C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


CHB Housing Scheme
Cloud over 2 acres of border land
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
With just one day left before the Sector 63 housing scheme of the Chandigarh Housing Board closes, the ownership of a portion of the land for the project, running parallel to Mohali, threatens to snowball into an inter-state boundary dispute with Punjab.

UT officials have found that at least 20 houses and infrastructure like roads have come up on at least 2 acres that is shown as UT land. The zig-zag stretch of the project land falls in Sector 63 and runs parallel to Phase IX of Mohali.

Last year also, the CHB had to face an embarrassing situation when the land allotted to Parsavnath Developers at the IT park fell short by at least 1.25 acres. This happened after a joint demarcation by revenue officials of Chandigarh and Haryana.

G.S. Rosha, acting chief engineer of the CHB, said they had written to the estate office for a joint demarcation. “Joint demarcation is a routine exercise when inter-state boundary is involved. Our project is not going to be affected as we have done planning on 40.66 acres, against 42.6 acres allotted to us,” he stated.

The deputy commissioner, R.K. Rao, said he would inquire into the matter.

Sources in the CHB said a joint survey with revenue officials had revealed that houses stood on UT land. The “encroachment” on UT land has not been disputed by Punjab yet.

A few days ago, UT revenue officials had sought a joint demarcation with their counterparts in Punjab, but the latter never turned up.

Additional chief administrator, GMADA, Balwinder Singh, who is in charge of the estate wing, said though he had not received any communication so far, any dispute could be settled after a joint demarcation.

A revenue official of the UT said a joint demarcation would clear the picture. To speed it up, the CHB authorities have written to the UT chief engineer and estate office.

Delay in demarcation could delay the planning of houses. Though the land of Nizampur Kumbra village was acquired in the 80s, its possession was given to the UT engineering department.

“Such a situation could occur only when proper possession of land is not taken by the department concerned. Inter-state disputes exist in Khuda Ali Sher village also,” an official said.



It’s megabucks for banks
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
Financing for the CHB housing scheme has turned out to be a great business opportunity for banks in the city. The board itself will earn crores of rupees as interest.

It is estimated that the State Bank of India and Axis Bank have already financed Rs 90 crore for this scheme and hope to make a neat profit by charging 10 per cent as the rate of interest.

Sources in the banking industry estimate that by the time the scheme closes, the two banks would have financed over Rs 150 crore, earning crores as interest.

Since both banks are offering 100 per cent finance on the booking amount, a large number of people are applying by availing the finance option.

A top official in the bank’s main branch at Sector 17, said yesterday the bank processed 1,000 applications and has financed Rs 40 crore till now. “By the time the scheme closes tomorrow, we hope to finance Rs 55 crore,” he said.

Seeing the huge rush of applicants, the bank has set up four counters for cash receipt and accepting the applications. As the applicants continued to swarm the bank today, a fifth counter was also set up.

Axis Bank, too, is witnessing a huge rush of applicants. A senior bank official said they had financed Rs 50 crore so far and hoped to cross the Rs 100 crore mark by tomorrow.

Already, over 28,000 applications have been sold for the 1,976 flats being offered. The CHB had got 34,000 application forms printed for the scheme.

Shortage of stamp papers

There was a shortage of stamp papers at sampark centres. Stamp papers worth Rs 40 are required for an agreement with the SBI for getting 100 per cent finance on the booking amount. It is learnt that after 11.30 am today, stamp papers were not available at the sampark centres in the Industrial Area-I and Sectors 47 and 20. 



Eligibility clause leaves thousands fuming
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
Thousands of private sector employees wishing to own a house in Chandigarh have been left high and dry by the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) as they are not eligible to apply for flats under the recently-floated general housing scheme in Sector 63 here.

The eligibility criteria for the scheme bars private sector employees from applying for flats even though they are working in Chandigarh. The clause of “bona fide” resident of Chandigarh has angered thousands living in Mohali, Panchkula and the periphery.

“It is discriminatory to disallow periphery residents from applying for flats as even the Constitution recognises housing as a basic need. While Haryana allows anyone to apply for its housing scheme, the CHB’s decision is illogical,” says Mandeep Singh, a Mohali resident and an IT professional, working in Chandigarh.

The creation of the CHB was the result of the extension of the Haryana Housing Board Act, 1971, to Chandigarh.

