C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Yuvraj top scorer among taxpayers
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
The last fiscal may not have been a very fruitful cricketing year for all-rounder Yuvraj Singh but the city lad raked in enough moolah to become Chandigarh’s top taxpayer by shelling out Rs 4.3 crore as income tax.

While Yuvraj has been on the top taxpayers’ list for quite some time, this is the first time he has taken the top slot. In fiscal 2008-09 he was third on the list with a tax payment of Rs 2.42 crore, but his earnings soared after becoming the captain of the Kings XI team and he filed a return on his income of Rs 12.37 crore. However, he was not available for comments.

Second on the list is Vijay Passi, owner of Krishna Automobiles, a car dealership, with a tax payment of Rs 3.38 core on an income of Rs 9.97 crore. For him being on the top taxpayers list is nothing new since he has been one of the city's richest resident for almost a decade, as he filed a return of Rs 62 lakh in 2001-02.

However, since then Passi’s earnings have increased considerably and he was the top taxpayer in 2008-09 and 2006-07 with a payment of Rs 3.48 crore and about Rs 2-2.5 crore, respectively.

When contacted he said every person should pay tax honestly. “This is what I can say - I want to live a peaceful life,” he added.

The third on the list is city based businessman Ravi Inder Singh with a tax payment of Rs 2 crore. If insiders are to be believed he has a political background too. He could not be contacted despite repeated calls to his mobile number.

Rajiv Goel, chairman & managing director, and Alka Goel, executive director, of leading pharma firm Surya Pharmaceuticals are seventh and eighth on the list. The husband-wife duo paid taxes to the tune of Rs 1.16 crore each. Leading Punjabi singer Gurdas Mann is also among the top ten taxpayers with a payment of Rs 60.59 lakh.

Others on the list include Rakesh Gupta, Sewak Ram and Rekhi Ram. Most of them have found their way on the list due to capital gains. Interestingly, the number of top taxpayers who are paying over Rs 1 crore has increased consistently for the last three assessment years. While in 2007-08 there was only one, a woman who had paid income tax of Rs 1.45 crore, in 2008-09 the number went up to five. In the last fiscal the number has doubled and touched a record high of ten.

Another interesting aspect of this list is that despite paying such high taxes, some of the taxpayers are in trouble with the revenue agencies. While Yuvraj has been issued notices by the excise department for nonpayment of service tax, Surya Pharmaceuticals’ office was recently raided by the IT department. The raids led to a surrender of Rs 20 crore.



Anxious moments give way to ecstasy
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 5
Rising adrenalin levels and nail-biting moments during the Australia-India Test at the PCA stadium had spectators on the edge of their seats, particularly towards the finish.

With match taking a different turn every moment, the thrill and suspense, coupled with the spectacular innings by VVS Laxman and Ishant Sharma, bowled over 3,000 fans in the stadium.

While the expectations soared for the Indian team when Sachin and Zaheer came to the pitch to continue with the overnight score of 55 for four, the spectators, however, were taken by a rude shock when the wickets of both Zaheer and Sachin fell in no time.

“I think we have lost the match,” said a local fan, Deepak, when Boulinger sent Sachin back to the pavilion. While many still were pinning their hopes on Dhoni and Laxman, all expectations were shattered when Dhoni was run out.

There was virtually no hope for the Indian spectators when Ishant joined Laxman at the team’s total of 124 for eight.

At this juncture, many spectators were seen leaving the stadium in despair.

All of sudden, the atmosphere inside the stadium started changing, with Ishant playing some good shots.

Each run by Laxman and Ishant was enough to raise hopes of the fans and was greeted with loud cheer and applause. There was a ray of hope all around when Ishant hit his first boundary with aplomb.

India’s touching 200-mark was welcomed by the present ones like anything. “I think the match is in our grip,” said Deepak again.

The excitement reached its crescendo when Ishant lost his wicket and the last pair of Laxman and Ojha had to make 11 runs to win.

“Only Laxman can make India win now. He should not give strike to Ojha,” was the common view of the fans.

It was a sigh of relief for everyone when India won following two leg bye runs by Ojha.

Though VVS played a vital role in India’s win with his unbeaten 73-run knock, it was lanky Ishant Sharma who has won the hearts of local fans with his gritty 31-run knock.

“Undoubtedly, VVS Laxman played a crucial role in India’s win. But he is purely a batsman and known for salvaging the team many times in the past also. We just love Ishant, who put up a great batting show against Australian bowling attack, paving the way for India to win,” said Rinny and his friends.



Pawan Bansal’s kin kidnapped
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 5
A one-and-a-half-year old child of a local businessman, a first cousin of union minister of parliamentary affairs & water resources Pawan Bansal, was allegedly kidnapped from a park outside his home in Sector 7 here this evening.

