C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Group Housing
GPA holders can now own flats
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
The Chandigarh administration today made property transactions in group housing societies hassle-free by allowing general power of attorney (GPA) holders to have property in their names.

Besides, they can now sell their apartments on completion of five years from the date of allotment of land.

The decision comes as a major relief to hundreds of GPA holders awaiting ownership rights even after making full payment to the original allottees. Over 100 societies from Sector 48 to Sector 52 will benefit from the decision, sources said here today.

However, the transfer of property would come at a price. The administration is working out a formula for the transfer of society flats in the name of the GPA holders or new buyers. An amount of one-third of the "unearned increase"(difference between the allotment price and market rate) will be paid by the seller for getting the property transferred in his name.

The transaction will be subject to the condition that the buyer is eligible for holding a residential property in the city under the provisions of the Cooperative Act.

Besides, the society will have to meet certain conditions like getting occupation certificate on full payment for the land after completion of the buildings as per the layout plan.

"The decision is a major boost to the cooperative movement and will benefit the common man, reducing litigation," said Jai Dev Sharma, chairman of Chandigarh Housefed.

The administration was reportedly losing crores as the sale of property through the GPA was not being registered.

With a view to grant certain concessions for intra-family transfer, no fee has been levied on these transfers.



Crossing Language Barrier
Law dept entrance test may be in Hindi, too
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
If the Panjab University syndicate at its meeting here on February 12 gives its approval, entrance examination to the department of laws could be taken in Hindi too.

A meeting of faculty members, University Institute of Legal Studies, PU, was held on January 1 in this regard. The faculty decided that the exam be held both in English and Hindi. However, the medium of instruction would remain English.

The syndics would also deliberate on the matter pertaining to internal assessment in the department of laws.

They would discuss whether or not the old pattern of internal assessment, started in 2006, be adopted. At a meeting of the faculty held earlier it was decided to communicate to the university to revert to the old system of passing a paper based on the aggregate of internal assessment and theory work.

The syndics would also consider the representation of MCA students regarding fee for the project/thesis work.

They would also discuss the issue of exemption for teachers from attending refresher courses who are superannuating within the next three years.

Also under discussion would be recommendations of the committee constituted by the VC on adjustment of tuition fee and other charges in the next semester/session of the UIET and UILS. 



Yet another youth sans helmet killed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
Rahul Dyal, 21, who worked in a private telecom company, was killed when his motorcycle skidded off the road dividing Sectors 40 and 41 here this morning. Rahul was not wearing a helmet at the time of the mishap, said the police.

In another accident, Ankush and Neetu, both cousins, riding a mobike were seriously injured after being hit by a CTU bus near the Sector 39 -Sector 40 rotary.They were rushed to the PGI in serious condition.The victims, in their early twenties, were resident of Sector 39-D.

The SHO of the Sector 39 police station said Rahul, a resident of Sector 40, was on his way to Mohali. He lost control of his mobike which crashed into a road berm and he fell. He sustained severe head injuries. He was rushed to the Sector 16 Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, where the doctors referred him to the PGI. But he was declared ‘brought dead’ at the PGI.

Rahul, the only son of his parents, completed graduation last year from Government College for Men, Sector 11. His father, Kranti Dyal, is a public relations officer with Markfed and his mother a senior assistant in Panjab University.

About the second accident, the police said bus driver Jaskaran Singh had been booked on the charges of causing injuries due to rash and negligent driving on the complaint of a police officer. 



Dhillon Case
VC’s Take ‘Syndics did it, not me’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
Reacting to the resignation of members of the board of control of the law department of Panjab University, VC R.C. Sobti said today that they had no “locus standi to resign” as the term of the board was till 2007.

He pointed out that the syndicate appointed the board every year and its term was from January 1 to December 31.

The VC alleged that the board was concealing facts and casting aspersions on his person. The members were wrong in stating that he had used “brute power” and gone out of his way to favour a candidate.

He said the decision to create an additional seat for the candidate was that of the syndicate. The syndicate had been directed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court to decide on the matter.

The board members, in the resignation letter, stated: “Posterity may question the motives of the university which instead of sincerely contesting the court case, took an executive decision in violation of regulations to concede and surrender in the High court in favour of such a petitioner-candidate who does not have a character certificate, nor an affiliation to the effect of not having been involved in any offence or unlawful activity and who was absent on the day of counselling without any lawful justification or medical certificate.” 



