C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cheer up, UT budget up by 43 pc 
Education, health get lion’s share
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
Chandigarh has much to cheer about in the 2011-12 Budget presented by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee in Parliament today as there has been a Rs 259.21 crore increase (43%) in the total Budget -- under both the plan and the non-plan heads -- with the total Budget pegged at Rs 2,308.42 crore compared to last year’s figure of Rs 2,049.21 crore.

While the plan outlay has registered an all-time hike of Rs 210.91 crore -- up from Rs 450.91 crore in 2010-11 to Rs 661.89 crore (up by 47%), the non-plan outlay was pegged at Rs 1,646.53 crore (2011-12) as compared to Rs 1,586.48 crore, marking an increase of about Rs 60 crore.

“Adequate allocations have been made for all sectors with education and health getting the lion’s share. Upgradation of infrastructure would get a boost with a major hike in the plan outlay with a view to making Chandigarh a world-class city,” local MP and union minister for parliamentary affairs, science and technology and earth sciences Pawan Bansal told The Tribune over phone from New Delhi this evening.

Coming to the rescue of the Chandigarh Housing Board, implementing the slum rehabilitation for 25,000 families, an amount of Rs 210 crore has been allocated under the JNNURM scheme.

Under the State Capital Project, Rs 61.05 crore has been allocated for various major works, including the construction of roads at a cost of Rs 25 crore under the jurisdiction of the Administration. Other projects, including Rs 2 crore for civic works, Rs 4.69 crore for providing civil line and construction of sewerage treatment plant in the Industrial Area Phase-III, Raipur Kalan, and laying sewers in CAP Complex near Dhanas and institutional area Sarangpur and Rs 9.05 crore for industrial area’s development are the other highlights of the plan Budget.

A sum of Rs 15.98 crore has been proposed for the development of sports and youth activities in the UT which included Rs 7.15 crore for the construction of various stadiums/sports complex. The model solar city project gets Rs 16.5 crore.

Rs 15 cr for empowering MC

A provision for Rs 15 crore has been made for grants-in-aid to the Municipal Corporation in respect of the newly transferred departments. This includes Rs 5 crore for primary education, Rs 5 crore for primary health and Rs 5 crore for carrying out civil works.

Confusion over non-plan budget?

While the finance ministry calculated the non-plan budget at Rs 1646.53 crore, the UT Administration pegged the figure at Rs 2,068.31 crore, which was Rs 202.17 crore less than the 2010-11 figures of Rs 2,270.48 crore. However, Finance Secretary VK Singh clarified that Rs 421.78 crore difference in the UT and finance ministry figures was on the account of recoveries to be made by the UT Administration from the neighbouring states. These recoveries, besides income from the auction of property, had not been reflected in the finance ministry’s non-plan outlay, he said.

Plan Budget Allocations

Sector 2010-11 2011-12

Education Rs 89.72 cr Rs 113.09 cr

Health Rs  85.04 cr Rs 85.04 cr

Police modernisation Rs 13 cr Rs 2.5 cr

Upgradation of UT Rs 15 cr Rs 13.07 cr

staff accommodation



MC Populist Budget
No new tax levied in city
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
Without levying any new tax, the General House of the Congress-led Municipal Corporation (MC) in a populist move today approved the budget of ` 812.92 crore for the next fiscal year 2011-12.

The House approved a budget of ` 429.98 crore under the plan head; ` 233.40 crore under the non-plan head; and ` 149.54 crore from their own receipts under various other heads.

The House heard attentively when Chandermukhi, a senior Congress councillor, expressed concern over the falling MC revenue. He said he did not see any justification in the declining revenue receipts in the MFC budget from the last three years.

In his reply, the MC Commissioner, Roshan Sunkaria, clarified that the revenue returns had declined because the MC did not have any major land auction, during the period under question, which was the biggest revenue generator for the MC.

