C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU Syndicate Meeting
Admission ban on ayurvedic college
Notice served for irregularities
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
Sri Dhanwanatry Ayurvedic College and Hospital, Sector 46, is being issued a show-cause notice for the irregularities found in its functioning during the inspection by the university committee team. This was decided at the Syndicate meeting held today at Panjab University.

Members of the Syndicate also decided to ban the admission in the college from the next session. When the committee report was tabled, the members raised the point that as per the committee report, it was clear that the college was not fulfilling the norms of the university and the Central Council of Indian Medicine.

One of the members stated that the university should inform the college authorities in time this year about not admitting the students as last year they had pleaded that they were not timely informed.

The Syndicate constitutes a two-member committee, which will prepare an action report immediately to be sent to the college for execution. The university will also send a copy to the Central Council of Indian Medicine, New Delhi.

There was a heated exchange of words in the matter of suspension of three teachers of DAV. The members decided that the college management and teachers should discuss the matter and, if necessary, the Vice-Chancellor should also intervene. With the assurance given by the university authorities, the teachers have suspended a strike for one week.

The Syndicate also decided to impose a fine of Rs 50,000 to 13 B.Ed colleges, which do not have regular principals.

The agenda of board of finance was also tabled at the meeting and the members decided to discuss at the next meeting of the Syndicate but they approved the emergency payments to be paid to the staff.



Family booked for duping 24
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 21
The avarice to get hefty interest on their amount cost 24 persons dearly when a resident of Gurukul Colony fled the town after collecting at least Rs 20 lakh from them.

The victims approached the police after finding that the accused, Arjun Singh, and his family had been missing from their house since March 7.

According to the complainants, Arjun had been living in the colony for the past 25 years. He used to run a scheme on the pattern of chit-fund company. He had assured them of returning sizeable amount as interest against the amount deposited by them.

Early this month, the amount deposited with the family exceeded Rs 20 lakh and the family fled the colony, alleged victims in their complaint lodged with the police.

The police has started investigating the matter after booking the family under Section 420 of the IPC.



World Forestry Day
City not so green after all
GS Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
While the Chandigarh administration brags about its “extensive” green cover, the Forest Survey of India (FSI), Dehradun, the nodal agency that calculates the forest and tree cover of all cities, feels otherwise. Also, a question mark has been raised on the “Greening Action Plan 2008” announced by the administration in March last year, as even after a lapse of one year the administration’s claim to ensure proper pest control, removal of concrete/cemented area around all trees and environmentally friendly vermi-composting of dry leaves have yet to be materialised.

In fact the administration’s resolve has not moved beyond the press-statement. At all new parking spaces, concreting of the area has been done till the tree trunk and hollowed and termite infested trees exist all over the city due to lack of timely pruning. Officials of the forest and environment department prefer to remain tightlipped on the issue.

Nonetheless, the FSI has specifically replied, through the RTI, that there has been no change in the forest cover of Chandigarh in 2005 assessment as compared to what it was in 2003.

Dr Gaurav Chhabra, of a local NGO, Hamlog, who procured the information through the RTI, said the Chandigarh administration’s reported claims of tremendous progress in green cover that occurred between 2001 and 2003 have been fabricated and rigged due to change in resolution of remote sensing.

The Chandigarh administration is, apparently, not following the national data on forest cover calculated on the basis of geographical demarcation and thus, the discrepancy is there,” believe experts.

The “State of Forest Report” by the FSI stated that the forest cover of Chandigarh was 15 sq km, while the tree cover was 9 sq km. Thereby, the combined forest and tree cover was 24 sq km, making the total green area at 21.05 per cent of the total geographical area of 114 sq km.

On the other hand, the claim of the administration was that Chandigarh’s green area stood at 35.7 per cent.