CPIO Issue: Notice sent to office that doesn’t exist
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
The issue of the absence of a central public information officer (CPIO) in the administrator’s office again came alive today with the administration reiterating that there was no need to appoint a CPIO for the administrator’s office as no records were being maintained at the office.

The issue is now in the knowledge of the Central Information Commission, New Delhi, which has written to the administrator’s office for comments.

The administration, however, said it had not yet received the notice. Perhaps, the notice has been lost considering that it had been addressed to the CPIO in the administrator’s office — an office, which the administration today said, it never set up.

A press note of the administration says, “The Governor of Punjab has been appointed administrator, UT, in addition to his duties as Governor. No separate office has been set up by the UT administration with the nomenclature - “Administrator’s office”.

The administration said no post had been sanctioned for the office, no staff posted here; and also the administrator does not draw any salary from the UT administration.

It also said files submitted to the administrator by the departments concerned were received after approval and maintained at the departmental level, where CPIOs had been appointed.

“No record is maintained in the so-called administrator’s office. Therefore, there is no necessity to appoint a CPIO. Similarly, since no information is held/controlled in this office, there is no necessity to publish the information under Section 4(1)(b)(c)(d) of the RTI Act,” the administration claimed, silent on the fact that the actual approving authority for all projects in Chandigarh is the administrator.

About the delay in the provision of information regarding remission of sentences by the administrator, the administration said the same was being maintained by the home department.

Earlier, Hemant Goswami of Burning Brains Society had sought this information from the administrator. When he could not get it, he wrote to the CIC about the problems he faced.

The point to ponder is how would a resident know that he must apply for information to the respective departments of the administration and not to the administrator.



Shifting of DAC to Sanetta
Build consensus, chief secy to DC
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 7
The Punjab chief secretary has asked the SAS Nagar deputy commissioner to build common consensus regarding shifting of the district administrative complex to Sanetta village.

The village is about 20 kms from Mohali and almost every resident welfare association in town has objected to deputy commissioner H.I.S. Grewal’s move to shift the complex there.

Chief secretary Ramesh Inder Singh today said the site was chosen keeping in view the fact that in the next 10 years the site would be the heart of SAS Nagar as many new residential colonies were being planned in the vicinity of the village. “However, no decision will be taken which does not has the consent of the residents,” he said.

He added that the DC gave him an impression that he had taken the consent of all political leaders and various bar associations. “But I have been told that the Mohali Bar is not happy with the decision. I have told the DC to build a consensus before the final decision is taken,” he said.

Interestingly, the DC had written to the chief secretary stating that the politicians of the town had agreed to the complex being shifted to Sanetta. As it turned out, the DC did not take two of the three MLAs of the area into confidence. Akali MLA from Morinda Ujagar Singh Badali said, “I was not consulted. I will never agree to the district complex to come up at Sanetta. It does not suit anyone. For people of my area, Sanetta is over 40 kms away. I have to look after the interests of my people. I was not asked by the DC before the new site was proposed.”

Congress MLA from Kharar Balbir Singh Sidhu said, “The DC is lying that he took all politicians into confidence. Residents of the area also have not been taken into confidence on this issue,” he said, adding that a facility should be created for people’s convenience not to cause inconvenience to them.

Akali minister and Banur MLA Capt Kanwaljit Singh said, “The district complex has to be built somewhere and Sanetta is just one of the proposed sites. If people are not with this decision then it can be reviewed.”

Municipal council chief Rajinder Singh Rana said he was also against shifting of DAC to the village. “People come to urban areas for their work and here the urban population will be going to rural area,” he said.

The DC had chosen the shamlat land of Sanetta village for the construction of the complex. The complex was to include the judicial complex for which over 40 acres of land was to be given by the village panchayat to the district administration. However, according to rules, the panchayat can only part with half of the land, which will mean that the site area will be about 20 acres.



PETA bares link between poultry filth, bird flu
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) today bared linkages between filthy conditions prevailing in India’s poultry farms and the outbreak of bird flu.
N.G. Jayasimha
N.G. Jayasimha

Releasing in Chandigarh the findings of their five-year assessment of the Indian chicken meat and egg supply chain, PETA functionaries warned Punjab of the lurking danger, and urged it to implement basic animal welfare standards.

