C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Admn axes trees, own rules
230 trees to make way for widening of roads
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Overlooking its own norms and conventions, the Chandigarh administration today launched an onslaught on the already shrinking green cover in the Industrial Area, Phase I, here.

It has ordered felling of hundreds of trees to make room for widening of roads for multiplexes, giving in the process the go-by to the rules that govern the provisions of roads, footpaths and open spaces in the union territory.

A total of 230 trees will be cut in the next few days. Today, workers of a private contractor pulled down at least 10 fully-grown trees on a road from Hind Motors to the under-construction Centra Mall. It is on this stretch of road that two multiplexes are coming up. 

The trees are being axed on the pretext of upgrading infrastructure for the successful implementation of the conversion policy. The trees, which have been auctioned for around Rs 2.5 lakh,have value worth several lakhs, according to environmentalists.

The value of a single tree in terms of its impact on ecology has been accessed at around Rs 2 lakh per year. The trees being axed are said to several years old.

Enquiries by Chandigarh Tribune reveal that the road was being widened by 5 ft. “After the proposed widening, the maintainable distance between the road berm and mangrove will be considerably reduced. At a few places, it will be as little as 5 ft,” said an official.

A walkway will also be provided along the other side of the road, thus eliminating the “buffer” zone which the planners of the city had provided to distance the industry from residential areas. An overhead transmission line is also being shifted.

An empowered committee on Industrial Area has approved the renovation work of two roads, one from Bhushan Factory to Purv Marg passing through Ordinance Factory and the other from Hind Motors to the under-construction Centra Mall. A sum of Rs 17.14 crore is being spent on widening and strengthening of various roads in the Industrial Area. Incidentally, both roads being widened touch two major malls coming up in the area.

Expressing concern over the felling of trees, environmentalists said the trees were vital for checking pollution. They feel that in the effort to widen the road, the tree cover will be reduced and there is little space in the Industrial Area to compensate for the green cover.

Among the trees being felled are alastonia, Ashoka, jaman, mulberry, papal, mango, silver oak, pilkhan, ber, sabu babool, amaltas, arjan, inter-lobum and Pahari keekar. The trees do not have a high commercial value. The trees would fetched around Rs 250,000, reliable sources said.

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tribune Special
Bullying rampant in city schools
WHY ARE OUR KIDS ANGRY?
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

A Bully Speaks

"I love when children touch my feet. It gives me a sense of power, the kind of power WWF wrestlers enjoy."

Chandigarh, August 25
“I fight because I don’t know any other way of solving my problems. Everyone fights on roads, on TV, in the WWF ring,” says a 15-year-old boy fed on the diet of violence dished out by TV screens.

He remembers in detail the Virginia Tech shooting in which a youth killed 30 students before ending his own life. “The channels showed it 50 times. How can I not remember it? We even tried playing it out for fun,” he says, mirroring the psychological rot children are facing.

The Mumbai incident in which seniors killed their juniors for the pleasure of a school holiday might be an exception, but it finds milder resonances in every setting, Chandigarh being no exception.

Incidents of classroom rage are being routinely reported from city schools, admits Raji Shrivastav, coordinator, child protection programme. Bullying has become a big enough issue to be discussed at meetings of the child protection unit. PGI childline - 1098 - gets frequent calls from schoolchildren, terrorised by violent bullies.

There was one at Government School, Dadumajra, whose feet children used to touch out of terror. Karam Chand, former principal, admitted: “We could not do anything about it. We called his parents but they refused to believe he was causing trouble. Parents’ overindulgence with children is doing them the maximum harm. Parents are impervious to our advice even as their children use aggressive ways which TV teaches them.”

Triggers: 1. Violence at home 2. Low self-esteem 3. Violent media images 

Psychologists agree that children, who repeatedly encounter violent news stories and images, view the world as a threatening place. Research further shows that children, who play violent video games, resort to violence more easily when faced with a problem than those who have not been exposed to interactive killing.

In April 1999, two American teenagers walked into their school in Columbine Colorado and killed 12 classmates before shooting themselves. They had no history of violence, but they were both enthusiasts of killing-oriented video games.

