C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Mohali to have convention centre
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 17
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today approved the setting up of an international convention centre and a hotel in Phase VIII here.

A first of its kind in North India, the convention centre will have a capacity of over 5,000 seats and the hotel will have at least 300 rooms.

The hotel and convention centre site was approved at a meeting of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) held at the CM’s residence this evening.

There is no international convention centre north of Delhi and the Mohali project is one of the most ambitious projects of the Punjab government.

The 16-acre site is located next to the YPS chowk. The site plans have been finalised by Jurong Ltd, the Singapore-based consultants of GMADA.

The site will be developed in the public-private partnership (PPP) mode through the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB). A revenue-sharing long lease model will be followed. “The private player will be given the freedom to design the venture within the framework laid down by GMADA,” said GMADA chief Vivek Pratap Singh.

“A five-star hotel site in Mohali is an attractive proposition for an investor specially after the setting up of the international airport. But combined with a convention centre, the hotel site becomes a win-win proposition for the private player who is assured of a steady clientele,” said Vivek Pratap.

The approval of the site is also the beginning of development in Phase VIII (Sector 62) City Centre. After the construction of PUDA buildings some years ago, no other major project has been planned for the City Centre. Jurong has also been asked to create a detailed plan for the development of this sector.

“The convention centre-cum-hotel site is going to be the anchor project for Sector 62. It immediately enhances the investment potential of the sector. This site would serve as the attraction for more similar projects,” added Vivek Pratap.

Before finalising the Mohali site, Jurong had benchmarked the site with other similar ventures in India and Singapore. Jurong studied Novotel Hyderabad Hotel and Hyderabad International Convention Centre site. The hotel has 287 rooms while the convention centre has a seating capacity of 4,000. The place is spread across 12,520 sqm of area.

The benchmarking exercise also included a study of the Renaissance Mumbai Hotel and Convention Centre. The site is spread over 21 acres. The convention centre has a seating capacity of 7,000 persons and the hotel has about 286 rooms.



Krishna’s guard held for theft
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
The local police today arrested three residents of Ram Darbar, one of them a security guard with Krishna Autos, for stealing a Skoda car from the agency’s premises on June 15. The car was being used for test drive.

Security guard Sukhwinder Singh, 32, helped Sunny (19) and Ravinder (21) in executing the crime. Sukhwinder came in contact with Sunny two months back. The latter introduced him to Ravinder.

As planned, on Sunday when Sukhwinder was on gate duty, he handed over the keys of the car (CH-03-Y-4886) to Sunny and Ravinder.

The duo drove the vehicle to a nearby car dealer, who refused to buy the car, saying that the registration certificate (RC) did not bear a name.

Sunny and Ravinder then took the car to Ambala to sell it there. Meanwhile, agency officials told the police that Sukhwinder and Bhupinder (another security guard) may have committed the theft. But Bhupinder being on leave on the day of the crime, the police ruled out his involvement.

The police rounded up Sukhwinder, who confessed to the crime.

Sukhwinder was asked to call Sunny to Hallomajra. The moment the latter reached there, he was detained by the police.

A police party along with Sunny was sent to Ambala where Ravinder was nabbed and the stolen car recovered.



Call girl racket busted, hotel owners held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
A hotel in Sector 35 here came under police scanner tonight for allegedly running a call girl racket.

Acting on a specific information, the police arrested 14 persons, including six call girls, from the hotel and two rented accommodations in Sector 45.

Those arrested included hotel owners Mahvir Singh and Kuldip, two managers, Rajinder and Dayanand, pimp Mohammad Alam, his wife Sashi Alam and their son Alam Mohammad and a driver.

Sources said the police laid a trap late tonight and send a decoy customer to arrange a girl from the pimp.When the pimp arranged a girl for the decoy at the hotel, the police descended and nabbed them.