“In 2007, Indian health officials confirmed the bird flu outbreak among the poultry in Manipur. It was admitted that filthy conditions in factory farms could have caused the outbreak of bird flu. We warned the West Bengal government and other states of the consequences of unhygienic conditions in poultry farms. No one heeded to us,” N.G. Jayasimha, PETA’s campaigns manager, today told The Tribune.

PETA surveyed backyard chicken and factory farms in and around Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Amritsar over the past five years and found none was implanting BIS standards for hatchery. PETA’s graphic undercover video footage of crowded conditions in chicken and egg factory farms in India, shown today, documented the inhumane scalding, starvation and mutilation of birds and the potential for the spread of H5N1 virus from chickens to humans.

The findings echoed UN’s concerns. UN task force observer on bird flu has said, “We are wasting time pointing fingers at wild birds when we should be focusing on dealing with the root cause which is clearly to be found in rural poultry practices and farming methods which crowd huge numbers of animals into small spaces.”

If the UN’s take is anything to go by, India is certainly at high risk considering PETA’s disturbing findings - In 2005, about 2 billion “broiler” chickens were slaughtered in India; these birds were crammed by tens of thousands into dark, filthy sheds, where ammonia from their accumulated waste burnt their eyes. The footage also shows how “meat chickens” are pushed to reach slaughter weight in just 40-42 days and how their weak legs, heart and lungs can’t keep pace with their growing body. This causes congestive heart failure among the chickens.

The worst among PETA’s findings is the chickens’ maltreatment at abattoirs. “They are shackled and hung by feet from conveyors in mechanized slaughterhouses. Many are dumped into scalding-hot defeathering tanks while still conscious,” said Jayasimha. Another section of footage profiled the lifecycle of egg-laying hens, who suffer great misery. They are crammed into tiny “battery” cages, where they can’t stretch a wing. Younger chicks have their sensitive beaks cut off with a searing blade in a process called de-beaking.

“Intense confinement and inadequate diets frustrates hens. This causes them to peck at each other, sometimes to death. The poultry industry tackles this problem by searing hens’ beaks,” said Jayasimha said, while also sharing the experience of PETA investigators who noticed shackled chicks dragged through electrified water baths meant to stun them before their throats are cut; in chicken shops, the workers, after slitting the necks of chickens, immersed them into a drum full of scalding hot water while the birds were still fully conscious.

Health minister A. Ramadoss is on record saying that India paid more than $19, 47,619 as compensation for poultry and feed in 2006 and over $2, 23,810 was paid for birds culled in the 2007 outbreak. 



Naik found dead
Tribune News Service

Naik Dhanshala
Naik Dhanshala

Dera Bassi, February 7
Naik Dhanshala (25) was found dead on the Ambala-Kalka railway tracks here today. The victim hailed from Bangalore and was posted at Ambala Cantonment. His body was found at 2.30 a.m. by the police.

According to the railway police, the victim was identified from the identity card found in his uniform. It is suspected that the deceased could have committed suicide though the possibility of him having fallen down from the running train cannot be ruled out. Lalru GRP in charge Rampal said the possibility of the Naik having committed suicide was high keeping in view the position in which the severed body was recovered.

The police said there was no information from his cantonment regarding what the Naik was doing in Dera Bassi or why he had travelled this far. The victim was unmarried. 



Encroachment removal will be a boon

Kudos to the Chandigarh administration for ordering removal of encroachments around the city. This will go a long way in helping residents. We have seen that in the Modern Housing Complex, Manimajra, inner roads are narrow and difficult to negotiate. Encroachment by owners of ground floor flats has added to the problem.

Therefore, it is the responsibility of officials concerned to help remove these encroachments. It will also help senior citizens to move freely inside the complex.

Tarlok Singh, Manimajra

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



PU Notes
Experts shed light on human settlement dynamics
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
The 14th national seminar of the department of Geography, Panjab University - on the theme ‘Human Settlement Dynamics and Population, Economy, Environment Interface With Special Reference to North-West India’ - was inaugurated today at PU by Prof G S Gosal, professor emeritus, PU department of geography.

In his inaugural address, he said the key to understanding the overall human settlement dynamics is rooted in the rural settlements and their transformation into large urban units. The chairperson of the department Prof Surya Kant delivered the welcome address.

