C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Overload, not shortage, reason for power breakdowns in city
  Even 1,800 transformers not enough; dept to take action against defaulters 
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
tribune news service

Chandigarh, June 22
Overburdened transformers coupled with the fact that many residents do not declare the actual electricity load in their homes have been the key reasons behind the frequent tripping of power supply that has become endemic in the city. As a result, despite having adequate power supply this year, people are facing a tough time in the peak summer season, having to cope with the frustration of unregulated and lengthy power outages besides dangerous voltage fluctuations.

An entire batch of about 1,300 pole mounted transformers and around 550 indoor ones have failed to match the increased power load, largely due to the multiplicity of air conditioners that have replaced water coolers in most houses because of easy affordability.

Peeved at the failure of residents to declare the power load at their homes, the electricity department has decided to commence proceedings against offenders under section 126 of the Indian Electricity Act, 2003, which provides for payment “at a rate equal to one-and-a-half times the tariff rates applicable for the relevant category of services”. The department has also introduced a "self declaration of connected load for regularization of unauthorized extension in electricity load".

Underlining the increased load it is pertinent to mention here that the total number of power connections have risen from 130,000 in 1991 to over 215,000 currently. However, there has been no corresponding increase in the number of transformers for which one of the biggest reasons was that the UT administration did not get details on power load from residents. Complaint centres all over the city confirmed public complaints throughout the day and they are not central to any area.

Said Col Pritam Bhullar, a Sector 2 resident: "Every third night the entire area is engulfed in darkness. Despite repeated phone calls to the authorities there has been no permanent solution".

Jagdish Jaggi, president of the Residents’ Welfare Association, Sector 37, said: "Only yesterday we had unannounced power cuts at least four times during the day." Ramanjit Singh, a resident of Sector 16, said "throughout these summers we have had unscheduled power outages”.

Complaints have been also received from residents of Sectors 20, 21, 22, 38, 38 (West), 40, 41, 42, 45 and 48 besides several other areas.



Sanjivini Infotech director booked for fraud
Alleged to have embezzled Rs 15 cr
tribune news service

Chandigarh, June 22
The crime branch of the Chandigarh police has registered a criminal case of cheating and criminal conspiracy against the director of Sanjivini Infotech, Gurinder Garg, and Varinder Kumar, Garg’s partner, in a case of embezzlement of over Rs 15 crore. The role of an advocate is also under the scanner for allegedly mediating for both the parties.

The case has been registered in the Sector 3 police station. The complainant Nirmal Singh Garewal told the police that he, along with some others, entered into an agreement with Gurinder Garg and his partner in Sanjivni Infotech for the sale of 833 kanals of land in Mohali district some months ago. The value of one acre of land was priced at Rs 29 lakh and the entire value of the land was Rs 30 crore.

He said the accused gave him a token money of Rs 6 crore in cash and provided post-dated cheques for the rest of the amount. Later, they stopped the payment through cheques and refused to give the rest of the money, he alleged.

The case was registered today after a legal opinion. The police said the role of the advocate was being probed. Though the advocate has not been named in the FIR, the police has been directed to probe his role.

The crime branch registered a case after obtaining legal opinion. But the case will now be investigated by the economic offences wing of the police.

Cheated govt too

Police sources alleged that the director of Sanjivini Infotech had cheated the government by misappropriating ~9 lakh per “kila” as revenue amount. The accused showed the amount of one “kila” land to be ~20 lakh during registration instead of Rs 29 lakh.



CBSE Class X Results
Re-evaluation requests drop to 68 this year
Earlier the average figure was 3,000
Sumedha Sharma
tribune news service

Chandigarh, June 22
While Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) officials may be rejoicing over getting less than 100 re-evaluation requests for Class X results, they are in a tizzy over Class XII results where over 8,000 re-evaluation requests have poured in from the Panchkula region comprising Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana, Himachal and Jammu and Kashmir. Over 1.25 lakh students had appeared from this region for the Class XII board exams this year and the number of requests is the highest received by the CBSE in the last three years.

While some might attribute this to the “dubious” assessment system, a board official said only 1 per cent of requests usually turned out to be genuine.

“The assessment is done manually so there is always a scope of human error but only 1 per cent requests are genuine and even in those cases, it is just about one or two marks. There has never been a case where someone who has failed is declared pass or a 60 per cent scorer ends up getting 90 per cent. Every student who sits for the boards has a tentative idea of how much he/she will score. Still, many students who don’t get good marks opt for re-evaluation either to satisfy themselves or their parents. This is a strain on our manpower and resources as we end up calculating marks of thousands of papers all over again,” said CBSE Regional Director RJ Khanderao.

The new evaluation system introduced in Class X has slashed re-evaluation requests from an annual average of 3,000 to around 68 this year. The board is mulling a foolproof assessment system to do away with re-evaluation.



Flood threat looms large as Ghaggar swells
Rising level puts Dhakka Colony residents at risk; officials caught unawares
Sanjay Bumbroo
tribune news service

Panchkula, June 22
With monsoon round the corner, threat looms large on hutments in Dhakka Colony set up by labourers on the banks of the Ghaggar near Sector 21 here. Nothing has been done to shift these tenements even as the threat perception is growing in view of the rising water levels due to rain in Himachal Pradesh.