The exception in the residential condition had only been granted to employees of the Government of India and the Haryana and Punjab Governments and defence personnel.

With private builders like Parsvnath and Uppals in Chandigarh developing only high-end housing to cater to the elite, the CHB’s decision has left private employees at the mercy of private builders. “Such apartments are beyond our reach and we cannot own a CHB flat for no fault of ours,” Suresh Sharma, a resident of Panchkula, said.

Officials sources claimed that the bona fide resident condition was in line with the mandate of the CHB which stated that “the primary objective was to provide reasonably priced good quality housing for shelterless residents of the union territory.”



3 students punished for wearing turban
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 29
Three Class X students of Lawrence Public School were not allowed to enter their classroom today because they had come to the school wearing turbans.

The students said they had been coming to the school with turbans for the past five days, but today their teacher did not allow them to enter the classroom. They were allegedly made to stand outside the class for sometime and later sent to the sick room.

The principal, Veena Molhotra, said as per the school dress code, students up to Class X were to wear “patka”. Only students of Classes XI and XII could wear turbans.

She said the decision was taken after some parents had requested the authorities not to make turban compulsory as a lot of time was needed to tie it.

She added that every institute had its own set of rules which students had to follow to maintain discipline.



PGI director gets extension
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
PGI director Dr K.K. Talwar has been given an extension till March, 2009. According to source in the PGI, the decision has been taken by the ministry of health and family and welfare.

Dr Talwar (62) worked for 11 years in the PGI — from January 1970 to October 1980 — during which he did his DM in cardiology. Later, he joined AIIMS as assistant professor in 1980.

He became professor in 1992 and also received the BC Roy Award for 2000 in the category of eminent medical teacher.

He became head of department of cardiology at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, in 2002. 



PU exam centre in charge removed, booked
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
Panjab University has booked an examination centre superintendent in a case of unfair means during the ongoing annual examinations. Centre superintendent of GGDSD college, Hariana ( Hoshiarpur district), Sardool Singh was found to be hand-in-glove with two in-service candidates of Punjab Police appearing at that centre as stray cases where a candidate, medically unfit or due to circumstances beyond his control, is allowed to appear for examination at a centre of his convenience.

The matter came to light when on April 2 when flying squad of the university visited the centre. On reaching there, the members were taken aback by the presence of two sub-inspectors and constables guarding one particular classroom out of total six in that centre. Getting suspicious they investigated the “security” and found two candidates bearing roll numbers 41160, 41161 did not belong to that centre (HNA-01). When their roll numbers were checked, it was found they had been allotted centre HSP-06 (DAV College, Hoshiarpur). One of the candidates was found impersonating. His signatures and his photograph on the roll number did not match his physical appearance and his signatures in their presence.

The connivance of the superintendent came to light when the flying squad discovered that even after two and a half hours of the examination, the superintendent did not get the attendance sheet signed from the two. On the insistence of the squad members, Kamaljit Singh and Dr Ram Mehar, the superintendent got the sheet signed but refused to give the photocopy of the same to them under his signatures.

He also tried to intimidate the team members and said he had the power to let any candidate appear in the examination. The two candidates dropped names of the principal of Mahilpur college and the principal of the Mahilpur Khalsa College, claiming they knew them well.

The flying squad submitted a report to the registrar and demanded the superintendent to be replaced immediately. Orders for his removal were immediately passed. The registrar confirming the case, said, “The matter has been referred to the UMC committee.”

Though the university has not given any written complaint to the Police Department in this case, it was found the two candidates appeared at their DAV centre in a reportedly inebriated state. Following this, principal of the college called the DSP Hoshiarpur and he sent a team to nab the two cops.



Patiala SDM’s maid goes missing
Parents allege child abuse
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 29
Mystery surrounds the whereabouts of a 15-year-old maid who worked in the house of the Patiala SDM in Phase X here.

While the parents of the girl, who lived in a village near Talwandi Sabo, are looking for their daughter in Mohali, the wife of the SDM told the police that her father took the girl away from here about 10 days ago.

City SP Varinder Pal Singh said the parents of the girl had complained to the police that they could not find their daughter, Kaddu, who worked in the house of the Patiala SDM Gurmeet Singh for the past about two years. He said DSP (City II) Swarandeep Singh was inquiring into the matter.

