C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Hike in collector rate hits common man
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, April 9
With a hike in the collector rates and fees for getting building plans approved, constructing a house in Zirakpur is now a costly affair for the common man.The collector rates have been hiked by over 165 per cent from April 1. This means an owner of a 6-marla plot (150 sq yard), in authorised colony, who was paying Rs 75,000 for a registry worth Rs 10.5 lakh (approx) will now have to pay Rs 1.35 lakh for a registry worth Rs 13 lakh (approx). He will also have to pay Rs 45,000 (approx) for building plans.

The details of the hike were forwarded to the departments concerned earlier this week. The new rates are categorised as per the location of the land, depending on their vicinity to the main roads and link roads, and their placement in the municipal limits of Zirakpur.

According to the available information, the property registration rates of the land along the main road have been increased to Rs 3.5 crore per acre. The rate, earlier, was Rs 1 crore per acre along the main road. The rates for agricultural land, in the inner parts of Zirakpur, have been fixed at Rs 1.5 to 2 crore per acre.

The commercial property registration rates have been increased from 9,000 per sq yard to Rs 18,000 per sq yard. In the approved and named residential colonies, the charges were increased to Rs 9,000 per sq yard instead of Rs 5,000 per sq yard. For residential sites without any name of the colony, the rate has been fixed at Rs 8,000 per sq yard.

“Due to the increase in the cost of bricks, cement and steel, the common man will have to shell out several lakh rupees extra in constructing a house,” Prakash Anand, a resident of Zirakpur, said.

The hike in the building map fees, implemented in March, has had a direct impact, particularly, on owners of small residential plots, as from now on same fee will be charged for all sizes of plots. The building map approval fee for residential sites has been increased to Rs 323 per sq yd from the earlier Rs 80 per sq yd for residential sites of 50 sq yd to 125 sq yd and Rs 213 per sq yd for 250 sq yd plot and above. For commercial sites, the rate has been increased from Rs 350 per sq yd to Rs 2,815 per sq yd.

"With the increase in fee charges, it seems that genuine buyers will avoid taking a plot and will go for flats only," said a property consultant. In future, this will increase the rates of more than 20 housing projects that are in pipeline, he added.



18 hurt as bus overturns
Tribubne News Service

Ropar, April 9
Eighteen persons were injured after a bus overturned near Solakhian village in Ropar tonight.

The incident took place at around 9.50 pm, when a Himachal Roadways Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus of the Kulu depot (HP-66-2123), going from Dehradun to Manali, overturned when the driver lost control over the bus.

Eighteen persons, including driver Inder Singh, conductor Rishi Kumar from Kangra, a few Himachal police employees, women, children and a foreign national got injured in the accident.

The injured were taken to the Civil Hospital, Ropar. The injured were under treatment and observation till late at night. Till the filing of this report, the police had not registered any case. Police officials said the cause of the accident could not be ascertained.



City gets a cosmopolitan profile
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
Chandigarh is fast losing its sheen of distinct Punjabi lifestyle and culture that dominated its environs for decades. With a heavy population mix of different communities, the city now bears the stamp of a changed cultural identity.

The current census is likely to produce bigger differences in the population figures, showcasing a bigger shift in the composition of the city populace, particularly with regard to different religious groups. The details of the latest census are still awaited. Sociologists and population experts feel that the changed lifestyle trends, in a changed market perspective, along with the changed population distribution graph, too, have had an impact on the identity of the city.

The Sikh population went up from 65,472 in 1971 to 1,41,175 in 1991. During the corresponding period the number of Hindus went from 1,84,395 to 7,07,978; the number of Muslims went from 3,720 to 35,548; and Christians from 2,504 to 7,627.

Changed voter profile

The people who decide the fate of winners in the elections are largely based in the colonies of the city. The population here is dominated by migrants. The city has already had a Mayor from outside. The power groups in the colonies are largely dominated by outsiders. Being the vote banks, these groups enjoy huge political patronage. There are certain councillors from the colonies who originally come from other states but command a position of power in local politics.

Changed student profile

In a small example, the student politics at Panjab University and affiliated colleges was dominated by Punjabis till the election process revived in 1996 after a total ban during the phase of terrorism in Punjab. In a changed scenario during the past decade, student associations from Haryana have become an inseparable part of the student bodies in power. There are small groups of other student communities as well gaining strength. The Haryana Student Association or the INSO (abbrv), whether they are supporting one Punjabi-dominated organisation (Panjab University Student Union) or the other (Student Organisation of Panjab University), have, in a way, become the deciding factor in the campus politics. Himachalis and certain other minor groups too are emerging as strong groups.