In his complaint to the police the boy’s father, Puneet Bansal, who owns a tyre business in the city, said his son, Arnav, along with his brother, Arv, was playing with their cousins when the suspect arrived at the park and abducted the boy. The boy’s mother, who was earlier with the children, had gone inside the house at the time of the incident, he added.

Puneet said his two sons along with his elder brother’s children, Anika and Lakshya, were playing in the park outside their home when the kidnapper, who was wearing a blue t-shirt, arrived at the scene. “Anika objected to this and went inside the house to report the matter to her aunt, Manisha. However, the kidnapper immediately fled taking away my son”, he added.

The police later said it had received information that the kidnapper fled from the scene in a car, but is yet to ascertain its colour and modelcar. Somepasserby had informed the cops that the car might be a gray coloured Suzuki Swift, the police added.

Superintendent of police, Maneesh Chaudhary, who immediately arrived at the scene, said prima facie it appeared to be a case of kidnapping. He said the police had flashed messages to all checkposts in the city, adding investigations were on.

“The family has yet to receive any ransom call from the kidnappers”, he stated.



PU BA Eng curriculum to be revised
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
With faculty members finally acknowledging the impact of inflation, Panjab University now plans to raise prices of textbooks, last increased seven years ago, as well revise the curriculum of undergraduate courses in English.

A committee set up to look into the issue of revising the curriculum for compulsory and elective BA English (I, II & III) classes and trebling textbook prices from Rs 40 to Rs 120 will table its report before the PU senate at its meeting on October 10.

Rana Nayyar, who heads the varsity’s English & cultural studies department, had brought the matter to the notice of the syndicate, stating a “complete change is required in textbook content and approach to teaching as well as the examination pattern for 2011-12”.

The undergraduate board of studies observed if books were to be sourced from reputed publishers (according to university rules), the cost of the textbooks had to be raised.

At the syndicate meeting held on June 29 the members resolved to form a committee under the chairmanship of Shelly Walia, a fellow and professor in the English & cultural studies department.

After discussing the issue of hiking textbook prices and revising the curriculum with the faculty members in colleges, the committee then forwarded its recommendations to the PU vice chancellor for approving the reforms requested earlier before the committee.

“Such changes will be welcomed, especially if the standard of the courses offered by the university are to be improved. Revision of curriculum, last effected 7-8 years ago, is vital,” said Walia.

Yet another pro-student issue coming up before the senate is that related to resumption of studies by students. Gurmeet Singh, a fellow and faculty member in PU’s Hindi department proposed that a regular student who had to leave the course midway due to marriage, getting a job or any other reason, should be allowed to resume studies through the University School of Open Learning (USOL) or as a private candidate.

The syndicate passed the resolution on the matter at its meeting held on August 31 and asked a committee to work out the modalities.

Issues to be tabled before senate

l Restricting speed limit of vehicles to 40 kmph and erecting speed signboards on campus

l Permitting regular candidates who leave studies midway to resume studies through USOL

lFixing fees for MSc (fashion & lifestyle) course at Rs 40,000+ Rs 5,000 per semester (besides university charges)

l Charging a student Rs 500 if any information is concealed from PU in any form


President arrives in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
President Pratibha Patil reached the city today amid tight security arrangements. During her trip, she met Punjab Governor Shivraj V Patil and his Haryana counterpart Jagannath Pahadia. She had dinner at the Punjab Raj Bhavan where she was entertained by troupes of the North Zone Cultural Centre, Patiala, which presented a choreographed presentation on Punjab’s cultural heritage.

Meanwhile, long queues of vehicles stranded in traffic jams were witnessed due to diversions imposed on the route taken by the President in the city. Though the traffic police personnel manually regulated traffic on the VVIP routes, traffic snarl-ups could not be avoided. The president arrived at the Chandigarh airport at around 11.30 am and headed toward the Haryana Raj Bhavan in a car cavalcade.

The cavalcade took a right turn from The Tribune roundabout and moved to the Transport Lights Point from where to took a left turn on Madhya Marg and reached Haryana Raj Bhavan.

Long queues of vehicle, including long routes buses, remained stranded in the jam while the traffic police stopped traffic to allow the VVIP cavalcade to pass. Heavy security deployment was seen on the VVIP routes.

Police officials said that traffic was stopped at intersections on the VVIP routes for a few minutes only and the normalcy was restored after the President's cavalcade reached it destination. Officials said after staying overnight in the city, she would tomorrow go to Amritsar to attend 'Nanhi Chhaon campaign' aimed at protecting the girl child and trees.

Patil will visit the Golden Temple and the historic Jallianwala Bagh and the historic Durgiana Temple before leaving for New Delhi. 