On July 17 last year, a youth of Azad Colony and his two friends were swept away while collecting coins from the riverbed. Firemen had rescued them.

In another rescue operation, which lasted for three hours, the Army and firemen had saved five persons, including two women, of Dhakka Colony. They were stranded on small islands in the swollen Ghaggar in September last year.

The sudden rise in the water level at night has caught officials of the flood control department unawares. The office is located near the Nadda Sahib bridge near Sector 3.

The most vulnerable are the slum children who look for coins that people drop in the river. Last year, the state government had allocated Rs 1.25 crore for the construction of bundhs at various places in the district. However, officials of the flood control department were caught unawares as the water level rose considerably, damaging houses in Beer Ghaggar. Six families were rendered homeless after their houses developed cracks and were declared unsafe by the district administration.

Deputy Commissioner Ashima Brar said the district administration had made elaborate flood-control arrangements in the district. Bundhs had been constructed at various points in the river, causing the waters to divert.



False ceilings in new I-T office building collapse
 No one injured; doubts raised over quality of construction 
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
In a bizarre incident that raises questions on the quality of construction and interior work in the income tax department’s newly built multistory office, Aaykar Bhawan, in Sector 17, false ceilings of at least six rooms in the building, including the control room on the ground floor, crashed on Tuesday.

Though no one was injured, as most of the IT staff is yet to shift to the new building, what is shocking is that the ceilings collapsed on four different floors. The false ceilings, which had light and other fittings, crashed in room 219 on the second floor, rooms 619 and 620 on the sixth floor and in two rooms on the fifth floor. The entrance to the security room on the ground floor was also was damaged.

Meanwhile IT department officials were tight lipped about the incident and tried to keep it under wraps. According to sources, reports about some parts of the false ceiling on the ground floor having crashed were received on Tuesday afternoon. Subsequently, when checks were made, officials found to their horror that the false ceilings on other floors had also been damaged.

The sources said the department has shot off a letter to the UT CPWD executive civil engineer asking him to get repairs done and explain the reasons why the ceilings had collapsed. When contacted Vinod Khanna, junior civil engineer (civil), CPWD (Civil), admitted the incident occurred but refused to say anything further. “It appears to be a technical fault and a team of officials from Delhi will arrive tomorrow (Thursday) to take stock of the situation” was all that he had to say.

Expressing surprise at the incident, a senior income tax official told The Tribune the department would get the entire building checked to see if everything was fine. “This is dangerous - people could’ve been injured had the building been operational”, he commented.

When this reporter visited the building pieces of the broken false ceilings were strewn around. While in some rooms the ceilings had collapsed in others they had caved in.

Some labourers working at the building put the blame on the “heavy” electrical fittings installed on the false ceilings. “They have put heavy lights and the ceilings cannot support their weight”, they said.While it may take some time to ascertain the real reasons behind the collapse of the ceilings, the fact that the building was inaugurated only a month ago by Central Board of Direct Taxes chairman Sudhir Chandra has become embarrassing for the department as well as the Central Public Works Department. In fact the building was to be inaugurated by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, but the schedule was changed due to declaration of results of the recently held West Bengal assembly elections.



Fire dept needs to look within
 No fire alarms in MC building; safety norms missing
Aarti Kapur
tribune news service

Chandigarh, June 22
The Municipal Corporation (MC) fire department, which resorts to raids across the city to ensure fire safety arrangements, does not have the mandatory fire alarms in its own building located in Sector 17. Interestingly for over a decade, the fire department has never conducted a mock drill or inspected the MC building to check if the fire safety measures were in order.

The fact came to light during a fire committee meeting held today under the chairmanship of councillor Devinder Singh Babla. Officials revealed that no fire alarms were installed in the building at the time of its construction. Also, to date, the fire department had never conducted any mock drill in the building to check the fire safety arrangements.

Fire officials have been instructed to install fire alarms and conduct a mock drill next month.

It is strange that the MC fire department, which claims that it regularly inspects buildings of various government departments, did not bother to check its own headquarters. During a visit to the MC building, violations of fire safety norms were evident. A temporary cabin has been constructed in the corridor on the top floor of the building.

According to fire and safety norms, the corridors of all buildings should have a clear passage and an open staircase connecting all floors with details of exit points. The MC building corridors are blocked by racks and almirahs containing old records and files.

As per norms, electricity wires should be fixed properly as these are a major cause of fire due to short circuit. In the MC building, the wires are hanging loosely. The MC has also dumped broken furniture and records in the basement where seating arrangements have been made for employees of two divisions.


Encroachments galore in service back lanes
 Used for parking cars, encroached upon by ‘dhobis’
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Even after more than a decade, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has failed to draft a stringent policy regarding the use of service back lanes.

Vehicles parked in service lanes of Sectors 18 and 21, Chandigarh.
Vehicles parked in service lanes of Sectors 18 and 21, Chandigarh. Tribune photos: Pardeep Tewari 

Resultantly, with the passage of time, these lanes are fast becoming breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other insects, but are also being encroached upon by residents.

