C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Sec 63 housing project ready to roll
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
The ambitious general housing project comprising over 2,000 flats in Sector 63 took a concrete shape today with the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) deciding on the pricing structure of the dwelling units.

At the board of directors meeting here today, the board pegged the price of one-bedroom flat at Rs 17 lakh; two-bedroom Rs 29.14 lakh and three-bedroom Rs 39.69 lakh. Houses for the economically weaker sections (EWS) will cost Rs 5.67 lakh tentatively.

To be launched next week, the scheme offers an area of 900 square ft for one bedroom flats; 1,500 square ft for two-bedroom flats and 2,000 square ft for the three-bedroom units. EWS dwelling units will be in an area of 600 square ft.

For committed buyers, the board has made provisions for assured allotment at an extra cost. At least 10 flats in each category have been earmarked for allotment under “assured” category.

Under the scheme, the board will offer 590 dwelling units in the one- bedroom category followed by 890 two-bedroom flats and 320 three- bedroom flats. There will be 590 flats on offer in the EWS class.

The dwelling complex will be one of its kind in the city, with special emphasis on green spaces and architecture. Private architects are working on this project, to be located at the outskirts of the city. Bordering Mohali, it will offer excellent connectivity between the city and Punjab. And given its spacious area, coupled with the general shortage of good housing in the city, it is likely to attract many residents aspiring to own a house in the City Beautiful.

However, the board might face tough competition from private builders setting up housing projects, including mega projects, in the adjoining Mohali and Panchkula.

Sources in the housing board said it had been decided to auction around 197 left-over booths in the city. The auction of about 10.80 acres of commercial land in Sector 38-West would be held soon.

Size of flat No Price
One-bedroom 590 Rs 17 lakh
Two-bedroom 890 Rs 29.14 lakh


320 Rs 39.69 lakh



Sec 34 sub-city centre goes to MC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
The Chandigarh administration has finally agreed to transfer the Sector 34 sub-city centre to the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. The decision was conveyed to officials of the MC during a coordination committee meeting chaired by UT adviser Pradip Mehra.

It has been decided that the sub-city centre, for now with the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), will be transferred to the MC after re-carpeting roads within three months. However, an area of 12 acres in the Sector 34 plaza will remain with the CHB. The MC has also sought that village building bylaws be amended in respect of old houses. The mayor demanded that small old constructions should not be asked to seek clearance.

A 25-bed hospital in Dhanas and naming of Dhanas as Sector 14 (East) on the pattern of Sector 38 (West) and raising the height of houses in Milk Colony from 22 ft to 33 ft was also on the agenda. The administration has already agreed to transfer Sector 38 ( West) and Sector 48 to the MC.

To identity the sites for religious places in Dadu Majra, the finance secretary and the DC would be visiting the spot soon.

Rotary decision may be reviewed

Following demand from businessman, the administration has decided to review its decision to close the Sector 34-35 small rotary. Instead of closing the rotary, traffic lights should be installed, suggested the mayor.



Budget blues set in, prices look up
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
It’s time to forget the Budget hype. Just four days after it was unveiled, the prices of pulses, grains and edible oil have gone up. With money being injected into the economy, the prices of most dry kitchen ingredients have soared by seven to 25 per cent.

The highest rise is seen in the price of basmati rice, which has gone up by over 83 per cent. From Rs 30 a kg last month, the prices have shot up to Rs 55 -Rs 60 a kg now. The price of edible oils, too, has witnessed a sharp rise from Rs 55 a litre last month to Rs 70 a litre now.

After the budget failed to impose a cut in the customs duty of edible oils, the prices of most oils have gone up by Rs 8 a litre in the past four days.

While the price of rice and basmati has risen in the past one month, the prices of chana dal, white gram, black gram and gram flour have hit the roof in the past three days.Traders say with the chana crop in Madhya Pradesh having failed this year, the yield is expected to be low, thus leading to a high price.

While the prices of gram flour has shot up by over 22 per cent, those of white gram and black gram have risen by 19 per cent and 9 per cent, respectively. The price of chana dal has gone up by 15 per cent, from Rs 35 a kg to Rs 40 a kg.

