Wednesday, June 18, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Over 3000 unauthorised structures face hammer
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Concerned over the large scale constructions in the periphery area along the Pinjore-Nalagarh road, the Town Planning Department had proposed to acquire 250 acres of land behind Yadvindra Gardens, Pinjore, in December 2000. Over two years down the line, the proposal is pending before the Urban Development Department, even as the industrialisation in neighbouring Baddi has led to a spurt in unplanned and unauthorised colonisation. 

Panchkula, June 17
The district administration has decided to act tough with thousands of violators of the Punjab New Capital Periphery Control (Regulation) Act, in the periphery areas around Kalka and Pinjore. Over 3000 unauthorised constructions in this periphery area are likely to be demolished in a phased manner.

A team of officials in the District Town Planning Department led by District Town Planner (DTP), Enforcement, Mr Aniruddh Sharma, yesterday conducted a survey of the area to take stock of the large-scale violations in the periphery. This team reportedly found almost 3,500 unauthorised constructions, including illegal colonies along the Pinjore- Kalka road and Pinjore - Nalagarh road.

A majority of these unauthorised constructions have come up in the villages of Tipra, Tapra and Dheron Kesar in Kalka and Lohgarh, Bhogpur, Agal Gobindpur, Vasudevpura and Milakpur in Pinjore. Informed DTP Anirudh Sharma: “ These constructions in the periphery area have come up between 1972 to 2003. Notices have been issued to the violators every now and then, but it has failed to have any deterrent effect. Thus, we will proceed as per the provisions under the Periphery Control Act and all unauthorised constructions will be demolished in a phased manner.”

It is learnt that the Deputy Commissioner, Mrs Satwanti Ahlawat, had received complaints of fresh unauthorised constructions coming up in the area, especially after the Pinjore Municipal Committee had mooted a proposal to extend its limits. It was proposed to extend the municipal limits in seven pockets, along the Nalagarh road, Pinjore -Kalka road and near HMT Colony by including Lohgarh, Dhamal, Vasudevpura, Mohbatpur, Rampur Seori, Takwana, Milakpur, Surajpur and Bitna Seori within the municipal limits. It may be mentioned that as of now Pinjore, Dewol, Rattpur, Baglana, Dharampur, Ferozepur, Bitna, Rangawal, Damdama, Nagal Sodhian, Islamnagar, Abdullapur and Manakpur are covered under the municipal limits of Pinjore committee.

Already, as speculation of this proposal getting a go- ahead from the administration is high, the prices of real estate in most of these pockets has gone up from 10 to 30 per cent.

It may be noted that the Periphery Control Act is applicable within an 8-mile radius of Chandigarh and extends to 154 villages in Panchkula district (till Kot Billa on one side, along the Nalagarh road on second side and till Himachal border beyond Kalka on the third side). The residents of these towns have demanded that the state government take up the matter of abolition of the Punjab New Capital Periphery Control Act with the Government of India, so that the burgeoning population can construct new housing units in a planned manner. 


PU finalises admission interview dates
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
Following fixing of June 27 as the last date for receipt for application forms to fresh admissions in the teaching departments of Panjab University, the authorities have commenced the process of drawing up the dates for interviews.

A number of teaching departments have fixed the tentative dates of interview that will require a formal clearance from the office of the Dean, University Instructions. Students doing the rounds of various teaching departments while filling the forms ask the university to draw up a common list and circulate it among students.

All departments should be asked to forward the tentative dates that should be cleared by the university in a common circular, an applicant said.

The university is following different yardsticks to carry on the admissions in individual departments. The departments of Mass Communication, Laws and English await the results of the entrance test conducted recently.

The result is awaited later this week following which the interview dates would be finalised, sources said. Results of a majority of other examination conducted in the category of ‘Other than CET’ have already been declared.

The department of Sanskrit has fixed July 9 as the date for a written test. The written test constitutes 40 per cent of the total merit while finalising the list of admissions. The rest of the weightage is given to the academic standing in the result plus two onwards. The department has 40 seats.

