C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Central pay scale for UT teachers to stay: CAT
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
Coming down heavily on the Chandigarh administration, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has restrained it from withdrawing the existing pay scale under the central pattern of the school teachers in UT. The administration was directed to pay school teachers according to the central pay scales than Punjab pay scales.

Taking serious note of the number of applications filed in this case, time and again, the Bench said, “If the executive or legislature wants to render a judicial decision ineffective, it can only do so by removing or neutralising the legal basis of that judgement. Otherwise they have no power to simply declare the decision of the court as invalid or not binding.”

A Division Bench headed by L.M. Goyal, vice-chairman, and Jasbir S. Dhaliwal, member, stated, “It is held that the category of applicants is entitled to the pay scale of Rs 1,400 to Rs 2,600 as entry scale, Rs 1,640 to Rs 2,900 as senior scale, on completion of 12 years. A scale of Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,500 after 24 years of service.”

More than a hundred teachers in UT schools, teaching in different subjects, were given the option to switch over to Punjab pay scales or retain Central pay scales in 1988. These teachers, who were designated as work experience instructors, opted for Central pay scales.

Thereafter, the teachers were placed under the three-grade structure of Rs 1,200 to Rs 2,040, senior scale of Rs 1,400 to Rs 2,600 and selection grade of Rs 1,640 to Rs 2,900. The scale was revised from January 1, 1996, as Rs 5,500 to Rs 9,000 and Rs 6,500 to Rs 10,500.

The teachers were re-designated as trained graduate teachers and not given the said pay scale. On denial of the pay scales, some of them approached the Tribunal by filing various applications. The plea of the teachers was accepted then. Subsequently, the administration filed a special leave petition (SLP) against the order that was also dismissed. These teachers were again placed by the administration in a joint pay scale of Rs 5,000 to Rs 8,000, instead of the three-grade structure.

Yet again the teachers approached the Tribunal and their plea was accepted. Not satisfied with the order, the administration appealed before the High Court and the decision of the Tribunal was reversed on the ground that some material fact was not considered by the Tribunal.

The administration again sought to withdraw with notification dated January 2, 1996, and again by a letter dated May 8, 2006, sought to withdraw the earlier pay scales granted to the teachers.



VIP brat booked for drunken driving
Rams into car and motorcyclist
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
A “drunken” VIP brat created a scene on city roads this morning, hitting vehicles coming in his way and creating panic by pulling out a “pistol” on the road to shoo away the chasing police. The accused has been identified as Abhishek Tiwari, son of former ADGP, Punjab, BP Tiwari.

The police initially tried to cover up the matter, but when the media got wind of it, the police took Abhishek of Phase XI, Mohali, for a medical examination to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital. The medical confirmed that he was drunk following which a case of drunken driving under Section 185 of the Motor Vehicles Act has been registered against him and his car impounded.

According to sources in the Sector 11 police station, Abhishek rammed his car into a brand new car, waiting for the signal to turn green at the Sector 14 and 15 traffic lights point at 9:30 am. The car was badly damaged in the collision. Abhishek, who was at a high speed, tried to apply brakes and his car skidded to a distance of about 30 feet, but he could not stop it. After the mishap, he sped away from there. The police flashed a massage about him.

A police officer said Abhishek hit a motorcyclist in Sector 42. The motorcyclist and his wife, who was riding pillion, suffered minor injuries. Abhishek sped from there before he was stopped at a naka by CRPF officials. Their, too, he created a scene and reportedly pulled out a pistol. However, it was later found out that the pistol was a cigarette lighter. He was handed over to the police. The police took him to the Sector 11 police station.

The SHO of the Sector 11 police station said the accident victims compromised with Abhishek. He was booked for drunken driving and was later bailed out.



DAV staff issues dominate senate meet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
The proceedings of the Panjab University senate meeting today were dominated by the issues of leave encashment and provident fund of the employees of two local DAV colleges. The meeting lasted for eight hours.

S.S. Hundal told the house that as the per university calendar, there was provision for the payment of 10 per cent provident fund on the consolidated salary whereas the DAV managing committee was flouting the rules. He was seconded by R.N. Sharma and Tarsem Bahia. D.R. Gupta, director, DAV colleges, attended the meeting after a long time, especially to address the issues. He assured the members that he would pursue the issue with the president of the management committee and also the UT administration.

  • Admission of Bikram regularised
  • Centre for study of Punjabi culture okayed

He refused to explain the issues further stating that the matters are sub judice and the next hearing is on December 21.

The senate also approved the proposed centre for study of Punjabi culture, history and development of Punjab. The centre will cater to the needs of the department of Guru Nanak studies while another proposed chair known as Guru Granth Sahib Studies will also be the part of this centre.