Changed profile of UT officers

Chief Minister of Punjab Parkash Singh Badal and his deputy Sukhbir Badal have time again highlighted the issue of decreasing number of Punjab-cadre officers in the UT Administration. Against the decided ration of 60:40 in 1966, the number of Punjab-cadre officers has fallen considerably. Shivraj Patil, Governor of Punjab and the UT Administrator, has been asked to intervene in the matter. Sukhbir Badal, in a letter, earlier, wrote that "in 1966, out of the 13 important positions in the UT Administration, nine were held by Punjab-cadre officers. However, the number had reduced to just three". He also said that there had been a major change in the profile of the departments handled by the two secretaries, the Home and Finance, much to the disadvantage of the Punjab officers.

Changed manpower profile

There is nothing denying the fact the Punjabis are losing their presence in fresh recruitments of different government jobs. One example has been the controversy of negligible intake of Punjabi candidates for the CTU conductors, recently. Punjab government reacted even in this issue. The fall in the number of selected candidates from Punjab in UT teachers is also a reflection on the changed job intake trends. It is also felt that there are fewer applications being received from Punjab for different posts. Like during recruitments of the police, a majority of applicants from Punjab had failed to satisfy the physical standards. The Information Technology Park has opened up the entry of people into the city from different parts of the country.



PU teacher sends legal notice to 17 students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
In what is perhaps the first of its kind case in the records of Panjab University, history department teacher Surinder Singh has issued a legal notice to his 17 students, asking them to withdraw the allegations that he deliberately failed them twice in an examination.

Responding to a complaint letter submitted by these students to acting Vice-Chancellor Bhupinder Singh Brar, who is also the Dean University Instructions (DUI) two days ago, Singh said taking a “lenient view” he had given these students 15 days’ to withdraw all allegations, failing which he would claim damages worth Rs 10 lakh each for maligning his image.

In a bid to control the situation, department chairperson Rajiv Lochan has put up a notice in the department, calling a combined meeting of faculty members and students on Monday. The department officials said the teachers were disappointed at the involvement of student leaders in the case, who, they claimed, were provoking them to gain political mileage.

While the department chairperson refused to give any comments on the matter, Singh, however,said, “Seventeen students have received legal notices through registered post on April 8. My image has been tarnished by these students through malicious allegations in the letter given to the DUI. These students will pass out next year, but I have been put to shame in front of my colleagues, other students and department employees. Their allegations are very shocking and perhaps the university does not have a proper mechanism, which is why every teacher is vulnerable to such attacks.”

Offering a solution to the varsity, he added, “If out of the 125 answer books I checked, answer sheets of these 17 students were also there, I plead that these sheets be brought to the VC office and I will provide a detailed explanation for the marks of every single student.”

Meanwhile, the 17 students have now got divided into two groups now, one being backed by a student organisation and others who are now claiming that “personal allegations” should not have been levelled against the teacher in the case.


CCA poised to turn new leaf in its golden year
Founded on August 7, 1961, Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA) celebrates its golden jubilee year in 2011. While certain eminent practising architects, who are also CCA pass-outs, feel that the college is carrying forward the legacy of Le Corbusier, others, however, opine that a serious introspection by the college is needed to make progress. The Tribune reporter Neha Miglani talks to a cross-section of people associated with the CCA to give an account of its recent achievements and problems that it encounters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
In 1950s, Le Corbusier had envisioned a premier architecture college in Chandigarh which will scrutinise the city’s growth. Now, after 50 years of its inception, Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA), which is the academic faction of the “Great Chandigarh Experiment in Modern Urbanism” by Corbusier, awaits serious self-introspection.

While the city figures on the world map because of Corbusier’s contribution to this mecca of architects (Chandigarh), however, certain problems, including lack of awareness on current market practices by teachers continue to bother college students and authorities alike.

During an interaction with the Chandigarh Tribune, students enrolled in the Bachelors of Architecture (BArch) programme at CCA, which is the only course being offered by the institute, feel that there was an increasing communication gap between them and their teachers.

The reason cited by them was “the language problem” since the teachers are recruited through the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and come from different cultural backgrounds. CCA authorities, however, claim that the teachers are undergoing refresher courses, which could be made a regular feature in the college.

“After this problem was highlighted by students through various letters, we have already made arrangements to have frequent refresher courses for teachers,” said Pradeep Kumar Bhagat, CCA principal.

