Monday, November 18, 2002, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Delay in exam causes chaos
Angry parents, students allege fraud
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Failing to make it to the venue of a competitive examination in Sector 47 at the appointed time landed the organisers, Aryabhatta Educational Society, Sector 41, in trouble here today.

Over 800 agitated parents and students raised slogans and alleged cheating on the part of the society and ultimately had the examination, meant for awarding scholarships to talented students from Class IV to XII, cancelled this afternoon.

The trouble started in the morning when parents and children found that nobody from the society had reached the venue, Mount Carmel, Sector 47, to conduct the examination slated from 11 am to 1:30 pm.

Irked by the “fraud”, they began contacting the number given in the brochure of the society, but to no avail. Unable to get any response, they raised slogans to lodge a protest for being “misled” by the organisers. Later, the police was also called in by the school authorities as a precautionary measure in the view of rising tempers.

Agitated parents alleged that the society had cheated them in the name of the examination and taken Rs 200 as form fee. Rs 240 were charged for sending the forms by post.“They have wasted children's time, caused harassment and inconvenience and taken us all for a ride. All this is being done in the name of education and by offering tempting scholarships,” a parent rued.

The Principal of the school, Mr Charles Samuel, said an employee of the society had turned up at 10:30 am and asked them to announce the postponement of the examination till 1:30 pm. “We refused, saying that he should himself face the angry parents and explain his side of the story,” he added.

Finally, after conveying this to a handful of parents he went away and a couple of employees of the society came to Mount Carmel with an unsealed packet of question papers, claiming that the man bringing them had met with an accident.

These were, however, rejected by the parents who said that not only was the seal of the packet containing the question papers broken but students at the other 35 centres had already taken the examination.

“The question paper could have been leaked for all we know. To add to this, there is a strong possibility that the organisers were short of question papers and employed delay tactics to go scot free. Keeping all this in mind, we decided not to let our children sit for the examination,” another parent explained.

Meanwhile, the organisers remained elusive throughout the day and could not be contacted either at the office or the mobile number mentioned in the brochure.



Link rent with NPI: panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The Hotel Association of Chandigarh has suggested linkage of rents with the national price index as a way out of the current face-off between the tenants and the building owners over the amendment to the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act notified by the UT Administration recently.

In a memorandum addressed to the Administrator of Chandigarh, Lt Gen JFR Jacob (retd), Mr Ashok Bansal, general secretary of the association, said this could be the only way out of the impasse over this ticklish issue.

Mr Bansal noted that there were approximately 21,000 residential buildings and over 30,000 dwellings of the Housing Board and different cooperative societies where nearly seven lakh citizens resided either as landlords or tenants. Similarly there were nearly 5,500 commercial properties and about 1,100 industrial sites involved in various commercial activities. These comprised nearly 40,000 small and bigger establishments having a personnel strength of two lakh persons in various government, semi-government, banks, private bodies, etc. right from traders to manufacturer, professionals and others.

Mr Bansal said that amendment in the rent restriction Act should differentiate between residential buildings on one hand and commercial and industrial buildings on the other. In Chandigarh there was hardly any construction of residential-housing on commercial basis by the private sector because of the non-availability of the land. Since the cost of individual residential land holding was very high, one constructed a house for personal use only and not for letting it out as returns were very low as compared to the bankrates of interest.The commercial property was generally constructed with the intention of earning a minimum financial-return of 10 to 12 per cent a year.

The memorandum suggested that:

1. All tenants of residential, commercial and industrial premises should enhance the old rents on the basis of national price index to give a fairer return to the building owners to offset the financial erosion which had taken place in due to the inflation.

For example as per the national price index, year 1981 was taken as 100, reaching 1991 as 182, 2001 as 406, and 2002 as 426. To illustrate the point further, any building let out in 1981 for a rent of Rs 1000 should enhance the rent in the year 2002 to Rs. 4260/- inclusive of any earlier enhancement, if any.

2. Building let out in the early fifties sixties, seventies should have an extra surcharge of 30 per cent , 20 per cent and 10 per cent respectively after working out the rent on national price index taking 1981 as 100.

3. Mutually acceptable agreements with suitable terms and conditions and enhancement clause of 5 to 10 per cent per year or linked with the national price index to cover inflation be fixed for future period in all properties. Moreover, the tenant’s overall turnover/earnings also increased proportionately with general inflation.

4. All agreements, whether registered or unregistered between landlords tenants, which were duly witnessed or notified or attested by the magistrate be honoured in the court of law.

5. Registration fee of the registered agreements should be nominal and drastically reduced.

6. After enhancement of the fairer-value-rent and agreement no building should be vacated unless the term and conditions of the agreement permitted.

7. All agreements, particularly commercial/industrial property should be on a long-term basis with proper enhancement clause and mutually acceptable terms and conditions between the tenant and landlord.