Not levying the tax is important in the context that the MC will lose on account of getting an additional grant of approximately ` 11 crore for various projects under Jawaharlal Nehru Renewal Mission (JNNRUM) if it did not impose the house tax. Opposition councillors said it could not have been any different because it was an election year.

Also, the fee from apni mandi, ground rent fee, building plan approval fee and road cut charges that could have been revised to generate more revenue.

Reacting to the budget report, nominated councillor Dr AP Sanwaria pointed out that when no new taxes had been levied on the residents of the city how could the MC authorities claim its share of Rs 11.97 crore under the JNNRUM without fulfilling the conditions of the mission.

Compared to the current fiscal year budget of Rs 724.50 crore, there is an increase of 12.06 per cent in the next year’s budget. The corporation expects a decrease in revenue generation from various sources in the current year budget compared to last year.

As per the budgetary report, the expected revenue of the next fiscal year will be Rs 149 crore as against Rs 155 crore in the current year budget. The reduction will be on account of no auction of any property in the last two years. The expenditure of the next financial year will be in the range of Rs 778 crore as against Rs 690 crore in the current year.

Congress councillor Jatinder Bhatia pointed out that for the last two years the UT Administration was not releasing the share of matching grant against the collected property tax, which it ensured when the corporation imposed the tax. Even the corporation had not received advertisement tax from the Administration.

Sunkaria said they had recently written to the Administration to release the pending grant of Rs 288 crore under various heads.

Expenditure under various heads for 2011-12

Construction of 18 schools and maintenance of seven schools ` 19 crore

Primary healthcare ` 16 crore 62 lakh

Maintenance of main gardens ` 15 crore

Roads and parking ` 96 crore 85 lakh

Kajauli water works VII and VIII ` 66 crore

Widening and installation of paver blocks ` 49 crore

Manimajra motor market ` 2 crore

Paid parking ` 1 crore

Community parking ` 25 lakh

V-3 roads ` 40 crore

Improve infrastructure of Sector 17 ` 2 crore

Storm and sewerage lines ` 29 crore

Rehabilitation colonies ` 5 crore 29 lakh

Villages ` 20 crore 15 lakh

Streetlights ` 4 crore

Installation of fire and disaster safety system in buildings ` 50 lakh

Mahilla Bhawan, marriage palace, community centre and sports complex ` 25 crore

There are limitations: MC Commissioner

Criticising councillors over their remarks, MC Commissioner Roshan Sunkaria stated that the budget was not a political document. He said they should not recommend increasing the proposed amount under various heads as it was not feasible. He clarified that with the availability of manpower and resources, it was not possible for the authorities to undertake development works of more than Rs 125 crore annually. Refuting as false the allegations of poor efficiency of the officials of various departments, he said in the last three years out of 1,227 works sanctioned by the House, they had completed 1,045.

Fresh projects

Traders bhawan

Construction of under passes in various Sectors 8, 17 and 35

Multi-level parking in Sector 17

10 free ambulances at prominent places in the city

International stadium

Ignored areas

For adopting any new technology in any of the department no funds have been allotted under any head

No provision for road safety

For renovation of back lanes, pipelines installed around three decades ago

Tech-savvy councillors

Councillors will get their copy of agendas on the official website of the corporation. This was decided at the General House meeting



Union Budget
A mixed bag

Senior citizens are happy with the reduction in age for getting a reprieve on tax from 65 to 60 years.

A middle class employee feels there was no respite from the constant rise in his monthly budget. The relief of ` 20,000 in the income tax limits had no meaning in the context of soaring prices.

Housewives feel although the finance minister accepted that food inflation was a matter of concern, he offered no sign of respite, at least immediately. The temporary respite from the soaring vegetable prices was not guaranteed to stay as no major action plan was spelt out.

A Class III employee feels that the finance minister admitting the fact that there was a huge difference in the wholesale and the retail market reflected the reality of the existing markets.

Bankers feel that the move of the government to tackle the problem of black money was “fascinating”. However, ambitious plans without ground action carried no meaning. Bankers also feel that the digitisation of the income tax system will expand the tax base.