The senate regularised the admission of Bikram Sandhu, a student of the department of laws, who was denied admission to the third semester due to the negligence of the PU authorities, who had failed to declare his result on time. Debating on the issue, some of the members even demanded action against the chairperson and other erring officials, who were responsible for the lapse.

On suggestions of some members regarding the non-issuance of degrees to many candidates, the vice chancellor agreed to hold a degree mela from where the candidates could collect their pending degrees.

The members also approved the decision of the committee in the case of Dr M. Rajiv Lochan, reader, department of history, in which he was issued a warning to follow the instructions issued by university. Dr Lochan had awarded zero marks to three students of MA II (history). The students were later granted average marks by the second and third examiners.

The senate also accepted the enquiry report in the case of Dr Ajmer Singh, former, director sports, PU, in which he was given a clean chit. Dr Ajmer Singh was facing allegations of irregularities and misappropriation of funds.

The senate also passed the resolution that there should not be any photography and video recording in the house, while it was in progress by any member of senate.



Tepid response to mayors’ conference
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
The two-day All-India Mayors’ Conference, which commenced here today, has received a tepid response with only 24 of the 114 mayors invited by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation turning up for the conference.

Mayors from Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata have also not come for the conference.

In the absence of any support from the Centre for organising the conference, the MCC allocated a budget of Rs 15 lakh from its own funds. Official sources said the Centre had refused to extend any financial support as two official conferences of the All-India Mayors’ Council, the representative body, had been held at Mumbai and Aurangabad this year.

According to sources, 72 rooms had been booked in different hotels for the visiting mayors, but only 29 were occupied due to non-arrival of invited mayors, some of whom cancelled their visit after initially confirming their participation.

Mayor of Kanpur Ravinder Patni also questioned as to who the organisers were even though the MCC as the organiser had not only sent the invites and other communications, but also booked a number of rooms, lined up 15 taxis and two Volvo super luxury coaches for the visiting mayors.

Many of the mayors who did turn up were not too happy with the fact that the bureaucracy was given preference over them. Upset over it, they voiced their opinions in the evening discussions of the mayors’ declaration. The mayors clearly stated that since morning the purpose they had come for was defeated as the bureaucracy was more keen on speaking than them.

“We are the elected people and we should be allowed to make our point and heard. The bureaucracy is not answerable to the people, we are,” stated Patni.

Meanwhile, All-India Mayors’ Council chairperson Manorama Dobriyal Sharma stated that she was happy with the arrangements. “It is a positive step and we should encourage it.”



Mayor’s Conference
Delegates for good local governance
Tribune News Service

Delegates at the All-India Mayors’ Conference in Chandigarh on Saturday.
Delegates at the All-India Mayors’ Conference in Chandigarh on Saturday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, December 8
Three sessions were held at the All-India Mayors’ Conference here today. These included discussions on powers of urban local bodies, in which problems were highlighted by M. Ramchandran, secretary, ministry of urban development, Government of India.

Ramchandran elaborated on the 74th Constitutional amendment. He called for support structure to be created by state governments. He also asked for bus rapid transit system, which 10 cities had already initiated.

He asked for implementation of provisions of 74th Constitutional amendments and incentive-based reforms.

All-India Council of Mayors chairperson Manorama Dobriyal Sharma said the goal of the local bodies was to provide good urban governance to improve the quality of life in cities, especially for the poor and marginalised, through improved local governance.

She focussed on the need for recognising that local bodies were one of the biggest deliverers for positive change in society. “This conference will thus make a significant contribution to the millennium development goal,” she said.

Haryana transport secretary M. Ramsekhar called for more important role of city governments.

Panjab University dean (faculty of public administration) Prof B.S. Ghuman suggested that state governments should be forced to devolve powers.

MDG UN Habitat deputy director Minar Pimple also emphasised on the presence of large resources in the country.

Municipal corporation mayor Harjinder Kaur said Chandigarh was adjudged No. 1 city in terms of cleanliness, sanitation, management in a survey conducted in March-April, 2007 by Org MARG.

The corporation has made a remarkable progress in pubic health, sewerage, storm water, hygiene and sanitation.

During post-lunch session, discussions were held on e-governance. UT director public relations and director tourism Vivek Atray and former head, governance and social justice, British Counsel, Kamal Singh were the resource persons.

The delegates also took part in discussions on “Urban regeneration with citizen’s partnership: Bhagidari concept”. Key resource persons for the session were Prof George Koreth and Dr Kiran Wadhera (ACCORD).



Govt not focussed on anti-tobacco drive: Expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
“The government was working in divergent directions while tackling tobacco use in the country, as with increasing the budget to Rs 450 crore in the 11th Five Year Plan from a meager Rs 8 crore in the 10th plan it extended an incentive of Rs 75 crore to the tobacco promotion board,” said Dr Shekhar Salkar, a cancer surgeon and general secretary of the National Organisation for Tobacco Eradication, here today.