8. No building should be got vacated for financial-speculative-adventure except building required for personal bonafide requirement to be established in a court of law in summary trial in a period of six months.

It had been observed that the recent agreement between landlords and tenants with suitable enhancement clause and other mutually agreed terms and conditions seldom led to dispute and discord.



Over 49,000 kids given polio drops
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 17
Over 49,000 children were administered polio drops in various parts of the district on the National Pulse Polio Immunisation Day today. The campaign was inaugurated by the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Satwanti Ahlawat, who administered the first drops to a baby in General Hospital. She also visited Pulse Polio camps in Indira Colony, Rajiv Colony, Kalka and Pinjore.

The official figure for children upto the age of 5 who received the doses is 49,399 (11,065 in Panchkula alone). For the campaign, 295 booths had been set up and 10 mobile teams had been formed.

The campaign continued from 8 am to 4 pm and children were also given drops at bus stands and the railway station. The campaign team includes 1,173 volunteers, including 254 health workers, 445 ICDS workers, 474 teachers and NSS workers and 52 supervisors of the Health Department.

Over 50 government vehicles were requisitioned for this purpose. Priority was given to high-risk pockets like slums, poultry farms, brick kilns and colonies of migrant labourers.


Polio drops were administered to children throughout Ambala district as part of the Pulse Polio Programme today.

Camps were set up in different areas and mobile vans went to various parts of the district. Additional Deputy Commissioner Neelam Kasni who inaugurated the programme, said that children were the future of the nation. She said that people must make an effort to ensure that the Pulse Polio Programme was a success. Ms Kansi said that 595 pulse polio camps had been set up which included 158 urban centres and 437 rural centres. Special attention could be paid at bus and railway stations, slum areas and migrant labourers. Fourteen mobiles teams were used to target this group.



 Thirty villages affected
Bipin Bhardwaj

Zirakpur, November 17
Reacting strongly to prohibition on constructions adjacent to the Air Force Station, Chandigarh, and other defence installations in this area, residents of over 30 affected villages have threatened to take to the streets. They have blamed the government, as well as the Air Force authorities, for not creating awareness among the public against buying land and flats in the vicinity of defence installations near here.

The residents have flayed the sucessive Punjab governments, the Department of Local Government of Punjab and PUDA for granting licences without going into details and ground realities and misleading of innocent people.

They also came down heavily on the IAF authorities for remaining “mute spectators” while the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat was being constituted. Three major housing colonies, Silver City, Savitri Enclave and Defence Enclave, given licences by PUDA and four other colonies, Sarav Mangal Cooperative House Building Society, Sigma City, Green City and Balaji Enclave, were approved under the Town Planning Scheme by the Department of Local Government of Punjab.

The colonies were adopted by the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat and were approved under the scheme by the Secretary, Local Government of Punjab, on behalf of the Punjab Governor.

The residents of the area pointed out, ‘‘If urbanisation in Chandigarh does not pose security threat to the Air Force station and other defence installation how can residents of Bhabhat, Zirakpur and Lohgarh villages be dangerous?’’

The prohibited area of 900 m also covers some villages in the periphery of Chandigarh, including Ram Darbar, Sector 31, Industrial Area and Sector 48.

Taking the issue of radar, some elderly persons of Lohgarh village revealed that the IAF authorities had acquired 15-acre land at a distance of 50 m from the village redline, Lal Dora, for the installation of a transmitter or a radar for the High Ground on September 9, 1964. The installations, about 300-foot high rods, were removed by the authorities after winding up the 24 Wing of the Air Force in 1987-88, they recalled.

The residents of the affected villagers also alleged that the IAF authorities themselves were not clear about the usage of the said area, if they have installed a radar or a transmitter there. The authorities had issued two letters wide numbers (MiG 23/27/TS/S 2013/1/P4) on March 29, 2001, and February 5, 2002, to the Patiala Deputy Commissioner.

In the first letter, the authorities termed the installations in Lohgarh village as a ‘‘transmitter’’ and in the second a “radar’’.

A meeting under the chairmanship of Mr D.P. Reddy, Chief Administrator of PUDA, was held in June, this year, in which the Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA, the Chief Town Planner, Local Government of Punjab, the Senior Town Planner (T and CP), a Wing Commander from the Air Force Station, High Grounds, Chandigarh, the Administrator, Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat, the Assistant Town Planner, Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat and the Senior Town Planner, PUDA, were also present.

At the meeting, it was decided that the Air Force authorities will take up the issue with the DC Patiala to identify the area falling within 900 m from the defence installations and be notified in the official gazette and the prohibited area that had come up with constructions would be identified by the Air Force authorities with the help of the Revenue Department and Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat officials. But sources in the Revenue Department said none of the first two decisions were enforced till date.

The authorities, however, had lifted the ban over the approval of building plans following the third decision (legal opinion) of the District Attorney of Patiala.