Affiliated to Panjab University (PU) and being financed by the UT Administration, CCA faces another challenge. This is the delay in introduction of postgraduate programme in the college.

Despite a similar course offered in nearly 10 private institutes and universities located at the city periphery, at CCA postgraduate programme is yet to be introduced.

The Masters degree in Architecture (MArch), which was first mooted in 1979 and redrafted in 1984, is finally expected to start by 2012-13, after a gap of almost 32 years.

The Council of Architecture, a statutory body constituted under an Act of Parliament, which oversees Architectural Education in India, has already approved the curriculum for MArch course.

CCA authorities claim that this delay was due to non-availability of competent faculty in the past, but teaching faculty is now being recruited on contractual basis. However, a section of alumni feel that it was the reluctance of past principals of the college to introduce reforms because of which there was no headway in the case.

Another section of CCA alumni, including practising architects in the city, feel that there is a need to depute regular faculty in the college in order to introduce new courses, including a regular principal for the college.

Since June 30, 1996, the senior most faculty member was given the charge of CCA principal.



Teachers must encourage: Alumni

The proposal of introduction of MArch needs a push from the All-India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) and UT administration. The college never had any shortage of funds, but there has to be motivation from teachers. A fundamental change is required in the style of teaching and students need to be taken out of classrooms in the built up environment to teach. Introspection is also needed on certain elective subjects that have been discontinued.

— SS Bhatti, founder teacher and former principal, CCA

The college has taken forward the legacy of Le Corbusier. The infrastructure in the college is very good and far better than what is being offered by other private institutes in the region. The college provides a freedom of thought, which an architect needs to do well in his/her career. The college has been engaged in a lot of consultancy projects as well, which includes contribution of teachers and students collectively, which is an encouraging trend.

— KD Singh, 1974 batch pass-out & principal, Indo Global

The college needs to start cultural exchange programmes with other countries so that students can study abroad and get exposed to global architectural practices. To meet the staff crunch, the college can employ retired professors or practicing architects as Professor Emeritus as is being done in various departments of Panjab University also.A major revamp is required in the workshop or the model making lab so that students can conceptualise architecture in 3D and can understand it better.

— Archana Choudhary, architect-planner, Haryana Housing Board

Staff crunch for new courses and the existing ones is a major problem in the college. In the past, this was the reason why the master’s programme could not be started. Service rules of the teaching faculty are still not notified by the UT Administration and hence further recruitment of faculty could not be done. Although the senior most teacher is being given the charge, the college has no regular principal since 1996.

— Surinder Bahga, practising architect & chairman, Indian Institute of Architects (IIA), Chandigarh

I have been closely associated with CCA and have also visited several other architecture colleges in the country as an examiner and in their Board of Studies. CCA is way ahead of other architecture colleges and I owe my success to this institute. Graduates from the college hold a great value in the market. In fact, the quality of students that the college now has is really good and they have much more resources than us.

— Harsh Narang, CCA pass-out of the 1974 batch & a practising architect in New Delhi




Key projects to look ahead

lBoosting Night Tourism-Illumination and lighting plan for Capitol Complex, Rock Garden, Sukhna Lake and Rose GardenIn a bid to boost night tourism in the city, a team of nearly 15 students of BArch (third and fourth year) and CCA principal, Pradeep Kumar Bhagat have recently completed a project of illuminating the three prime tourist sports in the city, including Sukhna Lake, Capital Complex, Rose Garden and Rock Garden. The implementation of this project proposed by the UT administration will start with the Sukhna Lake first.

“People used to find it difficult during late evening hours at tourist spots like Rose Garden. By preserving the essence of Corbusier’s design plans, we have identified the place where illumination is needed,” said Bhagat.

lMuriel at Sector 17

As a part of the re-landscaping of the entire Sector 17 for which the CCA was providing its consultancy services, a Muriel depicting objects from nature was proposed. The Muriel, which was inspired by Le Corbusier’s design, is now an attraction at the Sector 17 Plaza.

lMorni Hills

CCA students and teachers also provided consultancy for the Tourist Facilitation Centre at Morni Hills. The faculty members claim that the centre was designed in such a manner that the nature in the surrounding areas was not disturbed.

lTripura Tourism

The government of Tripura has roped in CCA for the beautification of the Dumbur Lake. In a letter received by the college on February 21, 2011, the government invited the college officials to get involved in a Mega Lake Circuit Project covering Matabari and Udaipur in South Tripura district.

lOld Age Homes

CCA faculty member Dr JP Singh is currently working on a project funded by the Union government on “Creating parameters under which old can live happily and safely- especially for old age homes.” As a part of this national level-project, the architectural, design and planning guidelines for old age homes would be studied in two years.