2 Akademi heads roll, but Tiwari spared
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
With one-year tenures left as chairpersons, Dr Naresh, chairman, Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi, and Prof Aditya Prakash, chairman, Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi, were yesterday removed unceremoniously by the Chandigarh administration. However, Kamal Tiwari, chairperson of the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi, has been spared and reappointed.

While Prof Manju Jaidka has been appointed as chairman of the Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi in place of Dr Naresh and in place of Prof Aditya Prakash, Diwan Manna has been appointed as chairman of the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi.

Expressing resentment on his sudden removal, Dr Naresh termed the “high-handedness” of the administration as “very surprising”. He said the Administrator, UT, had appointed him as chairman on May 24, 2005, for a period of two years but later the tenures of all the chairpersons of the Akademies were extended for a further period of two years.

Dr Naresh today wrote to the Administrator, UT, Gen S F Rodrigues (retd), to express his displeasure on the way he was removed and requested him to direct the adviser to the Administrator to withdraw these orders.

While objecting to his removal, Dr Naresh said he got the information about it through the media this morning. He also met the adviser to the Administrator, who assured him that he would look into the matter.

When The Tribune contacted Prof Aditya Prakash, he said even though he had not been informed about his removal, he had no objection to it. He said it was the prerogative of the administration to reconstitute the Akademi at any time.

While commenting on the issue, Chandigarh Art Council secretary Vivek Atray said the administra- Continued on page 5

Akademi heads roll, but Tiwari spared tion was empowered under the rules to reconstitute the akademies.

As per the terms of the General Council, the tenure shall be for two years with effect from the date of notification, unless it is dissolved or reconstituted earlier. The names of other members of the akademies shall be notified separately.

Officials in the administration said if the said chairmen were not performing their duties satisfactorily, then they should have been removed last year. Why two of them were abruptly removed from their post now? 


Librarian dismissed for prolonged absenteeism
Parminderjit Singh/Jashan Gill

Chandigarh, June 17
The Chandigarh education department today dismissed Ravinder Kaur, librarian at Government Girls High School, Sector 25, on the basis of prolonged absenteeism without sanction.

Ravinder Kaur was chargesheeted for remaining willfully absent from duty from 30.5.1992 to 22.1.1996 (three years, seven months and eight days) and 13.6.1996 to 7.9.1996 (71 days).

During the course of disciplinary proceedings against her, the then director, public instructions, Chandigarh administration, afforded her personal hearing on January 7, 1998 and she was absolved on the charges with a warning to be careful in future.

She again availed unauthorised leave from 1.4.2005 to 31.12.2005 (275 days), 1.1.2006 to 10.5.2006 (130 days) 1.6.2006 to 30.11.2006 (183 days), 4.12.2006 to 31.3.2007 (3 months), which was later reappraised as extraordinary leave. But again, Ravinder Kaur applied for extraordinary leave (EOL) for the period from 10.4.2007 to 28.7.2007 (110 days) which was considered and rejected on the ground that she had earlier availed EOL for more than six years and nine months in her entire service period and she was further directed to join her duty within three days failing which, disciplinary action as deemed fit, would be initiated against her. But she did not join her duty in time as was informed by the headmistress, Government Girls High School, Sector 25.

On the other hand, Ravinder Kaur pleaded that she was innocent as the absence was due to forced circumstances. She requested that the charges leveled against be dropped and she may be allowed to join back duty. She has also appealed that she may be allowed pre-mature retirement.

However, she was showed the exit door. “Employees are supposed to observe discipline and get leave sanctioned first as per service rules and only then avail themselves of any leave, which was not followed by Ravinder,” said S.K. Sethia, DPI (S). Further, he added, “Her track record shows that she has been a parasite and burden for the government all these years and as clarified by her, she wanted eligibility for pre-mature retirement so that she could milk the government exchequer through pension all the remaining years of life. Employees are not allowed to do jobs at will at any cost.” 



PU library staff to be promoted under CAS
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
In a major relief to the library staff of Panjab University, the authorities today endorsed the Punjab Government’s decision to allow them to get promoted under the CAS (career advanced scheme).

A decision in this regard was taken at the crucial meeting of the Panjab University’s board of finance held today. The meeting was postponed twice on two occasions earlier. The long-pending meeting took place under the chairmanship of Sanjay Kumar, UT finance secretary.

Members of the board of finance also sanctioned Rs 10 crore for the renovation of the old buildings and white washing of the residential complex. The university has been asked to spend the amount in three years.

The members also sanctioned certain posts for self-financing courses. These posts will now be filled up by the university through appropriate advertisements in the newspapers.

However, the members did not approve the creation of post of professors and readers in the department of community education.



Salary denied to 8 varsity employees
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 17
Eight employees working on contract at the Punjabi University extension library in Phase VII here have not got their wages for the past two months which had made very difficult for them to make both ends meet.

Some of the employees have been working for about past eight years while others claim they have put in 13 years of service, but were still on contract and were getting a pittance for years and that, too, not in time.

Out of the eight employees, one was working as a supervisor, three as security guards, one as gardener, one as peon and two as safai sewaks. The wages that they were getting varied between Rs 2,682 and Rs 2,375. They said they had not got their wages for April and May despite making requests in this regard.

R.K. Sharma, who has engaged these employees on contract, said he had recently taken the new contract and presented the bill to the authorities concerned. Some formalities had to be worked out which had delayed the payment.

He said he hoped to get a cheque in another three days after which wages would be paid.



Need to promote rain-fed farming: Experts
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17 
It is high time that the agriculture-based policies of the country should shift from promoting subsidised irrigation to rain-fed farming. This was stated by Dr Barry I Shapiro, director, project development and marketing, ICRISAT. He was on a visit to Chandigarh to attend one-day workshop on combating land degradation for sustainable agriculture at CII here today. 

He said a study by ICRISAT revealed that in India, the government was spending 17 times more money on irrigation-based agriculture than on rain-fed. He said the farmers in India were dependent more on groundwater through tubewells due to subsidised electricity provided to them by various governments.

Dr Shapiro said the need of the hour was that the policies of the government should focus more on rain-fed farming than on irrigation by introducing better technology in agriculture. He further added that the only way to control irrigation farming was to stop giving subsidy to the farmers on electricity and seeds. He also said there was a need to change crop pattern and those crops should be cultivated on large scale which required less water. 

Dr Shapiro further stated that if timely measures were not taken, the problem of barren land and decline in groundwater table would assume serious proportions in the country.



3 youths killed in accident
Tribune News Service

Anandpur Sahib, June 17
Three youth, all 19 years of age, were killed in a road accident today. They were identified as Ajay Kumar from village Chandpur Bela, Harminder Singh and Kishori Lala both from village Gajpur. They were going on a motorcycle from Kiratpur Sahib to Gajpur.

Their motorcycle collided with a truck (HP 12 2006) moving ahead on GT road. All three died on the spot. The truck driver, Dalel Singh, is absconding. Bodies of deceased were handed over to their relatives after post-mortem.



Industrial centre at Saha soon 

Chandigarh, Jun 17
The Haryana government is developing an industrial growth centre at Saha village in Ambala district.

Stating this here today, official spokesman said in the first phjase of the project, the work for developing basic infrastructural facilities on 415.60 acres of land had been completed.

Besides, a Food Park at Saha was also being developed on 70 acres of land.

Under the second phase, the department would acquire another 500 acres of land for developing modern industrial township, he added.

The spokesman said at the time of formation of Haryana, Ambala had only 679 small scale industries and two medium scale industries, which had now increased to 4016 and seven respectively.

These were providing employment to 35,000 people.

He said the small scale industries of Ambala exported 20 per cent of the total scientific instruments manufactured in the country.

In 2007-08, a record industrial production of Rs 377 crore was achieved in Ambala out of which manufactured items worth Rs 77.89 crore were exported to different countries around the world.

He said Ambala was famous for manufacturing of mixer-grinders, scientific instruments, carpets and engineering goods in the country. — UNI



Woman commits suicide, mother-in-law booked
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 17
A woman residing in village Jakhwali today committed suicide by hanging herself in the house of her in-laws.

The deceased has been identified as Kulwinder Kaur, wife of Kulwinder Singh.

She was married five months back. Her husband was running a cycle repair shop in the village.

The parents of the girl alleged that their daughter was harassed by her mother-in-law over one pretext or the other. The villagers said the husband of the girl entered a quarrel with some relatives few days back and a case was registered in this connection.

Kulwinder was alone in the house when she hanged herself with the roof of a room. Her husband came to know about the incident in the evening.

A case under Section 306 of the IPC has been registered against the mother-in-law of the deceased on the complaint lodged by her parents.



MC steps up drive to check rain woes
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
The unexpected monsoon has become a problem for the municipal corporation with the city facing choked sewer, poor sanitation and waterlogging almost all over Chandigarh.

Though, the municipal corporation claims to have intensified field operation in the city to prevent and control waterlogging, a team of Chandigarh Tribune found choked sewerage and waterlogging at a numerous places all over the city, including internal roads of the Industrial Area, Hallomajra, Sector 38, roundabouts Sector 9,10,17,16 and Sector 20,21,18 and 19, Ram Darbar near Air Force station.

Although, there is no major sensitive areas under the priorities of the corporation, except the road in front of the judges’ house in Sector 24 and Darua village. The corporation was all set to begin the underground pipeline project, which will extend from Sector 24 to Sector 36 , but again the monsoon has delayed the commencement of the work. The Hallomajra pipeline work is almost in the completion stage, with 80 per cent of the work had been finished, which will certainly improve the condition of sanitation in these areas.

According to S.K. Bansal, chief engineer of the municipal corporation, the corporation is working in removing waterlogging specially on narrow roads. In all, seven teams have been constituted by the corporation, which is working round the clock. The corporation has provided these teams with mobile vans to speed up the operation in the affected areas, which is under the surveillance of a supervisor.

Mayor Pradeep Chhabra told TNS that the unexpected monsoon had delayed widening of roads and also the construction of road gullies. The road gullies were to be shifted following the widening of roads, but the pre-monsoon had not only stopped the completion of work, but also doubled the work of the corporation.



BJP: MC’s house tax proposal anti-people
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
The local unit of the BJP today condemned the proposal of the Congress-ruled Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) to levy house tax in the city.

In a press statement issued here today, Kamla Sharma, president, alleged that the proposal showed the “anti-people” face of the Congress. The statement of mayor Pardeep Chhabra, claiming that he would not allow the MCC to impose house tax was just to misguide the public of Chandigarh.

She said levying of house tax was reported to be a part of the MoU that was signed between the MC and Chandigarh Administration.

If minister of state for finance Pawan Bansal is really a sympathizer of the people, he should get the proposal rejected from the union home ministry.



Jan Shatabdi to run up to Nangal from July 1
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
Jan Shatabdi Express, the no-frill popular train running between Chandigarh and Delhi, has been extended to Nangal. A senior official of the Northern Railway said the new arrangement would come into place from July 1.

The new arrangement will be indicated in the revised timetable to be released in July. However, officials are non-committal about the timings of the train, as the journey of the train would be extended up to Nangal.

The train was being extended on a trial basis after a survey was conducted. Extending the train to Una will provide a direct link between the city and the holy city of Anandpur Sahib, besides catering to the tourist segment headed to Dharamsala and Manali. Both are a few hours journey from Una. It will also benefit passengers from Nangal, Anandpur Sahib, Morinda, Kurali, Kharar and Mohali.

In reply to the proposal to extend the train, the Ambala division of the Northern Railways had sent different proposals about the changes in the running schedule of the train. Sources said the best possible timings would be to advance the departure time of the train by at least four hours. This means that the train would reach Chandigarh Railway Station at around 8.30 am and reach Delhi by 1.30 pm.

As per the existing availability of berthing space at the Chandigarh railway station, the train would start from Una at around 5.30 am and reach Chandigarh in three hours. “By the time the morning Chandigarh-Delhi Shatabadi Express leaves the Chandigarh station at 6.40 am, the line would be clear for the arrival of Jan Shatabdi”, said an official.

A number of frequent users of the train feel that changing the arrival timings of the train could upset its linkage with the long distance trains emanating from Delhi. There is also a popular demand to run trains between Chandigarh and Gurgaon. 



Sale of railway tickets at city post offices on cards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
Opening up a new window for passenger convenience, the postal department is tying up with the Indian Railways to offer tickets for suburban as well as long- distance travel through the post offices here. The time frame for starting this scheme though is not yet fixed.

After all, it's a win-win situation for all. “While the railways will reduce pressure on its booking counters, the postal department will get additional income through ticket sales,” said chief postmaster general, Punjab circle, Prithvi Raj Kumar.

''We have identified the probable list of post offices that will offer railway tickets,'' he said. ''In Chandigarh, Sectors 17, 22, 47, PGI and in Punjab, at Phase I, Mohali, tickets will be sold through these post offices close to stations, to start with,'' he added.

Prithvi Raj said the postal department would offer both reserved and unreserved tickets for long-distance journeys through post offices. Railway officials said the scheme would require installation of software and an operating system used by the Passenger Reservation System (PRS) at these post offices.

Postal employees will handle all the functioning, said chief postmaster general, Punjab circle. He added that they would train the staff for handling this job. Several other projects were also in pipeline. He said Assam tea would also soon be available in a similar manner like Kerala’s spices.

He focused on achieving cost effectiveness of the circle by revenue growth at the end of the press conference, which was organised by the postal department here. He said at present only two out of 22 circles in the country were cost-effective-Haryana and Maharashtra.



Youth commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, June 17
Baltana resident Daljeet Singh (24) committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan of his house on Sunday night. The body was noticed by deceased’s father, who saw him hanging with a dupatta through the window of his room. 

The deceased was taken to Civil Hospital, Panchkula, where doctors declared him brought dead. The body was handed over to the family after the postmortem. According to the police, Daljeet was a drug addict and was under depression for sometime.



WB team to visit health centres of Mohali, Ropar
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 17
A four-member World Bank Mission Review team headed by Dr Ayana Yeneabat, medical officer-epidemiologist, World Health Organization and Dr Aakash Shrivastava, senior medical officer, National Institute of Communicable Diseases, met Tilak R. Sarangal, secretary, health-cum-managing director, Punjab Health Systems Corporation, here today.

The team is visiting Punjab in connection with the Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP).

Discussions on various issues with regard to the delivery of healthcare services in the state, including the performance of Punjab under the IDSP were held.

The team would remain in the state till June 19 and would visit district public health laboratory, primary health centres, and community health centres of Mohali and Ropar districts to oversee the work being done under IDSP.

The World Bank team later visited the Civil Hospital here and reviewed the functioning of the institute, especially the systems of pathological laboratory as well as other performance indicators of the hospital. Dr H.S. Sarang, SMO of the hospital, Dr Vijay Harjai, DMC, and Dr S.P. Surila, DHO, accompanied the team during the round of the hospital.

The team interacted with various functionaries, including doctors, laboratory technicians and paramedical staff.



MC Poll
Ward No 12 utterly neglected
Rajiv Bhatia

A ditch right in the middle of the road expose commuters to perils in Baltana.Tribune photograph: Pradeep Tewari
A ditch right in the middle of the road expose commuters to perils in Baltana.Tribune photograph: Pradeep Tewari

Zirakpur, June 17
Ditches right in the centre of roads, non-functional streetlights and improper drainage aptly describe the state of Ward No. 12 in Baltana. The ward that comprises of Punjab Modern Complex, Govind Vihar, Yog Vihar, Kalgidhar Enclave, Defence Colony, Prashant Vihar, Highland Society, Vikas Nagar, Hem Vihar, Shiv Colony, ranks down on the development scale with much required to be done.

Yog Vihar, Prashant Vihar, Shiv Colony and Punjab Modern Complex are facing problems of sanitation and poor roads. Dysfunctional streetlights are a common sight in this ward. “The streetlights are not functioning and the roads need to be re-carpeted,” says Sunil Kumar, a resident of Punjab Modern Complex. He says these roads are virtual death traps for two-wheeler riders at night.

“The drainage system still has to be laid,” says Pradeep Passi, a resident of Defence Colony. He adds: “The stinking stagnant water may pose a threat of water-borne diseases like malaria and diarrhoea”.

The residents are also demanding the tightening of high-tension electric cables. Harbinder Singh, a resident of Highland Society says the high-tension wires have slackened and some places the streetlight wires are also naked.


The candidates say development of Ward-12 is on top priority and assure the problem faced by residents would be solved within in a short period. Proper re-carpeting of roads and well drainage system would be set up in the ward, they added.



7 cops suspended for taking liquor on duty
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 17
Seven police personnel, including an ASI and three havildars, were suspended today on a charge of consuming liquor while on duty at a function held on Sunday.

The personnel against whom action was taken had allegedly taken liquor while on duty at Dara Studio in Phase VI where Punjab minister Manpreet Singh Badal had come for the function.

The policemen suspended were ASI Amarjit Singh, havildar Jaspal Singh, havildar Karamjit Singh, havildar Matu Ram, Surmukh Singh, constable Som Nath and constable Bahadur Singh.



Gandhian Satyawati dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
Satyavati , the founder member of the Mahila Parishad, has died. A prayer meeting will be held by family members on June 20 at 2 pm in Arya Samaj Mandir, Sector 27-C. 

She presided over the Mahila Parishad's presidency for four years. She participated in the Swadeshi movement during the freedom struggle. After the independence, she was associated with the Sarvodaya movement led by Vinoba Bhave and Jai Prakash Narayan. She worked for Red Cross during the 1965 Indo-Pak war. A dedicated social worker, she was a true Ghandhian. 



Make city a safer place for women

DC R.K. Rao's hinting at taking serious steps to curb the growing menace of eve teasing is a welcome move.

Women in the city are under constant fear of being harassed at public places. Even kids are not spared. If the rise in the cases of eve teasing is any indication, its high time that the Chandigarh administration should set up a separate cell exclusively to help women get their grievances registered. It will not only encourage women to come out of their shell but also ensure fast-track justice.

As for the police, I reckon Chandigarh police should take a lesson from Gurgaon police who have introduced community policing. The police has empowered a group of residents to keep an eye on the functioning of police personnel and submit feedback to senior cops for follow-up action which includes seeing whether the people who file complaints with police stations receive enough attention or not. Successful implementation of such program will definitely be of great help for women.

And last but not the least, the Chandigarh administration should make the functioning of the public transport system efficient so that women can move around town freely even during late hours.

Rajesh Krishan, 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



CDCL signs MoU with Dale Carnegie
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
Ch Devilal Memorial Centre for Learning (CDCL), in association with Walchand Talent First and Dale Carnegie Training, US, announced the launch of a finishing school here today.

Chief guest Prof R.C. Sobti, vice-chancellor, Panjab University, said, “This course will prepare the students of Chandigarh for their plunge into sectors like IT-ITES, BPO, retail, banking, telecom, insurance, FMCG, media, etc.”

Targeted at graduates, the finishing school offers a unique certificate program in executive excellence (CPEE), a customised course to address the challenge of talent employment in India. It will also have the GenNext program for the young to improve their interpersonal soft skill.

Pallavi Jha, executive chairperson, Walchand Talent First Ltd said, “Chandigarh has a huge untapped talent pool and a fast growing industry that offers increasing job opportunities. The school aims to provide managerial skills training to students and graduates to help them get their first jobs as well as to ensure sustained performance in their careers.”

B.D. Dhalia, former principal secretary, Haryana Government and managing director of CDCL, said, “This school is the first, not only in Chandigarh, but also in the entire region and is aimed at serving the long-pending need of enhancing the employability skills of the young human talent in the region.”



Schools with ‘backing’ spared
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
The authorities appear to have adopted a pick and choose policy regarding building bylaws, site allotment, lease rules and reservation in case of private schools.This could well end up with the city being denied a sound education infrastructure.

The estate office has started issuing notices to these schools mentioning violations in the school building. But in case of certain schools these violations have remained unchecked. Reason: their managements have strong links in political and administrative circles.

“Every school should be measured with the same yardstick. We are utilising our buildings for imparting education alone. Times have changed and if cycle sheds, no more required, are being used for education purposes, what is the harm, asks a spokesperson of the Independent Schools Association.

While allotting school sites, the administration, the Independent association claims, amended lease regulations for certain schools like DPS-40 and Ryan International School-49, thereby defying the Supreme Court orders.

However, Poonam, principal Ryan School said she could not comment on the matter. “This issue is dealt by our manager who is based at Delhi,” she said.

“I know that we comply with the norms. Other details can be ascertained from the Heritage Education Society which runs the school,” said Reema Dewan, Principal DPS-40.

Citing the Chandigarh Leasehold of Sites and Buildings rules--1973, the apex court's orders in a case clearly says that there is no discretion with the Chanidgarh Administration to fix annual rent at a rate lower that the one provided under the rules.

About six to eight school sites were allotted prior to 2002 at a price of Rs 1800 per sq yard. In the second allotment after 2002, a special provision was added in order to reduce the land cost as these schools have strong political connections.

“This policy is tailor-made to facilitate these influential educationists,”said a principal, pleading anonymity.

The schools paid the lease money for six years in lumpsum and were exempted from paying lease money for 27 years. A spokesman of BN Senior Model School-37-A said their submission on payment of lumpsum six years’ ground rent under the same policy was rejected by the administration.

Recently, the estate office issued notice to Shivalik Public School, Sector 41, on certain violations in the school building.The estate officials pointed out that the basement approved for a cycle shed was being used for running a language lab.

“Now, the students will be deprived of the language course as I am compelled to shift this curriculum to the Patiala branch,”said DS Bedi, director-principal of the school.

On the 15 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections, DPI (S) SK Setia said: “To get rid of the quota, some schools run parallel classes from a separate building, claiming the students are part of their school strength. A number of schools are trying to escape reservation for the poor class despite the concessions given to them.” 



Deadline for Tagore Theatre renovation Aug 31
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
The engineering department has been given the deadline of August 31 to complete the renovation work of Tagore Theatre and Beant Singh Memorial, Sector 42. The UT Administrator, who today visited the project sites, has given the deadline.

The Administrator also inspected the progress of the new lake in Sector 42. Senior officers of the engineering department were asked to adhere strictly to the schedule and complete all these projects. A few days back, The Tribune had highlighted the manner in which the projects were being delayed.

At Tagore Theatre, the status of work on all components was discussed with the architects and engineers. The provisions of the hall, stage, green rooms, seating plan, lighting and sound system, interior decorations, rehearsal rooms, cafeteria, adequate car parking were discussed on the spot. With renovation at a cost of Rs 536 lakh, the total seating capacity of the auditorium will be around 885 seats.

The department was asked to ensure that the technical staff manning the lighting and sound system must attend the reorientation training programme to ensure their optimal utilisation. Work on Beant Singh Memorial was also reviewed.

For the lake in Sector 42, the Administrator has set October 1, 2008, as the deadline. This new lake being constructed in southern sectors will provide an ideal site to thousands of people to perform their religious ceremonies besides serving as a recreational centre for the residents of the area and serve as a water-harvesting measure. In the second phase, there is a plan of developing and beautifying the whole area by landscaping and providing other features such as a water fountain, a jogging track and a walkway by reclaiming about eight acres of land lying barren at present.



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