Following the directions of the Deputy Commissioner, Patiala, the Dera Bassi Tehsildar, had submitted his report to the Subdivisional Magistrate, on September 2, 2002.

In his report the tehsildar had said that before giving technical sanction to the colonies by the Town Planing Department, objections were sought but no objections were raised by the IAF authorities with in the stipulated period.

Moreover, thousands of buildings had come up in the area that fall within the prohibited limits and heavy compensation to tune of thousand crores of rupees would have to be paid to the residents by the Government of India for the demolition of the constructions or evacuation of the area, the report said.

He further said, ‘‘The land acquired by the IAF authorities in Lohgarh and Nabha villages was lying vacant with any defence installation’’

The Chief Administrative officer of the Air Force Station, Grp Capt P.J. Joseph and Mr Sarvesh Kaushal, Secretary, Local Government of Punjab, were not available for comments.



New GH building shows signs of decay
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Doctors have put cotton rolls in the creeks of the doors of operation theatres of the hospital to ensure proper fumigation.
Doctors have put cotton rolls in the creeks of the doors of operation theatres of the hospital to ensure proper fumigation. — A Tribune photograph

Panchkula, November 17
The newly-constructed building of the General Hospital here is already beginning to show signs of decay. Also, with no new staff sanctioned by the state government so far, the patients are feeling the heat.

The new building of hospital was inaugurated by the Union Health Minister, Mr Shatrughan Sinha on October 23. Less than a month later, after the coats of paint began to thin out and the red carpets rolled out for the VVIP’s were rolled back, the poor quality of construction became visible.

Senior officials in the Department of Health and doctors in the hospital said that the building was constructed at the cost of Rs. 8. 38 crore, but the final outcome was not up to mark.

From depressions and crevices on the unfinished floors (these are breeding grounds for all kinds of infections) and creeks in the doors of operation theatres (which are supposed to be tightly sealed for proper fumigation) to rusted taps and steel basins in the wash rooms in operation theatre and improper slants in OTs leading to water flowing out — it is difficult for a common man to believe that this building had been recently constructed.

The grinding of floors as well as the three feet skirting on the walls appeared to have not been done at all. The paediatric OPD had depressions on the floors. Doctors alleged that there was no proper points for taps and electrical points in wards and there was no toilet near the emergency ward hence the patients had to go to the OPD — a few hundred yards away to use the toilets. Doctors in the hospital said that they had pointed out these things to the PWD, Public Health, Architectural Wing and Electrical Departments time and again, while the building was under construction, but to no avail.

The Public Works Department and Public Health Department- two of the nodal departments involved in the construction — blamed “the faults (if any) on the political interference in hurrying up the construction to meet the date of inauguration by the Union Health Minister.” A highly placed official in Public Works Department, on condition of anonymity, said public utility services, such as hospitals, should not be subjected to the whims of politicians. He said all unfinished job in the building would be done now.

Officials in these two departments also said that the quality of construction was good, but inadvertent delay in finishing the entire building could have led to “slight depreciation in building material.” A senior official in Public Health said that the hospital had been constructed over a period of six years and the construction done first had now depreciated.

The officials in these two departments as well as Electrical department, now accused the Health department for trying to hide its own shortcomings . They alleged that since there was a shortage of Class IV staff, the building had not been cleaned properly — while maintaining that the there was no defect in construction of floors.

The present staff in the hospital was meant for a 50-bed hospital. After the new building had been constructed and the hospital upgraded to 150 beds, the staff was still not forthcoming. Senior officials in Department of Health said that they had made a request for nine Senior Medical Officers (28 are already here), one matron, 26 Staff Nurses, two radiographers, one dental surgeon, five house surgeons, nursing assistants and pharmacists each, three lab technicians, over 50 Class IV employees and ministerial staff. However, this proposal was still pending with the Finance Department .

The doctors were up in arms against the PWD and Public Health Department over the poor quality of construction. So much so that the Health Department had decided not to take over the building formally “until the faults in building were rectified”. Sources informed that the Deputy Director, Planning, Department of Health, had now formulated a committee under the Civil Surgeon, Panchkula and Senior Medical Officer, General Hospital, here to assess the “glaring faults in building”.



UGC wants varsities to make NAAC reports public
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The University Grants Commission will make it mandatory for universities and colleges to make reports of the National Assessment and Accreditation Committee (NAAC) open to public.

This was stated by Dr Arun Nigavekar, Chairman of the University Grants Commission, while talking to The Tribune here today. He is on a visit to Panjab University.

Dr Nigavekar said the UGC expected the institutions to make the reports open to all its users. These reports were kept in “lockers”, which took away the spirit of the whole exercise of evaluation. The reports were mere tools of showing the strengths and, more importantly, the weaknesses of an institution which it could improve. So, the teachers and the students had every right to see these. In the absence of formal orders, these reports were not easily accessible and, therefore, the UGC might have to make the process of showing the reports mandatory, he said.