Rajkiya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyaan
UT’s demand of Rs 22-cr funds raises doubts
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
The Central government has raised doubts on the “unjustified” demand of Rs 22 crore as funds for Rajkiya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyaan (RMSA) by the UT education department.

Releasing over only Rs 5 crore, the government has asked the UT to justify the enlisted projects before the release of remaining amount.

The UT has proposed the budget, along with various schemes at a meeting held recently in Delhi. Central officials, however, not only found the proposed schemes below average but even over priced and thus demanded due justification before releasing the funds.

“The progress of RMSA is dismal in the UT. It was supposed to start as full-fledged projects in December last year but things are still not on track till now. They have come out with an array of schemes, which are not only mediocre, but over priced also. In states where the scheme is a huge success, the funds being demanded are half for a large area. We have asked the DPI (S) to justify the project and even improve the number and quality of his proposed schemes,” said a senior official from Delhi.

Admitting the fact, DPI (S) PK Sharma said, “There is nothing about schemes coming under doubts. They wanted due justification of all projects just to verify the demanded funds. I have already sent the information to the Centre today. The project, though not streamlined, is being taken up in different forms in different schools at the moment.”

It may be noted that it was DPI (S) Samwartak Singh, who decided to launch RMSA on the levels compared to the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan. A panel was made to devise new schemes and launch them by December last year but unfortunately infamous cash-for-job scam stalled all plans.



Employees Housing Scheme
Draw of lots expected before Divali
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
Despite hectic parleys and blame game in finding the scapegoat in the delay of the much-hyped housing scheme for UT employees, the Chandigarh administration has initiated a last-minute effort to hold the draw of lots before Divali.

A meeting regarding the housing scheme was held today under the chairmanship of Adviser to the Administrator Pradip Mehra. Chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) Mohanjit Singh said the draw of lots would be declared before the festival. He, however, failed to give the exact date for the draw of lots.

UT officials are still not decided over the number of houses and storeys under the scheme. Moreover, the parking space marked in the scheme is also not adequate.

The special housing scheme for UT employees was floated more than two years back, but officials are unable to tell how many applicants would get a house. The CHB had received over 7,400 applications for nearly 2,200 houses. Recently, CHB chairman had sent a letter to the administration blaming the department of urban planning for the inordinate delay.



Seven-day NSS camp concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
The seven-day NSS camp of Postgraduate Government College for Girls, Sector-11, concluded here today.

A total of 150 volunteers, under the guidance of programme officers Devenderjit Sewak, Gurjit Kaur and Dr S Prakasam participated in the camp.

Lectures were organised on various issues like breast cancer, Right to Information Act, Women Empowerment, self realisation, moral values, stress release and meditation. Volunteers also visited Old Age Home and distributed fruits to the inmates. They discussed about their health and hygiene.

Volunteers conducted a survey on the socio-economic status of residents of the adopted Kudda Jassu village and informed the village residents about various diseases and measures.

Meanwhile, NSS wing of Postgraduate Government College for Girls, Sector 42, organised “Tarkshil Mela” at Kajheri village today as part of the seven-day NSS Camp.

A total of 150 NSS volunteers and large number of village residents attended the camp.

Jarnail Kranti and his team members from Tarkshil Society, Punjab, (Chandigarh) told 
he village residents and NSS volunteers to be vigilant and not get entrapped by “tantriks” and “babas”.

NSS volunteers also carried out a cleanliness drive on the college campus. The base of the camp was college campus, but the focus was the adopted Kajheri village.



Common Biomedical Waste Plant 
‘Contract to be awarded by Nov 30’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
The process of allocating contract for setting up a common bio-medical waste treatment facility in Chandigarh shall be completed by November 30, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today heard.

The assertion came during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation seeking directions for installation of a waste treatment plant to stop discharge of untreated liquid waste into the drains of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. Directions have also been sought to stop the burning of biomedical waste at the Sector 16 Government Multi-Specialty Hospital without installing air pollution control device.

As the Division Bench of Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and Justice Ajay Tewari took up the matter, an affidavit by director, UT health and family welfare, Dr Manjit Singh Bains was placed before it.

Dr Bains said the process of getting expression of interest for the project was completed on August 18. The affidavit said in response to an advertisement published in newspapers on July 21, as many as 12 firms submitted tenders on August 18. Out of the total, only 10 firms qualified subsequent to scrutiny of the tenders. He said bidders would submit the bids within 28 days in two separate parts.

Dr Bains also submitted bidders would give presentation before the technical committee of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research and UT Administration, after which the price bids of technically qualified bidders would be opened and the contract would be given to the lowest bidder. 



Pak Spy Case
Chargesheet filed against 5 accused
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
The police filed a chargesheet in the Pakistani spy case against five accused in a local court here today.The main accused, Kashif Ali, was alleged to be a Pakistani spy. The other persons against whom the chargesheet had been submitted include Gurpinder Singh, Kulwinder Singh, Jagdish Kumar and a Delhi resident, Anand Kumar. They had allegedly assisted Ali without being aware of his Pakistan background.

They had allegedly provided fake matriculation certificate of Punjab School Education Board to Kashif. The matriculation certificate was arranged on the name of Parmod Kumar for Kashif Ali. Anand Kumar, a resident of Delhi, had assisted him in opening a bank account.

Kashif Ali was arrested in July this year. The police had seized several secret documents, including maps of Army cantonment area and Air Force station, from his rented accommodation in Sector 46. 



Rlys to keep tabs on quality of food in trains
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
Perturbed over regular complaints about the poor quality of food being served in prestigious trains like the Shatabdi Express as well as at station platforms, Indian Railways has set up teams to monitor the quality and quantity of the meals dished out to passengers.

Manoj Sinha, deputy chief traffic manager, Northern Railway, told The Tribune today senior officials had formed special teams for all the railway zones to keep a check on the quality of the food served in major trains running on various routes across the country.

“For some time now passengers have been lodging complaints with railway officials about the quality of the food being served in ‘VIP’ trains and at railway platforms. The regular complaints forced the officials to seek a solution to the problem and, subsequently, the matter has been taken up seriously,” he added.

Sinha further stated a team comprising a senior railway official and an inspector on a continuous basis will keep an eye on both the quality and quantity of the food served to passengers in the Shatabdi Expresses and other major trains and at platforms at various stations.

"The quality of the food will be checked by tasting it. If found not up to mark an immediate report on the matter will be forwarded to senior railway officials to initiate necessary action against the guilty," he added.

Sinha said the drive was launched only a few days ago in other zones and is expected to continue till the situation improves. “Railway officials will now conduct such checks in the northern zone”, he added.

Apart from upgrading the quality of eatables, the focus is also on increasing the options for passengers with a special consideration of their preferences. "Besides those who are diabetic there are many who prefer to have less salt and boiled food. So we want to cater for that category of passengers too," Sinha said.

He said Indian Railways is upgrading the e-ticketing system where one can also get wait-listed tickets. So far only confirmed tickets are available through e-ticketing. “Certain routes have been identified where the speed of some trains would be increased,” he said.



Mata Mansa Devi Navratra Fair
Free parking for devotees
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 5
There will be free parking for devotees who visit the shrine to pay obeisance during the 9-day Navratra fair starting from October 8 at the Shri Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board (SMMDSB).

DP Dattana, CEO, SMMDSB, said to the Tribune here today that volunteers from the Red Cross Society would maintain the parking lots near the shrine. People coming in private vehicles will not have to face any parking problem as the board has already marked the parking area near the temple. He said buses carrying devotees would be offloaded as near to the temple as possible so that they need not walk for long distance. Dattana said the board would also make arrangements for drinking water, toilets, sanitation and parking. Accommodation for the devotees from far-flung areas in the temple dharmashala and guesthouses will also be provided. About 1,000 devotees could be accommodated in the shrine complex, he added.

The CEO said that elaborate security arrangements had also been made keeping in view the huge rush of devotees expected this year. He said besides 150 jawans of the Haryana police, about 50 home guard jawans and 50 security personnel from the private agencies would also be deployed for the security of the people. He further informed that cultural programmes would also be organised from October 9 to 13 and renowned singers, including Chandan Das would regale the audience with devotional songs. A dispensary had also been opened where allopathic, ayurvedic and homoeopathic treatments would be available in case of any emergency, he added. Meanwhile, a spokesman of the district administration in a press note issued to the media said that about 30 officers of various departments ha been assigned the duty of nodal officers/protocol officers for the smooth conduct of the fair. 



BBA students protest against delayed results
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 5
High drama was witnessed at Government College for Girls, Sector 14, Panchkula, as students and parents protested against the college management for poor results of BBA (I).The students, along with their parents, raised slogans against the management on the college campus. The students alleged that the results were deliberately declared late.

One of the parents Onkar Singh Sethi, said out of 35 students, only one girl had cleared the examination of BBA (I), the results of which were declared a few days ago.

He alleged that teachers were not taking classes regularly resulting in poor results. He also alleged that the college had failed to arrange a teacher for a particular subject, which had affected the results of the students.

However, principal RS Sangha, who had recently joined the college, denied the allegations and added that Kurukshetra University declared the results.

He said lectures were being delivered on regular. He said if students had any issues regarding the results, they should consult the university authorities.



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