The DSP said though the parents were complaining that their daughter was missing, a cousin of Kaddu, Rekha, who also worked in the house of the SDM had told his wife that Kaddu was taken away by his father some days ago. They had complained to the police here three days back. Today, the parents again approached the police alleging that her employers’ beat up their daughter and that was why she had disappeared somewhere.

He ruled out any chance of kidnapping. He said the police had registered a missing complaint in this regard. Further investigations were on.

However, the SDM said Kaddu was brought here by her cousin about a year ago and since then, he had been asking her parents to take the girl away as she was a minor. He said he had personally gone to the village to ask her parents to bring back their daughter.

He said his wife told him that her father took Kaddu away about 10 days ago. He said the parents of the girl had his telephone number and they could have contacted him 10 days ago in case Kaddu was not with them. He said he failed to understand what the parents of the girl were up to.



PGI Strike Fallout
Sample mismatch leaves patients gasping
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
The technicians’ strike at the PGI may have ended, but not the harassment of patients. Incorrect marking of blood samples collected during the strike period has rendered these unfit for processing, forcing patients now to give samples all over again.

Sources said not only was the numbering of almost 25 per cent of the samples collected on April 15 incorrect but even the entry column had been left blank, making it difficult to identify the samples.

This is the outcome of gross mismanagement that took place during the strike period.

The departments that had been worst hit were biochemistry and hematology, where samples were taken but no proper entries were made in registers.

Some of the patients have already given fresh blood samples, as their reports could not be prepared due to incorrect marking on samples.

Some of them who had to come to the PGI today to collect their reports were asked to give blood samples again as their original samples could not be matched with the entries made.

Ameer Singh (name changed) from Punjab had come to the PGI to collect his report but to his surprise he was asked to give the blood sample again as his first sample was untraceable.

He said he had given the blood sample on April 15 after the doctor prescribed some tests, including an ECG. The staff asked him to collect the report in a few days. Today, they asked him to give a fresh blood sample, as there was some mismatch in record.

He said: “It’s better to give a fresh sample, as I don’t want a wrong report.”

A number of patients’ attendants expressed concern over the fate of their relatives’ reports.

Vipul Kumar, an attendant from Zirakpur, said a staff member told him that they did not have his relative’s report. He claimed that his patient gave the blood sample on April 15 but the staff did not have the report now.

“The treatment cannot begin till the report comes out,” he said. When contacted, deputy director (administration) A.K. Gupta said it was the result of human error, which could occur on regular days as well.

“If thousands of samples are collected in a day, there is every chance of a mistake to happen. This doesn’t mean that the error happened due to strike of technicians only.”



PGs in residential areas
Associations threaten to take legal action
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 29
Various resident welfare associations have threatened to take a legal action against the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) if it failed to withdraw its policy which allowed paying guest (PG) accommodation in residential areas.

Daljit Singh, president of the Citizen Welfare Council, Phase X, today said there was a great resentment among various welfare bodies against the GMADA move. More than 10 welfare bodies had earlier submitted a memorandum to the former chief administrator (CA) wherein it was stated that the PGs should be allowed only in commercial and industrial areas. The CA had assured to review the policy, but nothing had been done as the CA got transferred.

He said on the one hand, GMADA was issuing notices to the owners of those houses in which commercial activities were being carried out while on the other hand, it had framed a policy to allow PG accommodation in residential areas. He said to a query sought under the Right to Information Act that whether running of a paying guest accommodation was a commercial activity, GMADA had, on April 22, replied in the affirmative. He said by adopting a separate yardstick in the PGs case, GMADA was flouting its own rules. On August 24 last year, it had framed a policy to regularise PG business in houses having an area of eight marlas and above.



Mehar Mittal shares light moments with patients
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
“Laughter is the secret of a long and healthy life,” said well-known Punjabi actor Meher Mittal during a ‘Walk and Talk’ programme organised at the Lake Club today. The occasion was a ‘Friends of Fortis Meeting’ for patients who had been operated upon for knee replacement.

Mittal shared some light moments and highlighted the fact that with some smiles, laughter and joy, one can wade through any health problem. Boosting the morale of the patients, he said, "You have done a very wise thing by going in for knee replacement and I can see that this has brought in a new zest and energy in you and you are all ready to do bhangra and gidha with me."

Dr Jaswant Rai, director, orthopaedics, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, and Dr Seema Chopra, HOD, rehabilitation and physiotherapy, Fortis Hospital, were also present.