“The 25 sq km hilly area of the wildlife Sukhna Sanctuary, which actually falls in Punjab and Haryana as per the Survey of India maps and calculated in the forest cover statistics of Punjab and Haryana, has been included in the forest cover making it 41 sq km. On the other hand, the report has put it at 15 sq km,” experts add.



SE Retention
UT, PSEB at loggerhead
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
The UT administration and the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) are on collision course over the retention of Surinder Pal, Superintending Engineer (SE) in the electricity department, who has already been promoted as the chief engineer by the board.

Taking strong exception to the retention of Surinder Pal, who also holds additional charge of the chief engineer of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) by the UT, PSEB Chairman HS Brar, in a communication to the administration, said: “The PSEB cannot allow an officer, who has been promoted as chief engineer, to continue in the Chandigarh administration against the post of the SE as it will create legal problems for the PSEB. The proposal sent by you is not acceptable.”

Last month, the administration had sought retention of the senior official. However, the proposal had not found favour with the PSEB, which said the administration's communication did not mention against which post the officer was to be "adjusted".

The UT engineering department was reportedly toying with the idea of creating an additional post of chief engineer in the electricity department to “accommodate” Surinder Pal.

Brar's letter gives credence to the reports of creating additional post of chief engineer in the UT. “If there is any vacant post of chief engineer in the administration, the proposal may be acceded to if found suitable," Brar's letter says.

The letter clearly mentioned that the promoted officer must join at the new posting station within one month otherwise the promotion of the officer will be automatically considered as foregone and he would be debarred from promotion for a period of three consecutive years.

Interestingly, Surinder Pal was promoted as chief engineer in the PSEB a few months ago.

"Officer crunch" at the top level in the engineering department of the Chandigarh administration is set to get worse post-March 31 in case Surinder Pal is repatriated.

UT chief engineer Krishanjit Singh is set to retire on March 31 and the CHB is without a regular chief engineer for the past several months. In fact, three-month extension to Krishanjit Singh by UT Administrator SF Rodrigues from January 1, 2009, had sparked off a letter war between the Administrator and his Adviser Pradip Mehra. Mehra had termed extension to "tainted" official against rules, while Rodrigues had justified his powers of granting three-month extension to the official.



Allottees stage dharna outside GMADA office
Seek probe into lost documents
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 21
Members of the Plot Allotment Sangharsh Committee, Sectors 76-80, have demanded a high-level probe into the alleged disappearance of vital documents from the files of persons who had purchased plots allotted in the reserved categories even as they staged a dharna outside the office of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) here today demanding an early draw of lots for the remaining plots.

President of the committee, Sucha Singh Kalour, said some persons had purchased plots, which were allotted eight years ago in the reserved categories meant for Army personnel, freedom fighters, sportspersons and the Scheduled Castes.

These persons had got the letters of intent transferred on their names after depositing the transfer fee and producing the required documents.

But GMADA employees were now allegedly harassing these persons because certain documents were missing from their files.

He suspected that documents had deliberately been misplaced by the employees and now they were asking owners of the plots to get certain documents from original allottees.

Problems were arising because some original allottees had left the town while a few of them had even died.

The protesters said the draw of lots for the remaining plots measuring 200 sq yards and 500 sq yards was not being held by the GMADA on the pretext of the violation of the Code of Conduct in connection with the general elections.

They said these plots were allotted eight years ago and the allottees had deposited 25 per cent of the cost of these plots.

In case the GMADA authorities were not sure whether the draw could be held, they could seek a clarification in this regard.

They urged the Punjab Chief Minister to issue directions for holding the draw failing which a protest would be held on April 18.



Parties’ performance sole criterion

I believe the candidate should be judged on the past records and the commitments made vis-à-vis promises fulfilled should be verified. The only way to check a party’s performance is to see how many promises fulfilled. To check if the party deserves to come back, this needs to be seen.

I strongly believe that my vote is my right and I will not cast my vote going by my parents or friends’ advice. This is my country and so it is my decision to vote. Under no pressure should one vote for a particular party or a candidate.