The UGC expects the universities to let the NAAC teams know the truth so that these can be evaluated fairly, which leaves scope for future improvement and is in the interests of any academic institution. “Personal remarks” and related aspects could be withheld, he said.

Dr Nigavekar is the “father of the quality movement”. A former Vice-Chancellor of Pune University, Dr Nigavekar visited about 2,000 colleges and 39 universities to prepare a preliminary report before the process was formalised.

Dr Nigavekar was enthusiastic while talking about the proposal of UGC information networking as laid in the Tenth Plan. PU has been identified by the UGC for setting up a centre. He said access and equity were the prime areas for quality improvement in education.

Dr Nigavekar said it was not possible to equate a college in small towns with the ones in big cities. With the Internet facilities, the best knowledge and latest work being carried out in the world in the related field will be available to students and teachers. This will also upgrade the level of teaching material available to teachers as well as students.

He said two crucial areas which will be the focus of homework in this field will be the training of teachers in this facility and to help them prepare multi-media literature for teaching.

To a question about the ongoing debate over contractual appointments in future, Dr Nigavekar said, “It is too early to comment on the programme because the matter is still under deliberation and has not been finalised. The matter needs to be debated, which had become important under the changed national scenario”.

He said there was every likelihood of an open economy after the GATT Agreement came into force. Already, many foreign institutions had come to the country through the “back door”. They would come in the open soon and would definitely pose a threat to the Indian system. So, it was time for introspection because the work culture was expected to be competitive.

He said the country needed about Rs 18,000 crore to meet the basic needs of infrastructure in the institutions of higher education, which seemed improbable. He said the UGC had got twice the amount as compared to the Ninth Five-Year Plan which was encouraging. However, the requirement was much higher.



Warm colours lend thrill to chill
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The wind is whispering the arrival of winter. The gentle cool breeze signals a welcome change in season after a long-drawn encounter with the summer heat and sultry rains.

Soon, it will be time to unpack woollens and quilts. The air in morning and evening has new freshness, that one can notice while walking to office or classes. The young look of the campuses is becoming colourful as the attires are changing. Winter means more clothes and, as a result, more colours. Jackets, sweaters, scarves and designer shawls add to the beauty.

Fashion provides the fair sex with a maximum scope for experimentation. Displaying her high-neck woollen T-shirt, Aman, a student of Panjab University, quotes a poet: “It is time when the gentle wind, a sweet and passionate lover, kisses the blushing leaf.”

“The new freshness in the air makes one relax, making it easier to concentrate on studies and extra-curricular activities,” says Deepshikha, another student. Nischint, a student of literature, says: “I have started going for morning walks. There is a renewed urge to take a stroll, meet people and sit in the sun with friends.”

The fashion vocabulary for the season is stoles, sweatshirts, tank jackets, denim jackets, polo necks and halter-neck skivvies. Red is in, and so are orange, pink and purple. Blue is an all-time favourite. A student, Arvin, quotes another author: “Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.” She says: “I find a lot of truth in these lines because winter is indeed the best time of the year. It is conducive to reading, as the cool breeze soothes the mind.”

Jasleen Kaur, another student turning the pages of a work of literature under the sun in the PU lawns, says: “The upbeat mood due to the change in season is evident in the everyday activity on the campus. For students, this is time for fun and a spate of conferences and seminars, because even the academicians find it a time most suited for such activities. The season gives one an opportunity to adorn added accessories, those silent confidence-boosters.”

Ruchi, a student like her, says: “We know winter to be a strict season, but the weather these days bears a spring of hope and gaiety.” A gang of boys sitting outside a campus canteen say: “Fun is the word this season and one can always find something productive to do.”



Ex-servicemen rally on Nov 23
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
A north zone convention of ex-servicemen will be held at Sports Stadium, Sector 46, here on November 23. This was announced by the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) at a press conference here today.

Col Zorawar Singh, chairman of the PPCC, said ex-servicemen from all over Punjab were being mobilised to participate in the convention. The committee highlighted schemes which were introduced by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, for the benefit of the ex-servicemen.

The rally would be addressed by Ms Sonia Gandhi, President of the All-India Congress Committee, Capt Amarinder Singh and Mr H.S. Hanspal, president of the PPCC, it was announced.

Certain issues relating to problems of the ex-servicemen, which need attention of the Centre, would be highlighted at the rally.



Sonia to visit city on Nov 23
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The Leader of the Opposition and president of the Congress, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, is scheduled to be here on November 23 to address a rally of ex-servicemen of north zone. The rally is being organised in the Sector 46 sports complex and will also be addressed by Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister of Punjab and Lieut-Gen M.M. Lakhera (retd), chairman of the All-India Congress Committee Ex-servicemen Cell.

A statement yesterday said the main demands would be to implement one-rank, one-pension scheme, which was promised by the present government before the elections but never implemented. Also the condition of 33 years of service for earning full pension should be waived off because ex-servicemen below the rank of subedar cannot fulfil this condition in spite of weightage for service.