Resident demands action against cops
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 29
Sector-52 resident Rajesh Kumar has demanded strict action against policemen, who threatened him and his brother and also kept them in a lock-up illegally.

Rajesh, in a written complaint to the SSP, stated that wife of his brother, who lived in Phase X, had been harassed by his neighbour, who indulged in obscene actions.

He said he had made a compliant to the police. But instead of taking action, the policemen allegedly started pressurising him and his brother to go in for a compromise and withdraw the compliant. And when they refused to do so, they were threatened and also kept in the lock-up for sometime. He also alleged that the policemen had also taken away his mobile phone.



23-yr-old Murder Case
Accused may be tried under Juvenile Act
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
The trial of 30-year-old, Kushwant Singh, who has recently been made an accused in the Inderjit Singh murder case may now be held either under the Juvenile Justice Act or Children’s Act.

Allah Singh, father of Inderjeet Singh who died on July 7, 1985, has been running from pillar to post to ensure justice is delivered.

Inderjeet Singh died in the house of his landlord, Hardev Singh, on July 7, 1985.

The next day, his body was found hanging and a case of suicide was registered at the police station, Sector 34, though no suicide note was found at the scene.

Initially, Hardev Singh and his son, Harpreet Singh were named accused in this case.

The prosecution then moved an application to make the wife of landlord, Rajinder Kaur, and son Kushwant Singh accused in the trial, which was set aside by the trial court.

Thereafter, the prosecution appealed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which accepted the appeal.

Kushwant Singh was a juvenile at the time of Inderjeet’s murder.

CBI Special Court Jagdeep Jain stated that the case was for consideration as to which one of the Juvenile Justice Act or Children’s Act was applicable on accused Kushwant Singh.

The Juvenile Justice Act came into existence in 1986, while Children’s Act has been in place since 1960.

According to prosecution, after the funeral, Allah Singh felt that his son had not committed suicide as the room of Inderjeet was freshly washed and the landlord’s family gave contradicting statements.

The case will come up for hearing tomorrow.



Orientation course does the trick for CTU
Sees fall in fatal accident rate
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
A unique orientation programme started by the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) for its staff has paid rich dividends.

For, the number of fatal accidents involving public transport buses has gone down by one-third as against last year (2006) ever since the programme - Capacity Building for Service Providers - was started for CTU drivers and conductors, claim authorities.

“Our buses were involved in 28 fatal accidents last year (from April 1, 2006 to March 31 2007). However, after the programme was started, the number of fatal accidents came down to nine this year (from April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008),” said CTU director P.S. Shergill.

Besides, no case was registered against any staff member for carrying poppy husk this year, in contrast to three last year, added Shergill.

Giving credit to the orientation imparted during the programme, which was initiated in association with the Chandigarh tourism department, Shergill said the job of a driver and a conductor was of high stress.

“It is important that the person behind the wheel of a heavy vehicle carrying passengers should do his duty without any stress.

Keeping this in view, a team of specialists, including psychologists, conducted consultation sessions to solve their problems, including domestic as well as officials difficulties.

“We implemented the recommendations of the team and now the results are for everyone to see,” he said.

“The other aim of the sessions, held under Ashwini Luthra, an IAS officer, was to sensitise them towards valuing human life.

“They were made aware of how a minor mistake could ruin the lives of many families. The drivers discussed their problems with specialists and we did our best to solve these to get them out of stress. I think, we have started getting results”, Shergill said, while maintaining that the CTU was the first transport organisation in the country to start such a programme.

The nine-week programme was held at Dr Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management, Sector 42. “The programme will be continued in a phased manner this year as well”, he added.



SAD raps mayor for ‘wasteful expenditure’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today condemned the wasteful expenditure by the municipal corporation on mayor’s luxury car at the cost of public necessities.

Terming the purchase of Toyota Corolla “unfortunate”, former mayor and councillor Harjinder Kaur said the extraordinary expenditure by mayor Pardeep Chhabra on his luxury car at the cost of public necessities, including electric maintenance ladders and water tanker equipment, would deeply hit the works of the corporation.

She added that it was unfortunate that the administration had cut down the grant-in-aid of the corporation by 30 per cent, which was Rs 20 crore, on account of the exuberant expenditures of the mayor.