The major issue of corruption should be dealt with immediately. Also, the fact that people the below poverty line need special attention as far as education is concerned. Overall development should be the main focus of the candidate as well as of the party.

— Shweta



Building Violations
Admn officials entered school without permission
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
The management of Bal Niketan Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 37-A, today clarified that the officials of sub divisional Office (SDO), Buildings, yesterday, barged into the school premises without giving any prior intimation.

Dr Rajesh Kapoor, director of the school, said the team was never obstructed from doing their services and the school management was not yet served upon any notice for building violations. “Infact, they did not disclose their identity at the first instance. Keeping in mind the security of the children, we asked them to show their identity which apparently infuriated them.”

It is pertinent to mention here that the police had to intervene to settle the issue. Dr Kapoor further said despite the fact that the no copy of the order of inspection was produced by the SDO officials, the school authorities took them around the school for the inspection.



Control misuse through SMS: CEC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
The Election Commission of India has given specific instructions to control misuse of slander and defamation campaigns by using the bulk SMS facility, the CEO said here today.

It has been pointed out that if the SMS facility is being used by a candidate for canvassing, the expenditure incurred on the same will have to be booked by him in his expenditure account.

If any political party or candidate uses this facility to spread hatred among different castes, communities or religions, the same should be brought to the notice of the police authorities, who will then take an appropriate action under relevant provisions of law.

It has also been stated that there is a complete ban on using this facility after the electioneering is over ie 48 hours before the end of polling.



Candidates out to woo voters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
Promising them “moon”, BSP candidate for Chandigarh parliamentary seat Harmohan Dhawan today paid a visit to Ram Darbar colony.

Addressing public today, Dhawan promised to work for overall development of poor people. He said after winning the election, his top priority would be to improve life conditions of the downtrodden and poor people.

Meanwhile, Janta Dal candidate V B Goswami too spent his time with Colony no. 4 residents today. He visited them door-to-door and patiently listened to their problems and promised to find their solutions if voted to power.

The public too responded well and announced that they would organise a Sahayta Samaroh, which should be inaugurated by V B Goswami.

On the other hand, BJP-NDA candidate Satya Pal Jain told the party workers to go to voters with facts and figures and exposed the true face of the Congress.



City keeps date with rain
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
The city recorded of 9.6 mm rainfall in the first fortnight of March as against the average rainfall of 36.1 mm in the previous years. As per the records of the Met department, the city has not even recorded the average rainfall since January in the current year.

Officials of the department stated that there would be scattered thunderstorms in the coming week and the weather would remain partly cloudy. The department forecast that there would be rain in the last week of March. As per the department, the maximum temperature recorded is 29.4 Celsius and minimum is 14.8 Celsius with partly cloudy weather. Official stated that there would be drizzling in the next week.

The weather department, Director Chhatar Singh stated that the major reason of low rainfall was weak western disturbances in the region. He said it was expected that the city would receive more rainfall by the end of this month.



PCR’s preparedness reviewed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
A meeting of the Chandigarh Police was held today to assess the law and order situation in the city for the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

The meeting was held at Traffic Auditorium, Traffic & Security Lines, Sector 29.

Chairing the meeting, UT SSP SS Srivastava assessed the preparedness of the PCR staff for the elections.

The staff was directed to respond to PCR calls within three to five minutes and ensure speedy action.

The police officials were briefed and directed to ensure proper compliance of the code of conduct and to ensure smooth conduct of the elections.

DSP (PCR) Vijay Kumar said three inspectors of the PCR and around 350 PCR officers attended the meeting.



Electoral rolls to carry voters’ photos
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
To minimise the chance of bogus voting in the forthcoming general election, the electoral rolls will carry the photographs of all electors. The photo electoral rolls, as they are now called, will be used in all parliamentary constituencies across India, including Chandigarh.