Exhibition on Lala Lajpat Rai opens
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 17
An array of rare books, news clippings from the bygone era and some personal memorabilia of Sher-e-Punjab, Lala Lajpat Rai, gave an opportunity to the younger generation to have a peep into history in a very lively manner.

The occasion was the inaugural function of the fortnight-long martyrdom day celebrations of this great leader which are being organised by Servants of the Peoples Society.

The exhibition which was inaugurated by the Punjab Governor and Administrator, Lieut-Gen. JFR Jacob, at the Lajpat Rai Bhavan in Sector 15 today, threw open a rich treasure in the form of rare books, gazettes, census reports and old newspaper files dating from 1702 till date. The majority of the collection comprised on books written by Lala Lajpat Rai and those by various authors written on him.

The exhibition was made interesting with the addition of some personal belongings like his dresses and other personal things from his day to day life. Paying a rich tribute to Lala Lajpat Rai, General Jacob called upon the youth to take inspiration from the thoughts and activities of this great national leader and work for realising his dream of a secular society.

He said Lala Lajpat Rai, the great leader and thinker of modern India, was keenly conscious of the fact that India was a land of many races, religions and languages and his idea of a true ‘Swaraj’ was building India into a nation which would not be exclusively Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian but a blend of all.

After going through the contents of the library located in the Bhavan which enjoys a rich legacy of Lala Lajpat Rai’s books and his memorabilia, General Jacob announced a grant of Rs 50,000 for the growth of the library.

He also released a book titled “Lala Lajpat Rai, His Life, Work and Message” authored by Dr Pardoman Singh. Mr Onkar Nath, Chairman, Servants of the Peoples Society, Chandigarh branch, while paying a tribute to Lala Lajpat Rai, referred to his fearless contributions and also highlighted his role in promoting communal harmony and how he brought the Hindus and the Muslims on one platform to fight against British imperialism.

A seminar on “Freedom for and empowerment of the common man” was also organised. Presiding over the seminar, Mr PH Vaishnav, former Chief Secretary, Punjab, lamented that even after 55 years of Independence, the common man was not free and empowered.

Talking about democratic de-centralisation, he also stressed on evolving a system for grass roots level participation with less state intervention and more private initiative.

Mr GV Gupta, IAS (retd), in his keynote address emphasised the need to build up a democratic set up replacing the bureaucratic control. Others, who participated in the discussions, included Prof VC Nanda, Mr Baldev Pandey, Prof PP Arya, Mr RA Sukhija, Prof VK Gupta, Ms Amar Pandey Singh, Gen Rajinder Nath and Mr Shiv Kumar. Group Capt PS Soni (retd), Honorary Administrator, proposed a vote of thanks and also announced the fortnight programme to commemorate the memory of Lala Lajpat Rai. 



Protest against allotment of open space
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 17
Up in arms against the decision of the Administration to allot open space in Sector 21-A to a private school, the residents of the area today staged a dharna against the unjustified move.

The residents said that with only 1,000 dwellings in the area, there was no need for another school as there were three senior secondary schools already in the sector. They said that with the allotting of the open area to the private school, there would be no space left for holding social functions.

The residents pointed out that in 1989-90 also the open space in front of house Nos 247 to 257 had been allotted to a private school and a social organisation, and this had resulted in a major protest. It was on the intervention of the then Governor that the allotment was cancelled.

The residents pointed out that the MCC even spent Rs 2.93 lakh on providing railing, playing equipment for children and planted trees to develop it into a park. They said that though the allotment of the open space at that time was cancelled, the land use in the records could not be mended.

The residents protesting against the decision of the Administration were joined in by former MPs, councillors and leaders from various political parties.



The Union Territory of Chandigarh has become a battle ground between the tenants and landlords following the recent amendment to the East Punjab Rent Restriction Act, 1949, by the UT Administration with both sides taking diametrically opposite position on the amendment. It will be, therefore, educative to examine the origin of the Act which is threatening to cause so much strife in society.

According to Dr D.N.Jauhar, Professor of Law at Panjab University, Chandigarh, property matters are essentially contractual and the role of law is to regulate and not control it. The concept of “regulation” is a deviation from the rule of laissez faire and thus curtailment of total liberty of the parties and curtailment in the framework of law.

The concept of “control” legislation is always invoked to meet an emergent situation and thus is enforced for a limited time. Rent control legislation, in any part of the world, was the result of one or the other war. The devastation and large-scale destruction of buildings in the war would lead to acute shortage of accommodation/shelter. The legislators/administrators, being sensitive to the needs of society, would adopt rent control legislation to mitigate the hardship likely to be faced by those looking for a shelter. When the effect of war would recede and reconstruction activity picked up, they would initiate the process of decontrol and ultimately bringing it under regulation.