During a visit to the service lanes in Sectors 16, 18 and 21, it was found that these lanes were being used by residents for storing construction material, parking vehicles during night, having rooms of their maids or security guards and displaying plants. Dhobis (washer men) have also constructed temporary huts in these lanes.

These lanes were designed to keep the backyards of the houses clean but with the passage of time, these have become garbage dumps. A visit to various areas is enough to judge the apathy and gross indifference of the Chandigarh MC towards the problem.

MC Chief Engineer SS Bidda said the authorities have not chalked out any policy for service back lanes and the issue was still pending.

The enforcement department records show that the encroachments in the service lanes are removed following complaints. Officials said as there was no policy on service lanes, the enforcement department was unable to take action against encroachers.

In the 146th General House meeting two years ago, MC Chief Engineer SK Bansal had assured the House that they were framing a policy regarding usage of service lanes in various sectors. He informed the House that the departments concerned would remove the encroachments within next one month. Even former MC Commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria had apprised the House that the matter had been discussed with the Chief Engineer and it had been decided that the encroachments would be removed from service lanes in a phased manner. He said many complaints had been received from the residents that these lanes could not be cleaned properly due to encroachments.

Sources in the corporation said that the service lanes were earmarked in the city’s master plan for easing traffic congestion in front of markets and providing an alternative route to commuters leaving the arcades in their own vehicles. However, these pathways failed to achieve their perceived objective due to poor maintenance. Later, the corporation cemented the service lanes at a cost of Rs 2 lakh so that pedestrians could use them.

An executive committee member of the Citizen Association of Sector 21, Sachin, said despite repeated complaints to the MC about encroachments and cleanliness of lanes, the authorities have turned a deaf ear to the problem. 



teasing Jaguar
Show-cause notices issued to 3 officials
 Zookeeper suspended; Chief Wildlife Warden to conduct inquiry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Forest and Wildlife Protection Minister Arunesh Shakar today issued show-cause notices to range officer Ravinder Singh, block officer Harpal Singh and wildlife guard Malkit Singh for dereliction of duty.

The action comes following an incident in which some visitors teased a caged jaguar at Chhatbir zoo a few days ago. The minister has also suspended a class IV employee on the same charges.

According to an official spokesman, the action has been taken after publication of a photograph where some unidentified youth were seen making caged Jaguar drink a liquid substance mixed with cold drink.

The minister has also asked Chief Wildlife Warden Gurbaz Singh to hold an inquiry into the issue while zookeeper Dharampal has been suspended. He said the police has been working on a war footing to identify the accused, who gave cold drink to the jaguar.

On June 18, four-five youths, reportedly in an inebriated condition, poured a “liquor-laced” cold drink into the mouth of a caged jaguar. They also tried to put a finger into jaguar’s mouth and played with the animal by putting a straw in its mouth keeping the other end in theirs. The caged animal got infuriated and ran amok. The jaguar reportedly fell down after consuming liquor.



Vandalism: Three IRB constables suspended
 Inquiry finds them guilty of damaging vehicles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The police today suspended three constables of the India Reserve Battalion (IRB) after a fact-finding inquiry into the clash between the police and Youth Congress workers on March 17 this year found them guilty of damaging vehicles.

Police action during a Youth Congress rally on March 17 in Sector 42 which led to the damage of around 50 vehicles.
Police action during a Youth Congress rally on March 17 in Sector 42 which led to the damage of around 50 vehicles. A file photo 

SP (Operations) RS Ghumman conducted the inquiry. During the inquiry, a voluminous record of media clippings as well as a large number of members of the public and police officials were examined.

Those suspended include constable Sukhbir Singh, constable Pawan Kumar and constable Swadesh. The visual clippings examined during the course of inquiry showed these constables damaging vehicles of Congress workers who had come for the rally. A regular departmental inquiry has also been marked against them.

Besides, five police officials ranging from the ranks of constable to sub-inspector-level have been issued a censure notice. These five were seen near the place of occurrence and apparently took no action to prevent damage to public property. They have been issued censure for their lapses.

DIG, Chandigarh, has also been directed to issue detailed guidelines regarding handling law and order situations to avoid re-occurrence of such incidents.

Dozens of people were injured on March 17 when Punjab Youth Congress activists got into a violent clash with the police during a rally in Sector 42. The police canecharged, fired tear gas shells and sprayed water cannons to stop the Congress workers from reaching the Punjab State Assembly complex in Sector 1 to protest the alleged failure of the Akali Dal-led government to take any measures for the welfare of the youth.

The protestors and police were seen pelting stones at each other as the mayhem continued near the memorial complex of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh in Sector 42.

The clash had continued for over two hours. The police action had led to damage to nearly 50 vehicles of Youth Congress activists. 



City to bloom with theme gardens
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The City Beautiful, known for its sprawling gardens and open spaces, is on its way of becoming the city of theme gardens. With five major theme gardens being developed in the southern sectors, the tourism potential is set to get a boost in the years to come.

The creation of theme gardens has been made possible with a grant of around Rs 40 crore from the Union Ministry of Tourism with a view to upgrade tourism potential to make the city the next tourist destination in the region.

The ball for the creation of the gardens was set in motion last year with the UT Administration appointing Dr Satish Narula, senior Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) horticulturist as the consultant advisor (tourism) on theme gardens.