“A child can’t distinguish fact from fantasy. Parents must be in a position to put things in perspective for them. They should help the child see violence in context to what’s happening and not as the ultimate tool for conflict resolution, as TV  programmes project,” says Sudhir Samantrey, psychology lecturer at Government College, Sector 11. He mentioned how a schoolboy in Delhi recently killed his friend suspecting his involvement with his girlfriend. 

In another recent case, a teenaged boy from Sector 25 slums seriously injured another for a pack of cigarettes. Principals of colony schools, in fact, ask for some kind or powers to deal with children who come from disturbed backgrounds and display violence. “They are invariably violent because they see violence at home,” says Ram Kumar, principal, Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16. Others suggest the administration should allow principals to rusticate badly-behaved children. 

Psychologists, however, explain that poor children have low self-esteem and need reassurance, while aggressive children have been victims of aggression in the past. “The Mumbai case reflects how our children are exposed to aggressive ways and how they feel that use of violence as a tool for discipline is normal,” says Kakli Gupta, psychologist. 

This philosophy guides Adults and Children Together Against Violence, a unique programme the American Psychological Association runs to prevent violence by teaching adults how to solve problems without using violence.

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Give more weightage to school assessment: NCERT
G.S Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
In order to make the curriculum more concept-based, the NCERT has recommended to the CBSE to give weightage to the School Based Assessment (SBA). This new change will see an increase in the internal assessment marks by up to 50 per cent.

As per recommendations, the school-based assessment would be conducted through oral testing and practical exams. The students would prepare projects on different topics to exhibit their understanding of the concepts.

The pattern of the written tests, too, would be changed in the next Board exams. The question papers would carry more of short-answer type and multiple-choice questions. Efforts are being

Continued on page 2 made to avoid the questions which encourage the students only to memorise the answers rather than understanding the basic concept.

The CBSE has already introduced internal assessment in different subjects. CBSE officials said, “The CBSE has introduced this new method of assessment for different subjects like for maths it is 20 per cent, 40 per cent for science and 20 per cent for social studies. The increase in the component up to 50 per cent would definitely be helpful if implemented in a proper and fair way.”

According to this new system of assessment, the teachers in schools will conduct oral tests. The students would be made to participate in group discussions and would be awarded marks for their oral skills.

Madhu Behl, students’ counsellor for CBSE said, “The written test is not the only method of assessing the knowledge of a student. To judge the student’s ability, it was necessary to switch over to overall ability assessment methods. This will make the test broad-based and highlight the overall development of the student, subject to the condition that the teachers are fair enough to give judgement without any bias”.

However, some of the educationists believe that this new system of assessment needs a good debate before being implemented, as it can be misused.

According to them, these measures are being adopted just to increase the percentage rate and to check dropout rate.

They feel that though the school-based assessment method is aimed at curbing the incidents of suicides by students due to stress and strain, yet the high percentage rate too was likely to cause more frustration among students not getting admissions despite such high percentage. “The repercussion of this could be more disastrous”, they opine.

“These concepts are westernised, but the educational environment there is totally different from the one here. In our system there are more chances of such a system being misused. Here, this system is likely to favour the privileged few,” they opined.

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Surprise checks by IG
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
UP IGP S.K. Jain today conducted surprise checks at a police naka in the Sector 37 market and at two police posts.

The IG inquired from the policemen at the Sector 37 naka about their functioning and posed questions about the manner in which they were conducting the searches and verifying vehicles.

He asked the cops whether they had any list of stolen vehicles with them, which the policemen failed to produce. This annoyed the officer.

He instructed them to keep a list of stolen vehicles at each naka. Thereafter, he visited Burail and the Sector 22 police post and expressed
dissatisfaction over their functioning.

He issued a slew of instructions to them for improvement.

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IAF selection gets good response
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Over 500 male and female candidates registered their names for preliminary examination in fast track selections (FTS) for engineers and meteorological officers conducted at the Air Force Station here today.