According to a press note, the mayor’s recent inauguration of works executed during the SAD-BJP regime was nothing more than promotion shows of the Congress and most of the development works had stood still for the past four months.

The recent sanitation drive launched by the mayor in Sector 20 was a mere photo shoot, it added.

The sanitation situation in sectors, colonies and even villages was bad, it alleged.

Expressing hope that the new MC commissioner, Dr Roshan Sunkaria, would streamline things, Harjinder Kaur held that it was alarming that the mayor was presiding the finance and contracts committee meeting and discussing drainage works that had already been allotted to contractors.



Awareness camp at Burail village
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
Chandigarh Administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) inaugurated an awareness camp at Burail village here yesterday. The camp was organised as part of community-based services delivery programme.

It was aimed at generating public opinion and enhancing awareness about various services and facilities available to citizens in need.

It would help residents avail themselves of the benefits of various schemes, including pension for the old, disabled and women of weaker sections of society, financial assistance to disadvantaged people for setting up their own business.



Fake Certificate Case
Action against cop only after probe: Official
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
Investigating officer Madhur Verma has said that no arrest or legal action will be taken against suspended SHO Ram Gopal till he completes his investigation into the matter.

UT inspector-general of police (IGP) S.K. Jain had suspended inspector Ram Gopal and ordered a departmental inquiry in connection with the alleged fake yoga certificate submitted by him for promotion.

The inspector should have been reverted as sub-inspector but the police was yet to start with the investigation.

According to sources, officer in charge would examine the evidence and question the witnesses associated with the case.

After the submission of the inquiry report, an FIR was registered against Ram Gopal under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471, IPC.

According to Verma: “A thorough investigation would be made in this matter before coming to any conclusion. Gopal would be called to join the investigation at a later stage and would be asked to depose. If the charges framed against him are proved, he can face arrest.”

The tribunal had directed the IGP and the home secretary to examine the matter minutely and find if the promotion was obtained by submitting wrong facts.

Ram Gopal had joined the UT police as an ASI in March, 1991 against a general quota seat and was last on the merit list of seven successful candidates.

He had gone to Italy to attend a private yoga competition at his own expense in October, 1997. He was not sponsored by the administration or any other sports organisation.



Consumer Courts
Loyola institute told to refund student’s fee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
The District Consumer Courts Redressal Forum today directed director, Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA), Chennai, to refund the college fee of Rs 38,000 to a student and pay Rs 10,000 in compensation.

The petitioner, R.K. Tandon, was selected for PGDBM (MBA) in the business institute in April, 2006. A fee of Rs 42,000 was deposited by him to pursue the course.

However, he could not join the course due to domestic problems. As the money deposited with the institute was raised by loan, the college authorities were asked to refund the same.

LIBA refunded only Rs 4,000 on the plea that fee once paid could not be refunded.

The petitioner had further added that he had informed about his inability to join the course on June 6, while the reporting date was June 22.

Tandon added that the college had enough time to offer his seat to another candidate.

Under the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Government of India (GOI) guidelines, if a child fails to join a college after depositing the tuition fee, the institute has to refund it.

The college, however, stated that there were no guidelines for refund of fee in case a student failed to join course.

Passing its judgement, the forum said: “We hold the college deficient in service and also indulging in unfair trade practice by illegally and unjustly withholding the balance amount of the fee of Rs 38,000. It must refund the same. We have also kept in view the mandatory instructions issued by the AICTE as well as Government of India.”



Typist’s body found
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
The body of a 35-year-old typist was found under mysterious circumstances at his house in Sector 7 tonight.

According to the police, the body was noticed by the wife of Rohit Kumar Joshi, a typist at the UT Estate Office, when she opened the door of the house around 8.45 pm. His wife, along with her son, had gone to attend a marriage outside Chandigarh a few days ago. The body, with a head injury, was found in Joshi's bedroom by the wife, who later informed the police.

An odour was emanating from the body suggesting that crime was committed a few days back.

A police official said the truth into whether it was a murder or suicide would only been ascertained after a post-mortem examination. Meanwhile, the body has been sent for a post-mortem examination to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16. The police is investigating and no case has been registered so far.



Sukhna cops seek more force
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
The 11-member police team at the Sukhna Lake is facing a hard time due to shortage of staff. The team has sought more staff so that patrolling could be intensified.