Ram Niwas, Home-cum-Tourism Secretary said the creation of new theme gardens was in sync with Le Corbusier’s concept of “sun, space and verdure”. Since most of the theme gardens had been developed in the southern sectors, the tourism potential in the city in general and southern sectors in particular will get a boost, he added.

“The gardens have been designed keeping in view the education, recreation and tourism,” Dr Satish Narula said adding that some of the features of these gardens were unique and created for the first time in this part of the country.

Valley of Animals, Sector 49

Valley of Animals, Sector 49

Replicas of dinosaurs at the entrance of the Valley of Animals in Sector 49.
Replicas of dinosaurs at the entrance of the Valley of Animals in Sector 49.

The Valley of Animals will give a glimpse into the hot Safari desert, freezing Tundra region and also lush Asian forests. Animals from every belt will inhabit the park in their topiary form (the art of creating sculptures in the medium of clipped trees, shrubs and sub-shrubs). Dr Satish Narula claimed that the concept was unique and first of its kind in the world. The garden has been divided into four sections - temperate region, forest region, desert and grasslands.

The placement of animal figure and plantation is being done specific to the section. The concept of garden valley is different from the stereotype topiary parks where all-green single animals are placed at a distance from one another. In this theme garden, however, there will be a mass display of various animal topiaries on the slopes and undulations co-existing in the family form or in action. The animal shapes are being created with plants of different hues and texture so as to make it a colourful and curious display. Besides, another striking feature of the garden will be a group of dinosaurs and plants that existed at the time. The planting has been done in a way that one must be able to see a whole range of figures in different colours in open undulating park.

Garden of Palms, Sector 42

Garden of Palms, Sector 42

Palms at the Garden of Palms, in Sector 42.
Palms at the Garden of Palms, in Sector 42. Tribune photos: Parvesh Chauhan

The Garden of Palms will have more than 50 varieties of palms and a special cycling track over an adventurous terrain. Officials said to promote Sector 42 in the southern end of Chandigarh as a major hub of tourism, the Garden of Palms is being developed at a cost of Rs 31.1 million. This garden would be adjacent to the man-made lake that is already a hit with the tourists, the officials added. A special cycling track has been laid on an adventurous terrain, including mounds and undulating areas to promote bicycle tourism. Another added attraction of the Garden of Palms shall be a tourist reception centre in a saucer shape. Two artistic bridges will link this garden with the lake area. Other tourist facilities would include palm-shaped tourist huts and special walkways that would be illuminated with special light effects.

Japanese Garden, Sector 31

Japanese Garden, Sector 31

A view of the upcoming Japanese Garden in Sector 31.

The Japanese Garden in Sector 31 will have a unique Japanese-styled tourist reception centre, a teahouse and pagoda huts, besides Japanese lanterns and river concepts. The theme of the garden is meditation, peace, and serenity. Based on Japanese belief, the paths in the gardens are undulating. A bonsai section will be the added attraction of the garden.

A view of the upcoming Japanese Garden in Sector 31.

Garden of Silence, Sukhna Lake

Garden of Silence, Sukhna Lake
The Garden of Silence at the regulator end of the Sukhna Lake.
The Garden of Silence at the regulator end of the Sukhna Lake.

The Nature Interpretation Centre at the Garden of Silence, which is coming up at the regulator end of the Sukhna Lake, has been established to enhance awareness and sensitivity of the people towards lake and wetlands and to educate them about the necessity of conserving nature and natural resources. The wealth of information will be presented with the help of photo text panels, visuals (audio-video), interactive models, computers, touch screen kiosks, murals and indoor and outdoor signage. The adjoining areas have been beautifully landscaped and will have meditative platforms. This garden has been created at the regulator end of the Sukhna Lake.

Garden of Springs, Sector 53

To be developed over an area of 27 acres, the Garden of Spring across the Sector 42 Lake will have tourist reception centre. A special feature of the garden will be corridors of different colours, along with theme-based flowering trees. The purpose of creating this theme garden, said Dr Narula, was to showcase the number of plants/tree species that can successfully be grown in Chandigarh. A section of the garden has been designed on the lines of circular garden that already exists in Rashtrapati Bhawan. 



CHB told to pay Rs 14.8-lakh interest
  74 members of the Popular Cooperative Society had withdrawn from the society
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The UT Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum has directed the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) to pay Rs 14.8 lakh, Rs 20,000 each to 74 members of the Popular Cooperative Society, Sector 44, who withdrew from the society after a dispute as interest on the amount deposited by them for allotment of land for their group housing scheme.

The forum has also asked the CHB to pay Rs 7.4 lakh, Rs 10,000 each, to the complaints towards the cost of litigation. As per complaint filed by the society, 74 members had deposited the requisite amount and had become members of the Popular Cooperative House Building Society, Sector 44, from 1988 to 1990. Subsequently, the Chandigarh Administration allotted the land for construction of houses and all complainants were declared eligible.

The complainants had deposited 10 per cent earnest money for the cost of land, which was worked out @ Rs 750 per square yard, Rs 13,000 for category “A” and 10,000 for category “B”. On behalf of complainants, Popular Society deposited this amount to CHB.