Prof K D Sharma, coordinator, SAP (UGC), PU department of geography introduced the theme of the two-day seminar and dwelt on peculiarities of north-western India in becoming increasingly urbanised, characterised by a massive investment in housing, industry, roads and power. However, in this context, the question of environment as well as the sustainability of both the rural and urban settlements needs to be addressed, he said. Delivering the keynote address, Prof. Surinder Kumar Aggarwal from the University of Delhi dubbed the present century as ‘Urban Century’, characterised by what he termed as ‘hypo-urbanization’ wherein the pace of urbanisation has outdistanced the necessary infrastructure development.

He stressed the need to address the issues of making cities sustainable, socially inclusive, environmentally sound and healthy.

The convener of the seminar Dr Karanjot Kaur Brar presented the vote of thanks. Around 16 papers were presented in the three technical sessions. These covered diverse themes, such as urban planning and management, urban fringe and sustainable urban environment.


The students of M Ed (guidance and counselling), department of education, PU, would be holding a ‘Career Exhibition’ at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Sector 25, on February 9.

Death mourned

Panjab University vice-chancellor Prof R C Sobti condoled the sad demise of Prof N D Grover, vice-president, DAV Management Committee, and a former fellow of the PU. Other fellows of the PU including Gopal Krishan Chatrath, Dr Deepak Manmohan Singh, principal Subhash Marriya, Desh Raj Gupta, Ashok Goyal, Dr Kamaljit Singh, Pawan Kumar Bansal, Satya Pal Jain and Dr A.S. Ahluwalia, president PUTA, also expressed shock at the sudden demise of Prof Grover.

Literary fest

The literary society of the department of English, PU, will organise a literary fest - ‘PATCHWORK 2008’ - in the department from February 8 to 10. The fest will begin with various literary and creative competitions. There will be an evening session wherein an annual production of the department - ‘The chairs’- a play by Eugene Ionesco, a French playwright, will be performed. The play showcases existential crisis of an old couple and their revelation of the purposelessness of life.



Is PU playing with fire?
Mandeep Puri

Chandigarh, February 7
Panjab University authorities seem to be ‘playing with fire’ by not adhering to safety norms on campus. Last year, fire wing of the municipal corporation had issued a notice to the varsity to follow guidelines listed in the Fire Safety Act at the earliest. The varsity was given a month’s notice in this regard.

However, a year has elapsed and the notice has faded into oblivion. Earlier, reacting to the notice, PU had constituted a committee to look into the matter. It’s a separate matter that nothing has changed yet!

In a recent incident, fire broke out at the Department of Law. Although, a major tragedy was averted PU’s susceptibility to fire was certainly proved beyond doubt. Even officials of the fire wing are very worried about the safety standards at PU.

According to Madan Lal Sharma, station fire officer, Sector 17: “PU is absolutely ill-equipped to fight a fire. Except for a few extinguishers they have no other paraphernalia to meet any eventuality. The fire department had also issued a notice to PU authorities last year, but only a committee was constituted to assess the matter and we still do not have any report from them.”

“No building in the university has fire alarms. No doubt, it is a challenging issue for our department,” he added.

According to sources, the University building was made around 75 years ago and the old infrastructure is indeed vulnerable till the time concrete fire safety norms are adopted.



From Schools & Colleges
70 take part in slogan-writing contest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
A reference and book-hunting, and slogan-writing competition was organised at the Government College of Education, Sector 20, here today. Seventy students participated in the competitions. In slogan-writing Rajinder Kaur won the first prize, Anjali Gulati the second and Rasneet Kalsi the third prize. In reference and book-hunting competition, Rekha and Mandeep won the first prize and Rimmi and Renuka the second. Rajender and Monika got the third prize.

Students awarded: Delhi Public School, Chandigarh, held its fourth ‘appreciation ceremony’ to reward students for outstanding achievements in academics, sports and co-curricular activities today. S S Sherawat, assistant commissioner, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, presided over the function. The event unfolded with the welcome address by principal Sunita Tanwar. The chief guest praised the high standards set by the school and congratulated the winners. 



Nursing students take oath
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, February 7
The lamp-lighting ceremony of the 7th batch of general nursing and midwifery students of Fortis School of Nursing was held today at Fortis Hospital auditorium in which students took an oath to serve the ailing humanity with utmost sincerity and resolve. 