Even wheat flour, the staple diet of every household here, is now available for Rs 14 a kg, up by Re 1 in the last three days. Anil Girdhar, a government employee and resident of Sector 27, says the rising prices of all dry ingredients, along with fruits and vegetables, is burning a hole in the pocket.

Traders in the city said though the prices of most commodities had increased in mid-February, the effects were being felt only now. They said the price rise had become evident post-budget because they were selling old stocks last month.

“Now that we are selling new stocks, the price rise is being passed on to the consumer,” says Sohan Lal, proprietor of Singla Provision Store in Sector 19.

Economists feel with the loan waiver, a lot of money will be in circulation which will be pumped into the economy. “Money supply in the market is increasing, but farm productivity is on the decline. As a result of this mismatch in demand and supply, price rise will be inevitable.

“Now, with the Sixth Pay Commission on the anvil, it will further bring money into circulation and, thus, lead to further inflation,” said banker S.D. Sharma.



HC dismisses DAV trust plea
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has dismissed a petition by the DAV College Trust and Management Society seeking stay of orders issued by the central public Information officer (CPIO) directing the principals of DAV College-10 and MCM DAV College for Women-36 to provide information within 10 days to applicants R.P. Singh, Arun Kumar Aggarwal, and Avanindra Chopra.

The three were seeking information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005. The orders by the CPIO had also mentioned that in the event of non-compliance, grant-in-aid to the colleges would be stopped.

The applicants had sought information on contributory provident fund, annual fee structure and expenditure incurred on advertisements by the colleges.

The petition by DAV Trust had also challenged the applicability of the RTI Act to grant-in-aid DAV institutions in Chandigarh, especially the orders passed by the Central Information Commission, New Delhi, against DAV Senior Secondary School-8.

In its order, the CIC had rejected the plea of the school that it was not a ‘public authority’ under the Right to Information Act. The CIC had termed the stand of the school as “absurd.”



Central varsity status: PUTA to stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
After its long standing struggle in demanding a central status for Panjab University, the members of PUTA (Panjab University Teachers Association) along with members of district council of PCCTU and members of Panjab University Campus Students’ Council today decided to put its foot down on the matter.

In a joint press conference organised today, they resolved to take the issue to its logical conclusion. The members would sit on dharnas from March 10 and threatened to intensify their joint agitation if they were not heard. Ever since Punjab has been re-organised, PU has dual status, which has led to serious administrative and financial bottlenecks.

“Panjab University has predominantly central university character as it came into existence with the Act of Parliament receiving 60 per cent funding from the union government and Vice-President of India as its chancellor”, said one of the members of PUTA.

Earlier, Panjab University Teachers Association with the support of faculty members of PU had made a representation to the ministry of human resource development (MHRD) and to the Prime Minister of India, more than a year back, asking for the central university status for PU.

Consequently, MHRD wrote a letter in July 2007 to Punjab government as also to the UT administration conceding “the fact that a number of administrative and financial hassles of Punjab are reportedly linked to its ambiguous status between the state and central university, it may be desirable that the Panjab University is accorded central university status with 100 per cent plan and non-plan grant being borne by the central government”.

The members of PUTA unanimously said once the university got the desired status, the entire student community, including those from Punjab, would be able to benefit due to drastic slash in the tuition fee.

Prof Rakesh Mehta, president, Chandigarh District Council of PCCTU, said, “The demand to make Chandigarh colleges as constituent colleges on Delhi pattern is justified in the sense that we are getting 95% grant-in-aid from the centre. Our liability on the administration would only be 5% in case PU becomes central university and the colleges become constituents of PU”.



CAT stays transfer of PT teacher
Swati Sharma

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) today stayed the transfer of physical education teacher Shashi Sharma to Kendra Vidyalaya in Bandhipura, Jammu and Kashmir.

He is posted Adampur . He was transferred on the basis of a complaint of a girl student for which his two increments were stopped. A student of Class X had charged Shashi of detaining her after school hours. He was issued a show-cause notice for the alleged misconduct on August 14, 2007.

In reply to the said notice, he stated that the girl was caught sitting outside the school gate after school hours with another girl and a boy on July 6, 2007. When questioned by him, she left and thereafter complained against him to the principal.