Industrialists have welcomed the government initiative on opening the avenues of expenditure, particularly in education and infrastructure. With an opening for foreign institutional investors, more investments will flow.

Industrialists have praised the budget for its balanced approach and described it as a job done well by the finance ministry.

A cross section of teachers felt that the budget was an expression of a mature mind because it had covered a nation with big disparities, particularly economic.

Doctors feel that the introduction of 10 per cent tax in the already costly hospitals would invariably mean an increase in the patient’s expenditure, which was unfortunate.

Students feel the pinch of the budget with an expected raise in the price of garments.

Women are unhappy that there was no special tax exemption limit for them unlike last year.

Experts feel that with progressive taxation, the government had attempted to give facilities to those below the poverty line.



Denied roll no, class XII student tries to kill self
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
A class 12 student of Government Secondary School, Manimajra, Rohit, slit his right wrist in the school premises on Monday after reportedly being refused his CBSE roll number. The incident, which took place in the morning when students were being given roll numbers for their physics examination scheduled for Tuesday, brought to the fore the obnoxious practice of city schools withholding board roll numbers until the last day and threatening students.

The teacher reportedly gave the roll numbers to every student but Rohit who shouted at him in retaliation. Following this he was taken to the principal’s office where, after a heated argument with her, he went off and slit his wrists, threatening, “Ab tum khud mere ghar aaoge roll number dene (you will now come to my home yourself to give me my roll number).”

When questioned school officials denied refusing the roll number or harassing Rohit and claimed he was a regular absentee, though they failed to disclose his exact attendance status.

“He is a problem child who wouldn’t come to school regularly. His parents have also not attended a single parent teacher meeting. We never refused him his roll number. Today when I handed out the numbers to other students I told him very politely he was short of the requisite lectures and thus was required to get an application from his parents to get his roll number. He then began misbehaving in class and shouting at me. I took him to the principal’s office but he refused to listen to reason and barged out and, within seconds, slit his writs,” said Mohan Lal, his class teacher.

What has left everyone surprised is the fact that Rohit carried a razor blade in his pocket and was apparently prepared to take the step.

Following a complaint the police booked Rohit for attempted suicide under section 309 of the Indian Penal Code.

Meanwhile, DPI (schools) Sandeep Hans said: “I’ve spoken to the school’s officials. The student was a regular absentee but was not refused his roll number. He was only asked to get an application according to CBSE norms. He took the step in a fit of rage”.

Unanswered questions

Why did the school disseminate roll numbers just a day before Class 12 exams?

Why was no written intimation given to CBSE, education dept or Rohit’s parents about his low attendance?

What wonders would have a last minute application done to Rohit’s attendance status, which made him ineligible for appearing in the boards?

Schools disregard CBSE norm

According to the examination bylaws of the Central Board of Secondary Education, a student should have attended a minimum of 75 per cent of the total number of classes to be eligible for appearing in the board examinations, be they for class 10 or 12. In case a student fails to do so, school officials are required to intimate the board as well as his parents about the student well before time. No school can withhold a student’s roll number once it is released by the board. The roll numbers need to be disseminated within a few days of being received through registered mail.



Burning Incident
Informer seeks time to make statement
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 28
The informer who was allegedly set afire by the CIA staff yesterday at his house demanded some more time to give a statement to the police here today.

Rup Singh, a resident of Kharag Mangoli, who had been shifted to the general ward of the general hospital, Sector 6, said he was not in a position to make a statement as he was yet to come out of the trauma.

He said he needed some more time to make any statement to the police.

A senior police official, on the condition of anonymity, said Rup Singh was levelling baseless allegations against the CIA staff.

He said the police team that had visited his house yesterday had only asked him to start working for them again as an informer.

However, after Rup Singh refused to oblige them, they left the place immediately.

The police official said the investigating team had also visited the house of the victim and inquired about the matter from the neighbours, who feigned ignorance about the incident.