The police post, which used to have 21 members at one time, now has only about half. The team comprises seven constables, two head constables and two sub-inspectors.

Some times, the team is deployed to look after affairs that fall under the purview of the Sector 3 police station. The area falls under the VIP zone and the team is also deputed for the security of VIPs.

As many as three incidents of attempt to suicide were reported at the lake in the past 15 days. The team, led by SI Lakhvir Singh, has asked the higher authorities to provide them with more force in order to ease the workload.

“We are facing difficulties due to the shortage of staff. With no proper rest, the duty gets hectic some times,” he said.

The absence of a woman constable is also adding to the problems. The team has to seek help from a nearby police station when a situation arises where the presence of a woman constable is a must.



‘Creation is a journey towards God’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
Creation is the expression of the individual soul; it is a journey towards God. The artist, through the process of creation, strives to convey his/her experiences and feelings.

Shashi Thakur, who exhibited her work on ‘Melody of Colours’ stated this while talking to The Tribune.

She said through her work, she was trying to convey a message that art was a never-ending pursuit in which the artist used intellect and emotions to draw out the inexpressible and present it as a visual language.

She believed that every work was an attempt by the artist to express himself/herself.

“This is the journey of an individual soul which never ends, it passes through stages and purifies itself to merge with the light. Each stroke of the brush leads to a new interpretation and a unique creation,” remarked Thakur.



Protest against price rise

Chandigarh, April 29
The youth wing of the BSP organised a protest against rising prices here today.

Raising slogans against the UPA government, activists led by youth wing president Rajiv Kathuria organised a march in Sector 21 against the alleged failure of the government to contain rising prices. They demanded resignation of the UPA government and fresh Lok Sabha elections. — TNS



Office-bearers nominated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
S.S. Channi, president of the Punjab Handball Association, affiliated to the Handball Federation of India and Punjab Olympic Association, was unanimously authorised to nominate the other office-bearers of the association for the term 2008-09. This decision was taken at a general body meeting held here today.

Other office-bearers are: Vice-presidents: B.S. Sudan, S.R. Ladhar, A. Venu Parshad, P.S. Sarao, Sumer Singh Gurjar, Ajit Singh Pannu, Kahan Singh Pannu and D.S. Garewal; general secretary: Balkar Singh Brar; joint secretary: Sumesh Chadda, Shashi Sharma, Iqbal Singh, Harinder Sharma and Rupinder Singh; executive members: Kulwinder Thiara, B.S. Bhullar, Labh Singh, Dr Jaspal Singh, Paramjit Singh, Dr Hem Kiran Sharma and Sarabjit Singh.



Curb speculation

A majority of applications for flats of the Chandigarh Housing Board or other housing schemes/plots are from those who do not require these. They apply for speculation purposes and sell them after allotment.

If a survey is carried out to find out how many allottees are actually staying in the houses allotted to them, the result will be shocking.

Land was allotted to cooperative housing societies in Chandigarh and in some societies, more than 50 per cent flats stand transferred by way of substitution or power of attorney (PoA).

This indicates that the members who formed the societies did so to earn premiums and never required a dwelling unit.

I am a member of The Chandigarh Sector-10 Co-Op Housing Society, Sector 50, comprising 90 flats and even after about two years of allotment, not more than 12 original members are staying in the society.

Stringent rules have to be framed, which ban resale of flats even on PoA. Transfer of flats should only be allowed in circumstances such as death of the original allottee etc. It is the administration, general public and revenue departments, who have to come out with some solution to keep speculators out of such schemes. Only then the price of flats can be reduced.

S.C. Verma, Chandigarh

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New transfer policy for school staff
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
The Chandigarh administration today framed a new transfer policy for school principals, headmasters, lecturers, masters, JBT teachers and clerical staff for the academic session 2008-09.

As per the policy, principals/heads will be transferred after the completion of three years instead of eight years at one place. Lecturers, masters, C and V teachers, JBT teachers and other category teachers can be transferred after putting in seven years of service in a school. However, those retiring within a year or less will not be bothered.

This policy has been designed as per the Central Vigilance Commission guidelines of rotational three-year criterion. The administration has clarified that any accounts functionary or those dealing with cash or any sensitive public dealing sectors should not continue at one seat for more than three years.