Later, a dispute arose between the society and the CHB and the matter was taken to High Court by the society.

The case was, however, dismissed on December 18, 1996, and the CHB gave an opportunity to the society and its members to deposit the balance 15 per cent of the price along with 18 per cent interest per annum up to the date of court’s order, December 12, 1996, as per interim order of High Court on May 11, 1992.

The complainants deposited Rs 44,750 for category “A” and Rs 31,170 for Category “B” flats accordingly at Rs 750 per square yard. However, the withdrew their applications after they discovered that the CHB had enhanced the rates for the land from Rs 750 per sq yard to Rs 2500 per square yard. Though the CHB accepted the request and refund their principal amount but did not pay them the interest.

In its reply, the CHB stated that the Chandigarh Administration revised the rate of land to Rs 2,500 per square yard on leasehold basis and Rs 2,850 per square yard on freehold basis as per notification on May 2001. As per administration directions, the society was asked to pay the difference to complete 25 per cent cost
of land.

The CHB said that in pursuance of the directions conveyed by the Finance Secretary, Chief Administration, Chandigarh Administration vide letter dated March 9, 2000, and June 13, 2000, the interest paid by the society was not to be refunded, if any member of the Society or the society itself sought refund. “So, we had made refund of the principal amount after retaining the interest, paid on the delayed payment of remaining 15 per cent of earnest money (Rs 19,817 and Rs 13,802),” replies the CHB.

The forum comprising its president PD Goyal and member Rajinder Singh Gill stated that the Chandigarh Administration and the Chandigarh Housing Board had no right to refuse the refund of 18 per cent interest. So, they are directed to refund the interest of Rs 19,817 and Rs 13,802 to the complainants. Also directed to pay Rs 20,000 each to 74 complainants.



Helpline for differently abled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The Chandigarh Administration has set up a helpline offering a host of services for differently abled persons. By dialling 1090 and 100, one can get to know about the special schemes for differently abled persons and for any assistance they may require under special project devised by the Chandigarh Administration.

This was decided in a meeting convened by the Secretary Social Welfare Ram Niwas and attended by SSP, UT, Director Social Welfare, Chandigarh and other senior officials of Chandigarh Administration.

During the meeting, it was decided that there was an urgent need to start two dedicated helplines, one for police help and other for providing relevant information to disabled persons. Further it was also decided in order to encourage and motivate disabled persons by honouring them on important days like January 26, August 15 and on Disability Day on December 3 every year for any extraordinary works/achievements in any field. In order to spread awareness and involve the participation of disabled person in various activities, it was also decided to allot stall on the important events of Chandigarh Administration like Rose Festival, Chandigarh Carnival and others

As per the 2001 Census, there are more that 15,000 differently abled person living in Chandigarh. The persons with disabilities (Equal opportunities, protection of Right and Full participation) Act 1995 aims at integrating the disabled persons in the mainstream society through their rehabilitation and empowerment. The Chandigarh Administration has been chalking out plans to provide them various facilities and privileges with a view to mitigate their problems and also to promote their human rights. 



Officials gear up for caste Census-2011
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The Secretary, Urban Development-cum-Home Secretary, convened a meeting with the Director Census, UT, Deputy Commissioner, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, and officials of other departments to review the preparations related to the socio-economic and caste Census 2011 which would commence in Chandigarh from the third week of July.

As per the decision taken at the Government of India level, Chandigarh has been selected as a pilot Union Territory to commence the BPL Census for rural and urban areas under the technical and financial assistance. It has been decided that kits and instructions manual related to BPL Census shall be prepared by the Chandigarh Administration.

The first preliminary training shall be imparted for the data entry operators to be provided Bharat Electronics limited (BEL) on July 13 and 14. During the training, the staff shall be facilitated to enter the requisite responses into a hand held device to be carried by each data entry operator, according to a press note.

Officials of Chandigarh Administration from the various departments shall act as enumerators who will be assisted by staff as data entry operators from the BEL. The training for enumerators shall be held on July 15 and 16 where the requisite questions required for canvassing related to BPL survey shall be provided for in different translated version for Rural and Urban areas.

The Home Secretary directed that all HCS/PCS officials of the Chandigarh Administration shall be deputed for smooth conduct and supervision of the census. The supervision of the BPL census in rural areas shall be under the control of Deputy Commissioner UT Chandigarh whereas Commissioner Municipal Corporation shall supervise the urban areas.



47 challaned

Chandigarh, June 22
In a special anti-encroachment drive in the Sector 34 furniture market, the enforcement department today issued 47 challans to shopkeepers for encroaching upon government land.

During the drive, furniture, including sofa, beds, dining tables, bundle of foam and chairs were removed. Five truckload of material was also seized. The drive was carried out under the supervision of Additional Commissioner-II Lalit Siwach. — TNS



MC sets up 24-hour flood control centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has set up round-the-clock flood control centre with telephone number 5009333 in the MC corporation building from today. The control centre will operate in three shifts from June 25 to September 30.

Besides, sub-divisional engineers of the road wing will also move in their respective areas with labour to remove blockage on roads, including gullies. The overall in charge of the work will be the executive engineer, public health division 4.