He said the door of the victim’s house was bolted from inside and the residents, after hearing his shrieks, had broken the door to rescue him and take him to the hospital.

Police station-5 SHO Om Parkash, while confirming that Rup Singh had demanded some more time to make a statement, said the investigation was on in the case.


PGI to enhance teacher-student ratio
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
In order to increase postgraduate seats in medical courses, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, has decided to enhance its teacher-student ratio. A decision in this regard has already been taken by the academic committee of the institution which was also approved by a government body headed by Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad.

After completing courses in MD, MS and DM in anaesthesia, biochemistry, community medicine, medicine, masters in hospital administration, masters in public health, surgery, orthopaedics, otolaryngology, cardiology, endocrinology and neurology, nearly 250 postgraduate doctors passout from the PGIMER every year.

Now, the student-teacher ratio will be increased from 1:2 to 1:3.

It was on January 17 that Azad during his visit to the city had announced that the government was in the process of making big changes so that more medicos could be produced in the country.

While the government has already announced the setting up of eight medical institutes in the country on the pattern of All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, there was a shortage of at least 600,000 doctors and 200,000 dental surgeons leading to a dismal doctor-patient ratio. Against an annual demand for 30,000 specialised doctors, the country is producing less than 12,000 post-graduate doctors.

This step of the PGI would help in bridging this gap to some extent,” said sources. 



Widening work on two key roads begins
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 28
Work on the much-awaited widening of two of the busiest roads — one from Balongi bypass to the Phase VIII Mohali bus station and the second from Franco Hotel, Phase II, to Industrial Area, Phase VIII — has begun.

The widening of the roads will come as a big relief to the motorists who have been facing traffic jams while shuttling between Chandigarh and Mohali.

The contractor engaged for widening the road from Balongi bypass to the Mohali bus station has stared the digging work for a 33-ft-wide section of the road that has to be widened on both sides.

The overhead high-tension cable criss-crossing the road is also being shifted at a cost of Rs 16 crore.

Sources in GMADA reveal that the work on both roads is expected to get over by December.

The projects that had been hanging fire for a long time got a push after a committee set up by Punjab Chief Minister for the upgrade of Mohali’s infrastructure prepared a blueprint on high-priority areas.

Besides re-carpeting the existing roads, all parking areas in commercial belts are being redone.

Additional parking space are being created in all markets.

Single contractor for parks

The issue of development of parks was discussed at a recent meeting of the municipal corporation and it was proposed to give the charge of maintenance of parks to a single contractor instead of involving welfare associations.

There is a plan to spend around Rs 8 crore on the development of parks. The bigger parks will have tube-wells and independent power connections.

There were also suggestions of converting some green belts and parks into parking areas as the number of vehicles had gone up drastically in the town.

NK Sharma, chairman, Mohali District Planning Board, said entry points to the town were also to be beautified. Various companies had been asked to submit their proposals and the best design would be chosen in this regard.



MC saves 15 pc of contract amount
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 28
The one-year contract for sanitation work in the town has been given at around 15 per cent lower than the estimated amount by the municipal corporation following stiffer competition after the introduction of the e-tendering process.

The sanitation work, which was divided into two parts, has been allotted to three contractors and given at a cost of Rs 2.27 crore, against the estimated amount fixed at Rs 2.69 crore.

The extended period of the former contractors had expired on February 25.

While part one of the contract comprises cleaning the town, including the curb channels, the second pertains to the lifting of garbage from collection points.

The town has been divided into four zones for cleaning purposes: Zone I (Phases I, II, III, IV and VI), Zone II (Phases III A, IIIB1, IIIB2, VII and VIII), Zone III (Phases IX to XI, Sector 48 C and Industrial Area, Phase IX), and Zone IV (Sectors 70 , 71, Phase V and Industrial Area, Phases VII and VIII).

However, for the lifting of garbage the town has been divided into two zones.

The civic body has asked the contractors concerned to lift the garbage from the collection points two to three times a day depending on the generation of garbage at various points.