UT Government School Teachers’ Union convener Dr Vinod Sharma said, “It would have been better had they fixed atleast five-year term for principals/heads because this is the minimum period a head requires to understand and streamline the functioning of a school. As far as stay for teachers is concerned, we had recommended an eight-year period, but seven years’ stay can be taken as a good move.”

However, no mid-term transfer will be made except on administrative grounds but there will be a provision of request for teachers. “The teachers who have put in more than three years of service in one school can be shifted on request. This privilege will be given only after taking their class results into consideration. Where the results of the teachers are extremely poor, transfer on request basis will not be entertained,” clarified an educational official.

A teacher can give as many options as he/she wants in the order of priority for place of transfer purpose.

For teachers teaching in rural schools, it will be a mandatory condition to serve for atleast two years, before being transferred. The teachers who have never served in schools located in rural areas will be shifted to rural area schools.

Every fresh appointee, either by direct recruitment or by transfer, will be initially posted on deputation in rural area and will have to put in at least two years of service there before being posted in urban area schools.



Central Varsity Status
PUTA delegation meets Manpreet Badal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
A delegation of the Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) met Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal regarding Central status for Panjab University.

The delegation explained to him how the Punjab government and the people of Punjab were going to benefit from the upgradation of PU to an ‘institute of national importance’ under the 7th Schedule of the Constitutional provision. He was also told that while Banaras Hindu University and Aligarh Muslim University had been given the status of institutes of national importance with full funding from the union government, it was unfair not to recognise Panjab University as a premier institute of India that had produced world famous scientists.

Badal assured the delegation that he will talk to the education minister and the Punjab chief minister in this regard. He attached added importance to this demand at this juncture in the wake of a proposed Central university in Panchkula due to which exodus from PU may take place if preventive measures are not taken well in time.

Meanwhile, five persons sat on relay fast today following a call given by the Joint Action Committee (JAC).



First management institute for women on anvil
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
Chandigarh's periphery is set to have first management institute for women on the Chandigarh-Patiala road.

With a team of the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) inspecting the infrastructural facilities at Swami Vivekanand Institute of Engineering and Technology (SVIET) at Ramnagar, near Banur, about 30 km from here, the dream of having an exclusive women's management college has moved a step closer to realisation.

“The Swami Vivekanand Group of Institutes (SVGOI) has applied for 60 seats in the MBA course for women. Once functional, the women's institute will go a long in women empowerment in the region,” SVIET CEO Manmohan Garg told The Tribune here today.

Garg claimed that the expert committee appreciated the management’s efforts in establishing quality institutions in the region with a noble objective of women empowerment through quality managerial education.

Strategic location of the college on the Chandigarh-Patiala road will prove to be an added advantage for girl students in Chandigarh and its periphery. In fact, the Banur-Rajpura stretch on this road has virtually become an institutional zone with major players in the educational field, including Chitkara, Gian Sagar, SVGOI, Aryans and Dr IT Planet setting up engineering, management, medical and hospitality institutions.

It is to be mentioned that with the mushrooming of educational institutions in the region, promoters are coming up with unique concepts to woo the ever-increasing student population in the above streams for catering to the needs of the burgeoning Indian economy.

The exclusive women's institute is seen as part of a strategy by the promoters to attract the girl students of the region.

“With daily bus service available from tricity to the institute, the college will prove to be a boon for parents who do not want their daughters to live in hostels,” said Ashok Sharma, a resident of Sector 27.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that taking a cue from SVGOI, other colleges are also contemplating starting women's colleges in the region.



PU Notes
Seminar on status of girl child
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
The Centre for Adult Continuing Education and Extension, PU, in collaboration with Don Bosco Navjevan Centre, Sector 24, organised a one-day seminar on ‘Status of Girl Child in India’. More than 40 members of the community participated in the seminar. The main objective was to make the participants aware of the dismal situation of the girl child in India. A film titled ‘Girl Child - A Fight for Dignity’ prepared by the Centre for Adult Continuing Education was shown to the participants. The film highlighted the issues on which the girl child is discriminated in the society like nutrition, health, education, dowry and mistreatments like female infanticide and sex selective abortions etc. Dr Prabha Vig, senior project officer, PU, appealed to the participants to send their daughters regularly to the school. Brother Anthony Raj from Don Bosco Centre also spoke.