The superintendent engineers, public health, and B & R will inspect the work alternatively for one fortnight and the MC Commissioner and the chief engineer will also do surprise checks during the rains.



Construct house or lose plot
 Govt sets 15-year deadline for plot holders 
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, June 22
Plot holders, who have failed to undertake construction work on their property, beware! The government has now come up with a new policy under which a 15-year deadline has been fixed after which such allottees face a real risk of losing their plots.

According to a survey conducted by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) this year, there are 429 plots lying vacant in various parts of the town, the maximum being in Sector 69.

Sources said there were 105 plots lying vacant in Sector 69, 100 in Sector 68 and 18 in Sector 67. Some were still lying vacant even in areas which were developed about three decades ago. While Phase XI had 60 vacant plots, 44 were lying vacant in Phase X and 37 in Phase IX. Phases VI and VII had eight vacant plots each, while five were lying vacant in Phase V and four in Phase IV. Two plots were still vacant in Phase III B2 and one each in Phases III B1, III A and II.

GMADA estate officer Balbir Singh said vacant plots

were a nuisance for others living in the area as people at times dumped garbage in these plots. Many of these remained full of wild growth which became a breeding place for mosquitoes and also provided a cover to anti-social elements. Complaints were received from residents in this regard.

He said the government had made a new housing policy and in accordance with that GMADA would be issuing resumption notices to allottees who had not constructed houses within a period of 15 years from the date of taking possession of the plots. He said allottees should ensure that construction activity got completed within 15 years failing which resumption proceedings would start against them.

The Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development (General) Amendment Rules, 2010, state that the “transferee shall complete the building as per the approved building plan within a period of three years from the date of possession of the land, failing which the estate officer

may resume the land or building or both, as the case may be in accordance with the provisions of Section 45 of the Act”.

The amended rules further state that “provided the estate officer may extend the period of three years, if he is satisfied that the building could not be completed by the transferee due to reasons beyond the control of the transferee on payment of fee. The period of extension shall not exceed twelve years which shall be counted after the expiry of the period of three years from the date of possession of that land.”

According to the new policy, allottees, who failed to construct houses due to reasons beyond their control within three years, will have to pay a non-construction fee varying between 2 per cent and 4 per cent of the allotment price or the auction price. 

According to a survey conducted by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) this year, there are 429 plots lying vacant in various parts of the town, the maximum being in Sector 69



HUDA allots 865 flats to slum dwellers
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 22
Abdul Ahmad Hamid became the first beneficiary among the slum dwellers in the town to be allotted a flat in the Ashiana apartment at Sector 20 during the draw of lots held by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) here today.

Slum dwellers check their names during the draw of lots at HUDA complex in Sector 6, Panchkula, on Wednesday.
Slum dwellers check their names during the draw of lots at HUDA complex in Sector 6, Panchkula, on Wednesday. A Tribune photograph

The draw was held through a computer programme, which generated the list of allottees in a random manner. However, there was chaos, as illiterate people gathered at the place could not understand the new system. As soon as the list appeared on an LCD they rushed towards it.

Ashiana Flats have been built at Sector 20 under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Renewal Mission for the rehabilitation of slum dwellers. A total of 960 flats were available for the draw, but only 865 were allotted to eligible allottees. All allottees were residents of slum areas who had been residing in the city since 1994. There were 843 allottees from Azad Colony, 21 from Matu Ram Colony and 1 from Babu Dham Colony. The total application received from Azad Colony were 1094, from Matu Ram colony 203 and Babu Ram Colony 16.

Elaborate security arrangement had been made at HUDA’s office, which had virtually turned into a fortress. The officials said the police personnel were deployed in order to avoid any untoward incident.

HUDA Administrator Rajinder Kataria said, “The allottees would be given possession of the flats in the next 15 days and in another two weeks they would have to vacate the slums and shift to the flats.” However, he warned that HUDA would not allow any encroachment on the vacated government land in the colonies. Those, who have not been allotted flats due to problems in scrutiny of the documents can re-apply.” He said flats were being allotted on a monthly instalment of Rs 1,500 and if any person was unable to pay the amount, he or she could stay in the flat by paying a monthly rent of Rs 500.



Clean up road gullies every week, Mohali DC tells officials 

Mohali, June 22
Mohali Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam has directed officials concerned to clean road gullies and nullahs before the onset of monsoon.

The Deputy Commissioner, who paid a visit to Sectors 70, 71, Phase IX, and Lakhnour village, along with officials of the public health department and municipal corporation, said road gullies should be cleaned up every week. Manhole covers of storm water sewers, which got damaged in Industrial Area and in Phase V, where road widening was on, should be replaced at the earliest to avoid any untoward incident, he added.

During his visit to Lakhnour village, the Deputy Commissioner directed the officials to clean up nullah and pull down encroachments.

He said an amount of Rs 4 crore would be spent on the development of the town. A sum of Rs 1.69 crore would be spent on strengthening the embankment of Ghaggar river to save Mohali district from getting flooded during the monsoon. 



Sukhna choe not cleaned up yet
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, June 22
With weeds choking Sukhna choe, possibilities of water overflowing from the choe and entering the low lying areas of Baltana cannot be ruled out.