In order to improve the state of sanitation in the town, four complaint centres were earlier set up in different parts of the town for the convenience of residents.

Even though former municipal councillors had been making a hue and cry about the state of sanitation at almost every monthly meeting of the municipal council (now corporation), not much improvement was noticed even after the work was allotted with stricter terms and conditions.

Heaps of garbage, dry leaves and garden waste could be seen lying in different parts of the town. Road berms were in a state of neglect.



Budget disappoints middle class
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
Already residing in the costliest city of the country, the common man of Chandigarh is a worried lot with the next fiscal year’s Budget.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, several local residents from the middle class expressed their disappointment over the Union Budget, saying they feared facing more hardship in the days ahead.

“It will now become even more difficult for us to survive,” was the commonly expressed reaction among many families.

Meagre increase of Rs 20,000 in taxation slab is just hopeless. It saves only Rs 171 per month. Just look at the inflation level and cost of living in a city like Chandigarh. With no respite from government side, we do not think that the coming days are good for us. With education becoming costlier day-by-day, we find it hard to pay school fee for our two children. What will happen when they join higher studies? — Manoj Sharda, school lecturer, DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, and his wife Renu

We, the salaried class, got nothing from the Budget. In wake of rising inflation, I was expecting tax exemption on income up to Rs 2.5 lakh, along with some other concessions. But we all were left disappointed. I have a family of six, including my aged parents, to look after. I am worried over the expected hike in medical treatment in coming days. Even now, the middle class cannot afford high expenses charged by private hospitals. Now, we will be left with no option but to be part of long queues at government hospitals. With introduction of cash subsidy on LPG and kerosene for the poor, I think that the prices of these commodities will increase soon.  — Manmeet Singh, pump operator, Punjab Water Supply and Sanitation Department, and his wife Meenu

I am shocked by this Budget. Is a relief of Rs 171 per month sufficient for the common man, who is suffering from increased costs of over Rs 50,000 per annum due to inflation on daily use items? I was expecting reintroduction of standard deduction to the salaried class, which cannot claim running and maintenance of his car or two-wheeler, petrol expenses, depreciation, interest and insurance, which have become a necessity for a middle-class salaried employee. It would have given a big relief to them in this time of high inflation. — Manmohan Kumar Garg, chartered accountant, and his wife Archna

‘Qualifying age, only plus’
The announcements for senior citizens in the Budget has elicited a mixed response from the elderly. Most of them hailed the decision of making 60 years the qualifying age for being a senior citizen, many were of the view that there was nothing else in the Budget which could make them happy.



Budget has message for those going to hospital
Forget private, prefer public
Rs 85.04 crore for health sector in Budget
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
While patients visiting public-sector hospitals in the city can expect better healthcare facilities in the near future as a sum of Rs 85.04 crore has been allocated for the health sector in the Budget, those preferring tretemnt at big air-conditioned private hospitals will have to shell out more.

According to Budget announcements, centrally air-conditioned hospitals with more than 25 beds and diagnostic services have been brought under 10 per cent service tax. The effective service tax will be 5 per cent as there is a 50 per cent rebate. Services provided by government and ESIC hospitals will still be out of the service tax net.

The Union Finance Minister has increased the allocation of city’s healthcare budget by 33 per cent over last year’s allocation of Rs 63.04 crore.

The amount will be spent on the upgradation of the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, and the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, will be upgraded and equipped with latest medical techniques.

GMCH director-principal Dr Raj Bahadur said work on the 23-crore building of E-block at the hospital was at the completion stage. After the finishing, the medical college, currently being run from the ‘serai’ building, would be shifted here and the ‘serai’ building would be available for least 100 beds for patients, he said.

This year’s plan also included upgradation of the Community Health Centre, Manimajra, to a 100-bedded hospital and conversion of four civil dispensaries into primary health centres.

On the other hand, the private sector expressed disappointment. Dr Prabhjot Singh Bhatia, COO, Alchemist Hospital, Panchkula, said, “This Budget is not patient-friendly as an increase in service tax will ultimately have to be passed on to the customer, which will deprive patients of quality care at affordable prices.”

“The introduction of service tax on healthcare is a retrograde step, that burdens the consumer further, making this critical service costlier and sending the wrong signal on the government’s approach to healthcare,” said Colonel HS Chehal, director, Fortis Hospital, Mohali.



Tampering issue rocks MC House
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
Opposition and ruling councillors had heated exchange of words in the municipal corporation (MC) General House meeting today for two hours on the issue of tampering in the recording of the minutes of the mayoral election, held on January 1.

Alleging that the minutes of the mayoral election had been tampered with, opposition councillors demanded that Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh direct the officials to amend it before its confirmation.

Denying the amendments, when the ruling party councillors asked the Mayor to confirm the minutes, all opposition councillors came to the well of the House and started protesting.

The Mayor assured the opposition councillors that the minutes would be confirmed after rectifying the mistakes.

As the House commenced, SAD councillor Harjinder Kaur sought permission from the Mayor to submit a memorandum in the House about the mistakes in the minutes of the mayoral election. Objecting to the allegation about tampering in the minutes, all Congress councillors alleged that this was the political agenda of the opposition and stated that the Mayor should not allow her to table it in the House.

Supporting the opposition councillor’s plea, nominated councillor Dr AP Sanwaria insisted that Harjinder Kaur be allowed to table her objections in the House.

On this, Congress councillors alleged that the issues which were raised by the opposition were not the part of the minutes and had been added by opposition councillors on their own. The Mayor asked Brig Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri to clarify the issue of tampering of recording of the minutes of that day.

Clarifying his stand, Brigadier Chandpuri said he was responsible for the conduct of the elections, but not for recording of minutes.

Walkout drama

Of the seven nominated councillors, six staged a walkout from the House in protest against the behaviour of the elected representatives. But later, they rejoined the House after the tea-break. Two of them clarified that they had gone to have tea and had not staged a walkout. BSP councillor Ram Sumer Morya staged a walkout in protest against the non-discussion of the Budget.

Items approved

Banning cattle rearing in MC area

Revised schedule for 4,061 posts in various departments

Insurance cover to drivers of fire department

Installation of high-mask lighting system in city

Paver blocks at Sectors 8, 37, 38, 52 and Kajheri



Hafed staff protest official’s misbehaviour with colleague
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 28
High drama was witnessed at the Hafed office in Sector 5 after employees staged a protest against a senior officer of the department for allegedly misbehaving with his assistant here this morning.

According to sources, as soon as the employees learned that Mahavir Singh, Secretary, Hafed, had allegedly misbehaved with one of their colleagues, Kamal Lal, an assistant, they gathered near the official’s office and started raising slogans against him.

The employees had heated arguments with the official over the issue and demanded an apology from him.

Talking to mediapersons after his return from the court, Kamal alleged that he had gone to Mahavir’s residence this morning to show him an affidavit that was to be handed over to a counsel, Arvind Seth, for a court hearing.

The official started abusing him for failing to produce the affidavit in the court in time, he claimed. He said after the official completed the necessary formalities, he left for the court to hand over the documents to the counsel.

However, Mahavir Singh refuted the allegations saying he had only told Kamal that he should have submitted the affidavit in court in time.

He said there was some confusion among the employees and the matter was resolved in the evening. Confirming this, Shiv Kumar, general secretary, Hafed Employees Union, said the matter had been resolved.



Traders not to attend HUDA meeting
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 28
The standoff between the city traders and the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) over the anti-encroachment drive is unlikely to be resolved as the former have decided not to attend the meeting convened by the Administrator tomorrow.

BB Kochhar, vice-president of the Panchkula Beopar Mandal, said HUDA should invite all market association representatives to the meeting instead of just six representatives.

Moreover, HUDA had also invited members of the residents’ welfare associations to the meeting but the traders wanted an exclusive meeting with HUDA.