The interviews for the Department of Education are slated for July 8. The department has 25 seats. The department of Economics has fixed July 7 as the date of interview for candidates in the reserved categories. Interviews in the open category will be conducted on July 8 and for the NRI category on the following day.

The final merit will take into account: marks in the preceding classes plus two onwards, weightage for having passed the qualifying degree from an affiliated college of Panjab University, honours subject and weightage for NSS and NCC activities, if applicable.

The department will put up the provisional list of selected candidates on July 5 and the admission slip will be handed over on July 11.

The interviews in the department of Public Administration are slated for July 7. The department has 55 seats apart from five in the NRI quota. It was pointed out that the candidates were free to give their qualifying certificates even later till a fixed date, but before the date of admissions.

The University Business School has fixed July 2 as the date of counselling for general seats in the MBA (general), MBA (international business) and MBA (human resources). The interviews for the reserved categories are slated for July 3 and in the NRI category on July 4.

Admissions to the majority of the science departments are based on an entrance examination results for which have been already declared. The dates for interviews are yet to be finalised.

Interviews of the Geography Department are scheduled for July 7. The interviews for Political Science Department will be conducted on July 8.

The tentative dates for the interviews are subject to the condition that the university declares the results of the final year of undergraduate classes at the earliest giving enough time to draw up the merit. In case of a delay, the interview dates would be postponed.

The admissions to the second year classes in a majority of the cases will commence from July 1 onwards. The university has fixed August 1 as the date for conduct of entrance examination to M.Phil courses. 


Legal notice to Admn on creche issue
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 17
In less than 48 hours after the plight of children in government-run creches was highlighted by Chandigarh Tribune, the Chandigarh Parents’ Association has issued legal notices to the UT Administration, the Director of Social Welfare Department, besides other authorities.

The association has sought directions for streamlining the functioning of creches in the city, besides proper maintenance. In its notice, the association has claimed that direct supervisory control of government-run creches vests with the Director of Social Welfare, who is also responsible for the grant of aid. But most of the creches are in bad shape for want of proper maintenance.

The association chairman, Mr Bhim Sen Sehgal, further claimed that most of the parents, in government service, were not in favour of sending their children to government-aided creches for lack of proper care, but were forced to do so as the private ones were charging exorbitant fees.

He added that the sole purpose of having creches was defeated as proper facilities, space and other necessities were not provided.

He asserted that private organisations, including banks, were maintaining creches for the children of their employees. “If they can do it, why can’t the government?” he said.

Steps, he insisted, must be taken to improve the conditions of the government-aided creches for the benefits of working parents. Adequate clean rooms must be provided so that there was no congestion and the children were not caged in small rooms. The present practice of providing small room in the schools should be dispensed with as it was hampering the development of mind and body of the children. Staff, including teachers and maid servants should be in substantial number to look after the children during their stay in creches. Toys should also be provided, he added.


CJI’s car meets with freak accident near Ropar
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
The Chief Justice of India, Mr Justice V. N. Khare, today escaped unhurt near Ropar after a freak accident, when the car carrying him and the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr Justice B. K. Roy, came to a sudden halt.

The driver of the car stopped the car to bring in order the National Flag atop the car of the Chief Justice.

An eye witness, who was part of the cavalcade, said one of the Ambassador cars was mildly hit from behind but nobody seemed to have been injured, However, a couple of persons went for a medical check-up when they reached here.

The Punjab Police Control room, however, said the cavalcade stopped so that the National Flag could be put in order. They did not know of any collision of any sort.

The cars of the Chief Justices including that of the Himachal Pradesh Chief Justice, Mr Justice V. K. Gupta following the CJI’s vehicle, also escaped undamaged. Several people in different cars felt jerks and complained of pain.

Mr Justice Khare’s cavalcade was coming from Ropar to Chandigarh where the CJI stayed for four hours on his way back to Delhi from Himachal Pradesh.

He was presented a Guard of Honour at the UT Guest House by a contingent of the Chandigarh Police led by the Chief Drill Instructor, Inspector Harichand. The contingent comprised one Inspector, two Sub-Inspectors, four Havildars and 24 constables.

Mr Justice Khare was accompanied by Mr Justice B. N. Roy and Mr Justice V. K. Gupta.