Dr Salkar was here to participate in a workshop on “Smoke-free cities — Learning form Chandigarh’s experience” held at Hotel Mountview, here.

The workshop was organised by the Chandigarh administration in association with the ministry of health and family welfare, the World Health Organisation and the Burning Brain Society.

Dr Salkar, who has been running a tobacco cessation centre in Goa for the past five years, said only a long-term policy in this direction could yield the results.

Over 50 lakh people were involved in the manufacture of tobacco products, while between 10 lakh and 15 lakh families of farmers were cultivating land for tobacco.

They should be provided substantial incentives and opportunities so that they could shift to other fields, he said.

Though the government would lose around Rs 10,000 crore of revenue every year if tobacco use was eradicated, it would prove a good loss as tobacco-related diseases consumed Rs 27,000 crore every year, he claimed.

Dr Vinayak Parshad, director, public health, union ministry of health, said there was a need to change building laws so that areas could be demarcated for smoking in buildings meant for general public. Though the WHO was running 18 tobacco cessation centres (TCC) in the country, the government would start another 50 centres in the near future where those intending to get rid of smoking habit would be counselled, he said.

Among others who spoke included Burning Brain Society chairperson Hemant Goswami, Tobacco Control in India from WHO in-charge Munish Vineet Gill, director, health services, Chandigarh, Dr M.S. Bains, and director, tourism and public relations Vivek Atray.

Earlier, inaugurating the workshop, Punjab Governor and Union Territory Administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), announced that the city would be made plastic-free from Feb 1.

He said making a city smoke-free by the administration, with the active involvement of agencies, was an initiative for improving the environment and ecology of the region and it needed constant monitoring.



Misuse Of Domestic LPG Cylinders
Oil cos to get tough with violators

Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
The rampant misuse of LPG cylinders meant for domestic use during the ongoing marriage season has prompted the oil companies to get tough with the unscrupulous consumers.

In fact, the oil companies are set to launch a campaign against the diversion of domestic supply for commercial purposes by the marriage palaces, resorts and hotels, Jagdeep Kumar Rana, senior area manager of the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), told The Tribune here today.

Since the campaign cannot succeed without the active support of the Chandigarh Administration, the oil companies will write to the DC, who is also director, food supply and consumer affairs, to help curb the misuse of LPG cylinders meant for domestic use, Rana informed.

The misuse of LPG cylinders meant for domestic consumption is widespread in the region as there is huge price difference between the commercial and domestic cylinders. A domestic cylinder costs Rs 303, while the LPG cylinder meant for commercial use costs Rs 1,021. This makes a majority of marriage palaces and hotels prefer domestic cylinders.

During the marriage season this menace assumes alarming proportions creating artificial shortage of LPG in the region. Repeated raids by the oil companies to curtail the misuse have failed to yield positive results allegedly on account of the lukewarm attitude of the local administration and the police.

The oil companies, Rana informed, would suggest a strategy to the administration whereby the administration would ask the commercial establishments, including hotels and marriage palaces, to disclose their consumption pattern.

A data base would be created to check the misuse of domestic gas supply by the commercial establishments, Rana added.

Recently, the oil companies had started the process to block domestic multiple gas connections in a bid to curb the misuse of the LPG cylinders under the “one-family-one-connection” policy of the Central Government.

Officials observed that the misuse of the domestic supply for running automobiles and for commercial purposes was a routine affair.

Strict implementation of the “one-family-one-connection” policy and support from the administration and the police could go a long way in curbing the diversion of domestic supply for commercial activities, the officials hoped.



ASC celebrates 247th anniversary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
The Army Service Corps (ASC), the oldest logistic component of the Army, celebrated its 247th anniversary at the Headquarters Western Command in Chandimandir today.

Major-Gen G.S. Dhillon, head of supplies and transport branch at the Command headquarters, laid a wreath on behalf of all ranks of the Corps at the Veer Smriti War Memorial. Several functions, including a barakhana for troops and a social get-together for serving and retired officers, were organised to mark the occasion.

The General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lt-Gen T.K. Sapru, extended his greetings to all ranks, civilian employees, their families and ex-serviceman of the Corps on the occasion. He lauded the professionalism displayed by the ASC personnel both in peace and war.

The ASC, which was raised in 1760, is responsible for the regular and uninterrupted movement of men, material and stores in all types of terrain and in all kinds of operations.

The Corps has also contributed handsomely in the field of sports and adventure activities.



Navy gives ‘wings’ to a journalist
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
The Indian Navy today awarded ‘wings’ to a journalist for completing a sky diving course at its training centre INS Dega near Vishakhapatam.