Weeds dot Sukhna choe.
Weeds dot Sukhna choe. A Tribune photgraph

Even though monsoons are just round the corner, the district administration and the drainage department have failed to clean up the choe. Residents lamented that the authorities concerned had turned a blind eye to their plight. They have demanded that the officials concerned should clean up the choe on a priority basis.

During monsoons, rain water gets accumulated on choice road near Sukhna choe resulting in inconvenience to residents of Baltana.

A visit to the area revealed that weeds and effluents had clogged the smooth flow of the choe and stink emanating from it made it difficult for one to cross the stretch. Raman Sharma, a resident of Baltana said, “With monsoon hitting the region by June-end, the situation can worsen. There may be an outbreak of water-borne diseases. He said the authorities concerned should take necessary steps to tide over the problem.

SDO, drainage department, Kuljit Singh, when contacted, stated that he would look into the matter and take preventive measures to solve the problem.



Panel to finalise insurance cover to firemen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
A six-member committee has been constituted to finalise the long pending insurance policy cover for 261 firemen of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

The decision to this affect was taken in the fire committee meeting chaired by Devinder Singh Babla today. The of the committee include Devinder Singh Babla, Brig Chandpuri, Arshad Khan and officials concerned of the fire Branch. The committee will submit its report within a month.

Officials told the committee members that only a single tender was received for the insurance policy of the firemen eight months ago, due to which there is delay in its implementation.

In 2009, the House approved the proposal and later the authorities invited companies to finalise the insurance amount. As per the proposal drafted by the fire and emergency department, disability and medical claims were included according to the posts held by the firemen.

As per the draft prepared by the department, the chief fire officer or the station fire officer would be entitled to get the insurance cover of Rs 10 lakh in case of death while on duty. For fireman, leading fireman and sub-fire officer, the amount predetermined was Rs 7.5 lakh. In case of permanent disability, firemen of all rank will get Rs 7.5 lakh and for partial disability, the amount will be Rs 5 lakh. Besides, the firemen can also avail medical claim of Rs 2.5 lakh in case of mishap.

The authorities, however, rejected all the companies which had applied for it due to low rate quoted by them for insurance and medical allowance of the firemen.

It may be mentioned that for the last 15 years, employees of the fire department have been demanding insurance cover on the pattern of other paramilitary services which involves risk of life while on duty. 



tricity scan

Inde Dutch staff protest

Employees of the Inde Dutch System Infotech staged a demonstration in front of their office at Sector 34 here on Wednesday. BS Gill, general secretary of their union, said employees were being transferred to other stations, which was against service rules. He said employees transferred to Noida were being paid salaries at a par with employees in Chandigarh, which was unfair.

Without doctor

The civil dispensary at Sector 35, which has recently been shifted to the municipal corporation, has no doctor. Area councillor Harjinder Kaur has asked the authorities to appoint a doctor at the earliest.

Smell trouble

A flour mill has been constructed by the UT administration at Sector 35-C. Residents of the area, children at the government creche, morning walkers at the park and commuters in general are inconvenienced by the foul smell being emitted from the mill. Repeated requests to shift it elsewhere has fallen on deaf ears.

Structures razed

Four big illegal structures, which were being used for parking by residents of BSNL Society, Sector 50, were demolished by the estate office staff on Wednesday. SDO Ravinder Sharma said more than a dozen more structures which were being used as temporary hutment were also demolished.

Handbook price

Student leaders at Panjab University have expressed their dissent over the cost of the handbook of information, which has been priced at Rs 500. Representatives of the NSUI have said the cost of printing the handbook is low. “For a student who has to seek information for a single course, other information in the handbook is redundant. We urge the authorities to provide the handbook of information at it is actual cost,” says Sunny Mehta, a student leader.

Award for surgeon

Dr Sarabjit Singh, surgeon with the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, has been selected for an award by the International College of Surgeons. The award will be presented at the inaugural ceremony of the 57th annual conference of the International College of Surgeons, to be held in Srinagar.

Collaboration with Australia

A three-member Australian delegation, led by Tom Calder, Trade Commissioner, Australian High Commission, New Delhi, called on Punjab Sports Director Pargat Singh here on Wednesday. Dr Pamm Kellett, senior lecturer, sports management, school of management and marketing, faculty of business law, Victoria, Australia, and Ankur Bhatia, business development manager, were the two other members of the delegation. After the meeting, Pargat said, “We discussed sports specialisation, super-specialisation, sports infrastructure and trade. The delegation was keen to develop sports and sports-related activities. It was a fruitful discussion on sharing knowledge, sports equipment and sports infrastructure. Cooperation between Australia and India, Punjab in particular, will be beneficial to both nations. I am confident that collaboration between the two countries in the coming years will help all-round scientific development.”

Computerisation of land records

The Principal Secretary, Employment Generation, DS Jaspal, paid a surprise visit to the ‘farad kender’ set up at the district administrative complex on Wednesday and inspected ongoing work. He said farmers had to face a lot of inconvenience for land records earlier, but now it would be easier. He stated that computerisation of land records was done for the Mohali subdivision to begin with, but now, it had been completed for the Kharar subdivision. Work on computerising land records in the Dera Bassi subdivision would be completed by July 31, he stated.