The Chief Justice of India had lunch with Mr Justice Roy and Mr Justice Gupta, among others, in the UT Guest House.

The vehicles following Mr Justice Khare, who was in Mr Justice Roy’s car along with the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, could not control the speed and two cars collided resulting in minor injuries to a few persons.

The Deputy Commissioner of the Union Territory, Mr Arun Kumar, and the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Gaurav Yadav, were present at the UT Guest House to receive the Chief Justice of India.

Before leaving for Delhi by the Shatabdi Express, Mr Justice Khare informally met the Judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court at tea in the evening.


Action against erring car owners from July 1
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
Hundreds of files pertaining to investigations in cases of road accidents in the city, involving secondhand vehicles, are gathering dust in record rooms of the Chandigarh Police. Reason — the particulars of the owners of the vehicles are not available with the police.

A police official said it had been observed that owners of the vehicles registered with the Chandigarh Transport Authority changed their addresses without informing the registering authority. Under Section 49 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 the owner of a vehicle should inform the registration authority within 30 days of changing the address.

Concerned at the attitude of the vehicle owners, the Chandigarh Police said it would initiate a drive against such vehicle owners from July 1. Action would be taken against the erring vehicle owners under Section 177 of the Motor Vehicles Act.

The vehicle owners have been advised to furnish details about the change in address, proof of residence, passport size photograph and original RC to the registration authority.

The police has sought that the vehicle registration system of the Chandigarh Transport Authority be linked with the computer network of the police so that its data pertaining to the registration of new and secondhand vehicles was automatically updated.

The traffic wing of the Chandigarh Police does not have any linkage with the computer network at the Police Headquarters and the transport authorities. The police usually faced difficulty in tracking down owners of the vehicles — involved in violation of traffic rules. In a recent experiment, when the traffic police started sending challan slips at the residence of vehicle owners, it was found that ownership of several vehicles had changed.

Sources in the police said investigations in several cases of road accidents were also being delayed as the policemen usually landed at the house of the registered owners whereas the vehicle had been sold. It took time to track down the new owner of a secondhand vehicle.

The sources said the Chandigarh Police had also urged the transport authorities to create awareness among the sellers of vehicles to get the sales agreement of their vehicle registered with the transport authorities. As per the rules, a sales agreement of a vehicle has to be registered within six months. However, it has been noticed that vehicles were being run on the basis of an affidavit given by a seller. It created difficulty for the seller when the vehicle was involved in an accident.

Meanwhile, the traffic police said it would introduce payment of compounding fee on the spot by cheque for vehicles registered with the Chandigarh Registration Authority.


Bhardwaj’s kin clarifies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
Of the four lockers of suspended judicial officer S.S. Bhardwaj, which have been opened by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), only one locker has yielded 13 tolas of gold jewellery.

Talking to mediapersons, Mr Tej Pal, Bhardwaj’s brother, said two of the lockers, in the Punjab and Sind Bank branches at Ferozepore and Sunam, had yielded nothing substantial. A few silver coins, valued at around Rs 2,500, were found in the locker at Sunam.

Regarding the two lockers in Chandigarh — one in the Bank of Baroda and another in Punjab National Bank (PNB) — which were opened yesterday, the latter yielded only 13 tolas of gold jewellery. Mr Tej Pal said no other property documents were found in either of the lockers. He said the reports about Rs 50 lakh and property documents being found in the lockers of S.S.Bhardwaj were baseless and had tarnished his image.


Trust to get land at lower rate
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, June 17
The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has reduced the price of land allotted to Shaheed Udham Singh Educational and Charitable Trust in Sector 53 here.

Wg Cdr Baldev Singh (retd), Chairman of the trust, told mediapersons at a press conference here yesterday that PUDA had allotted a 4-kanal plot to the trust in December 1999 at a price of Rs 1540 per sq yd. As the members of the trust found that the allotment price of the land was too high they approached the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to help the body in getting the price reduced who promised help in this regard.

The Chairman said that on June 6 PUDA had issued a letter to the trust informing that the allotment price of the land had been reduced from Rs 1540 per sq yd to Rs 540 per sq yd. The Chairman, who thanked the Chief Minister for keeping his promise, said by reducing the price of the land the payment burden of the trust had been reduced by Rs 27,37,115. Earlier, PUDA had directed the trust to make the payment of the balance amount of Rs 31,52,428 in four instalments.

Now the trust would have to pay only Rs 4,15,313 in four instalments. The charitable body had already paid 7,70,000 before taking possession of the land.

The Punjab Chief Minister had released a grant of Rs 10 lakh in January this year for the construction of the building. Earlier, the Akali government had also given a grant for Rs 6 lakh.

He said the trust was constructing Shaheed Udham Singh Bhavan on the land allotted to it. The construction work had started in October 2001 and the work of the two floors was nearing completion.

There was a plan to get the building inaugurated by the Punjab Chief Minister on July 31 (64th death anniversary of Shaheed Udham Singh).

The building would provide facilities like a charitable dispensary, a library, yatri nivas, an orphanage and an auditorium.


Send troops to Iraq under UN supervision’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
“Indian troops should under no circumstances be sent under the US command to Iraq. If India does so, it should only be under the UN requisition, command and control,” said the President’s Gallantry Awardees Association of India. A meeting of the association was held today and senior retired officers from defence and paramilitary forces discussed the issue at length.

The association said Indian troops had in the past shown good performance and conduct whenever deployed on UN missions. A large section of security forces in Iraq was being trained by India.

Iraqi people had not accepted the American occupation of Iraq in the name of bringing democracy in the country. Chances of peace and democracy in Iraq in near future were remote and chances of insurgency were bright, the association added. By requesting India, the Americans were perhaps eyeing the highly experienced soldiers of defence and paramilitary forces who could tackle insurgency and terrorism.

The reason to send troops under the UN control was elaborated by the association saying that Indian soldiers would get the same pay and allowances as were being given to soldiers from the USA and other European countries.

In case of death or disability they would be given same compensation and honour as in the case of other soldiers. Pay and allowances and other benefits to the soldiers should be published in the media before the troops were committed. For United Nations, people of all countries were equal and value of human life was same. For international duties all should be paid and treated equally with same dignity, the association added.


Civic body’s ultimatum to PUDA
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, June 17
The local Municipal Council has given an ultimatum to the PUDA authorities to hand it over charge of two tubewells in Sector 70 here by July 15 failing which the civic body may be compelled to return the work of maintenance of the other tubewells in that area.

The council president, Mr Kulwant Singh, in a letter to the Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA, yesterday said that an assurance was given at a meeting of officials held on October 31 last year that two tubewells would be sunk in Sector 70. Charge of these tubewells would be handed over to Public Health Department officials before the onset of this summer.

Mr Kulwant Singh said that there was a serious shortage of water in Sector 70. It is learnt that PUDA has diverted water from two tubewells in Sector 70 to parts of Sector 71. 


Applications invited for Haj
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
Chandigarh-based pilgrims interested in going on Haj can send their applications along with a bank draft for Rs 10,550 drawn in favour of the State Haj Committee, Chandigarh, to Mr I.S. Sandhu, Sub-divisional Magistrate-cum-Coordinator State Haj Committee, room No. 18, first floor, Estate Office Building, Sector 17, Chandigarh. The last date for receipt of applications is July 15.

Those desirous of going may contact members of the State Haj Committee, UT, Chandigarh and the Superintendent, DC’s Office, Chandigarh, for filing of forms in accordance with the instructions for Haj-2003 as received from the Executive Officer, Haj Committee, Mumbai. The two members are Mr Khalil Ahmed and Dr Shakeel Ahmed.

The prescribed Haj application form can be collected from the Superintendent, Deputy Commissioner’s Office, Chandigarh, free of cost.


UT’s gesture to senior citizens
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
Keeping in view the difficulty being faced by senior citizens and the disabled when visiting the office of Director Social Welfare which is situated at third floor in Additional Town Hall Extension Building, Sector 17-C, Chandigarh, the Chandigarh Administration, has allocated a room at ground floor of the same building.