SAVE ENVIRONMENT: The Centre for Adult, Continuing Education and Extension, PU, in collaboration with Ashoka Eco Club of Government Senior Secondary School, Khuda Lahora, launched a campaign on ‘Save Environment Through Management of Waste’ at Government Senior Secondary School, Khuda Lahora. Eighty students from the school attended the workshop. Renu Gandhi, programme in charge from CACEE, expressed that management of waste had been taken as the duty of the government but beside this, it was the duty of every citizen to manage waste. School principal Amita Khanna said there was a need to change the behaviour of the community by adopting simple techniques of waste management through participatory development. Pushpanjili, in charge, Ashoka Eco Club, discussed how students would help the school by planting herbal trees and shrubs on the school premises and look after them.



From Schools
Air Force School celebrates annual day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
Air Force School, 12 Wing, celebrated its annual day here today with students presenting a colourful cultural programme on the occasion. The function commenced with the ceremonial lighting of the lamp followed by a Saraswati vandana. The programme included folk dances, skits and tableaus depicting various current issues. Tiny tots enthralled the audience with scintillating performances. Air Officer Commanding, 12 Wing, Air Cmde S.R.K. Nair was the chief guest. Later, the principal read out the annual school report. Students excelling in academics as well as co-curricular activities were given prizes. Air Cmde Nair exhorted the teachers to do their best in making the students good citizens and excellent professionals. He also advised the students to stride towards achieving greater heights.

ANNUAL DAY: The annual function of KV AFS High Grounds was celebrated with great zest and zeal. Gp Captain R.K.S. Shera VSM, Station Commander, Air Force Station, Chandigarh, and Chairman, VMC, were the chief guests. Jaspreet Shera, president, AFWWA (L), gave away the prizes to students for outstanding performance in various fields. School principal S.K Bhatia welcomed the guests and read out the annual report. Later, the students presented a colourful cultural programme which started with a Saraswati vandana. Tiny tots stole the show with their scintillating attires and lively performances.

PAINTING CONTEST: Nisha emerged winner in painting competition while Radhika got first place in slogan writing competition during the Water Resources Day observed at Nature Observatory Sector 26 here, today. The event was conducted by the Environment Society of India and teachers of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 46D, Chandigarh. Result:- Painting: 1 Nisha, 2 Inderjit Kaur, 3 Krishna Jain; Slogan: 1 Radhika, 2 Ankit, 3 Ketin; Quiz: 1 Harvinder Pal Singh, 2 Prashant, 3 Sourav.



Arms Seizure
Orders on SP’s bail plea reserved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
Additional district and sessions judge Ravi Kumar Sondhi yesterday reserved the orders on bail of former superintendent of Punjab Police Surinder Singh Atwal to Wednesday.

The former SP was arrested after a huge cache of unauthorised weapons was recovered from his residence in Sector 15.

Atwal had called the police to his house on April 20 following a theft. While carrying out inspection of his house, the police recovered a cache of firearms and arrested him instead.

As many as 1,351 cartridges of prohibited AK-47 rifle, a .38 bore revolver along with 18 cartridges, 168 cartridges of a 9 mm pistol, seven empty magazines of AK-47 rifle, an empty drum of AK-47 rifle, 95 cartridges of self-loading rifle, a 303 rifle along with 59 cartridges and two chargers were recovered.



2 convicted in Muskan murder case
Quantum of sentence today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 29
Following the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to pronounce the orders in the sensational Muskan murder case, the additional district and sessions judge, Ravi Kumar Sondhi, today convicted Dildar Singh and Sheetal, alias Shruti, alias Poonam Chauhan, for killing Muskan, a prostitute, in Hotel Shivalikview on December 10, 2004.

The quantum of sentence will be pronounced tomorrow. Sheetal broke into tears and was inconsolable following the conviction.

According to the prosecution, a former partner of Muskan from Delhi, Shruti, allegedly got her killed by her live-in partner, Dildar, for her “betrayal”. Shruti believed that Muskan had got her arrested early that year. Shruti was also annoyed with Muskan for the latter’s attempt to reveal her sleazy past, despite knowing that she was going steady with Dildar, a video parlour owner and financier. This came to light after the Chandigarh Police arrested Shruti and Dildar. Shruti came in contact with Muskan in June 2003, after which they started staying and even visiting customers together.

In August 2004, Dildar and Shruti fell in love and moved in together, but Muskan kept contacting Shruti and giving her number to customers. To avenge her intrusion, they decided to kill her.



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