C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU Senate okays 20 pc fee hike in colleges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
A 20 per cent hike in tuition and admission fee in all affiliated colleges of Panjab University in Punjab and Chandigarh, 25 per cent hike for professional courses other than self-financing ones on the university campus and 10 per cent hike for all other courses of the university was approved by a committee constituted by the PU Senate at a meeting held here today.

The DPI (Colleges), Mr Dilip Kumar, read out a letter stating that no member should leak information to the Press since it led to misinformation. He said it was seen that issues not discussed at meetings were also reported by the media. He said in future an official press note would be issued by the university on all matters.

While the hike will be implemented from the 2004-05 academic session, the committee has decided against increasing other funds charged from students in colleges, even though it was decided to direct colleges to maintain transparency in keeping records of funds collected. The committee has approved an increase of 10 per cent in common funds in all cases of the university, and the amount will be rounded off to the nearest five.

In keeping with the decision of the Senate at a meeting held on July 6 to allow a hike of 10- 25 per cent, the committee, giving its verdict, has decided against an increase in funds since only the admission and tuition fee find their way to government treasuries while the funds remain with colleges.

The fate of colleges which have implemented the UT proposal on fee hike, namely government colleges and SGGS College, Sector 26, in this academic session is undecided. Waiting for a rollback by the UT Administration, these colleges had charged the hiked fee at the beginning of the session. The DPI, Mr Dilip Kumar, said today that he was not in a position to recommend a rollback, adding that the higher authorities of the Administration were still debating the matter.

The meeting, chaired by the Panjab University Vice-Chancellor, Prof KN Pathak, was attended by the DPI, Punjab, Ms Nisha Sharda, and the DPI, UT, Mr Dilip Kumar, besides Principal Tarsem Bahiya, Mr S.S. Virdi, Prof Charanjit Chawla, Mr D. Tayal, Mr Keshav Malhotra, Mr Radhey Sham and Mr Pawan Bansal. The Registrar, Prof Paramjit Singh, and the FDO, Mr M.G. Sharma, were also present.

The Panjab University Senate and Syndicate had taken a decision to increase fee by 10 per cent every year at a meeting in 1999 while two other universities — Punjabi University, Patiala, and Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar — and colleges affiliated to them in the region had not revised their fee and continued to charge according to the old fee structure.

The 10-member committee was constituted by the Senate at its meeting on July 6 this year following a notification of the Punjab Government to hike fee in colleges.

While the Punjab Government withdrew this proposal on July 22, the UT Administration proposed its own fee hike in city colleges which was not withdrawn despite the rollback by the Punjab Government.

However, this was vehemently opposed by students’ groups as well as the university, which claimed that implementing a fee hike in colleges was the prerogative of the university alone and the governments or the Administration had no role to play in the matter. For this reason, most colleges have put on hold the hike and are awaiting the final word of the committee in this regard.



Muslims throng mosques as Ramzan begins
Tribune News Service

The new moon was sighted in Delhi on Monday, signalling the beginning of the holy month from today. The sighting of the new moon was also reported from Kolkata and Chennai.

Chandigarh, October 28
Even before the sun rays illuminated the night sky, members of the Muslim community thronged mosques all over the city for offering namaz on the first day of the holy month of Ramzan.

For the occasion, the preparations started early. Most of the Muslims got up around 3.30 am as the speakers in the mosques announced the prayer programme. After savouring “sehri”, they left for the mosques. Some others offered prayers at their residences at 5.08 am.

The maximum rush was witnessed at the Sector 20 Jama Masjid, along with mosques in Burail and Mani Majra. As a large number of Muslims reside in Sector 29, the rush was heavy there also.

The new moon was sighted in Delhi on Monday, signalling the beginning of the holy month from today. The sighting of the new moon was also reported from Kolkata and Chennai.



1.1 lakh looted from Sec 3 house
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 28
Thieves broke into the first floor of a house in Sector 3, one of the so called VIP sectors of the city, and decamped with jewellery, goods and cash worth over Rs 1.10 lakh. The theft, took place sometime between October 24 and today afternoon, while the owner of the house had gone out of station along with his family.

The theft had been carried out in a very ‘professional’ manner as the police failed to find any fingerprints or marks in the house.

The residence was unoccupied during the period as Mr Yajan Kashyap and his family had left for Jalandhar on Friday evening. The theft was discovered only this afternoon when the family returned and found the entire house, including the bedroom and cupboards ransacked.

Mr Kashyap is Deputy News Editor at The Tribune. The police has rounded up three persons, including a watchman at the house, for questioning. There is a rest house of the Punjab Government on the ground floor of the house.

On August 28 a teenaged robber had attacked a lonely old couple in Sector 9, another ‘‘VIP’’ sector of the city and had injured one person seriously.

The thieves entered into the house (House No. 14) through a window, took away jewellery, including a solitaire diamond ring, a Nikkon camera with flash and Rs 8,000, besides other items before wiping off their fingerprints from different places in the house. The thieves also took away some foreign currency belonging to Mr Bikramjit Singh, a nephew of Mr Kashyap. The money was in Canadian dollars.

‘‘The thieves entered the house by cutting the wiremesh of a window’’, informed police sources and added, ‘‘the thieves have even removed their footprints from a flower bed through which they had climbed up for breaking the window’’.

The jewellery was lying in the cupboard of the bedroom. According to the family members, the thieves probably used a bag missing from the house to carry away the loot.

Fortunately, the Canadian passport and air ticket belonging to Mr Kashyap’s nephew and a CD player lying in the house were saved. The thieves did not bother to enter the adjoining servant quarter, which too was unoccupied. ‘‘On Friday before leaving for Jalandhar, I kept ringing the door bell on groundfloor to inform the watchman that we were leaving, but he did not respond,’’ said a member of the house. The police said the thieves were either wearing gloves or carrying a cloth to wipe off their finger and footprints. The police has found some marks on a compact disc (CD) and on a sofa chair. It could not be known from which side the thieves entered the compound of the house. The lock on a door guarding the staircase of the first floor was found intact. A case under relevant sections of the IPC has been registered. 



Health Dept to take over maintenance of buildings
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 28
The user charges collected as fee for getting a CT scan, X- ray and ultra sound tests at the General Hospital here, will now be used for the maintenance of all government health care institutions in the district.

The maintenance of the General Hospital here, Civil Hospital at Kalka, Community Health Centre at Raipur Rani, eight government dispensaries and five primary health centres spread all over the district, will also be taken over by the District Health and Family Welfare Society ( DHFWS) from the Public Works Department and Public Health Department. Official sources say the “inconvenience caused in cajoling the officers of the two departments” for regular maintenance and repair works in the government- run health care institutions has led to the maintenance work being taken over by the Health Dept itself.

It is learnt that an annual sum of Rs 25 lakh is collected as user charges from the General Hospital here, which will now be allocated by the Governing Council of DHFWS for the maintenance and repair of all health care institutions. The authorities have now constituted the governing council, executive committee and Swasthya Kalyan Samitis, for outlining the maintenance works to be carried out in all institutions within the Panchkula district.

While the Executive Committee of the DHFWS headed by the Civil Surgeon is in charge of approving works (to the tune of Rs 1 lakh at a time) to be carried out and new equipment to be bought in all heath care institutions in the district, the Swasthya Kalyan Samitis have been formed at institutional level — which will recommend maintenance works (to the tune of Rs 10,000 at a time) to be carried out in a particular institution. These works will have to be then sent to the Governing Council for final approval.

Sources inform that the state Health Department had proposed in 2001 that the maintenance work of all health care institutions in the state be handed over to them from the PWD and Public Health Departments on account of poor maintenance of these institutions. It was only recently that the Health Department was allowed to get the maintenance work done through the DHFWS all over the state as a pilot project to be implemented by other departments.

However, with the Finance Department putting its foot down on the allocation of funds for maintenance, it has now been decided that the maintenance works be carried out from the user charges collected from the hospital here.

The move gains significance, especially in the wake of the alleged poor quality of construction of the new hospital building and the failure of the PWD and Public Health Department to rectify the shortcomings in construction. The new hospital was inaugurated by the Union Health Minister, Mr Shatrughan Sinha, on October 23 last year. However, as soon was the building ( constructed at a cost of Rs 8.38 crore) was inaugurated, it began showing signs of decay.

Depressions on the unfinished floors to crevices in the floor ( these are breeding grounds for all kinds of infections); creeks in the doors of Operation Theatres (which are supposed to be sealed for proper fumigation); rusted taps and steel basins in the wash rooms in Operation Theatre and improper slants in OTs leading to water flowing out - were witnessed at the hospital. It was then that the Health Department had refused to take over the building till the repair work was carried out. Earlier this year, plaster on the wall of the minor OT had peeled off and fallen on the equipment, thus damaging it.

The local health authorities now hope that with the DHFWS taking over the maintenance and repair things would improve.



Go-ahead for Panchkula lake project
HUDA to give Rs 4 crore for plan
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 28
The Department of Town and Country Planning today okayed a proposal for setting up a lake in Panchkula. The proposed lake will be made on the Ghaggar, near Sector 24 between the Naddha and Nandana choes.

This proposal was given a final go-ahead during a meeting of officials of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), Irrigation Department, Forest Department and Haryana Tourism under the Commissioner Town and Country Planning, Mr Bhaskar Chatterjee, today.

It is learnt that a 57-acre site has already been identified for the purpose. HUDA will now fund the lake project and the Irrigation Department has been asked to make a detailed project. Since a recreational site has been earmarked by HUDA near Sector 24, the said agency will be giving Rs 4 crore to the Irrigation Department for the project.

The project of constructing a lake here, on the lines of Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh, was envisaged by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, last year. Since then HUDA and officials of the state irrigation department had been conducting surveys along the Ghaggar to identify the site, appropriate for the lake.

Other than being a major tourist attraction in the district, this would also serve the purpose of recharging of groundwater for sustaining the already depleting ground watertable in the region. It may be noted that the issue of the declining watertable in the district is a major cause of concern. It is believed that at the present rate of fall in watertable and the rate of withdrawal through tubewells, the ground water reserves are not going to last for more than 20 years.

This follows the rejection of two sites, identified by another four-member committee set up by the Chief Engineer, HUDA, last year. This committee had earlier proposed to construct the lake near the guide bundhs on the upstream and downstream side of New Ghaggar bridge. The committee had earlier recommended that the piece of land, measuring a approximately four to five acres and surrounded by guide bundhs on one side and external road on the other side, can be considered for the lake. However, this proposal was ruled out on the pretext that the area was too small.

The second option for this lake was on the river bed itself, between the Old and the New Ghaggar bridges. This area, they felt, could be utilised for developing the lake by constructing curtain walls or low height dams.

The total area of the lake would then be approximately 10 acres and the lake, would then have a golf course on one side an external road on the other side, connecting the two bridges. But because of huge cost of construction on this site, this was also ruled out.


Admn dashes hopes of 5,000 oustees
Asked to approach CHB for dwelling units
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
The Chandigarh Administration has given a crushing blow to the aspirations of 5,000 villagers who had been uprooted more than 30 years ago to make way for the second phase of Chandigarh’s plan.

The Chandigarh Administration has written a letter to the Pind Bachao Committee saying “the matter (of rehabilitating villagers) has been considered and you are advised that the oustees of 11 villages should approach the Chandigarh Housing Board for allotment of dwelling units as per entitlement, as and when, schemes are floated by the Chandigarh Housing Board.” A copy of the letter had been sent to the CHB also.

Official sources while interpreting the letter said it means there shall be no special dispensation for the villagers by way of subsidy or a special housing scheme. It also means that the oustee villagers will be eligible for flats offered by the CHB in its future schemes and will be considered by CHB. The Administration has more or less moved away from the picture.

In the past the Pind Bachao Committee, a body of villagers demanding rehabilitation, has been seeking special dispensation to earmark 43 acres in Sector 63 for building dwelling units for 5,000 oustee families that were rendered homeless and of less due to the acquisition of 11 villages.

The committee has contended if special schemes can be run for slum dwellers then why not for villagers.

In the past the committee had alleged that villagers were facing discrimination on the basis of religion and language because the 5,000 oustees were the original, legal owners of city.

These include families of villagers who were ousted more than 30 years ago to develop the second phase of the city (Sectors 31 to 47), Industrial Area and to expand of the airport in city.

The Planning Commission, on a request of the Chandigarh Administration, has sent a report on how certain guidelines for the usage of funds under the Pradhan Mantri Gramaodaya Yojana have been changed. The Administration at one time was keen to adopt the guidelines with a view to help these families and reduce the cost of flats as a special gesture.

Today’s letter means the Administration had gone back to its original plan that the flats for oustees would come at a price.

This formula was rejected by the committee that had said that in the past three decades, the Chandigarh Administration had rehabilitated several thousand migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

However, it was for the first time that villagers with a Punjabi background who had been evicted for the development of city were being rehabilitated under some policy.

Interestingly the National Commission of Minorities (NCM) had passed instructions to the Administration to do the maximum for the uprooted families.

The villagers have been demanding that flats for the uprooted villagers be allowed under 100 per cent subsidy so as to make a special dispensation regarding cost treating base year of price factor as 1966.



Exercise inherent powers, but with caution: HC
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
A civil court has inherent powers to pass orders necessary for meeting the ends of justice or to prevent the abuse of the court process, but such powers are to be exercised sparingly, the Punjab and Haryana High Court ruled today.

In a significant judgment, Ms Kiran Anand Lall of the High Court held that the inherent powers should be exercised “only in such cases where it would be justified to do so”.

The ruling is significant as a large number of petitions were being regularly filed before the trial court, besides the High Court, praying for exercise of inherent powers under Section 151 of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC) in civil cases.

The order was passed on a petition filed by Mr Vijay Singh and two other residents of Jhajjar in a land dispute case under Article 227 of the Constitution of India.

The petitioners were seeking quashing of an order dated October 6 vide which the trial court had dismissed their application for permission to examine additional evidence, a draftsman, in the case pertaining to a disputed plot.

Appearing before the High Court, counsel for the petitioners submitted that the trial court should have allowed their application for additional evidence in exercise of the inherent powers.

After going through the documents and hearing the arguments in the case, Ms Justice Lall ruled: “No doubt, under Section 151 of the CPC, a civil court has inherent powers to make such orders as may be necessary for the ends of justice... but such powers are to be exercised sparingly.”

Ms Justice Lall added: “The facts of the case, undoubtedly, do not justify the exercise of such powers by the trial court because the suit, pertaining to 1992 is about 11 years old. Besides this, the petitioners have not been vigilant also”.

Ms Justice Lall added: “They moved the application in question after the case had reached a stage of their rebuttal evidence. Therefore, the trial court rightly felt that it was not a case where additional evidence should be permitted to be led in exercise of inherent powers under Section 151 of the CPC”.

The judge concluded: “No case for quashing the impugned order by exercising extraordinary powers under Article 227 of the Constitution is made out. The petition shall, accordingly, stand dismissed”.



Rlys to have unified cadre of Group C staff
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
A decision of the Ministry of Railways to merge the cadre of Group C employees into a unified cadre of station masters (SMs) and assistant station masters (ASMs) has led to resentment among the existing cadre of the station masters. All the zonal railways are in the process of implementing the decision.

The merger, which is part of the restructuring, is being done with a view to strengthening and rationalising the staffing pattern in the Railways, said a senior officer. The restructuring being done after a gap of 10 years has unnerved the station masters who have shot off telegram to the General Manager, Northern Railways, lamenting that the merger would further stagnate their promotional avenues and badly affect their seniority. The categories to be merged and fall under the Group C are station masters, assistant station masters, yard masters and traffic inspectors. Due to the merger, the promotional avenues for the cadres of yard masters and traffic inspectors would increase and they would be blocking the channels of those who were recruited in the station master cadre.

It is learnt that to protest against the decision of the Railway Board, a delegation of the station masters will meet the General Manager, Northern Railways, on October 30. Reports of protest by the affected section of the employees in other zones have also been received.

They lament that merger at all levels should be done from the date of appointment to decide the seniority rather than taking in account the length of service in the present cadre. Sources in the Railways said the guidelines were accepted by the Northern Railways on last Monday. But the same were yet to be implemented. In the order sent to the zonal railways, the Railway Board has said that the recruitment and promotion patterns as prescribed for the category of SMs and ASMs should be followed in the merged cadre. However, it has been said that efforts should be made to post the employees in the categories in which they have been working.

This means that the erstwhile three categories would be working and enjoying the benefit of the unified cadre of SMs and ASMs on their posting in the yard where they would perform the duties of yard masters. A similar arrangement would work for the traffic inspectors. The staff in the merged cadre would be used to discharge the duties of SMs and ASMs.

The sources said in the last restructuring done in 1993, the Ambala Divisional Railways authorities allowed the yard masters and traffic inspector who moved from the grade of Rs 5,500 to Rs 8,000 and Rs 6,500 to Rs 10,000 and Rs 6,500, to be promoted as station superintendent. The decision was taken through the channel of promotion. But the yard masters and traffic inspectors were never asked to pass any test.

As per the existing recruitment rules of the Railways, the recruitment of station masters was done directly. The recruitment of traffic inspectors and station masters was done indirectly.



Punjab lacks infrastructure to attract NRIs: Malhi
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, October 28
The Punjab Government has virtually failed to provide a proper infrastructure to attract NRI investments. This was stated by Mr Gurbax Singh Malhi, Parliamentary Secretary, Labour, Canada, while talking to mediapersons here today.

He said the state government had been cribbing over the years that its financial position was bad.

“But where did the money from the treasury go if it was not spent on development works although the public has been paying the necessary taxes from time to time, Mr Malhi questioned.

Citing an example, he said the road from Moga to Bagha Purana, on which he happened to travel, was in a deplorable condition.

He alleged that the ministers were not interested in the development of the state.

When asked about his reactions to the World Sikh Convention held here on October 26, Mr Malhi said family values were vanishing and the youth were going astray because our religious leaders had failed to provide guidance. Religion was not being preached properly. He said he visited Khalsa School in Tarn Taran where 90 per cent of the boys belonging to Sikh families had got their hair cut. Respect for other religious was also necessary, he added.

Mr Malhi said efforts were being made to get the educational degrees, on the basis of which immigration was being permitted, recognised in Canada. As the applicants were not told about the job opportunities at the time of immigration they were facing problems there. He assured that the problem would be sorted out, but it would take time.

He said the renovation work of the office of the consulate-general was in progress and would be completed by March next year. The office would become functional in April next year.



Deputy Director’s letter sans date
Probe against octroi contractor
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, October 28
The Deputy Director, Urban Local Bodies, Ludhiana, seems to have an indifferent attitude to a probe into complaints lodged by certain municipal councillors against an octroi contractor. This was evident from the letters which were received by them here today.

Mr Amrik Singh, one of the complainants, said the letter from the Deputy Director’s office had asked him to reach Ludhiana in connection with the probe without mentioning the date. The document did not bear any date of despatch. The blank spaces left at the time of typing the letter had also not been filled.

Though the date of reaching Ludhiana in connection with the probe was mentioned in the letters of other municipal councillors, these documents did not bear any official letter No. or despatch No.

Eight municipal councillors had lodged a compliant with the Principal Secretary, Local Government, Punjab, on June 26 in which they had alleged that the contractor, to whom the work of octroi collection had been allotted by the civic body, was harassing residents and was also overcharging them.

They had stated that the contractor was also imposing penalties in violation of the rules.

Mr Amrik Singh said the Principal Secretary had asked the Deputy Director to conduct an inquiry in this regard. He said from the way the Deputy Director was proceeding with the case it appeared that he was not interested in conducting the probe.

Mrs Manmohan Kaur, one of the eight municipal councillors called to Ludhiana in connection with the probe, said earlier the Deputy Director had called the municipal councillors on September 8 but the letters in this regard were received on September 11. As nobody reached the Deputy Director’s office on September 8 the municipal councillors were now asked to reach on October 29.


No right to strike, says expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
Stating that over 90 per cent strikes in India were illegal, Dr Naveen Chandra, a senior fellow at the National Labour Institute, Noida, in town for a lecture on “Do we have right to strike?” at the Sociology Department, Panjab University, said there were no rights in the support of strikes.

Emphasising that the right to strike was not provided for in the Fundamental Rights, he said the Indian Constitution had not made any provision for strikes to lodge protest though it gave the freedom of speech and to form associations.

At the seminar organised by Critique, a students’ discussion forum, Dr Chandra traced the history of strikes from the 14th century and their evolution over the centuries. He said strikes had their origin in the Labour Party of Britain, which supported them.

Involved with labour unions in his individual capacity, Dr Chandra said there was no Act in the support of strikes. He said an Act emphasised on the prohibition of strikes. “However, there are exceptions specified on the prohibition of strikes. Despite these exceptions, going by the Act, over 90 per cent of the strikes in our country are illegal,” he informed.

Involved in writing on labour issues and on whether the working class had a right to strike, he said a treaty between the International Labour Organisation and India was pending since the 1950s. He said the plea of the Tamil Nadu Government was upheld by the court, which was right in ruling that government employees could not go on a strike.



Architects favour centralised cell for building plans
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
The Practising Architects Association has said the latest announcement of the Chandigarh Administration in streamlining the building plan approval procedure will fail to provide relief to people constructing houses.

The general secretary of the association and the secretary, Action Committee Mr J.L. Khanna and Mr H.C. Chawla, respectively, said the just announced simplification process for approval of building plans will result in further botlenecks for house owners.

The only way out is to have a fully functional centralised cell dealing with building plans supported by updated computerised data to cut down delays and objections. The Administration had announced a series of new procedures to be implemented from November 3.

The association says ‘‘We fail to understand why this exercise has been passed on to the builder against the previous procedure carried out by the SDO, Buildings.’’ This should have remained with the Administration as all records are with it, said the association, adding that this was a case of passing the buck.

Similarly, the practice of submitting completed plans along with a plethora of forms to various departments results in misplacement of documents and is a lengthy process. Suggesting a way out, the association said this could be handed over to respective representatives and assistants of the departments concerned.

There should be a provision for these representatives to report within two to three days to the centralised cell. Likewise the appraisal of submitted building plans by an SDO, architect, town planner and Public Health Departments can also be done simultaneously saving precious time.

Another suggestion is to take the elements of zoning, height parameter and covered area in a form of undertaking from the architect and house owner in cases of building plans of less than 1 kanal houses.

The ‘‘extension in time limit’’ for the construction and completion of new buildings is justified. However, there is no wisdom to first get the extension for occupation certificates and then submit revised plans for already built buildings, where the building was built prior to 1989, it added.

The association said, ‘‘It was disheartening to note that nothing had happened on this account despite sincere efforts by the previous Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), and some senior officers of the Administration.’’



Enforcement staff rotation gets jammed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
The Municipal Corporation move to rotate the enforcement wing staff for six months seems to have failed.

The decision which was taken last year to break the alleged nexus between the enforcement staff and “outsiders”, said an officer of the corporation. But the arrangement never worked and certain employees stayed for over six months — some even managed to remain at the lucrative posts for more than one year.

The issue has already been raised at the General House meeting of the corporation. The pick-and-chose-policy of the enforcement staff was criticised by councillors.

Citing the example of restaurants, eating joints and other business establishments, where businessmen had encroached on public land in every sector, the councillors lamented that the statistics of the challans issued by the enforcement staff was self-explanatory.

According to information, the issue of posting staff at sensitive posts in the enforcement wing for more than six months is expected to figure at the next meeting of the sub-committee on enforcement.

Chandigarh Tribune had yesterday highlighted the forcible collection of lakhs of rupees from shopkeepers in the name of Divali and issuing of receipts for the same.

Meanwhile, the traders’ cell of the local unit of the BJP has blamed the Congress-ruled Municipal Corporation for causing harassment to city traders, especially rehri and pheriwalas by issuing coupons to them for using space on the road during the festivals.

In a joint statement, Mr Parshotam Mahajan, president of the traders’ cell of the party, alleged that the Congress was harassing the trading community. The party demanded that vendors be allowed to sell goods sans any charges.



‘To be young is very heaven’

This refers to “Chandigarh is 50 and young” (October 7). Indeed ‘to be young’, says Wordsworth in an entirely different context, is ‘very heaven’. Further, to be still young at 50 is an auspicious sign of hopefulness, a rosy and promising assurance.

The genesis of Chandigarh lies in the story of the erstwhile state of Punjab, gruelling arduously to rise like phoenix, from the conflagration and deep agony of the Partition, which forced nearly 45 lakh persons to cross the Indo-Pak border in the midst of violence and the carnage of communal hatred.

With the dawn of Independence, the East Punjab Government temporarily moved its headquarters to Simla. In those days it was the best developed hill station to house the government offices.

It was, however, considered imperative from day one to find a suitable permanent capital for the new state government.

Therefore, in 1948 the first aerial survey of the site was made. The site of the new planned city was selected and the requisite notification for acquiring 27-odd villages was issued on March 23 that year. By 1949, its geographical study was completed, keeping in view the fact that the city to come up should be free from the traditional encumbrances and inconveniences of old towns, and that it should emanate freshness, openness, innovativeness, cleanness, vigour, wholesomeness, and that it should in brief be “an expression of creative genius”.

It may be recalled that the Capital Project, in its infancy, was bitterly criticised by a section of the people as a mirage, a mere dream and a luxury having little chance of materialising.

By the winter of the next year, a team of the best available architects drawn from various corners of the world, such as Pierre Jeanneret, Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew, led by the great Frenchman, Le Corbusier, started hammering out a plan out of the mass of ideas provided by the government and the famous American town planner, Albert Mayer, and the American-Polish architect, Matthew Nowicki, who unfortunately died in a plane crash in 1950.

Le Corbusier was a man of extraordinary vision and perception; he had an amazing command over “architectural language”, and yet his easy and indulgent approach was so compelling, so convincing, so mesmeric that it created an atmosphere for the team of architects, administrators, engineers and other workers to gain from his rich experience.

Deepak Tandon, Panchkula


The special supplement is a gesture worth appreciation. It is astonishing that the population of the city, which was designed to house 5 lakh persons, has almost doubled with 40 per cent growth in the last decade.

The unchecked inflow of migratory population, mostly unskilled workers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, who flocked here with families in search of livelihood, divested the city of its neat and clean look. They have been lured by various sops offered by political leaders and the Chandigarh Administration. Slums mushrooming in and around city have increased traffic problems, reduced open space, caused theft of electricity and water and become breeding ground of crime.

I have been a regular visitor to this modern city since late fifties when I first visited the secretariat and thereafter Panjab University’s science fair during my college days. It used to be a clam, peaceful city making everyone falling in love with itself. Its residents mostly government employees had a degree of concern and care for others.

Our politicians and the Administration should come forward to exercise strict control over the inflow of migrant population and development of periphery areas in a planned manner.

Jagtar Singh,SAS Nagar

Check sales promotion schemes

The sales promotion schemes started by various traders of Sectors 17, 19 and 22 are obviously being run on the pattern of Dubai Shopping Festival. I have no doubt about the genuineness of such fairs, but then the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation should have to make sure that the public is not taken for a ride by some unscrupulous shopkeepers in the matter of retail selling rates, drawing of lucky numbers and distribution of prizes. I would like to point out that in Dubai, the municipal authorities become proactive during such sales events in making sure that prevailing retail rates are not temporarily jacked up to earn an extra buck. They also ensure that complete transparency is maintained in the matter of issuance of tokens\ coupons against the purchase made by the customers and only genuine standard products are on sale. Also they make sure that lucky draws are conducted under the established practices in full public view.

D.B. Singh, Chandigarh



Decorated soldier dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
A highly decorated soldier, Risaldar (Honorary Lieutenant) Kartar Singh Gill passed away in his native village, Paden, yesterday. He has the unique distinction of being awarded the Vir Chakra for gallantry twice in the same year in 1948. Just a few days ago, he had celebrated his 90th birthday along with his relatives.

He had fallen ill on October 25. The cremation will take place on October 30 at Paden. He has left behind his widow, Ms Jaswant Kaur, daughter Ms Amarjit Kaur and four sons, Surinder Singh, Paramjit Singh, Baljit Singh and Baljinder Singh. He was among the seven founder members of the War Decorated India, an organisation of men decorated for bravery during war.

In February, 1948 a patrol of 7 Rajput was ambushed by the enemy in the Chamb Jaurian Sector in J&K. Risaldar Gill, who was leading the patrol showed great presence of mind and his resulting action was so successful that the patrol was able to capture 25 enemy soldiers and about 15 rifles. For this action he was awarded his first Vir Chakra.

Then, on November 1, 1948 Risaldar Gill was in command of the leading troop which entered Gumri,ahead of Srinagar, after meeting opposition all the way from Zojila onwards. He continuously kept his head out of the turret of his tank and engaged targets. Without infantry support and adverse weather conditions his tanks held ground. For this action he was awarded his second Vir Chakra.



Bhardwaj is Advisory panel Chairman
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
Mr Surinder Bhardwaj, president of the Chandigarh Territorial Janata Dal (United) has been nominated Chairman of the Regional Advisory Committee of the Chandigarh region of the Central Warehousing Corporation. The regional office of the corporation covers Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh.



Cash, ornaments stolen from temple
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 28
Thieves reportedly broke into the Sanatan Dharm mandir, Sector 28, and took away ornaments of idols and cash on the night of October 26.

According to the police, eight necklaces, a flute, three tikkas and a nose pin, all made of silver, a gold ornament and Rs 5,000 were found stolen from the temple. The thieves entered the temple by breaking its locks, informed Mr O.P Dhiman, general secretary of the temple management. A case under Sections 380 and 454 of the IPC has been registered.

This is the second case of theft in a temple in the past seven days. On October 23, thieves had entered the Raksheshawar Mahadev temple in Sector 35-C and decamped with gold and silver ornaments, worth about Rs 40, 000.

Mobile phone snatched
Three motor-cycle borne youths snatched a mobile phone from a Sector 23 resident yesterday.

The police said the phone was snatched from Mr B.S Singla near the Kisan Bhavan roundabout. A case under Sections 380 and 457 of the IPC has been registered.

Scooter stolen
An LML Vespa scooter (CH03 C 9653) of a Sector 37 resident, Mr Devinder Kumar, was reported to be stolen from his residence yesterday.

Man injured
Mr Jagdish Singh of Sector 19-B, who was driving a Maruti Zen, car was injured after a truck rammed into the car at the trafficlight point, near the transport area. He was later taken to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.

A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered against the truck driver, who ran away in the truck from the spot.

CSIO employee booked
A woman employee at the CSIO has reported to the police that she was being teased, assaulted and threatened by a fellow employee, R.K Awasthi for the past three months.

In her complaint she told the police that Awasthi also tried to outrage her modesty. After an inquiry, the police booked Awasthi under Sections 294, 341, 354, 506 and 120B of the IPC yesterday.

SAS Nagar

Child injured
An eight-year-old child was injured when he was hit by a motorcycle in Mohali village here today.

It is learnt that the child, Raj Kumar, a resident of Phase-I, was hit by the vehicle when he was crossing a road. He sustained a head injury and was taken to Cheema Medical Complex in Phase IV.

The person driving the motor cycle fled the scene after leaving the vehicle.



Liquidator held for theft of computer parts
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 28
The official liquidator of Gurgaon-based Altos India Limited, H.S. Bawa, was arrested yesterday in connection with the theft of computer parts worth Rs 1.5 crore from the firm in 1999.

Police sources said Bawa, Deputy Director (Technical), Department of Company Affairs, Chennai, was called here to join the investigation and subsequently arrested.

The police said he did not make any effort to report the theft to the police or get a case registered.

A staff member in the official liquidator’s office, K.K. Dutta, and a peon, Krishan Singh, were earlier arrested by the police on July 30. A case in this connection was registered with the economic offences wing of the police on May 5. The firm, running into losses, was put under the liquidator’s scanner way back in 1997.

According to the police sources, Dutta, the then senior technical assistant at the liquidator’s office, was sent to prepare an inventory of one of the three units of the company in August, 1998, along with Krishan Singh. It is being alleged that on September 4, the two along with Altos India Limited’s General Manager D.K. Kapil, Deputy General 
Manager P.K. Verma and a peon also entered another unit of the firm without authorisation and took away 150 cartons of computer parts costing about 1.5 crore.

All three units of the firm had been sealed and a private security agency took over the units.

The sources said Dutta along with the firm’s officials reached the unit, situated at 278, Udyog Vihar, Gurgoan. They were stopped by the security personnel, but Dutta reportedly told them that he was entering the compound as an authorised official of the liquidator’s office. They allegedly entered the firm’s compound by breaking the official seal and took away the computer parts in a taxi.

The security persons reported the matter to their authorities who reported the matter to the official liquidator. The matter finally reached to the Department of Company Affairs, New Delhi. The incident was also reported to the Central Vigilance Commission and an enquiry was conducted. Dutta had taken voluntary retirement in September, 2000.

In February, on the direction of the court, a three-member committee headed by UT SSP Gaurav Yadav was constituted to investigate the matter. The other members of the committee were the SP (Traffic and Security), Mr Amitabh Dhillon, and the SP (Headquarters) Mr H.G.S. Dhillon.



JE booked on graft charges
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 28
The Sector 17 police today booked a Junior Engineer, Kashmira Singh, posted with the Building Branch of the Estate Office, under Section 420 of the IPC and Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

He has been accused of misrepresenting facts, acting with mala fide intent and indulging in moral turpitude.

The case was registered on the direction of the UT Administration. The matter of suspending him from service will be decided by the Finance Secretary, Mr Karan Avtar Singh.



New range of suitcases

Chandigarh, October 28
Le Cats, a leading brand in high-quality wheeled strolley luggage, brings to India for the first time its latest range of suitcases manufactured out of EVS-6000 polyster in three colours and four sizes. All four sizes i.e. 20", 24" 28" and 32" have an expandable zippered top that allows for that extra stuff that always pops up at the end of every trip. The smaller suitcases fit into the next sizes and the largest of all is the one that takes the cake for its sheer size and capacity. TNS


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