The ceremony started with the lighting of the ceremonial lamp by chief guest Tikshan Sud, minister for medical research and education, parliamentary affairs, forest and wild life preservation and labour, Punjab. Other present included Khushwant Rai, Fortis director surgeon Dr N.M. Gupta, and teachers and principal of Fortis School of Nursing.



Woman gets life term for poisoning sons
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
Removal of “obstacle” in the path of illicit love has led an Amritsar district resident to jail.

A Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has upheld the Trial Court’s order of sentencing a woman to life imprisonment nearly eight years after she poisoned her sons to death because they were proving to be a hurdle in her affair.

Pronouncing the orders in an open court, the Bench comprising Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice S.D. Anand has, however, accepted her “paramour’s” appeal against the life imprisonment.

Speaking for the Bench, Justice Anand had ruled: “The present prosecution against a mother, and her paramour as well, on a charge of having done away with her own progeny by poisoning in order to quell resistance to her illicit liaison, even during the life time of her husband, is symptomatic of uncontrollably spiralling defiled moral hygiene; a slur indeed on the in-built nobility attached to the birth all over the world”.

Justice Anand added: “Irrespective of whatever strides we may have made on various fronts, we continue to be a fairly conventional society where a spouse would be reluctant to share the infidelity of the other with any one else....”

The police had earlier booked appellant Paramjit Kaur of Amritsar district on the allegations of poisoning her two sons Surjit Singh (10) and Malkiat Singh (7). The prosecution had claimed that her husband Swinder Singh, working in Amritsar, would visit his home on the weekend. In his absence, appellant Paramjit Kaur developed illicit intimacy with Mangal Singh. Whenever Swinder Singh came home, his sons informed him about Mangal Singh’s visits to the house.

On July 26, 2000, Paramjit Kaur made her children consume tablets with water, while they were returning from a fair. Soon after, her two children complained of pain in abdomen. They were, subsequently, declared brought dead in a hospital. During the course of investigation, it transpired that celphos tablets were handed over by appellant Mangal Singh to appellant Paramjit Kaur, the prosecution added

Denying the allegations, the appellants alleged implication in this case due to party faction in the village.

After hearing arguments in the matter, the Judges held: “Though, by the very nature of things, direct evidence in the context of conspiracy would be almost impossible, or at least difficult, to come by, it cannot be ignored that something more than mere suspicion would be required to nail an accused on the charge of conspiracy. Though there is enough evidence on the file to prove the illicit liaison between the appellants, there is hardly any reliable evidence to prove the culpability of Mangal Singh for purpose of conspiracy.”

“However, insofar as appellant Paramjit Kaur is concerned, there is enough material on the file to nail her on the charge of having poisoned her two children to death because they were proving to be an obstacle in her illicit affair with appellant Mangal Singh.”

Before parting with the orders, the Judges observed: The only inference deducible in the light of the discussion is that the appeal preferred by Mangal Singh deserves allowance; whereas the one preferred by appellant Paramjit Kaur deserves rejection and we order accordingly.



Violation of building bylaws
Admn, home secy get HC notice
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
Taking up a public interest litigation for independent inquiry into building rules violations by commercial complexes, allegedly in connivance with estate office functionaries, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notices to the Chandigarh administration, along with the home and finance secretaries.

The petitioner, Vishal Sharma, a lawyer, contended that this was causing multi-crore loss to the state exchequer. Commercial complexes were functioning without the valid occupation certificate mandatory for all such buildings, he said.

Referring to media reports in this regard, he called for suitable legal action against erring officials of the estate office. He said an inquiry into the nexus was conducted on the receipt of 18 complaints in December 1999.

After preliminary hearing, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Kanwaljit Singh Ahluwalia fixed March 14 as the next date of hearing in the matter.



Departments told to apply RTI Act
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
The UT home secretary has directed all heads of departments, boards and corporations to implementation the Right to Information Act.

All departments have been told to update information under Section 4(1) (b) of the Act. A copy of the information should be placed on the website of the administration and another should be made available with the public information officer and the notice board in the office.

The home secretary also asked the departments to change the name of public information officers/appellate authorities on the website of the administration, as and when there was a change in the appointment of officers.

The departments were also told to sensitise their staff.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |