C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


CFSL report nails accused
But rape of German tourist yet to be confirmed
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
The much-awaited Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory (CFSL) report in the sensational alleged molestation of a 20-year-old German tourist has reportedly confirmed the involvement of the prime accused, Manveer Singh Jolly, in the case.

He and his four accomplices had kidnapped the girl from outside the Taj Hotel on September 28.

The report, which is likely to be submitted to the police shortly, also nails the other accused as their DNA, nail samples and teeth impressions match injury marks on the victim’s body.

While the details of the report were not immediately available, police sources said Jolly’s involvement had more or less been established as even the condom, recovered from the makeshift tubewell room in Samalkha, where the woman was taken, contained his semen.

“We are waiting for a detailed match report of the contents of the condom’s exterior and vaginal swabs of the victim to ascertain if a rape had been committed,” a senior official said.

Though the victim had claimed in the beginning that she wasn’t raped, the police is leaving nothing to chance since it suspects that the accused may have even drugged her.

A police officer told The Tribune that the condom was recovered from the spot 48 hours after it was used. Though forensic experts had matched the semen recovered with Jolly’s DNA profile, they were doubtful of getting samples of cells belonging to the victim from the condom’s exterior due to delay in its recovery.

According to sources, the forensic experts examined over 70 samples, including nails, blood, hair and teeth of the accused. Clothes samples of the victim and the accused have also been analysed. The victim, in a bid to save herself, had also bit and scratched the accused, causing injuries on their bodies.

Giving a reason for the delay in submitting the reports, a police officer said forensic experts had first created DNA profiles of the accused and then matched those with the samples taken from the victim as well as the suspects, which was a cumbersome exercise.

Sources said ASP (central) Madur Verma held a meeting with the director and experts of the CFSL yesterday and discussed the status of the report.

The police was contemplating to hire services of a professional translator to rule out the possibility of any communication gap during trial.

It is learnt that the German embassy is in touch with the police and keeping a close watch on the proceedings. Embassy officials had met the 
police last week and expressed satisfaction over the course of the

The victim, meanwhile, is expected to come to the city in the first week of December in connection with the case. Her friends said she would engage a lawyer after she got here. 



Pbi Varsity
441 appointed during Boparai’s tenure as VC
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
Controversial bureaucrat-turned-vice-chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala, S.S. Boparai made 441 ad-hoc and contractual appointments during his five-year tenure using his discretionary powers and some of these were done on the recommendation of high-profile figures, politicians and their kin.

Information sought under the RTI by a High Court lawyer, H.C. Arora, reveals that the long list of VIPs who allegedly influenced the appointments by sending recommendations in writing to the vice-chancellor include first lady Jean Rodrigues, wife of Punjab Governor S.F. Rodrigues, and Patiala MP Preneet Kaur, wife of former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.

The others on the list are former Punjab finance minister Surinder Singla, OSD to Punjab CM Vishavpreet Singh Chinna and Talwandi Sabo MLA Jeet Mohinder Singh.

Jean Rodrigues had reportedly recommended the case of Meena Rani who had sent her a representation to Raj Bhawan. The first lady had forwarded the same to Boparai with comments “please consider”. The vice-chancellor considered the application favourably.

Preneet Kaur had made at least four recommendations. These pertained to posts of assistant librarian, junior engineer (electrical), sewadar (peon) and library restorer. The information, comprising 12,500 pages, was obtained by the lawyer from the State Public Information Officer, Punjabi University, Patiala.

Arora said Boparai’s tenure as vice-chancellor should go down in history as “golden period for ad-hoc appointees”.

Boparai remained the vice-chancellor of the university from August 24, 2002 to November 27, 2007, when he resigned from the post.

All ad hoc appointments to various non-teaching posts were made in exercise of his powers as competent authority under the Punjabi University Calendar. Under the rules, the vice-chancellor has the power to create a post for six months and make appointments for a period of one year.

A scrutiny of the records reveal that candidates would approach him along with the bio-data or an application and he would mark it to the head of department (HoD) concerned for the latter’s comments. All HoDs usually gave favourable comments and candidates were then given appointment for a period of six months, on ad-hoc basis, or till the regular appointment was made, whichever was earlier.

Subsequently, the tenure of such appointees was extended for six months at a time. While some applicants addressed their applications to the head of department, others addressed these to the registrar.

Appointments were made on ad hoc basis and qualifications were relaxed in a large number of cases to adjust them. In a majority of other cases, clause relating to experience was relaxed by the vice-chancellor in anticipation of approval by the syndicate.

On a good number of occasions, the qualification for the post used to be re-determined by the HoD on the insistence of the vice-chancellor to make the applicant eligible for the post concerned and in anticipation of approval by the syndicate of the university. The list contains the names and other particulars of 102 persons who were appointed on adhoc basis on “technical jobs”.

In all 116 persons were appointed as ad hoc clerk (computer data entry). The information also disclosed particulars of 78 persons appointed to the posts of junior technical assistant (10), library attendant (35), shop attendant (10), lab attendant (10), security guard (2), chowkidar (2) and certain other categories, and 75 peons.

In one case, an appointee, Veerpal Kaur, submitted an application to the vice-chancellor for appointment as clerk at regional centre, Bathinda, when there was no such post there. She did not have typing qualifications.

Orders were, therefore, issued, with the approval of Boparai, and in anticipation of approval by the syndicate, that “there being no post of clerk at regional centre, Bathinda, the salary of Veerpal Kaur be charged against the vacant post of clerk lying at Punjabi University, Patiala”.

Patiala vigilance DSP Anil Kumar said investigation was on into ad hoc appointments made by Boparai.

However, Boparai denied that any investigation was being conducted.

“All people whom I had appointed are still working in the university though I had resigned a year ago. If there are allegations that the appointments were made in a biased manner then those people should be removed.”



Youth’s Death
GMCH director seeks treatment report
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
The director-principal of the GMCH-32, Dr Raj Bahadur, has sought a detailed report of the treatment of Mukesh Kumar who died yesterday due to the alleged negligence of doctors. The report was sought after a relative of the deceased, Shiv Sharma, made a formal complaint this morning on behalf of the victim’s father.

He alleged that the doctors not only failed to diagnose Mukesh’s illness on time, but also kept the family in the dark about the treatment being given to him. He also accused the doctors of being “unconcerned and rude”.

Talking to The Tribune, he claimed that the hospital had not yet given them records pertaining to his treatment. “When we asked the hospital authorities for the records today, we were told that these were not immediately available,” he said, adding that he had been asked to come again tomorrow to collect the records.

Mukesh was admitted to the hospital on Friday as he had severe fever and body ache. According to his family, the doctors treated him for routine fever for two days and when his condition deteriorated on Sunday, they claimed that it could be a case of dengue. They subsequently asked the family to arrange for A negative blood platelets, but before they could do so, he died.

The medical superintendent, Dr Vipin K. Kaushal, tried to underplay the incident and said “it could perhaps be a case of a communication gap between the doctors and attendants. The family apparently did not understand what the doctors were saying”.

Asked if an inquiry was being conducted to fix responsibility, he said: “It’s too early. Once the detailed report is submitted by the medicine department, action will be taken.”

Shiv Sharma said they would also approach the UT adviser in this regard. He said he would also file a complaint against the doctors.



Mahurat right to get hitched
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
The ongoing wedding season is causing traffic havoc on the Panchkula-Zirakpur road. Hundreds of commuters were stuck in a jam for hours last night. And this is just the beginning as coming days would witness more chaos with over 5,000 marriages planned in and around the city between November 22 and December 7, which is being considered as the most auspicious period for tying the knot.

Astrologer P. Khurana says: “Year 2008 is being ruled by Saturn, which is known to shower blessings at the fag-end of its period. As this is the end of Saturn rule, it is a good mahurat for inter-faith, inter-caste marriages and other complex marriages.

Zodiac sign Scorpio comes under Mars which represents love, affection, passion and marriage. So, it’s an auspicious time for people of ‘mangal rashi’ to solemnise marriage.” Khurana said November 23, November 29 and December 7 were the most auspicious days in this period.

A quick survey by The Tribune team revealed that most marriage palaces, banquet halls and hotels in and around the city have been booked in this regard. There are around 20 marriages palaces on the Zirakpur-Kalka road, eight on the Zirakpur-Patiala road and 10 on the Zirakpur-Ambala road.

“On these three dates, several marriage palaces are booked for two functions -- one in the afternoon and the other in the evening,” Manoj Kumar, manager of a marriage palace at Zirakpur, said.



City-Baddi rail link hits a bump
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
The proposed Chandigarh-Baddi rail link has run into rough weather. In a development that may derail the project, the Chandigarh administration has taken objection to the project in the current shape and asked the railway authorities to work on an alternative alignment.

The UT’s objections are based on environment concerns as the proposed railway line would pass through the reserve forest area.

“The UT cannot allow the railways to play havoc with the fragile ecology of the city and the railways should work on an alternative route and new alignment for the project to take off,” UT finance secretary Sanjay Kumar said here today.

Minister of state for railways R. Velu yesterday ruled out the possibility of scrapping the project, claiming that stakeholders would resolve issues concerning the project amicably.

The 44-km rail link, which would pass through Himachal, Punjab, Haryana and UT, hit the roadblock recently as it would pass through the IT habitat project, a public private partnership (PPP) of the Chandigarh Housing Board and Parsvnath Developers, besides forest land.

Officials clarified that they were not opposed to the rail link, but their only objection was that it could not be allowed to disturb the fragile ecology of the region. Moreover, the link would come to be far more costly as a number of tunnels would have to be built. They suggested a new alignment from Chandigarh to Pinjore and then to Baddi along the road route.

The survey for the project had started several years ago and the final alignment and survey plan was sent to the states concerned on September 30 this year.

Railway sources claimed that since it was an ambitious project affecting the economic development of Himachal and Punjab, it could not be scrapped. The alignment had been worked out after going through all aspects. The UT was well aware that there was a proposed track passing through the area, but it still allotted land to IT companies, a railway official said.

Conceding that the railways wrote to the administration several years ago, administration officials said they were not taken into confidence by the railways in the run-up to the submission of the final survey report. If the railways had seen the ground reality before submitting the report, this situation could have been avoided, 
sources added.


UT Budget
Bansal writes letter to Rodrigues
Wants UT officials restrained from making statements
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
Taking exception to the premature “unofficial briefings” by UT officials on alleged cuts in UT’s plan and non-plan budgets, minister of state for finance Pawan Bansal has written a letter to the UT administrator to “restrain” the officials.

“I thought you may consider advising the officers against the proclivity to speak to the press against a decision or policies of the central government and that too prematurely or speculatively,” Bansal said while rebutting the news reports.

A section of press had reported that the centre had “cut” the UT’s non-plan budget by 10 per cent and plan budget by 5 per cent.

This news is apparently based on unofficial briefings by some responsible officer of the Chandigarh administration, as it goes on to give details of the demand intended to be made to the Centre, Bansal complained.

In fact, the date fixed for discussion on the revised estimates is fixed for November 14.

Interestingly, the “imposition” of this “cut” of Rs 140 crore was simultaneously criticised by a senior BJP leader.

This is not the first time that news reports based on unofficial briefings by UT officers have appeared in the media commenting against the Centre.

“Leaving aside the question of desirability and appropriateness or otherwise of such a briefing by a responsible officer of the UT administration against the central government, I only wish to bring to your notice that at the time of preparation of the budget for the year 2008-09, Chandigarh’s case had gone by default as no officer was present at the meeting fixed for the purpose. Still, the allocations made were more than the budget estimates (BE) of the year 2007-08 both on plan and non-plan side,” Bansal claimed.

“The final picture always emerges at the revised estimate (RE) stage. Last year, when UT officers asked me to intervene, we were able to get an additional Rs 50 crore.

“I am also sure that our officers know the details of budget-making process and non-acceptance of some proposals does not mean that a ‘cut’ in the budget has been imposed. Also, the surplus revenue of a UT is not the same thing as that of a state, though we must keep raising our demand for greater allocations,” Bansal concluded.



Fire dept exhibits preparedness
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
The fire and emergency services department of municipal corporation, Chandigarh, conducted a fire drill-cum-exhibition of fire fighting equipment at the fire station of Ram Darbar, Industrial Area-II, this morning.

The aim was to see the reaction and preparedness of the fire and emergency services.

The drill was conducted in the memory of Amarjit Singh Mavi, the fireman who lost his life during recent a fire accident at Sector 22.

During the drill, various demonstrations were given, including rescue operation with advanced emergency rescue tender, which reached within two minutes on the scene, followed by an ambulance to carry the casualties.

Mayor Pardeep Chhabra was the chief guest of the programme, which was presided over by MC commissioner Roshan Sunkaria.

M.P.S. Chawla and Harjinder Kaur, P.K. Sharma and other staff members were present.

Sunkaria said: “Fire prevention is better than fighting. Electricity is a major cause of fire accidents and maximum cases of fire are of this nature caused mainly by short-circuit. People should take proper precautionary measures so that fire incidents can be minimised.”

He added that firemen should take safety measures before initiating any fire-fighting operation.



GPA transfer in coop societies
Admn to review ‘hefty’ transfer fee
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
Relief seems to be in sight for over 15,000 general power of attorney (GPA) holders in group housing societies in the city, as the Chandigarh administration is having a re-look at the imposition of hefty charges for the transfer of flats in their names.

A broad consensus on the issue of the framing a “people-friendly” transfer policy was arrived at a meeting between home secretary-cum-cooperation secretary Ram Niwas and DC-cum-registrar cooperative societies (RCS) R.K. Rao here. Ram Niwas asked the RCS to submit a fresh “realistic” proposal for the levy of nominal transfer fee with a view to giving relief to hapless GPA holders, it is learnt. Recently, the administration, applying the “outdated” 1960 rules, imposed “unearned increase” running into lakhs of rupees for the transfer of society flats.

This in spite of the fact that the 1996 rules made it clear that at the time of transfer of the flat in the name of the GPA holder no “unearned increase shall be recoverable”.

The “illegal” transfer fee raised the hackles of society members with general secretary of the Chandigarh Social Welfare Council Satish C. Sharma representing to secretary cooperation on November 7 to reconsider the transfer fee in “public interest”.

In his representation, Sharma had contended that the GPA’s funds were instrumental in completing projects in cooperative societies. Besides, the matter was not examined by the legal remembrancer as advised by joint secretary finance.

While around 15,000 families were having occupancy rights on the basis of the GPA, they have no say in the managements of the societies and the so-called original members, who had sold the dwelling units on hefty profits, called the shots in the societies. The representation claimed that while the UT was quick to adopt Punjab and Haryana rules in its policy decisions, these rules were not followed in GPA transfers.

Punjab and Haryana followed “people-friendly” rules and charge nominal amounts of Rs 10,000 for the transfers, the representation claimed. It was highlighted that the “unearned increase” was charged nowhere in the country and it was “outdated, unrelated and applied in isolation”.

Way out of imbroglio?

n GPAs having occupancy rights in society-allotted land on leasehold basis should be immediately allowed to apply for conversion of leasehold tenure into freehold tenure under “The Chandigarh conversion of Residential Lease Hold Tenure into Free hold land tenure Rules 1996”. On conversion, such GPAs should be allowed transfer as per the Punjab Cooperative Act, 1961.
n GPAs in freehold societies should be allowed to get flats transferred in their names under the Punjab Cooperative Act 1961 and be charged a fee as envisaged in the rules.



CHB Sec 63 Scheme
Allottees have nothing to cheer about
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
The usual euphoria of getting a chance to own a flat in the city was missing among successful allottees of the Sector 63 self-financing scheme during the draw conducted by the Chandigarh Housing Board today.

Due to the negative sentiment prevailing in the market due to the global meltdown, high interest housing loans and the “exorbitant” cost of the flats, the allotment is no longer being considered as a “lottery ticket” by allottees.

“The cost is too much and the loans too high,” an executive said, admitting that it would be tough for him and his wife to repay a loan of Rs 30 lakh that he’ll have to take for the flat.

“It’s a case of being so near, yet so far,” another allottee said, maintaining that the high cost of the flats in the recent market scenario was pinching. He said in a bid to make money, the CHB had deviated from its basic objective of providing affordable housing to residents.

After the much-debated last auction of flats by the CHB when a two-bedroom flat was for Rs 32 lakh, the board has now announced the construction of more than 10,000 houses for middle-income groups.

The board had largely ignored this segment as it was either busy executing schemes at the IT park or the rehabilitation of slum-dwellers.

The Sector 63 scheme, which would take at least three years for the final execution, commands a tentative price of Rs 39.60 lakh for a three-bedroom flat, Rs 29.15 lakh for two bedrooms, Rs 17.16 lakh for one bedroom and Rs 5.67 lakh for one room (EWS) accommodation.

The price may vary depending on the actual cost of construction, design and specification, the board says. The amount has to be paid within 18 months from the date of the acceptance-cum-demand letter.

The lack of enthusiasm is also because the board has included a clause that an allottee cannot sell or transfer his or her rights through the general power of attorney (GPA) during the leasehold period which is five years from the date of possession of the dwelling unit. This means that for a minimum period of eight years, the investment of allottees would be blocked. 

The CHB had conducted a draw for a total of 276 three-bedroom flats (186 general category, 36 SC, 14 defence, OBC and retired personnel, nine physically handicapped and three board employee category).

In the two-bedroom category, 754 units were put up for draw, where 505 were for general category, 99 for SC, 40 defence, OBC and retired personnel and 24 for the handicapped and six for board employees. In the one-bedroom category, out of a total of 482 units, 328 were for general category, 63 for SC, 25 each for defence, OBC and retired personnel, 15 for the handicapped and one for board staff. In the EWS scheme, the draw was conducted for 289 units. As many as 197 were for the general category, 38 for SC, 15 each for defence, OBC and retired personnel and nine for the handicapped.


l SBI officials, the only bank to have put a stall at the draw, said the response was lukewarm. “Though the interest rates have dropped by .75 per cent, the characteristic enthusiasm is missing among allottees. We hope that the allotment letter would generate some interest,” an official said.
l “How can the needs of the middle-income group be met when a benchmark has been set by the CHB. The board had sold a one-room unit for Rs 18 lakh a few years ago and the new houses would not be less than this. If the middle-income group could not afford a house on that price, it can’t afford it even now,” a property dealer said.



Public conveniences hardly convenient
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, November 10
The UT administration seems to have not only sacrificed its major chunk of income but has also been investing to keep the ISBTs in Sectors 17 and 43 clean.

Gone are the days when authorities would pocket something around Rs 15 lakh from contractors for giving them maintenance contract to keep the bus terminals clean.

For the past seven months, contractors have not only procured the right to charge people using toilets but have also been paid by the administration.

“The administration has suffered a total loss of around Rs 84 lakh per year. Earlier it used to earn Rs 1.5 per month. However, the contractor now pockets around Rs 5.5 lakh per month,” said a senior CTU official.

However, this unexplained incentive doesn’t seem to have helped in keeping the bus terminals clean.A visit is enough to reveal the anomalies.

“When we were earning income by giving the contract, it was ridiculous to pay for the same. The condition has deteriorated further,” said a member of CTU workers union.

A shopkeeper at the ISBT alleged: “This is the best example of the favoritism. How easily has the administration given the contract to its favoured lot.”

Ankush Deep, a commuter, said: “While contractor charges money for the use of toilet, soap is rarely provided by them and phenyl is seldom used.”

CTU director Capt P.S. Shergill was unavailable for his comments.



UT seeks Srivastava’s extension
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
The UT administration has sought an extension for special secretary finance Raji P. Srivastava for overstaying in the Chandigarh administration.

According to official sources, the administration has sent the case for extension of Srivastava, who has been appointed as census director in her parent cadre of Punjab, to the Centre. Srivastava completed her tenure here in the first week of November.



Book on healthcare released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
UT home secretary-cum-secretary health Ram Niwas today released a book, “Challenges of Healthcare in India - Administration and Economics”, based on the research and studies of Dr R. Kumar, an eye specialist and health columnist, at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32.

Dr Kumar has 80 books to his credit. He has contributed in the field of medical tourism and Medi-City. The book will benefit the medical community and society as well, said the secretary.

Dr Kumar said in spite of many tall claims, India had a dismal state of healthcare.

The nation was spending just 0.9 per cent of the nation’s GDP on public healthcare.

The healthcare delivery mechanism had collapsed in prosperous states like Punjab where only 6 to 7 per cent patients could avail of OPD consultations and the rest had to either go for private treatment or remain in pain totally unattended.

Elaborating on the theme of the book, Dr Kumar said India was far behind in providing quality outdoor patient services as well as OPDs.

He said: “We have merely 1.5 beds in our hospitals for every 1,000 persons while Thailand had 4.3 for the same number of people. Other countries like Japan, the USA, and European Union, are far ahead with 7.4 beds in the countries.

The condition of availability of physicians is no different, as only 0.5 were available in comparison to 1.8 in the developed countries.”

Similarly, life expectancy in the country was 63 against 78 in Japan and the USA, he said.

Introducing the book, GMCH director-principal Prof Raj Bahadur said it brought into focus the fact that access to quality healthcare in the private sector was limited by the high cost and unethical practices.

Under 10 per cent of India’s population today had some sort of health insurance cover whereas the rural health insurance remained ignored.

Less than 10 per cent people had easy access to public/private healthcare; limited by cost, accessibility, apathy, corruption, he added.



PGI starts dental trauma helpline
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
In what may come as a relief to thousands of persons who lose their teeth in accidents, the PGI dental department has has established a dental trauma helpline (9914208717). An on-call 24-hr emergency team, in response to call on the helpline, will provide necessary guidance and management of the traumatised teeth.

Dento-facial trauma is on the rise due to increased vehicular traffic not only on highways but also within cities, said Dr A.K. Utreja, professor and head, oral health sciences centre, PGI.

Minor accidents, falls and fights during sports activities also lead to complete/partial avulsion of teeth, he said. If the damaged teeth are carefully transported and patients report within the crucial time frame, the teeth can be re-implanted successfully.



2 hurt in mishap
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 10
Two persons were injured seriously when three vehicles, two cars and one tipper, collided with each other on the Panchkula-Barwala road here today. The injured identified as Sanjiv and Brijmohan, both residents of Panjlasa village near Naraingarh, have been referred to the PGI.

According to information, both were going towards their village after visiting their relative in Panchkula in their Maruti when a cow came on the road near Billa village near Barwala. An Indica and a tipper behind the car also hit the vehicle, said the reports.



Shivam theatre found encroaching on highway
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, November 10
A demarcation of land undertaken by the SAS Nagar administration has found that Shivam theatre here has encroached upon almost 30 feet of the Zirkapur-Panchkula highway.

The demarcation was conducted on November 5 by revenue department officials in the presence of Mohali deputy commissioner Rahul Bhandari, SDM Dera Bassi Sohan Lal Bhumbak and district revenue officer R.C. Garg.

This exercise had become a stormy affair with the owners of the structures in the area openly dropping names and telling officers that they would contact the Punjab Chief Minister on this.

Bhumbak said Sandeep Gelhotra, a partner in the theatre, was upset over the results of the demarcation and alleged that the alignment was not proper.

When contacted, Gelhotra said he was not sure about the outcome of the demarcation exercise. But he had been dealt with unfairly and would be contacting senior officers of the Punjab government in this regard, he added. He further said that he had constructed the theatre only after an OK report from the concerned authorities.

The Shivam theatre is built on the Zirakpur-Panchkula road. Sources added that the son a retired Punjab bureaucrat was also said to have a share in the theatre.

The road has to be widened by the National Highway Authority of India and the demarcation is part of the process.

However, Gehlotra alleged that the demarcation was not done properly

The demarcation exercise conducted by the administration was one of its kind, as most of the structures on this part of the road have a VIP owner.

Sources added that most of the owners of these structures had a direct contact with the top politicians of the state.

Some of them had already contacted them in this regard.

Another structure in the area, said to be owned by a serving PCS officer of the state, was also checked for encroachments.

The Mohali administration has submitted the final report of the demarcation to the NHAI and the Public Works Department for further action.



82 objections to Mullanpur master plan
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 10
Landowners of Togan, Mastgarh and certain other villages have objected to the classification of their agricultural land as green zone in the master plan of the Mullanpur local planning area.

The landowners have pointed out that there were no takers of their land whereas the land in adjoining villages that had been earmarked as residential or commercial was attracting high premium. Since the change of land use and external development charges were very high, only big players could benefit from the master plan.

At least 40 such objections form part of the 82 objections that have been received following a public notice issued by the department. Other objections pertain to the distribution of commercial areas in the master plan. All the objections would be put up at the forthcoming meeting of the town planning board. The draft master plan of the Mullanpur local planning area was released on September 15 and objections had been sought.

Sources said the planning area was between Jayanti Devi ki Rao and Siswan Nadi seasonal rivulets. An area of 6,109 hectares falling in 33 villages had been included in the project. The master plan had been chalked out by Singapore based GMADA consultants, Jurong Ltd, keeping in mind the forest cover, low density habitation and low-storied structures to promote the area as Punjab’s first eco-town, said an official in favour of the master plan.

A senior official said the master plan would ensure that Mullanpur area did not go the Nayagaon way where haphazard constructions had mushroomed. The area locked under the Punjab Land Preservation Act, had been kept green and no activity would be allowed in the land. A gross residential density of 100 persons per acre had been projected.

Special view concepts of the master plan are eco- tourism, health village, knowledge village, eco-park, high technology park/I.T park and transport hub. Special controls have been prescribed along the Siswan River and also to protect the scenic beauty of Shivalik Hills, different height controls have been suggested which vary from 20m to 40m.

The plan has been proposed as low-density country living, resort centre and northern gateway to Greater Mohali Area Development Authority. Mullanpur as an "eco-town" is envisioned to rise as a distinctive and sustainable playground of the Greater Mohali Region. The existing rivers and their surrounding waterfronts would be enhanced to become prime physical assets of Mullanpur. It has been planned with new ideas to protect unique environmental, historical and cultural resources, capitalise on the regional assets and resources to promote dynamic and sustainable economic development.

The master plan has been proposed for a 2 lakh population by 2031 and 3.50 lakh by 2056, with gross residential density of 100 persons per acre.



PU retirees won’t give up
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
It seems that the imbroglio between the recently retired teachers and the Panjab University authorities refuses to settle down. After the issue of low remuneration for guest teachers, including those who have recently retired after the Punjab and Haryana High Court, dismissed the petition for enhancement of retirement age from 60 to 62 years, the focus has now shifted to those who want to pursue the case with the Supreme Court.

Apparently, the offer of the university officials to either accept re-employment for a period of three years or approach the Supreme Court has not gone down well with the retirees.

It must be mentioned here that earlier the authorities have given an option to the teachers that if the retired teachers wish to apply for the re-employment scheme of the university, they will have to submit an affidavit with the application stating that they would not approach the Supreme Court.

Sources said this had bred lot of resentment among the retirees who felt that asking for such an affidavit was an encroachment on one’s fundamental right to move 
the court.

In fact, Prof A C Jhulka has already written an email to the vice-chancellor and has called it a violation. He is of the view that no institution can put such a condition for a job. He has also sought a withdrawal of the condition.

It must be mentioned here that despite resentment, around 30 teachers out of 58 who retired on October 31 after court’s orders, have already given their applications for re-employment scheme along with the said affidavit.

But, if the inside sources are to be believed, it seems the university authorities are not willing to drop the condition. Despite repeated attempts, VC Prof RC Sobti could not be contacted for his comments.



Punjabi play marks theatre fest celebrations
S.D. Sharma

Chandigarh, November 10
The city beautiful has its own vibrant soul pulsating with the aesthetic and cultural ethos and the administration is committed to augment the level of cultural activities here, UT home secretary, Ram Niwas, said today.

He inaugurated the 3rd Annual Chandigarh Theatre Festival-2008 organised by Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademy at Tagore Theatre today. Promising to offer additional facilities, he assured to develop Tagore Theatre complex as a hub of multidimensional cultural activities. Earlier, Akademy chairperson Kamal Tewari welcomed the chief guest while dedicating the festival to the memory of Late S Bhag Singh and Late Aditya Prakash, well-known theatre personalities of the region.

The akademy also honoured academician thespian Kumar Verma for his contribution in the realm of theatre arts. The festival started with the staging of Punjabi Play ‘Chhaleda’, the most popular creation of playwright Bhag Singh.

The accomplished actors, meticulously chosen, staged the pastoral drama to perfection under the direction of noted theatre and film actor Kuldeep Sharma of Ajanabi Rangkarmee.

Credited with over two dozen films and serials in Hindi and Punjabi, the brilliant actor appeared on his favourite Tagore Theatre stage after a hiatus of thirteen years but only to mesmerise the audience. The crowd relished every bit of the play structured into the rural ambience that virtually translated the soul of rustic Punjabi life. The potent script weaved around the ambitions, aspirations and socio-cultural mores was bought to life with natural acting spells. Kuldip Sharma excelled with equal support from Raman Mittal, Amandeep Bhogal, Satinder Satti, JS Dardi, Munish and Baljit Zakhmi.

Kamal Arora conducted the inaugural programme while RS Verma DPR also graced the programme. ‘Charan Das Chor’ will be presented tomorrow under the direction of Julfiqar Khan. 



Begging menace

As per the news item reported in the Chandigarh Tribune dated 3rd Nov 2008, I believe that previous to this there were many reported cases regarding the crimes by small children. There is no field left where children are not involved or controlled by mafia. There are daily cases of pick pocketing by small children especially from the signals or from the paddlers in tricky ways.

The UT Government should not be lenient with this issue other wise the days are not far when no one would dare to step out for shopping even in the day light.

Small children looting people in the guise of begging and doing all sort of mischievous like snatching, robbery, etc should be governed strictly.

G.K. Chopra, 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



Finally, PU implements security norms
No vehicles in students’ centre
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
Finally, PU authorities are getting serious about campus security, after the recent spat among students, the university authorities, have implemented their decision to make students’ centre a vehicle free zone.

For the purpose a board has also been put up at the entry point of the centre and those who came with their vehicles were asked to park them near the library and elsewhere.

However, in the absence of a proper parking space to suit this arrangement, the commuters had a tough time finding space for their vehicles near students’ centre.

Though the officials’ claim that the parking space would be provided till DCET, the same is yet to be done.

Meanwhile, the authorities have decided to prevent students from helmet less driving on the campus. For this, the university authorities have already initiated talks with the UT police. Notices will also be sent to the teaching departments to create awareness among students for the safety norms while driving.

The authorities have also fixed the time slot for the opening of gate numbers 1 and 3. The gates would be open from 6 am to 6 pm. After 6 pm, entry to the campus would only be through gate number 2.

The authorities are also in the process of issuing identity cards to all the students and even the teaching and non-teaching staff. It is proposed that a telephone directory would be made available on all the gates so that if an outsider has to meet some official, the same could be confirmed at the gate itself.

The university are already in the process of adding approximately 60 new security personnel in the present fleet. Increasing all the four boundary walls of the campus by at least two to three feet is also in the pipeline.



Hindi seminar at PU concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
On the concluding day of the national seminar today, ‘Samay Samaj Aur Hindi’, panelists from the field of Journalism, creative writing and academia dwelt upon the topic of ‘ Hindi Ki Janta Aur Janta Ki Hindi’. Uday Sinha, editor Sahara Times, advocated a flexible approach towards Hindi. “A new scenario in Hind Media is emerging which is rejecting the classical Hindi. There are many expressions given by the common man of a particular area like Punjab and Haryana, which are not found in dictionaries. Contemporary journalism is using them and making them acceptable”, he stated.

Dr Anil Rai, from Gorakhpur University said communication is not the only objective of language. It also has an aesthetic aspect, which reflects in literature, the language therein could be symbolic on specific. Dr Rajinder Pandey, from Bihar supported this. Dr Ashok Kumar from department of Hindi, PU, said first of all we must define ‘Hindi Ki Janta’, which is of course the common man. Intervening in the debate Prof N.K. Oberoi, former department head English, PU, opined that we must not be exited about the expansion of market-oriented media as the language given by the market deals with business compromises.

Dr Gurmeet Singh, PU, said we should deliberate on the role-playing aspect of Hindi language for depicting common man’s problems, aspirations, challenges, ironies etc.

Presiding over, Dr Verander Mehindiratta, concluded that we should take care that winds from west should not sway away our past completely.

Dr Alpana Mishra from Dehradun scanned Hindi poetry to show the concern of Hindi writers about environmental issues. Dr Neeru from Correspondence studies, PU, contributed to her thoughts in her analysis of contemporary Hindi. Dr Ramesh Kuntal Megh searched Indian mythology to find its relevance for environmental issues.

Dr Neerja Sood summed up that environment is just not the nature but our social and inner environment as well.



AIEEE on April 26
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10
The 8th All India Engineering Entrance Examination for admissions in BE/ B.Tech and B.Arch/ B.planning in various national level institutes like NITs, IITs, deemed universities and government funded institutions and states like Haryana and Uttaranchal will be on 26th April, 2009 all over India and Abroad.

This examination will be held in two parts viz BE/B.Tech from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm and for Barch/B.planning from 1400hrs to 1700 hrs. The sale of application form from the identified branches of the Syndicate Banks all over India, identified institutions and regional offices of CBSE will start from 5th December 2008 to 5th January, 2009.The last date for submission of application form is 10th January, 2009 till 5:00 pm. For more information, visit www.aieee.nic.in 



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