Counsel for the applicant said the teacher had already been punished on the complaint of the girl student and could not be punished again.



Gazelle, pashmina goats face death in Ladakh
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
Unexpected long and severe winter this time has wiped out various flora and fauna species in and around the Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary in Ladakh. The sanctuary is home to a large number of endangered species, including the Tibetan gazelle, Tibetan wild ass, black-necked crane and the Tibetan antelope. The small population of the Tibetan gazelle that was also affected by food shortage has made environmentalists to ponder over its conservation.

Biologists of the Mysore-based Nature Conservation Foundation, who studied the ecology of the Tibetan gazelle from 2004 to 2007 in the sanctuary, a species on the verge of extinction in India, said a large number of animals, including livestock, might have died due to shortage of food. Most of the grazing pastures have been covered by heavy snow.

Tsewang Namgail of the foundation said: “The Tibetan gazelle is one such animal that suffers most as it cannot dig into snow to find herbs. The population of the animal in the region is not more than 100. We don’t know how many animals have died but are getting inputs from locals that the situation is quite grim.”

Similarly, hundreds of pashmina goats have died and thousands more face starvation due to the non-availability of fodder.

“The mass mortality of the pashmina goat would have an adverse impact on the economy of the region as nomads rear the goat for producing the wool used in soft cashmere shawls,” Tsering Dorjay, chairman, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, said today. The casualties of the pashmina goat might run into thousands. There are some areas like Changthang, Kharnak and Kurzok that are still inaccessible.

At the same time, district development commissioner, Leh, M.K. Bhandari said the administration had been trying to clear one road to the Kharnak and Kurzok area and was quite optimistic that fodder would reach those areas too.

He said this winter the cold desert received up to 2 feet of snow. The area usually receives about 4 inches of precipitation a year. Namgail said in 2005 over 8,000 livestock, including the pashmina goats, died in the Hanle valley alone.

“The habitat in the Changthang sanctuary has been deteriorating due to the invasion of the locust, a migratory grasshopper. The dependence of the villagers on the park for wood, fodder and cultivation is also degrading the habitat,” he said.

He said causes and consequences of such frequent severe climatic conditions should be studied so that the rangelands could continue to support the pastoral nomads and the biodiversity.

MP concerned over deaths

Thupstan Chhewang (Independent) has made a strong plea for relief to farmers whose pashmina goats are dying in large number due to unprecedented snowfall in Ladakh.

Raising the issue in the Lok Sabha today, he wanted urgent help to nomad shepherds. He said that the goats were dying due to non-availability of fodder. — PTI



Safai Karamchari Union protests police inaction
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
Members of the UT Safai Karamchari Union staged a dharna near the Sector 34 police station, here today. The group was protesting against police inaction on a complaint filed by a woman employee of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.

The protestors carried out a march and were on their way to stage a protest at the police station, when police stopped them near the Sector 34 gurdwara. Protestors shouted slogans and alleged that no action was taken on the complaint which was lodged a few days ago.

They alleged that the woman, working as sweeper in GMCH, had reported that manager of the Good House Keeping Company at GMCH had passed castiest remarks. But police had not taken any action.

Meanwhile, DSP (South) Jaswant Singh Khaira and SHO of Sector 34 police station inspector Sudarshan Kumar Thakur reached the spot and placated the protestors.

Bhagmal Rana, general secretary of the UT Federation of Employees, threatened that in case the police fails to take prompt action against the accused, they would carry out a march towards the Governor house and have called an emergency meeting tomorrow to chalk out the future course of action. They also appealed to the authorities at the GMCH to take action against the accused.

The SHO maintained that the matter was being looked into and action would be taken after a thorough inquiry.



Religious fervour marks yatra’s march
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 4
After an overnight halt at Gurdwara Amb Sahib in Phase VIII, the historic Guru Manyo Granth Jagriti Yatra resumed here today covering various parts of the town amid scenes of enthusiasm and religious devotion.

A tastefully decorated palanquin carrying relics of Guru Gobind Singh and Guru Granth Sahib passed through Phases IX, X, XI, Sectors 66 to 69 and Sohana. Roads from where the yatra was to pass were closed for traffic for sometime so that devotees could pay their obeisance. Though some residents went though traffic chaos in certain areas but nobody complained.