Rent controlling legislation was introduced by the Britishers for the first time in this part of the country i.e. Punjab and Delhi, in 1941. The Punjab Rent Control Order 1941 was necessitated because of the imposition of a new tax on urban properties levied to generate resources to offset the costs of World War II. The efficient administrators realised that the owners of buildings were passing on the burden of the tax to their tenants. To check this, the rents payable by the tenants were frozen at the 1939 level under the 1941 Act. The 1941 Act, being an emergent measure, was to remain the statute book for a period of five years only. Since the 1941 Act was adopted hurriedly, a comprehensive exercise was undertaken and it culminated in the Punjab Urban Rent Restrictions Act, 1947.

The 1947 Act came through an ordinance of the Governor of the Province and was to be in force for two years. The Partition of the country in 1947 led to the displacement of millions on both sides of the border. When the 1947 Act was to lapse in 1949, the East Punjab Government felt that the rent control law was needed for some time more to settle millions of refugees. Accordingly the East Punjab Urban Rent Restrictions Act, 1949, was enacted which was literally the adaptation of 1947 Act. Since then, only two amendments, worth any consequence, have been made out of which the one of 1956, has been quashed by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional in 1996. (The Amendment through which non-residential (commercial) building could not be got vacated on the ground of personal necessity).

The other amendment of specified landlord (retiring/retired government employee evicting his tenant from his house for his own use and occupation) remains on the statute. The Rent Control law which has stagnated for more than half a century, because of the apathy and consideration of vote bank of the legislators, has turned counter-productive and a source of misery and conflict in society. This clearly establishes that whereas the givers of the rent law (Britishers) have been revising the law to be in tune with the changing socio-economic scene in society, their counterparts here have remained bogged down with considerations like vote bank rather than the welfare of the people whom they represent.

Dream come true

For Lt-Gen JFR Jacob (retd), Governor of Punjab and Administrator of UT, signing of the MoU between the Chandigarh Administration and the Infosys Technologies Ltd at Punjab Raj Bhavan on Friday is a dream come true. For the past couple of years, General Jacob had been actively pushing his pet project of making Chandigarh a preferred destination of the North. His sustained efforts, actively supported by an able team of administrators comprising the IT Secretary, Mr Karan A. Singh and Director of IT, Mr Vivek Attray, bore fruit when a world class Indian company, Infosys, decided to set up base in the Software Development Park of the UT at Kishangarh.

The Chairman of Infosys Mr N.R. Narayanamurthy met Governor earlier this year and also visited the Technology Park site at Kishangarh. The Governor Jacob also addressed CEOs of leading IT companies at the IT.Com event at Bangalore on October 30 this year and invited them to set up their facilities in the Union Territory of Chandigarh. He also visited the Bangalore campus of Infosys on the same day.

As per the agreement, 20 acres of land would be allotted to the IT major which would be the anchor company of the Chandigarh Technology Park. Infosys would set up a Rs 100 crore software development centre in the next five years and would employ up to 2400 professionals at the campus. During the first phase, Infosys would invest Rs. 30 crore and would employ 600 professionals. This would be the first large software development campus to be set up by Infosys in North India.

The Chandigarh Technology Park is spread over an area of 111 acres and comprises large anchor plots, sub anchor plots, built to suit sites and ready built space. An entrepreneur development centre is also being set up.

Set in the backdrop of the Kasauli hills, the CTP provides the ideal setting for IT companies to set up their facilities. The consultants for the project are M/s Jones Lang LaSalle.Infosys currently has a 200-strong development centre in Mohali.

Incidentally, the signing ceremony held at Punjab Raj Bhavan was not without a hiccup. While the Governor and his IT secretary were holding forth on the best infrastructure that Chandigarh has to offer, there was a power failure. Luckily, the electricity supply was restored quickly and the ceremony proceeded as planned.

Camera trouble

Jasbir Jassi has some following. That the rocking star can still make some people go round and round became known the other day at the Chandigarh Press Club in Sector 27 where Jassi had come to launch his latest album. The launch was, however, a little delayed in view of the long time for which the songs were being aired on all prime television channels.

Even before Jassi arrived at the venue, the many cameramen (some from the media and some from unknown destinations) parked themselves in front of the platform where people from T Series were to sit along with Jassi. The remaining lot comfortably made place for itself in between the chairs or also along the side lanes.

So heavy was the presence of cameramen and photographers that it became virtually impossible to get a look at the singer when he finally landed. And when someone from among the gathering dared the picture freaks, one out of them reacted strongly, saying: “This is a musical conference. What do you want to see. Just listen!”

Never mind the fact that Jassi was talking, not singing, for a change.

Partner partner!

Education Secretary, Punjab, Mr K.K. Bhatnagar, pleased the gathering at Government Museum auditorium with a sweet gesture the other day. The occasion was the release of his historical fiction titled “Banda Singh Bahadur” by MP Ms Preneet Kaur and the moment was the thanks giving towards the end of the release function.

Mr Bhatnagar was busy listing people who made his dream come true. He talked about everyone from Prof J.S. Grewal, who helped him with historical facts and other technical details to his nephew who accompanied him to all the places significant to the life of Banda Bahadur. After doing the thanking Mr Bhatnagar left the dais, only to return after five minutes. Very humbly he stated: “And I forgot to thank my dear wife who saw me through my literary pursuit with great deal of patience. Without her this effort would not mean anything!”

The hall burst into applause.

Jugadu Punjab

Noted humorists from all over the country made the hasya kavi sammelan at Tagore Theatre worth watching last week. From one word to another the poets, especially Ashok Chakradhar, wove a beautiful tapestry of life.

Interestingly, all the poets were very happy to be reciting in front of a Punjabi audience. Talking of the vigour of Punjab and its spirit to fight back, the poets finally talked about how resourceful the Punjabis are.

Dr Chakradhar had an interesting way of putting this observation, “Punjab hi to hai jisne jugadu culture puri duniya mein pahunchaya hai...

Gym birds

Craze to have a well-chiselled body among the youth has spread from the city to the periphery.

It is no more time of ‘‘doodh, makhan and ghee’’ in the villages of Punjab and Haryana but the youth are going out for gyms in the morning as well in the evening.

In earlier days the people used to join akharas for building bodies. After doing massage with mustard oil, they used to do exercise — dand baithaks — for hours at the village wells. The tradition has now switched over to the gyms where the youth of these semi-rural areas do exercises to the music of English songs. And no matter how new and unfamiliar this latest tradition is for them, they feign a lot of comfort at the gyms, moving their muscles in consonance with the tunes that play in the background.

More often than not, they sound very confident of their own skills as “fitness champs.” So you see them dismissing the formal instructors and commanding their way around at the gym. In a way they are still into dand baithaks. Only the setting has changed from the village chaupals and wells to the hi-tech gyms.

What a road!

Chandigarh has a road which resembles a battlefield. It is situated in one corner of the city, the road between Sector 47-C and Sector 48-A. This main road also leads to the Sector 43 bus stand. This road is called Vikas Marg but now it has become “Vinash Marg” due to its very bad condition. Surprisingly, the half-kilometre stretch has at least 16 potholes. One can see heaps of bajri, sand and coaltar. Cracks are everywhere.

In the last 15 days, at least 20 accidents have occurred here. Surprisingly, this main road was carpeted about two years ago but was poorly made due to the contract-system.

— Sentinel



Burglary in Sec 33 house
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 17
Burglars broke into an unoccupied house in Sector 33 between November 9 and November 17 and took away goods valued at about Rs 30,000. The burglary was detected when the occupants of the house returned this afternoon.

There were no cash and jewellery in the house at the time of the burglary.

According to Dr Gurjeet Singh, when he and his wife returned home (house no. 87) at about 2.20 pm today, the locks on the front grill was intact but the entire house had been ransacked.

The burglars, as per initial investigations, entered the house from the first floor of the house. Locks on cupboards, an almirah and a bedroom door were found broken.

There were two empty bottles of whisky and four glasses on the dining table. Dr Gurjeet Singh, who practice at Ahmedgarh, Punjab, had left the house on November 5. “The house was opened last time on November 9 by my in-laws and the burglary took place after that only’’, said the doctor.

He also told that the there was a fungus growth on the glasses.

The burglars took away a Sony television, a music system, two telephone instruments and some other items. The burglars consumed two bottles of whisky which had been left behind. According to Dr Gurjeet Singh the burglars packed the items some in pillow covers and bed-sheets. A case has been registered. 



5 cases of theft in city
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 17
The police received at least five complaints of theft on Saturday from different parts of the city.

Mr Subhash Chander Sharma, a resident of Sector 15, reported that his Kinetic Honda scooter (CH-03C-5170) was stolen from Sector 16 on November 15. On the same day, Bajaj Chetak scooter (CH-01N-7883) of Mr Mangat Singh, a resident of Ropar district, was also reported to be stolen from a parking lot at the PGI.

A camera and Rs 2,000 were stolen from car of Mr D.C. Bhardwaj, a resident of Mani Majra, on November 14. At the time of the theft, the car was parked in Sector 34. Mr Dharminderjit Singh of Sector 35 reported that the stereo was stolen from his car which was parked at his residence on the night of November 15. The stereo from the car of Mr Sachin Sharma, a resident of Sector 21, was also stolen in Sector 22 on November 12.

Eve-teasing: During the past 24 hours the police registered four cases of eve-teasing in different parts of the city and arrested an equal number of persons. Those arrested are Mohammed Shakeel of Colony No 5, Mohammed Matloop of Burail village, Sohan Lal of SAS Nagar and Kulwinder Singh of Panchkula. All the accused were later released on bail.