The anti-encroachment drive launched by HUDA had sparked off violence in the Sector-7 market on February 23.

The shopkeepers had sought the transfer of the HUDA Administrator and threatened to go an indefinite strike if their demand was not met.



Delay in hearing of appeal
Senior citizen rues GMADA apathy
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 28
A senior citizen of Sector 70, DS Laungia, has rued apathy on part of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) in hearing his appeal filed before the appellate authority-cum-additional chief administrator of GMADA against a demand notice of Rs 9.15 lakh issued by the estate office against the price of a plot allotted to him 17 years ago.

In a representation to the Principal Secretary, Housing and Urban Development, the allottee has alleged that in spite of fixing of several hearings, the appeal was still lying pending due to unavailability of comments of the Estate Officer.

Terming the demand notice issued by the estate office illegal and arbitrary, he said the notice was issued without verifying the facts of the case.

He further stated that after the allotment of a 400 sq yd plot at a cost of Rs 93,000, he was issued an NOC and the conveyance deed was executed.

Thereafter, the department enhanced the price from Rs 85 per sq yd to Rs 155 per sq yd and then to Rs 520 per sq yd and the same was challenged in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Subsequently, the High Court set aside the notices in 1992 and granted liberty to the state government to redetermine the price of the plot.

After 18 years, GMADA issued a demand notice of Rs 9.15 lakh after a judgment by the Supreme Court in another case, Fuljit Kaur vs State of Punjab.

He claimed that there was no link between the Supreme Court judgment and his case but still the Estate Officer issued the demand notice to him.

Also, GMADA did not implement the orders of the High Court issued in his case since 1992. Now, GMADA was delaying the hearing of his appeal for reasons best known to the authorities concerned, he added.



Vocalist Jagir Singh regales audience
SD Sharma

Mohali, February 28
Young vocalist Jagir Singh enthralled the audience in a folk musical soiree held at the Koser auditorium here on Monday by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations in association with Pracheen Kala Kendra as part of their Horizon series.

A postgraduate in classical vocal music from Panjab University, Jagir Singh an ICCR artist, preferred to sing folk and Sufiana numbers commencing with Bulle Shah’s ‘Ilmo buss karin yaar’. He then presented ‘Heer Warishah’ in the traditional style as well as in the Dhadi tradition besides rendering ‘kafis’ and ‘kalams’ of Shah Hussain, Hazrat Sultan Bahu and other Sufi poets.

However, Jagir received the biggest applause for singing Qissa Saifal Malook, Tappe and Mahiya in the Sandalbar tradition, which are not usually sung by many artists. He interspersed the recital with soothing literary couplets and ‘shayers’. The singer was accompanied by Gurpreet Singh on ‘tabla’, Tasleem Khan on guitar with vocal support by Avish and Vikram. Later, the Kathak Guru Shobha, Koser honoured the artistes.



CBI DIG’s house trespassed

Chandigarh, February 28
Acting on a complaint by CBI DIG Mahesh Aggarwal, the Chandigarh Police have arrested an assistant with the Haryana Advocate-General’s office in a case of house trespass.

A resident of Sector 16, Aggarwal reported to the police that Har Mohinder Singh, a resident of Panjokhera Sahib village in Ambala district, entered his residence on Saturday night in an inebriated state.

The alert official managed to nab the accused as he was entering his house and got him arrested. The accused was later freed on bail. — TNS



Spat mars annual day celebrations at PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
The annual day celebrations of the department of evening studies at Panjab University were today disrupted by a spat between certain student leaders.

The fight began when two members of the National Students Union of India (NSUI) reportedly began hooting and cheering female participants performing at the evening auditorium stage.

Irked over by the behaviour of Sunny Mehta of NSUI, who was accompanied by five to six friends, nearly 40 members of Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) cautioned them. Heated arguments followed which later turned into verbal abuse and fisticuffs.