Camps for revenue record work

Camps will be organised at the kanungo level for clearing work related to revenue records, Mohali Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam said here on Wednesday. He said camps would be held on June 25 at Government Senior Secondary School in Manouli, at tehsil complex in Majri and at Government Senior Secondary School in Lalru from 9 am to 1 pm.


S Iyenger has been elected chairman of the Punjab National Bank Officers Association, Haryana. Other office-bearers are Kumar Arbind as president, TR Verma as general secretary, Ranjeet Singh as assistant general secretary GS Oberoi as organising secretary and YP Sharma as treasurer.

— Tribune Reporters



Sanskrit dept cries for attention
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Blame it on the fad to study foreign languages or ignorance of Panjab University authorities, but the Sanskrit department at Panjab University currently has nine teaching posts vacant and a student strength of barely 50 per cent.

In comparison to the number of seats (68 in MA-) in the department, only half the number of students have applied for the masters’ programme here for more than one decade now. The department has two professors and one retiree has been granted extension.

Though the Sanskrit department receives less applications for the MA course, the number applying for MPhil and PhD are surprising. There are 20 MPhil students and 25 PhD students enrolled and the response for these courses has been good.

Holding the university authorities responsible for ignoring language departments, Sanskrit students said the initiative had to be from higher-ups.

“If there are no teachers, how can we expect to have innovative ideas to make the department popular? When there are no resources, how can the department grow? I think the department can be among the most popular institutes for Sanskrit learning in North India if attention is given to it, said Udayan Arya, an MA-I (Sanskrit) student, who came from Uttar Pradesh.

Students added that university’s focus had to shift to dying languages or else, the condition would worsen. “Universities are incepted to be preserve and promote languages and subjects. There are barely 25 to 30 students in each MA batch in this department every year. It is high time we wake up. The other institutes offering Sanskrit courses are flooded with students, but why not PU,” questioned another student, on the condition of anonymity.

When asked the reasons for declining interest in the language, the department chairperson, Shankarji Jha, said, “In the age of commercialisation, students want to take up a course from the job point of view. We have kept an entrance test for the course now since students who did not even know how to communicate in Sanskrit used to apply for hostel.”

He added that the department has been hosting inter college debates, quiz and shaloka chanting to promote the course. However, the effort seemed to be incomplete without university’s intervention. Both Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti and Registrar AK Bhandari were not available for comment. Sanskrit scholars in the city opined that the university needed to introspect the curriculum design.

“The PU needs to revise Sanskrit grammar curriculum, like Benares Hindu University and other universities do. There is no BEd in Sanskrit, which is high in demand. If PU had started a course in astrology along with Sanskrit, it would have fared well,” said Arun Prakash Shastri of Shri Jindbaba Sanskrit Academy, Sector 20.



A range of short-term courses at PU
 ‘In-service students not required to attend classes whole day’
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
From being the only university in the country to host a postgraduate diploma in homeland security to introducing new courses like diploma in landscape gardening, mushroom and spirulina cultivation, Panjab University is offering a range of short-term programmes for the 2011-2012 academic session.

These programmes include popular certificate courses in foreign languages like French and German, that have 286 and 136 seats, respectively. Although there is a visible interest by students in foreign languages, PU faculty members opine that more advertising is required for courses like diploma in Punjab language and culture.

“Classes are conducted only if there are substantial applicants for the session,” says a senior faculty member of the Punjabi department.

Emphasising the need to promote certain other special programmes, Rakesh Dutta, chairperson, Department of Defence and National Security Studies, says, “There is a need to promote certain exclusive courses like the postgraduate diploma in homeland security. This is the only university in the country that offers this course. Even the executive course in disaster management and security is drawing a decent response. But there is a need to create more awareness.”

“We have written to the UT police to encourage employees to enrol for such short-term programmes. All categories are being targeted for these courses including students and middle-level management officers, who require training in disaster management. Officers from paramilitary forces and the police also get enrolled for these courses,” he adds.

For such courses, the common problem among in-service personnel is getting leave. “A lot of in-service people have expressed their keen interest in doing the courses and we are flexible in terms of schedule. They are not required to attend classes the whole day after enrolling for programmes,” says Dutta.

Short-term courses at PU include executive course in disaster management and security (20 seats), English proficiency course (30 seats), diploma in landscape gardening, mushroom and spirulina cultivation (35 seats), certificate courses in

Chinese (57), French (286), functional Punjabi (31), German (136), Persian (29), Russian (114), Tibetan (57) and Urdu (85), diploma courses in Chinese (11), French (29), forensic science and criminology (20, plus two seats for sponsored police personnel), German (34), Punjabi language and culture (17), Persian (17), Russian (29), Tibetan (17), English to Hindi translation (68), English to Punjabi translation (11), Urdu (29), pre-school education (15), advanced diploma courses in Chinese (11), French (17), German (23), proficiency in interpretership for Tibetan (11), Persian ( 11), Russian (17) and Urdu (17), postgraduate diploma courses in disaster management (34), homeland security (10, plus 15 in-service personnel) and Buddhist studies (20), post-MSc course in accelerator physics (11) and post-MA diploma courses in professional counselling and psychotherapy (23) and psychological testing (23).



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