ASI injured

A few drunk persons allegedly attacked several students of a local college in which an ASI also sustained injuries. According to the police, sharp-edged weapons were used in the attack. As many as four students were rushed to a local hospital after the incident. Later, the police registered a case against five persons involved in the attack. The police have arrested two of them.

One killed

One person was killed in a road accident on the GT road near Ambala city on Sunday. According to the police, Ravinder died on the way to hospital when his Maruti car collided with a Tata Safari coming from the opposite site. The police has registered a case.


Two arrested: The CIA staff of the police arrested Davinder Kumar and his employee, Vikas Bhatia, last night from Haripur village on the charges of selling blue film CDs.

Accident: Mr Bhushan Chand, a driver of Haryana Roadways bus (HR-Y68-0451) has accused the driver of a truck (HR-37A-3972) of hitting his bus from behind on the Kalka-Shimla highway yesterday and then fleeing from the scene.



Man found murdered
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 17
An unidentified man in his early forties was found done to death in a pit along the dividing road of Sectors 48 and 49 here this morning. There were marks of injury on his neck, nose and eyes.

The hands and legs of the victim were tied and the body was wrapped in a cloth. The victim was wearing trousers, a shirt and a half-sleeve sweater. There were three keys around his waist. The police was informed by an unidentified person who had first noticed the body. The body is currently lying in the mortuary of General Hospital, Sector 16. A case has been registered.



Textech-2002 showcases a buoyant textile sector
Tribune News Service

Nigerian Governor weaves trade web

“My mission here is to identify trade partners in the field of textiles,” said Mr Ibrahim Saminu Turaki, Governor of Jigawa State, Nigeria, who especially visited Textech-2002 to identify trade partners for Nigeria’s ‘Free Trade Zone’.

“Spinning, weaving and especially finishing garments are areas where Nigeria and India can work together,” stated Mr Turaki, who, during his detailed round of the fair, identified a host of companies he would be following up with. “Textech-2002 provided a ‘one-stop-shop” for me, he said, adding that such fairs are increasingly bringing Chandigarh on the global map.

Energy, Software and Agriculture are some other industry areas where India and Nigeria can forge partnerships, according to Governor Turaki.

Chandigarh, November 17
Textech-2002, CII’s textile technology exposition, which closed in Chandigarh today, saw both large capital machinery equipment companies as well as smaller textile accessory units generating impressive business enquiries. Over 25,000 business visitors attended the four-day fair which was held from November 14 –17. The third edition of Textech will take place in 2005 in Chandigarh.

Feedback from exhibitors reveal that companies had received business enquiries worth several lakhs and have expressed satisfaction.

Domestic and international exhibitors at Textech-2002 spanned all stages of textile production, covering categories of spinning, weaving, knitting, dyeing and processing. The buoyant feedback from participants at the Textech is truly reflective of the domestic textile industry, which has been on the upswing since the last few months, after experiencing recession for almost half a decade. Taking into account, the normal cycle time of industry, this recovery is expected to last for the next couple of years at the very least.

While exhibitors feel the domestic industry can grow at about 7 per cent per annum in the coming decade, the export market too is expected to earn around US$ 32-34 billion by 2010. These levels of growth could generate six million direct jobs with a significant spin off of even greater indirect employment. The government, on its part, will have to come out with more supportive policies, including liberal loan disbursements and similar such schemes. On the labour front, reforms are eagerly awaited, particularly after the publication of the recent the Labour Commission report. Industry is also keenly awaiting the onset of the WTO Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC) in 2005, which will remove the current qualitative restrictions for India, when exporting to the US or the EU.

Concurrent to the Textech-2002, the CII had organised an ‘International conference on emerging trends in textiles – an exciting challenge’ covering the latest in textile technologies, management and marketing. Over 45 expert speakers from India and overseas addressed the eight plennry sessions of the three-day conference.

International exhibitors at the Textech were really gung-ho on modernisation of the Indian industry and expected it to be prepared for the imminent global challenges. “We have had very good enquiries and after the fair, we will be spending time in India following up these enquiries,” stated Donato Calabrese, Sales Manager, Mariplast, Italy, who was one of the 20 overseas exhibitors”.

While world leaders in various fields of the textile industry like spinning, weaving, finishing as well as accessories and spare parts expressed satisfaction with the event and the excellent quality of visitors to the fair, they felt that amenities such as an international airport would definitely position Chandigarh as a ideal international convention city. Further, facilitation for overseas visitors by way of establishing a “Free Trade Zone” temporarily at the Parade Ground, would enable overseas exhibitors to transport their equipment faster and without unnecessary hassles.

Many overseas visitors stated that they were not new to the region. “Most of us have already forged alliances with the industry in the region and are here to capitalise on the newer opportunities which Textech offers,” stated an exhibitor, with a promise to be back, a sentiment echoed by many participants at Textech-2002.


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