Turbans of two students, Gurcharan and Gurdeep, who were the organisers of the event, were also removed by the rivals, said university sources. PU security reached the spot and the students were taken to the Sector 11 police station for investigation. Despite apology offered by the NSUI members, a student of PUSU, whose turban was removed during the scuffle, refused to accept the apology. The drama lasted for two hours and the groups reached a compromise.

On being questioned, Mehta said, "I had just gone to see the programme. My friends entered into an argument with the PUSU members. But the matter was resolved as it was just a misunderstanding."

Members of PUSU on the other hand were an angered lot. "We were left with no option but to throw out the troublemakers. It was an event for which everyone had worked hard," said a PUSU supporter. 



UGC seminar on development in Punjab
Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 28
A two-day UGC-sponsored national seminar on “Socio-Economic Development in Punjab: A way Ahead” was organised at Public College, Samana. Eminent economists from all across the country were present and deliberated on various socio-economic issues concerning Punjab.

Dr MS Sidhu from Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, was the chief guest. He pointed out that education in rural areas needed to be reformed. “The status of women and issues of female foeticide, drug menace etc. needed immediate attention and said farmers were under a lot of stress due to the debt burden”.

Dr RS Ghuman, head, department of economics, Punjabi University, Patiala, stressed on the fact that at present, Punjab's agricultural sector was going through a rough phase.

Earlier, college principal Dr Jarnail Singh welcomed the dignitaries and other guests. He emphasised on the fact that the state government must formulate some new policies and ensure social and economic progress of the agrarian community.



Certificates given to students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
Michael Palletier, Minister-Counsellor for Public Affairs and Diplomacy of the US Embassy, New Delhi, launched a two-year “English Access Microsholarship Programme” at SGGS College today.

It aims at teaching 100 students in the 14 to 16 age group at government schools and Bapu Dham Colony. This is to enhance their English language skills so that they have a competitive edge in academic and professional life. Joelle Uzarski, director, Regional English Language Office, Suman Sharma, Deputy DEO, education department, and HS Sohi, principal, SGGS College, graced the occasion.



CHASCON - 2011 concludes at PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
120 school students today reviewed laboratories at Panjab University to see the latest technological equipment as a part of the National Science day and the Children Science Congress celebrations held simultaneously on the campus. Both events were held on the concluding day of three-day Chandigarh Science Congress (CHASCON)-2011 organised by PU today.

The events also coincide with the Science Day celebrated to pay tribute to distinguished scientist CV Raman who discovered the ‘Raman Effects’. Addressing a gathering of school students, PU Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti elucidated the value system of Indian culture. Making several references to the development of science and technology in ancient India, he motivated the students not to become a slave of technology, which was only facilitative, and emphasised the need to revive the scientific culture that was a part of the Indian heritage.

IGS Bansal, former President, Punjab Academy of Sciences, delivered the presidential address and highlighted the achievements of the academy. The chief guest for the function, Virender Mohan Trehan, an entrepreneur, social activist and founder member of Delhi Chapter of Indian Science Congress Association, encouraged students to take up social and basic sciences as well, besides engineering and technology.

Arvind Kumar from IISER spoke about the subtleties of quantum physics and explained students the difference between classical and quantum physics. RK Jethy, head of the Biotechnology Department, Ambala College of Engineering, talked about the applications of enzymes on human health.

A panel discussion on the theme of “strengthening industry - institute partnership for sustainable green communities” was also held today at PU. 



From Schools
Pollution Prevention Week

Vasumati Paryavaran Club of GMSSS-33 D observed the Pollution Prevention Week and Habitat Conservation Week. A story-telling completion was organised for junior classes.


A rhymes and story-narration competition was held at Divya Public School, Sector 44-D, Chandigarh. Tiny tots of pre-primary classes took part in the event . Prizes and certificates were awarded by the principal.

Sports meet

Chandigarh: Ryan International School held its annual sports meet on the school premises on Monday. Former Indian hockey player Narinder Singh Sodhi opened the meet. More than 150 medals were awarded to students who won various events at inter-school, state, national and international levels. 



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