Devotees made elaborate arrangements for distribution of ‘prasad’ on the route that was taken by the yatra. The holy procession was welcomed with great enthusiasm by various orgainsations of the town which had put up special gates in various areas.

The yatra, which had started from Hazoor Sahib, Nanded, had entered Mohali yesterday afternoon amid a rousing reception. It left for Fatehgarh Sahib from Mohali today.



MC’s enforcement wing overhauled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
In a bid to check corruption in MC’s enforcement wing, R.K. Rao, municipal commissioner, today recalled all 10 inspectors/sub inspectors working there, and transferred them to their original place of postings. Newly posted inspectors will work under the direct supervision of tehsildar, enforcement who will further report to secretary, MC.

The action has lifted the spirits of MC councillors who had made repeated allegations of corruption against the enforcement staff. Congress councillors Anu Chatrath and Kamlesh were on the forefront of the tirade against enforcement inspectors at the general house meeting of the MC held here last week. They are seeing today’s move as their well-deserved victory.

Among the new staff, junior engineers Kuldeep Singh and Gurmukh Singh have been brought in as enforcement inspectors. Among sub inspectors will be D.P. Singh, Avtar Singh, Jatinder Singh, Bhupinder Singh, Jagmohan, Vinod Kumar, Ranjit Singh and Rajesh Kumar.

Most of the officers recalled from the wing had been sitting in their positions for many years. Among those recalled to old postings are K.D. Sharma, Harmesh Gupta, Avtar Singh, Balbir Singh, Lalit Kumar, Sanjay Rana, Rakesh Gupta, Ashwani Kumar and Ved Prakash.



Demolition order
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
Answering a query by Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khera, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said the enforcement wing of the Punjab Urban Development Authority has filed 56 civil suits against violation of the Punjab New Capital (periphery) Control Act, 1952, in Kroran and Kansal village in Punjab, near Chandigarh. He said the enforcement wing had detected one illegal construction at Nada, 200 at Karoran and 120 at Kansal.

In all such cases, after issuing notices and giving violators an opportunity of hearing, orders for demolition of unauthorised structures have been passed by the competent authority. The implementation of these orders is underway.



Rats spoil dinner party
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
A dinner outing to a popular sweet shop-cum-restaurant in Sector 8 proved to be a nightmare for a group of friends tonight.

Even as Gayatri and her guests settled for dinner, a rat jumped all over the table taking the group unawares and bringing embarrassment to the host. Complaints to restaurant manager, however, did not elicit much response.

On the assurance of the management, the group continued with the dinner reluctantly. However, within a few minutes another rat sprang up from nowhere on the table. At this, the group decided to lodge a protest and asked for refund before leaving.

Leave alone the refund, the staff tried to play down the seriousness of the issue involving sanitation. In the end, the episode left the group poorer by a few hundred rupees and of course hungry.

Rishab, the manager, said rats might have appeared as the restaurant had recently gone in for pest control.



Workshop on child rights
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
A one-day workshop for sensitising nurses about child rights was organised by Childline, a 24-hour telephone helpline for children, at the advanced pediatric centre, PGI, here today.

The workshop, which was organised under the National Initiative for Child Protection (NICP) campaign, was attended by over 40 nurses.

In her inaugural address, special secretary (finance) Raji P. Shrivastava appealed to the delegates to join hands with the Chandigarh administration in working for the protection of city children.

Speaking on child abuse and neglect, Dr Prahbhjot Malhi detailed the physical, emotional and behavioral indicators of abuse and neglect.



Award function held
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 4
Punjab labour minister Tikshan Sood today presided over the Punjab State Safety Awards ceremony held here today.

He said the state had about 16,294 registered factories employing about 5,51,957 workers.

“I am told that during the years 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 the ratio of accidents per thousand workers is much lower than that of the national accident rate per thousand workers.

Though the safety record is good there is no room for relaxation,” he said.

He congratulated the recipients of the safety awards.