Evaluation of college by students and experts in pipeline: Principal

Q. There is a general perception that certain elective subjects introduced in 1980s in the college were scrapped later. What is the college’s reaction to it?

A. We have been adding elective subjects. There are certain specialisations, which are needed in the market these days and such subjects have been introduced. After a statistical analysis of how many students showed interest in what subjects, an elective subject is continued or a new one is started. Both students’ interest and market forces in terms of employability make a difference.

Q. Is the college apprehensive to any collaboration with foreign institutes or universities?

A. There has to be a two-way exchange of ideas and facilities. We have tied-up with the University of Washington, USA, for a special workshop and already have three students from France studying in the eighth semester in the college because their university permits them to study here. However, if we agree for a collaboration where CCA students can’t go abroad to study, but foreign students can come here, it will not be as fruitful. We are already working on such collaborations. If we find their conditions conducive and their hostel facility as well as their fee nominal for our students, we will tie-up with them or sign a Memorandum of Understanding.

Q. It is speculated that the college has dearth of faculty and due to which the college could not start MArch course?

A. Though our current faculty strength is much higher than other private colleges who teach much more number of students than we do, it is true that there is a shortage of well-qualified candidates in the market. In January 2011, we advertised for the post of eight assistant professors on contractual basis and only one deserving candidate was found. We have made all efforts on our part to ensure that no post is left vacant and we will continue to do so. As far as postgraduate programme is concerned, I can’t comment right now, but the programme will be started soon.

Q. Students in the college and even pass outs say that a few teachers are not updated with current market trends. Are you aware of this problem?

A. The college authorities are aware of this situation. There were certain teachers on contract with whom students were facing this difficulty, but their contract has expired. We are open to students’ suggestions. We have been sending teachers for refresher courses and would be doing this more frequently in future.

A teachers’ evaluation system is in the pipeline. This would be based on students’ feedback and would be implemented soon. This practice is common in various colleges in the country, including the IIT’s and would be a good way to communicate with students and understand their needs.

Q. Is there any problem of basic infrastructure in the college like studios and drinking water?

A. We are worried about these problems. We are trying to fix the issue of wireless connectivity in the college first and have already ordered highest quality cutting machine for students’ laboratory. However, on the infrastructure front we are proud that we have a very rich library with 17,000 volumes on architecture, which is rare for any architecture college.



Drug authority to start overseas inspection of units
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh April 9
In order to keep a check on the quality of drugs being imported and authenticity of exporters of drugs to the country, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has decided to start overseas inspections of such manufacturing units, said Dr Surinder Singh, DGCI, here yesterday.

Dr Singh, who was here to participate in a panel discussion on ensuring the quality of medicines at Institute of Microbial Technology, said initially two teams would go to China and another team would visit Italy within the next couple of weeks for the purpose.

It would remove the chances of floating fake companies, which existed only on paper, to run the business, he said. Nearly 100 licences of such companies had been cancelled recently, he added.

Overseas inspection, provision for which had already been there in the rules for extending a licence to such manufacturers, would help in evaluating the authenticity of the manufacturer and quality of the medicine to be imported into the country, he added.

In addition, his department had decided to revamp the regulations of clinical trials for a greater transparency, said the Drug Controller General of India.

From now on, every agency after getting themselves registered with the Indian Council of Medical Research would have to put all data relating to their trials, including the animals as well as human beings involved, on the website.

In another step to keep a check on the marketing of harmful drugs in the country, government agencies as well as the corporate and private sector would be included in the Pharmacovigilance Programme initiated last year.

Under the programme, all 300 medical colleges along with private hospitals would be included in studying the Adverse Drug Reactions (ADR).

It would help ban the marketing of such drugs in the country. “Till now we remain dependent upon reports from other countries over the harmful effects of any drug,” he added.

The proposal to use technology of 2D bar-coding and unique identifier code was under consideration to stem the use of spurious medicines in the country.

In fact, a committee was formed to suggest the networking of transactions of sale of drugs from manufacturer to retail chemist and methodologies that could be adopted for tracking and tracing of drugs marketed in the country.

The committee recommended the use of 2D bar-coding and unique identifier code for identifying pharmaceutical products, said the Drug Controller General of India .