The Department of Social Welfare has opened its counter on the ground floor where all matters relating to senior citizens and physically challenged persons like issuance of identity cards and settlement of old-age pension will be attended to.


PLATFORM: Save water
Afforestation needed

Water is the elixir of life. Life on earth cannot survive without it. Despite water being such an important gift of God, its conservation has not gained importance.

It is being wasted with impunity in day-to-day life. Leaking taps and overflowing tanks are a few of the examples which reflect our attitude towards this precious natural resource.

Due to population explosion, the consumption of water has increased manifold. Rainfall has also declined due to ecological imbalance.

It is high time we learn from our past mistakes and take to afforestation.

Arjun Bhatia, Class X,
Chaman Lal DAV School


Pension adalat

Chandigarh, June 17
With a view to address the grievances and problems faced by defence pensioners in and around the city, a defence pension adalat will held under the aegis of the Controller General of Defence Accounts at Bal Bhavan, Sector 23, here on June 19. OC


Nine hurt as cars collide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
At least nine persons received injuries when two cars collided near the Airport Chowk here this morning. A Maruti car was coming from the Chandigarh side when it collided with a Ceilo coming from the Zirakpur side.

The occupants of the Maruti were Anupam Dheer, Vishal Dheer, Naveen Dheer and Miank Dheer. In the other car, the occupants were Monica Sharma, Ritu Kaushal, A. Sharma, Nikhil and Maj Sandeep Kaushal. One of the injured, Monica, was referred to the PGI. Due the impact of the collision, the left side of the Maruti and the front of the Ceilo were badly damaged. A police official at the Sector 31 police station said the statement of the victims were yet to be recorded.

In another accident, Ramesh, a scooterist, was injured after being hit by a car near the Parjapat Bhavan, Sector 38. The victim was admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital.

In another case, a scooterist, Surinder Kumar, was injured after being hit by a Maruti car near the Modern Housing Complex, Mani Majra. The injured was admitted to the GMCH, Sector 32. 


Two hurt in group clash
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, June 17
Two residents of Devi Nagar village, including an ex-serviceman, were injured in a clash between two groups of the villagers over the Panchayat election issue today. In the clash a tooth of the ex-serviceman, Pritam Singh, got injured in the face while Nanak Singh sustained injuries on his arm. The two were admitted to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi.

The villagers said the two groups indulged in the clash after a meeting in which they had assembled to elect members of the village panchayat at a platform near the village dharamsala early this morning. The panchayat elections are scheduled on June 29.

Mr Swaroop Singh, a villager, proposed Mr Karam Singh’s name for the post of village sarpanch while a member of his rival group, Mr Ram Singh, announced the name of Mr Barkha Ram for the post.

Since there was a difference of opinion over the names for the post and the meeting deferred.

It was then that some members of the Ram Singh group pounced upon Naib Subedar Pritam Singh (retd) as soon as the meeting was put off. They allegedly overpowered and knocked him down and beat him up. Talking to The Tribune injured Pritam Singh alleged that Rattan Singh, an employee with the Punjab police, and his son Nanak Singh thrashed him and he lost a tooth in the process. He alleged that Mr Rattan Singh also threatened him with dire consequences.

On the other hand Rattan Singh denied his involvement in the clash saying that he was in Patiala when the clash occurred. He said that Pritam Singh was trying to implicate him in the case. 


AirTel denies allegations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
Certain subscribers of AirTel at SAS Nagar have alleged that they were being ‘harassed and threatened’ by company officials for ‘non-payment’ of bills though they had made the payments, which were not adjusted.

They have claimed that their connections had been disconnected and now company officials were threatening to make payments along with market interest rate. However, Mr Mandeep Bhatia, general manager (aales and marketing), AirTel denied the allegations. He said: “The company has given more than 300 connections under the corporate plan in PTL and Swaraj Engines, but only a handful of subscribers are making complaints. Those who have not made payments despite repeated reminders will be liable for action.”

Five of them, who had taken connection under the corporate plan, had even written to the Customer Care Service, AirTel in February, 2003, to cancel their connections, but no action has been taken so far by the company, they alleged.

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