Check malpractices by traders

I fully endorse the write-up titled ‘Home-makers want PC to trim kitchen bill’ dated February 29.

Fuel price rise has paralysed ‘aam aadmi’ who is being sliced with a double-edged sword. One edge is the government’s pre-budget hike, other is of the retailer who is selling commodities at high prices and supplying less quantity. The fraudulent fruit and vegetable sellers of the grain market are at the forefront in this fleecing contest. Naive costumers are given atleast 25 per cent less than what they pay for. If a customer complains, he is threatened.

It seems there is ‘jungle raj’ in the grain market which happens to be right under the nose of the Sector-26 police station. Not a single cop is ever visible, nor does any weights and measures official ever makes a surprise check. These iniquitous venders operate with impunity least frightened of the consequences.

The nexus of MC officials, W and M inspectors, and vendors cannot be ruled out. No trader has been booked so far for indulging in such malpractices. The administration should check this menace and save gullible people from being cheated.

Suresh Khosla, 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



From Colleges
250 awarded for outstanding achievements
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
Over 250 students received prizes for their outstanding achievements in academics, sports and extra-curricular activities during the 26th annual prize distribution function held at Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, here today.

Sanjay Kumar, finance secretary, Chandigarh, was the chief guest. Sandeep Kaur, a student of BCom III, bagged the limelight as she was awarded a sum of Rs 5,000 for representing Panjab University in All India Powerlifting Championship. Thirteen scholarships were awarded to commendable students.

Meanwhile, Meera Modi, principal of the college, on the occasion also announced to introduce BBA, an additional unit of PGDCA from the next session.

Valediction: Himani was declared ‘Miss Commerce’ during the modeling-cum-fashion show organised by the department of Commerce, Government College for Girls, Sector 11, here today.

Aanchal and Karishma got first and second positions, respectively. The show was organised as part of the valediction function.

Promila Kaushal, principal of the college, was the chief guest. A cultural programme was also organised by the students.

Brilliant students were honoured for their devotion and contribution towards the achievements of the department. Geetanjali Shukla was adjudged as ‘Aluminus Star’, Muskan Handa was declared as the ‘Best Organiser’ and Preeti Gupta as the ‘Most Dedicated’ student of the department.

Blood donation: The annual blood donation camp was organised at Dr Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management, Sector 42-D, here today. The event was sponsored by State Bank of India, Sector 37, Chandigarh. Over 183 students, faculty members and staff of the institute donated blood.

The donors were later issued certificates for showing their humane approach. Dr Usha Rao, coordinator of the camp, thanked the principal for regularly organising the camp.



GMCH students to evaluate faculty
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
Now, students will evaluate the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, faculty. In fact, the student evaluation along with other major reforms forms a part of a new system put in place by the authorities concerned for the writing of the annual confidential reports (ACRs) to make the system more objective and faculty-friendly.

Taken after feedback from the faculty, the decision will significantly reduce the subjective nature of the ACRs and curtail the powers of the heads of the department (HoDs) in writing adverse comments in the reports. The decision would benefit about 125 lecturers, readers and professors, sources told The Tribune here today.

Under the new system aimed at bringing transparency and fairness in the ACRs, equal emphasis has been given to six parameters of the professional life, including research, teaching, patient/professional care, membership of professional bodies, outstanding work and contribution to the institution.

Confirming the development, Prof Raj Bahadur, director-principal, hoped that the new system would promote efficiency and help evolve cordial relations between the HoDs and faculty. The students’ participation would ensure better appraisal of the hardworking faculty, he added.

Meanwhile, keeping in view the status of the faculty members, adviser to the UT administrator has been designated as the accepting authorities of the ACRs. Earlier, secretary, medical education and research, who is usually home secretary, was the accepting authority.



Court directs inquiry against SHO
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
Taking up a petition filed by a Mohali resident against Sohana station house officer Mohinder Singh, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the deputy superintendent of police to take a decision on her representation within four weeks.

The petitioner had earlier alleged that the SHO and other respondents wanted to push her into flesh trade. She claimed that her representations to high-ups had failed to evoke any response. She has also sought an inquiry about the antecedents of the SHO. The woman has been allotted a house in Sector 66, which falls under the Sohana police station.



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