Water Misuse
380 residents get warning
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
The Municipal Corporation issued 380 notices to residents of the city during the last nine days for violating the instructions issued on the misuse of water in the morning hours. The MC had imposed a ban on irrigating lawns and washing cars and courtyards from 5:30 am to 8:30 am from April 1. The authorities constituted 14 teams headed by an SDO to check the misuse during the morning hours.

Residents would be issued notices at the first instance. In case the violation is repeated, the violators would be issued challans and a fine of Rs 500 would be imposed. The fine would be recovered along with the water bill by the MC. In case of third violation, the water connection of the resident would be disconnected.

Besides, misuse of potable water for watering lawns and washing of cars by using plastic or booster pumps from the main supply line will also entail a notice from the MC. The booster pumps will also be confiscated.

150 in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 9
The department of water supply and sanitation has issued notices to about 150 consumers for washing cars during the morning supply hours even when a ban has been imposed in this regard.

A team of officials, constituted by the department to check the misuse of water, found that many residents washed their cars during the morning supply hours in violation of the ban orders. The consumers were told that if they were again found violating the ban orders, their water connections would be cut.

The department had imposed a ban on watering of lawns, plants, washing of cars, two-wheelers and courtyards till 9 am. The ban was imposed on April 5 and would remain in force till June 30.

An official of the department said adequate water supply was so far being received from the Kajuali waterworks even when repair work was being carried out in the Bhakra mainline by the irrigation department. He said authorities in Chandigarh had installed motors at the Kajauli waterworks for pumping water which was proving to be very useful.



Panchkula to get water from Kajauli by 2013
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 9
The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) approved a demand for Rs 62 crore raised by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation for laying pipelines in the UT to get its share of water from the Kajauli waterworks.

HUDA’s works committee recently approved Rs 62 crore, to be paid to the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation for laying of pipeline for the town’s share of 33 million gallon a day (MGD) in the Kajauli waterworks.

The officials, on the condition of anonymity, said the Chandigarh MC would lay a 14.5-km pipeline from Sector 39 to Mani Majra (Panchkula-Chandigarh boundary) and HUDA thereafter would lay two pipelines -- one to Mansa Devi Complex and the other to the water tank adjacent to Red Bishop in Sector 1. HUDA would also bear the expenditure of Rs 7.2 crore for laying the pipeline in the town.

The current water requirement of Panchkula is 24 MGD and it is receiving 19.03 MGD water from about 175 tubewells, the only source of water supply in the town.

HUDA administrator Rajender Kataria said it was expected that it would take two years for the exercise to be completed. He said HUDA was trying its best to get the town its share of water as early as possible.

HUDA officials are also expecting to get 5.40 MGD water from Kaushalya Dam near Pinjore, which will be completed soon besides 3.24 MGD water from the Kajauli waterworks, Chandigarh, to meet the demand of residents of the town for water.

The officials claimed that the Kaushalya Dam project would be operational from 2012 whereas Panchkula’s water share from the Kajauli waterworks would reach Panchkula by 2013. The life of the dam is expected to be 100 years and would provide 18.40 cusecs raw drinking water to Panchkula and adjoining areas.

A top HUDA official said the process of bringing water from dam to the town was initiated and the budget of Rs 23 crore was approved to lay the 10-km long pipeline. Similarly, for the water treatment plant in Sector 1, budget of Rs 25 crore has also been approved.



3 contenders fail to turn up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
Interview for the post of PGI director was held in New Delhi today.Three of the 13 contenders from the institute failed to appear in the same.The three include Dr Vinay Sakhuja, Prof P Kulhara, head, department of psychiatry, Prof S Varma, head, department of internal medicine.

Around 24 doctors had filed nomination for the coveted post.

Dr Amod Gupta, Dr Kartar Singh, Dr SK Jindal, Dr AK Gupta, Savita Malhotra, Arvind Rajvanshi, S Prabhakar, Y Chawla, D Behera and Dr Raj Bahadur, presently Head, GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigarh, appeared in the interview.

Dr Sakhuja, former Dean and head of the department of nephrology, stands on the top of the seniority list. “I would prefer to work in my speciality rather than meddling in the administrative work,” he said.

It was on April 1 that a selection panel comprising Union Health Secretary K Chandramauli, RK Srivastav, director-general, health services, VM Katoch, secretary, medical research, and Satish Chandra , director, NIMHANS, Bangalore, was formed.

Private members on the panel are Dr Rajan Badwe, director, Tata Memorial Centre and Cancer Research Institute, Mumbai, NK Ganguly, president, JIPMER, Puducherry, and Seyed E Hasnain, Vice-Chancellor, University of Hyderabad.



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 |