C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

City leads in per capita income
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
Chandigarh has the highest per capita income in the country at Rs 67,370 (calculated at current prices) as per the figures released in “Chandigarh in Figures 2005” here today.

The per capita income is Rs 35,452 (at the constant prices of 1993-94). It was Rs 60,105 in year 2003-2004 and Rs 53,886 in year 2002-2003 at current prices.

Ms Raji P. Shrivastva, Joint Secretary, Finance, released “Statistical Abstract-2005”, “Chandigarh in Figures-2005”, “Census of the Government Employees Chandigarh Administration 2005” and “Census of the Public Sector Undertaking and Local Bodies Employees of the Chandigarh Administration-2005” at the UT Secretariat.

While releasing these reports, Ms Shrivastva hoped that these publications would be useful for policy planners, students, research scholars, journalists, entrepreneurs and executives. She disclosed that all data and statistics had also been released on Internet, which is available on the official website of the Chandigarh Administration www.chandigarh.nic.in.

The publications present reliable and comprehensive statistics pertaining to various aspects of the economy of the Union Territory. The data covered in these publications is extensive and touches upon all socio economic aspects such as area and population, climate and rainfall, agriculture, forest, medical and health, water supply, industries, taxation, education, banking, joint stock companies, transport and communication, housing, police, crime and sudharghar, accident statistics, food and civil supplies, social welfare, plan, prices indices, employees census, tourism, local bodies, entertainment, newspapers, intoxicants, employees of local bodies and the Chandigarh Administration, index of industrial production and state domestic product etc.

The infant mortality rate has come down considerably. It was 45.60 per thousand in year 2003, but in year 2004 it was 33.14 per thousand. The electricity consumption has also increased. It is 918.29 million units (2004-2005) while it was 845.01 million units in year 2003-2004. The share of domestic users vis-à-vis total consumption also increased with respect to last year (2003-2004). Earlier it was 36.41 per cent of the total electricity consumed but in year 2004-2005 it was 38.86 per cent.

The UT consumed 85,104 kilo litres of petrol in year 2004-2005, which were about 4,000 kilo litres more than the previous year. The consumption of high speed diesel also increased by more than 5000 kilo litres in year 2004-2005.

The per capita water consumption came down in year 2004-2005. It was 57.99 kilo litres per annum in 2003-2004, which came down to 55.95 kilo litres in 2004-2005.

The Excise and Taxation Department collected Rs 377.81 crore in 2004-2005, which was Rs 311.09 crore in year 2003-2004. The sales tax collections also increased considerably. The increase with respect to the previous year (2004-2005) was 21.45 per cent, while it was just 12.16 per cent increase in 2003-2004. The total tax revenue collection also increased by 20.8 per cent in 2004-2005 as against the increase of 12.04 per cent in 2003-2004.

The data released also have interesting figures of the number of new tractors registered in the UT. Only three new tractors were registered in year 2005. The total number of tractors registered was four, five and three in year 2003, 2004 and 2005, respectively, while 8471, 9555 and 10265 cars, jeep and Tata Sumo, respectively, were registered.

The deaths due to unnatural causes also came down in 2004. The total number of persons killed due to unnatural causes was 758 in 2002, 690 in 2003 and 626 in 2004. The deaths due to traffic accident had also come down.



Girls used by mother or disregarded by Admn?
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
Shrouded by mystery, their life is headed nowhere. With painful twists and turns, it exposes a rot in the system.

It shows how deficient the local administration is in providing care and support services to girl children in vulnerable positions and how in exceptional cases, parents can use children for extending sexual favours to make money.

Until November last, 12-year-old Pooja and her younger sister Bhavna were living comfortably at a state-run home for children. They had landed here following a strange turn of events that pointed the finger of blame on the parents.

In March 2005, the children were found abandoned at a local gurdwara, with their parents nowhere in sight. They were rescued by the police and lodged in this home, from where they were turned out following embarrassing situations in which caretakers landed because of the children.

The two were allegedly spotted fondling each other on occasions and at others, they would make suggestive gestures at other children in the home. “Instead of watching television, they would do sexual things and try to involve other children in their acts”, a senior official from the home claims. The authorities spoke to the children who, according to them, made a shocking confession.

Their mother had allegedly been using them to grant sexual favours to men, and she would do this whenever children went home to her during holidays. Faced with a crisis of conscience, the home in charge resolved to send the children back, lest others bore the brunt of their past.

“In an ideal situation, this should not have happened”, explains Ms Amar Kulwant Singh, a social activist who has often come across such complex cases in her career. “We are not equipped to handle such sensitive matters. We neither have the staff nor the wherewithal to counsel traumatised children with difficult histories. It is the duty of the UT Administration to provide essential support services to them. A separate home for girl children in distress is a must. We have long been hearing about the juvenile home for girls, but not yet seen one”, she adds.

The services for girl children are far from available. For the past five years, the Administration has been sitting over the project of a juvenile home for girls. It should have long come up in Sector 25, but is still under way.

Pooja and Bhavna are back with their mother. They are engaged at a construction site as child labourers, earning about Rs 70 a day. Their father has tuberculosis of the bone marrow and requires medicine worth Rs 630 every three days. Their mother is at loss as she cannot feed so many people. She has four children, including Pooja and Bhavna.

The most striking bit of the story is that the mother wants to send her daughters back to the home, something that puts a question mark on the theory which caretakers of the home are advancing to explain the children’s evacuation. A mother who has allegedly been using her children for monetary benefits will certainly not want them to attend school.

On top of that, she has a conflicting version to give. “I met everyone, including the Deputy Commissioner, and pleaded to take my children back, but nothing happened. The in charge of the home said my children were too naughty to be kept there. I still want to send them back. I cannot feed them, nor can I see them lifting heavy slabs of brick”, she says.

Whatever the truth, one thing is clear — the UT Administration will have to put its house in order before it achieves the ambitious objective of a perfect sex ratio. It can start by fulfilling the long-standing promise of a home shelter for girls or at least a juvenile home for them.



Violations at Sec 17 parking lot
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, June 7
The Chandigarh Traffic Police and the local municipal corporation (MC) seem to be blaming each other regarding the violations at a Sector 17 parking lot in front of Mehfil restaurant. The site, auctioned for the parking of two-wheelers only, is being used for the parking of four-wheelers.

The Chandigarh Traffic Police has written a letter and sent photographs, showing parking violations, to the MC authorities saying that they should ‘enforce’ the terms and conditions mentioned in the contract in which the stretch of road was partially auctioned as a parking lot for two-wheelers only.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, DSP (Traffic) Prem Singh Malik said, “It is the responsibility of the MC to direct the contractors to comply with the terms and conditions. The contractor should prevent the parking of four-wheelers there. In case someone forcibly parks his vehicle there, the contractor should seek police help.”

When asked about the alleged police inaction in avoiding the towing away of the vehicles violating norms, the SSP (Traffic), Mr Dinesh Bhatt, while refuting the allegations said, “No one has approached the police against those who forcibly park their vehicles. We are taking serious note of this menace and we will not allow anyone to violate law. We have taken up the matter with the MC and they should direct the contractor not to park cars there. In case they need help, they should report the matter to the police. If the problem continues, we will also seek the cancellation of the contract.”

On the other hand, when contacted in this regard, the Executive Engineer of the MC, Mr S.K. Chadda, confirmed that the parking lot was only for the two-wheelers and the MC had not given permission for the parking of cars there. He added that the MC had served a notice to the contractor, directing him to strictly follow the terms and conditions of the contract.

Sources in the MC said in other parking lot the traffic police pick up the vehicles parked at unauthorised places. In parking lots if they found a vehicle of a kind which was not allowed to be parked there they tow away such vehicle. But in this case they preferred to turn a blind eye to the reasons best known to them.

An employee at the parking lot was seen issuing tickets for cars and jeeps. When asked, he said though the traffic police had directed them not to issue parking tickets to vehicles other than two-wheelers, even then the people continued to park their vehicles, leading to chaos.

The contractor was not available for his comments. However his assistant asserted that they had not received any notice from the MC. He claimed that they were being victimised on this issue. “Even nearby shopkeepers intervene when we prevent the parking of cars and jeep here,” he said.



Minor raped
Tribune News Service

Lalru, June 7
In a shocking incident, a three-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a domestic help of a landlord in Chhachhrauli village near here, late last night.

The minor girl along with Her grandmother Ms Kirna Devi from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, had gone to the village to attend a ring ceremony at the house of Mr Karan Singh, brother of Kirna Devi.

Since the family members were busy in the ceremony, Mr Karan Singh’s servant Jagtar Singh (35) lured the girl and committed the crime by taking her to the fields. The family members raised a hue and cry when they found the girl missing till late in the evening.

The family later found the girl in the fields with injuries on her private parts. She was then shifted to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi, from where the doctors referred her to the Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, in Chandigarh.

The family subsequently informed the police and the suspect, Jagtar Singh, was arrested. A case under Sections 363, 366-A and 376 of the Indian Penal Code was registered.



Yet another body found floating in lake
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
In less than a week after the Chandigarh police increased its strength on Sukhna Lake in an effort to curb rising incidents of suicides, a body of a woman in her twenties was found floating in the lake this evening.

The deceased has been identified as Sujata. She was a student of BA-I. According to eyewitnesses, she was a regular visitor at the lake.

Giving details about the incident, the Sukhna Lake police post said a patrolling police party saw the body floating in the murky waters near the tower at around 6 pm. They pulled out the body and kept it for about an hour for the purpose of identification, but in vain. Later, the police shifted the body to the Sector 16 General Hospital after taking its finger prints. Her sandals were found lying on the steps of the number 5 staircase near the tower.

Describing the victim, a police officer said she was wearing a white embroidered Punjabi suit and brown sandals. Her complexion was fair and she was of medium height. She was wearing a watch around her writs, but no purse or any other document, which could help in establishing her identity, was found on the body.



Suicide note of lawyer found
Tribune News Service

Rajesh Gumber
Rajesh Gumber

Ropar, June 7
The Ropar police today recovered a suicide note of a practising advocate of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Rajesh Gumber, who had gone missing from near the Bhakra canal here since Monday night.

The suicide note was spotted by the family members of the advocate in the drawer of his office in Sector 39-A, Chandigarh, in the morning.

The family members handed over the suicide note to investigating officer, Varinderjit Singh, who reached their house for further investigations in the case.

Mystery continued about the whereabouts of the advocate as divers were not able to trace his body from the Bhakra canal, from where his car was found abandoned.



Passing thru

Prasun Sikdar
Prasun Sikdar, Vice-President and Sales Head, North, ICICI Prudential Life

Why are the customers still not very keen on private insurance companies?

It is more a question of brand loyalty and not because they do not trust the company. In the past couple of years, private insurance companies have been performing well and now command 29. 9 per cent of the insurance sector while the public sector insurance companies have had a sharp decline in accounts. ICICI Prudential has nine per cent of the total share.

How have the equities been performing?

Recently, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, with Rs 8,800 crore of funds under management (as of May 30, 2006), has seen some interesting trends that clearly demonstrates the abiding faith of retail customers in equities. Of the Rs 113 crore new business premium that was collected by the company in the period from May 10 to 30, 2006, 85 per cent went towards the company’s Maximiser series (equity funds).

What has the volatility of the market impacted ICICI Prudential’s customer base?

We believe the market shifts are more due to technical, rather than fundamental factors. It is heartening to know that retail customers have become more aware and more understanding of such movements, and are investing for the long-term keeping in mind their asset allocation requirements.

— Ruchika M. Khanna



Chhat Bir Zoo loses its “green” glory
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Chhat Bir, June 7
The Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park, located about 20 km from Chandigarh, has virtually lost its green glory in the past three years. Considered one of the best zoos in Asia, Chhat Bir has fallen prey to controversies and political vendetta in the last couple of years.

The Punjab Forest and Wildlife Department, instead of giving priority to protect the natural habitat of animals in captivity here, has turned a blind eye towards conserving the “losing glory” of the zoo. A major part of the reserve forest for which the zoo was named as Bir (means forest in Punjabi) has virtually vanished in the past three years, thus causing a big loss to vegetation.

A dense canopy of trees in the zoo safaris (lion and deer) has completely disappeared. The shrinking forest cover has also resulted in shortage of green fodder for the herbivorous animals.

A thin population of hybrid Asiatic lions could be seen rambling in the Lion Safari with a lost natural habitat for its inmates while the Deer Safari has been converted into a “deferred grazing farm”.

The population of lions has witnessed a major decrease in the past three years due to high mortality rate while a large number of Royal Bengal tigers have been shifted to other zoos and parks in the country.

Interestingly, the zoo management has focused on landscaping and maintaining the park just to attract a layman visitor at the cost of forest cover. Instead of planting saplings and other vegetation for compensating this major loss of forest cover, the zoo authorities have reportedly spent huge amount on buildings, renovation of the zoo camp office and other luxurious items.

Wildlife experts feel in the absence of trees, shrubs and other vegetation in the zoo, the inmates have been exposed to the open and have lost their basic nature of camouflaging. Dense forests even help the animals in breeding successfully.

Sources in the zoo disclosed that a majority of the grant released by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has been used on constructing new enclosures, houses and cages. Not even a single sapling was planted by the authorities in the enclosures and in the safaris for the past over four years. However, development of parks remained the main focus of the zoo management, sources disclosed. The number of visitors has also declined drastically as they hardly see any wild animal roaming in their natural habitat for which the zoo was known, claimed a keeper who has been working with the zoo for the past 20 years. The contractors of the Lion Safari and eating joints lamented that they had been suffering huge losses due to the declining number of visitors to the zoo.

Mr Jeewan Naryal, a visitor from Gurgaon, said, “The face of the zoo has changed in the past five years. Now it looks more like a garden than a zoo”.

A visit by The Tribune team revealed that about 60 per cent of the reserve forest in the zoo area has disappeared.

When contacted on the issue, Mr Hans Raj Josan, Punjab Forest Minister, admitted the dwindling forest cover in Chhat Bir Zoo. He claimed that the trees had died due to storms and other reasons. “Being a reserve forest uprooted and perished trees could not be removed from their original places even then I have directed the zoo authorities to plant maximum of saplings to restore its glory,” claimed Mr Josan.

“Since the zoo contains less area where the animal would be fed, therefore, the zoo authorities have cultivated fodder for the herbivores on chunks of land in the Deer Safari.



Blatant violation of building bylaws in Zirakpur
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, June 7
One of the fastest growing townships in Punjab, Zirakpur is fast emerging as a building byelaws violators paradise with rules and regulations allegedly being flouted with impunity, leading to a huge revenue loss for the nagar panchayat.

In fact, with no mechanism to check the mushrooming of violations in the township, which is already bursting at the seams in the wake of the real estate boom, the general public is at the receiving end.

A random survey of the township revealed that the misuse of the residential areas for commercial purpose was rampant. In several cases, the violators seemed to be having the tacit support of the civic body as the violations had gone unchecked for years together.

The Sunny Enclave is a case in point. Several of the residents, who purchased the land for residential purposes, have started using their premises for commercial use. This has been going on with the connivance of the civic body officials, alleged Mr BL Sharma, a member of the Welfare Society of the Sunny Enclave.

The use of the residential areas for the commercial purposes has proved to be a source of nuisance for the residents with commercial vehicles, including trucks, tractor-trailers and rehris blocking the entrance of the colony for a major part of the day, Mr Sharma alleged.

The situation in other parts of the township is no different, so much so that it was difficult to distinguish between residential and commercial areas in Baltana. The areas which had been approved as the residential areas continued to be misused for commercial activity, alleged residents.

Recently, there had been a steep hike in the prices of property, particularly commercial property. The alleged violators prefer to use the property for commercial purpose. The monetary returns were higher from commercial property. Moreover, commercial property was favoured in certain prime locations spurring the alleged violators to “convert” residential areas into commercial areas, sources said.

It may be recalled that rules and regulations governing urban areas make separate regulations for the residential and commercial use of the space. And there are separate charges for the passing of the maps of the residential and commercial areas.

And with the civic body reportedly plagued with a shortage of staff there is no way it could enforce the laws governing the use of space in the township. However, action was initiated as and when there was specific complaint against any violator, civic body sources added.



UT Administrator’s assurance to marla house owners
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
There seems to be light at the end of the tunnel for the thousands of marla house owners in the city. In a significant development, the top brass of the UT Administration has finally assured the house owners that justice would be done to them on the issue of the regularisation of need-based changes in their dwelling units.

The assurance came from the top level on Monday with UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (Retd), assuring a delegation of the Chandigarh Marla/Flat Houses Residents Welfare Association that the administration did not want to harass house owners and their genuine demands would be considered favourably, sources said here today.

In fact, the Administrator seemed to have sent a clear signal to the top echelons of the local bureaucracy, including the Home Secretary, the Finance Secretary, the Deputy Commissioner, the Chief Engineer and the Chief Architect, who attended the meeting, to redress the grievances of the harassed marla house owners on priority basis. The owners had been at the receiving end of the bureaucracy, particularly the lower level officials, for a long time.

The delegation, which was led by the association president, Mr Surinder Pal Chauhan, impressed upon the officials that the balconies on both sides of the houses were the need of the hour. With the changing times, the requirements of the residents have changed necessitating the balconies.

Need-based rooms and toilets on the rear sides of their houses have invited demolition and resumption notices.

The delegation demanded that recommendations of the sub-committee on building byelaws to allow 3 feet cantilever on the front and backside of the marla houses should be notified. This facility is already being enjoyed by the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) and group housing society flat owners.

And on the pattern of the CHB, The administration should also compound minor violations within the boundary walls of the houses not encroaching upon public land.

It was also demanded that a survey of the entire city should be conducted to find out the total need-based changes as about 99 per cent houses had building byelaws violations. After the survey a uniform policy should be framed to regularise the need-based changes instead of the present pick-and-choose policy, it was highlighted at the meeting.

In the meantime, all demolition and resumption notices, issued to people, who have not encroached upon the public land, should be withdrawn by the administration as a “goodwill gesture”, added Mr Chauhan.



DC's order to tackle flood threat
Our Correspondent

Mohali , June 7
The Mohali Deputy Commissioner, Mr Tejveer Singh, has directed officials concerned to identify villages that get adversely affected by floods before the onset of the monsoons.

The directions were given at a meeting held at Municipal Bhavan here today.

The Deputy Commissioner said that lists of the affected villages should be prepared along with their lay out plans. He said that areas should be identified in villages which could be used to save the lives and property of villagers in case of an emergency arising out of floods.

The Deputy Commissioner asked Sub-Divisional Magistrates to appoint nodal officers for villages who could be contacted when required. Alternative arrangements should be made for the supply of drinking water if the present system got adversely affected during floods.

Mr Tejveer Singh told officials of the PWD and the panchayats to pay special attention to unsafe buildings so that no loss of life or property was reported during floods.

He said work on roads that was approved last year should be completed by June 30. Officials of the Health Department were asked to equip hospitals and ambulances to tackle cases during emergencies.

He said the District Revenue Officer, Ms Arina Duggal, had been made the nodal officer of the Flood Control Committee. Flood control rooms would soon be set up at the district and tehsil levels and staff would be put on 24- hour duty at these control rooms.



2 tubewells to increase water supply
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 7
Two tubewells are being sunk in Phases VII and VIII of the industrial area here to overcome shortage of water in the area.

The work of sinking both the tubewells was inaugurated yesterday by the Kharar MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh. The work is being done by the local municipal council at a cost of about Rs 35 lakh.

The MLA said to improve supply of water, another tubewell would be sunk in the Commando Complex while work was already going on a tubewell in Phase VII. New tubewells would provide 1.25 mgd of water while another 2.5 mgd of water would be available from the fourth phase of the Kajauli waterworks. The town would be able to get 16.25 mgd of water in the coming days against a demand of 18 mgd.

He said the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) had deposited Rs 66 crore with the government for the augmentation of the fifth phase of Kajauli waterworks.

Meanwhile, the MLA assured allottees of plots in Sector 76 to 80 that a solution to their problem would be found out by June 13. He had met the affected persons in the Silvi Park, Phase X, last evening.

Mr Sucha Singh, president of a body of the affected residents, told the MLA that PUDA had allotted plots to 3950 allottees more than four years ago but had failed to give the possession of plots to the allottees so far.



MC takes steps to check water-borne diseases
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
The Municipal Corporation has taken various preventive measures against water-borne diseases like cholera and gastroenteritis. These measures are being taken by the Medical Officer, Health department.

The frequency of garbage collection in colonies has been increased. Lime dust is being sprayed around the garbage bins and along the open drains. Chlorine tablets are also being distributed to the residents of colonies. Pamphlets advising residents of the colonies to keep their surroundings clean, not to eat cut fruits and drink hand pump water, etc are also being distributed. Stickers have also been pasted on hand pumps advising residents not to use its water for drinking.

A spokesperson of the MCC further stated that the quality of drinking water was being monitored regularly through two independent teams. A mobile team under the charge of Executive Engineer, MCPH Division No. 1 from Water Works, Sector 39 has been collecting eight to 10 samples from colonies and slums for residual chlorine and bacteriological analysis. In addition, 10 to 12 samples are collected from different locations of the city for checking turbidity and residual chlorine.

The junior engineers in-charge of each area have been instructed to check the residual chlorine in the water in his area specifically in slums and rehabilitation colonies and asked to submit reports of the same to the Sub-Divisional Engineer in-charge.



Long wait for information under RTI Act
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
For 22-year-old Vinod Sharma, the Right to Information Act (RTI) exists on paper only. After running from pillar to post for a month to seek details about guidelines on running coaching centres from the Information Officer in the UT Estate Office, Mr Sharma is still waiting for a reply. As per the provisions of the RTI, the concerned official has to provide the information or reply to the applicant within a month.

But even after a month, the concerned officials are dilly dallying in response to the query. “I was told to apply again. Tired, I have now approached the Deputy Commissioner to get details about my query,” said Mr Sharma.

On April 27, he applied to the Central Public Information Officer, Estate Office, seeking details about the policy governing the running of coaching centres in SCOs and on whether coaching centres could be run from residential premises and in villages. He lamented that while the Chandigarh Administration claims to have effectively implemented the RTI, getting information under the act was a Herculean task in the Estate Office.



BJP protests against oil price hike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
The Punjab unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) protested here today against the recent price hike of petrol and diesel prices by the Congress-led UPA Government. The party stated that if the government did not roll back the prices, these scenes will be common on streets across the country.

The protest was led by national secretary Harjit Singh Grewal and BJP's youth leader Vineet Joshi, who criticised the irrational taxation policy of the Union Government on the petroleum products and termed it as the main cause of inflation in the prices. While speaking on the occasion, these senior leaders of the party slammed the UPA

Government's seventh petroleum price hike in just two years. They stated that the hike in the petrol price has been 57 pc and 58 pc, respectively, since the Congress led UPA Government came to power. Moreover, it has exposed them and their inability to tackle the movements on the petrol price graph,'' they added.



INLD flays hike in petrol, diesel prices
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 7
The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) has flayed the UPA government for hiking the petrol and diesel prices by Rs 4 and Rs 2, respectively.

Mr Pradeep Chaudhary, spokesman of the INLD said the government had put extra burden on the common man by increasing the prices of these liquid fuels. He said the price rise would adversely affect the farmers who use diesel in agricultural operations.

The hike in oil price would directly push up prices of commodities, he pointed out. Mr Manoj Aggarwal, district president (urban) of the INLD also demanded that the Hooda-led government should waive VAT on petrol (20 per cent) and on the diesel (12 per cent) to provide relief for the state residents.



Safety at workplace stressed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
In order to facilitate integration of quality, environmental and occupational health and safety management systems in organisations, the CII Chandigarh Council organised a training programme on Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSAS) 18001 at the CII Northern Region headquarters here today.

OHSAS 18001 has been developed to be compatible with the ISO 9001 (quality) and ISO 14001 (environmental) management systems standards for having proper safety at the workplace. The programme dealt with the subject through an insightful presentation.

Discussions were held on the fact that every business owner has certain rights and responsibilities regarding health and safety at the workplace. Through proper safety measures, one can easily motivate the employees to give their best to the organisation.

It was felt that knowing and understanding occupational health and safety laws helped in avoiding unnecessary costs and damage to business caused by workplace injury and illness. It is necessary to create a safe environment for employees and contractors and for customers and visitors to a company as well as encouraging a healthy lifestyle and promoting public health amongst the people that the company affects.

The faculty from CII L.M. Thapar Centre for Competitiveness, Chandigarh gave insightful details about various safety management approaches, models and theories. Over 40 delegates, from various industries participated in the deliberations.



CAT quashes promotion orders of 2 inspectors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) yesterday quashed the orders of promotion of two Inspectors of Chandigarh police, while allowing the promotion of a Sub Inspector from a back date.

A bench comprising Mr LM Goyal and Ms Shyama Dogra, Vice-Chairman and member (judicial), respectively, passed the orders on an application moved by SI Karnail Singh, who had petitioned that his seniority had been ignored while giving promotion to his juniors.

In his plea, the SI challenged three separate orders of promotion of four Sub Inspectors to the rank of Inspector, Mr Kewal Krishan, Mr Kehar Singh, Mr Kuldeep Singh and Mr Bakshish Singh.

In two separate cases, a censure and warning was issued to the complainant. While the administration stated that censure came in way of promotion, the tribunal observed that censure cannot be counted as penalty while promoting a person. The contention of the administration was rejected.

The SI had moved the tribunal in 2004. After hearing arguments of both the sides, the tribunal allowed promotion of the SI from April 20, 2004.