A spokesperson for the Chandigarh administration today said anyone interested in knowing more about the photo electoral roll or if their name featured in the list could visit the website: www.chd.nic.in.

For the first time, a de-duplication software has also been used to ensure the accuracy of the electoral rolls. After verification, wrong entries can be detected and deleted. In future, the software will be used in synchronisation with the GIS software being developed by the Election Commission, the spokesman added.



IT Survey
Undisclosed income worth Rs 10 cr unearthed

Chandigarh, March 21
Surveys conducted by the income tax department in a group of cases, which is dealing with manufacturing of seats and suspension of buses as well as trading and manufacturing of AC and auto components yesterday, unearthed undisclosed income of Rs 10 crore today.

The IT department surveyed all business premises of Rishi Agarwal and his partner Viril Shah, including Lalru-based factory JCBL, which manufacture AC and auto components and manufacturer of seats and suspension of buses, Mobility Solutions, Industrial Area, Chandigarh. Several teams under the supervision of IT Commissioner (CIT I) GS Randhava had carried out the survey and recovered incriminating documents. — TNS



Nritya sammelan concludes
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, March 21
The classical vocalist, Shubha Mudgal, and renowned exponent of Bharatnatyam Rama Vaidyanathan treated the audience with Bharatnatyam, full of lyrical depth, grace and divine magic, on the concluding day of the 39th All-India Bhaskar Rao Nritya and Sangeet Sammelan at Tagore Theatre here today.

Shubha Mudgal commenced her vocal recital with ‘Raga Chhaya Nat’ with an introductory alaap with a skilled manipulation of the deep resonant voice and a play of imagination. The most memorable concert gave a complete index of the acclaimed versatility and capability of maestro Shubha Mudgal.

She was accompanied by Anesh Pradhan on tabla while Sudhir Nayak provided support on harmonium. Pushpita Sen was on Taanpura. The chief guest, Ram Niwas, home secretary, UT, and HK Dua, Editor-in-Chief, The Tribune, honoured the artistes.



After rethink, GCM holds Col guilty of hitting junior
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
Revising its earlier findings, a general court martial (GCM) has held the commandant of an armoured regiment guilty of using criminal force on a subordinate officer and have awarded him severe reprimand.

Earlier, the GCM, presided over by Brig Prem Gupta, had found Col Suhel Singh not guilty of the charge against him and acquitted him. The GCM’s confirming authority, however, did not agree with the court’s verdict and directed it to reconsider it.

During the revision hearing, the officer contended that the revision order was signed by the General Officer Commanding 40 Artillery Division, whereas according to Army regulations, the competent authority was the GOC-in-C, Western Command.

He also challenged the change of the judge advocate when the court reassembled.

A subaltern in the same regiment, Lt Vineet Benal had alleged that the commandant had hit him in the face with his fist during a navigation exercise last year. The revision hearings had started in Ambala on March 19.



Punjab, UT women staff hold rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
The women wing of the Joint Action Committee, Punjab and UT Employees, yesterday held a rally against the Punjab Government demanding immediate implementation of the fifth pay commission report.

The women members assembled at Sector 17 around 12 pm and held a rally for two hours raising slogans against the indifferent attitude of the state government.

Surinder Kaur Cheema, representative of the workingwomen organisation, criticised the SAD-BJP led state government saying that the government was not doing anything for the betterment of the employees and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was only busy promoting the interest of his family.



Tribune Impact
St Kabir student promoted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
The Class IX student who was allegedly detained by St Kabir School, Sector 26, for not securing 50 per cent, although the required ICSE requisite is 45 per cent, has been granted promotion following the news published in these columns.

Earlier, the UT education department had issued a notice to the school for overlooking the ICSE guidelines and had demanded the justification of denial of promotion to the child. The issue had emerged when aggrieved parents approached the home secretary alleging that the school authorities had asked them to either opt for repeating Class IX or leave the school.



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