This is the first time that a journalist has been awarded wings - the symbol of paratroopers.

Gaurav Sawant, a senior journalist with a national news channel, was among the Naval and Cost Guard officers, men and cadets who underwent the course.

The participants of the course underwent extensive physical fitness and ground training before jumping from Dornier aircraft and Seaking helicopters at altitudes ranging from 4,000 to 10,000 feet, including two free fall jumps.

The Indian Navy is the only organisation in the country whose sky divers are qualified accelerated free fall instructors, having undergone specialised training in Australia and USA.

Lieut Commander N Rajesh is the chief instructor of the Indian Navy Sky Diving Team.



Double Suicide
Bodies handed over to kin
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
The police today handed over the bodies of 50-year-old Sarita and her 20-year-old daughter, who had committed suicide at their Sector-22 residence on Friday, to their family.

According to the police, the post-mortem report cited asphyxia due to hanging as the cause of death.

However, doctors have taken viscera samples to ascertain if some poisonous substance was consumed by the victims. Sarita was suffering from depression after having medical complications following an operation.



Young investigator award for ICMR scholar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
Anurag, a research fellow at the ICMR, was awarded the Young Investigator Award at the third International Conference on Polyphenols and Health (ICPH-2007) held at International Convention Centre, Kyoto, Japan, from November 25 to December 1. The award carries a cash prize of 50,000 yen along with a citation. The conference was attended by 622 scientists from over 30 countries.

The award was specifically presented for his research paper titled ‘Curcumin attenuates diabetic encephalopathy in rats: behavioural, biochemical and anti-inflammatory evidences’.



Put up signboards

There is a lot of chaos on the road to Chandigarh since the construction of an overpass has started at Zirakpur. Going out of the city is not a big problem. But coming to the city is a herculean task. Confusion starts at Ambala as there is no legible signboard on the diversion to Chandigarh. Even at Zirakpur, one has to go through a U-turn but after the turn, there is no signboard towards Chandigarh. First signboard appears only after you have already entered Chandigarh. In my opinion, the completion of the overpass will take sometime and therefore I suggest that there should some legible signboards on the way to Chandigarh at least at Ambala and Zirakpur so that one can comfortably reach Chandigarh.

Keshav, 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



Four vehicles stolen in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
Four vehicles, including a mini truck, were stolen from the city, while a house was burgled in Sector 22. Jimmy Kansal of Sector 42 reported to the police that his Maruti car (CH 03 N 0622) was stolen from his residence last night.

The locality watchman had checked the locks of the car around midnight, he claimed. However, in the morning the owner found his car missing.

Also, Tarlok Singh of Bapu Dham Colony reported to the police that his mini truck (HP 72 3570) was stolen from his residence on December 5.

Similarly, Jaspal Singh of Sector 38-A lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his Bajaj Pulsar motor cycle (HR 01 P 9681) was stolen from Sector 17 on Friday.

In another case, Sumit Khanna of Sector 36 filed a complaint with the police alleging that his car (CH 03 Z 6773) was stolen from his house last night. Four cases of theft have been registered at various police stations.


R.C. Malhotra of Jalandhar was injured after a car collided with the rickshaw he was travelling on near the Sector 49 and 50 trafficlights last night.

The victim was taken to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.

The police has booked car driver Davinder Singh of 3B2, Mohali, on charges of causing injuries due to rash and negligent driving on a complaint lodged by Lakhwinder Singh of Burail.

House burgled

Sharda Tiwari of Sector 22-D filed a complaint with the police alleging that a gas cylinder, Rs 3,500 in cash and silver ornaments were stolen from her residence on Friday. A case has been registered at the police station-17.


The police has booked the owner of BN Institute of Learning, Sector 8 C, on charges of pasting posters of his institute on the wall of Government College for Boys, Sector 11. A case has been registered at the police station-11.



Biz Word

INAUGURATED: Harjinder Kaur, mayor of the municipal corporation of Chandigarh today inaugurated a Batra Selections’ showroom in Sector 20-D. The showroom will have three brands - MTV clothing, Adidas and Weekender - under one roof. Harjinder Kaur hoped that the new store would go a long way in popularising fun shopping in the southern parts of the city.

Furniture Show: Godrej Interio organised an education furniture show at the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), Sector 31, here on Friday. Addressing a press conference Satvinder Singh, deputy sales manager, said, “Godrej is now designing furniture for educational institutions, canteens, hostels. We are also designing laboratories, staff sections, lockers, mobile lockers and lots more. Edges of our furniture designs are not sharp. We have a design team that has done a lot of research in the field. We design the furniture looking after all health aspects,” said Satvinder. “We have already provided furniture at the newly constructed departments of Panjab University, PGI, Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32,” he added.



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