The promotion of Inspectors Kehar Singh, presently posted in the Operation Cell, and Mr Bakshish Singh, presently posted in Economic Offences Wing, has been quashed through the same orders. Orders have been issued to the departmental promotion committee to promote the complainant.



21 liquor vends allotted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
In a fourth attempt to allot liquor vends, the UT Excise and Taxation Department, was today able to allot 21 of the total 36 vends which had failed to attract any applicants during the previous draw of lots.

The department earned a revenue of Rs 5.70 crore as the licence fee. Of those allotted, three were of category A, which attract a licence fee of Rs 40 lakh each and the remaining 18 were of category B, which attract a licence fee of Rs 25 lakh each.

Under the new excise policy, the department has so far earned about Rs 51 lakh during the draw of lots held on four attempts. Officials of the department termed the draw of lots as successful watching the liquor scenario in the neighbouring states.

The main vends which were allotted today were in Sectors 22, 37, 44, Industrial Area, Ram Darbar, Dhanas and Kishangarh.



Inquiry into allotment of tenders sought
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 7
As many as 10 Municipal Councilors have demanded an inquiry into the alleged irregularities in allotting tenders for the re-carpeting of roads by Panchkula Municipal Council.

In a representation to the Deputy Commissioner, the councilors have alleged that the civic body president had violated the norm while allotting tenders to Akriti Construction and Development Limited, a Panchkula based company.

The councilors have alleged favouritism in the allotment. They claimed that the HUDA had already blacklisted the company.

Moreover, the firm had left unfinished works of about Rs 15 lakh in the past two years.

Ignoring the previous record of the firm, the MC has again allotted tender worth crores of rupees, claimed Mr R.K. Kakkar, Mr Mahendra Singh, Mr C.B. Goel and other Municipal Councilors.



Shed owners’ team meets CITCO MD
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
A delegation of Chandigarh CITCO Shed Owners’ Association under the chairmanship of Mr Ravi Parkash Kansal, chairman, met Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, Managing Director of CITCO regarding problems faced by them.

The CITCO shed owners are complaining that the sheds which were supposed to be shifted to their names after 15 years was not done.

They are demanding that they be not charged any sub-letting fee which has been assured to be put on the hold till the matter is decided, a press note said.

The delegation included Mr Ranjan Verma and Mr Raminder Singh Kapany, besides others.

A two member delegation, including Mr Kapany and Mr Manjit Singh has been coopted on behalf of shed owners to be included in helping the CITCO in sorting out the matter.



City hotel recyling waste

Chandigarh, June 7
In context of the World Environment Day recently, it is pertinent to mention the exemplary work being carried out by Hotel Pankaj, Sector 22, in taking care of its solid waste. It uses vermiculture to convert mass waste into manure near its hotel premises.

The proprietor, Col H.S. Sandhu (Retd), said, “All hotels produce a lot of solid waste, which is mostly bio-degradable. Organic waste like vegetables, fruits, food refuse, garden and solid paper waste can all be converted into quality compost”

A place for garbage treatment could be created in most of the hotels, he added. He suggested that more people should be do the same. — TNS



Power meter reader caught taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
A meter reader of the UT Electricity Department was today caught red-handed by the UT Vigilance Department while allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 1,000 in Burail village here.

It was alleged that the accused used to dupe Burail residents by threatening to charge them for meter tampering.

Sources in the Vigilance Department said the accused used to take Rs 500 per house from the villagers by allegedly threatening to book them for meter tampering.

Of late, he had allegedly started asking for more money.

Giving details, sources in the Vigilance Department said that Swaran Singh, a meter reader of the UT Electricity Department, posted in division number 9 in Sector 43, was arrested after he was caught red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 1,000 from Mr Harish Kumar of Burail village.



1 booked for arranging licences
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 7
Tightening the noose around commission agents operating in and around the Mini Secretariat, the district administration yesterday booked a person for allegedly arranging driving licences and registration numbers of vehicles. The suspect, Satyawan, was booked on the direction of the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Mr Verinder Dahiya, here today.

In a press note, Mr Dahiya claimed that Satyawan had been illegally operating from an STD booth and charging Rs 500 as commission per document from the seekers.

Acting on a tip-off, a team raided the STD booth and found a bag containing some documents, including 10 driving licences and papers illegally prepared by the agent. The suspect, Satyawan, however, absconded.

A case has been registered against him at the Sector 6 police station.



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