FTS gives an opportunity for the youth to get a commission as officers in the Indian Air Force. The selection was held for aeronautical engineer (electrical) and meteorological officers. The registration for the selection tests started in the morning and a large number of aspirants from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh appeared in the selection procedure.

After initial scrutiny of the documents, the eligible candidates appeared for an engineering knowledge test in general engineering and a specialist subject. Successful candidates have to thereafter appear for a picture perception and discussion test which will be followed by the Air Force Selection Board (AFSB) interview in the next two months.

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Singed, but no fire to fight
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Fire safety continues to be a low priority with the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation as well as various government and private organisations. This is despite the major fires in the Sector 17 telephone exchange and the Sector 26 market.

The upkeep of the fire-fighting equipment is as good as not. Neither are the authorities concerned with ensuring rules, nor are building owners worried over the matter.

Outside several public offices and commercial establishments, the non-returning valve of fire brigade inlets was missing. In case of fire, the officials would not be able to source water into the building due to this fault.

At other places the yard hydrant was found empty. It is supposed to contain a hosepipe. Such was the case outside UTI-Axis Bank, Punjab State Co-operative Bank, the PGI, Parivar Kalyan Bhawan and Modern Dairies to name a few.

The officials feigned ignorance and stated that the same was the responsibility of the administration. In case of a major fire, these non-functional equipments can result in major loss of life and property.

At other places the down-comer was observed to be only 3 inches in diameter, which according to the fire and life safety rules should be 4 inches, but no one seems to be bothered. In Sector 38-D it was found that all pipes were less than the prescribed 4 inches in diameter.

When contacted, the staff of the fire department blamed it all on staff shortage. The total strength of the fire department is 250 out of which 125 are firemen, 32 leading firemen, 28 drivers and 18 operators. At least 14 have been given training for the post of sub fire officer but are yet to be promoted.

While the city has seven fire stations, there is no chief fire officer for 3 years now. Also, there is only one station fire officer and two-sub fire officer. The requirement is seven station fire officers and 35 sub fire officers, five at each fire station. Officials stated that due to the lack of staff their was too much load on each official and with no one to delegate responsibility, no action was ever taken against those violating fire safety norms.

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Seminar on emergence of 3G networking
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
The country has to work at a faster pace and must plan for the future to remain a leader in the field of information technology as other countries like China are not much behind us. Director, Terminal Ballistic Research Laboratory (TBRL), Dr Satish Kumar, stated this yesterday.

He was addressing engineers, scientists, researchers and bureaucrats from various parts of the country after inaugurating a two-day seminar on 3G Networking Optimisation and Emerging Communication Technologies (NOECT) at Central Scientific Instrument Organisation (CSIO).

The seminar on ‘Migration from 2G to 3G’ is being organised by the Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers (IETE), Chandigarh centre.

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Leaking roundabout, a perennial problem
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
A corner of the roundabout of Sectors 29, 30, 31 and 32 has yet again been dug up by the municipal corporation for the past one week as the water pipeline below has developed a snag and started leaking.

Less than four months ago also, the same problem was witnessed at the same point. The point has been witness to frequent water leakage on the main road for the past several years, forcing the corporation authorities to dig up the place and hoist a “road closed” sign.

Rajinder Singh, XEN, while admitting to the “chronological problem” at the thrust point in the corner of the roundabout, said, “We are undertaking serious repair work at the point and the broken corner will be restored within a couple of days.

A permanent solution will be worked out later this year, likely during winters.”

Tirlochan Singh, a worker in the Industrial Area, said, “I have been cycling on this track for the past more than a decade and many times I have found the ‘road closed’ sign at this point.

Unaware, motorists face the danger of hitting another vehicle on the roundabout because the ‘road closed’ sign is visible only when a vehicle comes very near. I have been witness to minor accidents.”

Rajinder Singh said, “The water pipes in the particular section has joints which often get dislocated. Vibrations from heavy vehicular traffic on roads could be one of the possible reasons for frequent displacement of pipes. We will try and replace the entire old pipeline, devoid of any joints, at this junction.”

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Tenant sublets showroom, booked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
The police today booked a tenant for allegedly sub-letting a showroom without informing its landlord.

Sources in Sector 34 police station said Bhagwan Datta of Delhi reported to the police that he had given his showroom in Sector 34 on lease to Sumit Goel. The lease was to expire on September 1, this year and he had sent a notice for the same to his tenant asking him to vacate the premises. He paid a visit to his showroom in August only to find that alterations had been made in the building.

Datta alleged that the building was divided in portions, which had been further given on rent to others. Thus, his tenant was pocketing thousands of rupees from his (Datta) property by violating the lease terms.

A case of cheating and criminal breach of trust has been registered in this connection.

Vehicles stolen

Bharam Nand of Mariwala Town, Manimajra, reported that his motor cycle (CH-03-Y-2495) which was parked in NAC, Manimajra, was stolen on August 20. Ali Shah Khan of Sector 41 reported that his motor cycle (PB-08-AN-2396) was stolen from his residence on August 23.

Pritpal Singh of Phase 3B-1, Mohali, filed a complaint with the police that his motor cycle (PB-39-A-9166) was stolen from Sector 34 on August 20. Three separate cases of thefts have been registered. 

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Construction on Plots
Admn extends deadline till July 2008
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
The Chandigarh administration has notified that if a plot was allotted less than eight years ago and the existing allottees have not completed the construction, then they will be given a last opportunity to complete the building by July 31, 2008. The permission will be granted subject to the payment of extension fee as equivalent to the year of default, as provided for under these Rules, or Rs 500 or 1,000 per sq m.

The development forms a part of the amendments as a part of the “Chandigarh Leasehold of Sites and Buildings Rules 1973” issued by the UT finance department of the Union Territory here yesterday.

As per a communique issued here, these rules will be called the Chandigarh Leasehold of Sites and Buildings (Amendment) Rules 2007. These rules will come into force from the date of their publication in the official gazette.

The administration has also made certain insertions in Rules 16 of the Building Rules, 1973. As per the new amendments, the lessees, who could not complete the building within the extended period up to March 31, 2007, would be given another opportunity to complete the building as per the given guidelines.

During the first year (beyond the three years allowed), 10 per cent of the premium of the site or building would be charged. In the second year 15 per cent of the premium, third year, 20 per cent, fourth year 25 per cent and fifth year 30 per cent of the premium of site or building would be charged.

In case the construction of the building is not completed within the aforesaid stipulated period, the Estate Officer would proceed for the resumption of the site under the rules and forfeit the whole money paid in respect of the site and the applicant will have no claim to any damage.

The existing allottees who have not completed the construction of the building up to March 31, 2007 would be given last opportunity to complete the building by March 31, 2008 subject to the payment of extension fee of Rs 500 per sq m for residential or institutional and others and Rs l000 per sq m for commercial or industrial. 

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Alert passers-by nab snatcher
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Alert passers-by nabbed a youth, who allegedly tried to flee after snatching earrings of a woman in Sector 38 West here this morning. His accomplice, however, managed to flee.

In charge of the crime branch inspector Satbir Singh said the accused, 25-year-old Kamaljit, was a resident of Dhobi Ghat in PU. The stolen earrings were recovered from him.

Giving details, the inspector said a domestic help, Sunita of Rajiv Colony in Sector 38 West, was going on her cycle from the area at around 9:20 am when two scooter-borne youths push her. She fell on the road following which they pounced upon her and snatched her earrings. She raised the alarm.

Hearing her cries, two passers-by came there and gave the miscreants a chase. Their scooter got stuck there following which the pillion rider alighted from the vehicle and fled while the other, identified as Kamaljit, was nabbed.

The police said Kamaljit was remanded him in two-day police custody. 

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Misuse of Houses
Notices to property dealers 
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 25The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority ( GMADA) has issued notices to property dealers for illegally using residential premises for commercial use.

In the notices, the property dealers have been asked to stop the misuse of residential premises, failing which the plots will be resumed. This has created resentment among the property dealers.

The property dealers are of the opinion that the issuance of notices by GMADA is not justified as their case is under consideration of the authorities concerned. They have urged the authorities to give them exemption like doctors and lawyers, who are allowed to practise from their residences. 

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SI acquitted in graft case

Chandigarh, August 25
The special CBI judge, Jagdeep Jain, today acquitted Swaran Singh, a sub-inspector with the UT police, who was facing graft charges.

Swaran Singh was allegedly caught while accepting a bribe of Rs 5,000 at the housing board chowk in November 2002. He had demanded bribe from Puja Sharma to help get bail for husband Harish Sharma, who was involved in a case then. The defence cited many discrepancies in the prosecution’s version following which the judge acquitted the SI. — TNS

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Cop Thrashing
2 youths get bail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
A local court today granted bail to Preet Kamal and Jas Kamal, accused of thrashing Chandigarh police constable Vijay Pal outside MCM DAV College in Sector 36 on August 21.

Meanwhile, sources said the police today filed a revision petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the lower court not granting police remand to the two accused, who surrendered in the court on August 22. The police said the matter was listed for Monday in the high court.

The police is yet to establish the identity of the third accused involved in the incident, who drove the duo, Preet Kamal and Jas Kamal, in his Maruti Zen.

The accused thrashed the cop after snatching his baton, with which the later was beaten up in full public view. They were later identified by the police following video clippings recorded by a local private channel. The youth belonged to Dhuri in Punjab and the police raided their residence the same night to exert pressure on their families to produce them, following which they surrendered in a local court next day.

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Rakhi functions cancelled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
The local unit of Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishva Vidyalya today cancelled all raksha bandhan programmes scheduled for the next three days following the death of the chief of Brahma Kumaris Dadi Prakashmani.

According to a press note, the rajyoga meditation programme was being conducted at the Rajyoga Bhawan, Sector 33, and 15 other centres in the tricity to pay homage to Dadiji.

Brahma Kumars and Brahma Kumari sisters in large number are leaving for Mount Abu to participate in the last rituals of Dadiji to be held on Monday morning at 10.30 a.m, the press note added.

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Blood donation camp in soldier’s memory
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
The Chandigarh Chapter of Bhartiya Gorkha Parisangh organised a blood donation camp here today.

The camp was conducted at Rotary and Blood Bank Society Resource Centre, Sector 37-A with the assistance of Rotary Club to pay homage to Major Durga Malla.

Major Malla was sent to the gallows by the British government on August 25, 1944 after he was captured by British soldiers in Manipur.

Similarly, 100 units of blood were collected at a camp held in the aid of children suffering from thalassaemia by the east branch of Bharat Vikas Parishad at Shri Shiv Manas Mandir (Vayu Sena), Industrial Area, here today.

A team of doctors from the PGI conducted the camp held in collaboration with State Bank of Patiala, Industrial Area, Phase II, Amar Sewa Sadan, Sector 30 and Lions Club (Grace).

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Letters
Honest cops need of the hour

This is apropos the IGP’s statement in Chandigarh Tribune dated August 25. It is a rare and candid confession by a senior police officer of Chandigarh. Of late, the moral standards of the police personnel have fallen very low. Some government departments have powers but they become spineless when faced with temptations. However, it is not the person but the system that is to be blamed. Though there are many hardworking and honest people, the system does not let them be and more often than not, they have to either leave the system or become a part of it. The IGP is right in what he has said and it needs to be seen whether his men will take heed or if this will become yet another sermon by the big boss for the sake of publicity. It is very important that there is transparency in the workings of the police department. The mobile numbers of officers should be made public and the details of calls received on 100 should also be available to all along with the action taken report. Confidence building measures are a must for better working of the police.

R.K. Garg Chandigarh

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at news@tribuneindia.com or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030

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Youth found dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
A 25-year-old youth was found dead in Chhatbir Zoo today. He was said to be a daily wager who was of late under severe depression.

“I received a call at 5 pm and reached the spot. The youth had parked his motorcycle in the canteen parking of the zoo. A glass smelling of some medicine was found near the body,” SHO G.P. Singh said.

The address of the youth was found from his pocket and his family members were called from Rajpura. The body has sent for visceral examination and the report would come in two months, the SHO added.

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