpal Singh, a former president of the MIA, to elect the new executive committee as per the bylaws of the association.

Mr Sandhu said 25 per cent of the members had requested Mr Baidwan on July 20 to call a special general meeting. But he did not do so. As such the members had organised a special general meeting yesterday where the earlier body was dissolved and fresh elections held.

Mr Gurkirpal Singh said that a number of efforts had been made to avoid such a conflict but to no avail. He alleged that the group headed by Mr Baidwan was not ready to come to any “honourable settlement”. Even a five-member committee, comprising past presidents, constituted for sorting out the differences failed to bring out results.

Mr Baidwan said members, who had objected to the one-year extension by terming it illegal, had filed a civil suit in Kharar requesting the court to cancel the extension and for asking MIA executive committee for holding fresh elections. The matter was being heard by the court and September 6 was the next date of hearing. The special general meeting for which the members had requested could not be held because the matters raised in the notice were subjudice.

He said subsequently these members sent an undated notice to him on August 28 in which it was stated that the special general meeting was being held on September 2. He said he had sent messages to them not to hold the meeting as the matter was subjudice. But in spite of this the meeting was held.

He said that yesterday’s meeting was illegal and decisions taken at that meeting were not binding on the MIA. They could not hold the elections without a no-confidence motion having been carried out against the present executive committee.

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