C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


SC stays retirement of PU professor
HC had dismissed petitions on revision of superannuation age
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Just about five months after the Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissed a bunch of 100 petitions on the revision of the retirement age to 65 years, the Supreme Court has come to the rescue of a Panjab University (PU) professor who is about to retire.

Acting on a special leave petition (SLP) filed by Shelly Walia of the department of English, the Supreme Court has directed the maintenance of status quo regarding the post. Walia will now continue till further orders.

The court has also issued a notice on the SLP filed by Walia. The SLP arises out of the High Court order dated March 4 in a civil writ petition of 2010.

The maintenance of status quo means continuing with the existing state of affairs. The order implies that the incumbent will remain on the post if he has not already retired from service. The order is expected to pave the way for other university professors to continue beyond the superannuation age of 60 as an interim measure if they too move the apex court.

Available information suggests Walia attained the age of 60 on July 29 and was to superannuate on July 31.

The order by the Bench of Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice Surinder Singh Nijjar, dated July 29, says: “Issue notice, returnable six weeks hence. In the meantime, the parties are directed to maintain status quo with regard to the petitioner’s post”.

In its judgment dated March 4, the High Court had made it clear that the “order will not debar the revision of age by the state government/state universities or Panjab University”.

A Division Bench had also directed the vacation of stay, whereby some teachers were allowed to continue beyond the age of retirement.

The Bench had also asserted: “Panjab University is not a Central university as already held by this court in (the case of) Dr AC Jhulka. It is also not a Centrally funded university under any law, though it has been stated that certain developments have taken place and the matter is yet to be decided by the Central Government.

“If the Central Government accepts Panjab University to be Centrally funded, the scheme for the revision of age of superannuation may become applicable. Till such a decision is taken, the scheme (dated December 31, 2008, on the revision of superannuation age) cannot be held to have become applicable. Panjab University will, thus, stand on the same footing as other state universities”.

The Bench concluded: “The scheme neither being automatically applicable to states; and states universities not having been extended to them; claim of the writ petitioners for a direction for the revision of age of superannuation cannot be accepted.”



Admn officials juggling multiple charges
Slack appointment process taking a toll
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Delayed appointments and hiring people on an ad hoc basis continue to thrive in the UT Administration. Decisions related to appointments of officers belonging to the IAS, IPS, PCS and HCS to key posts have been hanging fire for several months, resulting in vesting additional charges to certain officials.

The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) has been functioning without a full-fledged Municipal Commissioner for over four months after Roshan Sunkaria, an IAS officer of the 1988 batch, was repatriated to Punjab. While Deputy Commissioner Brijendra Singh held the charge after Sunkaria left, the charge of the MC Commissioner is at present being held by Prerna Puri, a comparatively junior IAS officer of the 2006 batch.

The Punjab Government is yet to send a fresh panel for the post of the MC Commissioner. Recently, the ministry of home affairs (MHA) had rejected the Commissioner’s panel in which the UT Administration had recommended the name of Vivek Pratap Singh, a 1996 batch IAS officer. The post of the MC Joint Commissioner is yet to be filled after the repatriation of Kamlesh Kumar to Haryana.

Similarly, the Administration has failed to move ahead in the case of the appointment to the pivotal post of Home Secretary. While the Haryana Government had sent three names in June, the Administration is yet to recommend anyone for the post. The tenure of the current incumbent ends on September 24.

The case of the Chandigarh Police is no different.

Deputy Inspector-General (DIG) Alok Kumar is holding several charges, including operations, traffic, intelligence, headquarters, prisons and economic offences wing (EOW). This is on account of the repatriation of HS Doon, who was holding the charges of traffic, prisons and security, to Haryana on July 31. The charges held by RS Ghuman, who has gone on training, are also being held by Alok Kumar.

Besides, several middle-rung officials belonging to the PCS and the HCS are holding multiple charges in view of the officer crunch in the Administration. Rahul Gupta, a PCS officer, is holding the charges of Director (Sports), Assistant Estate Officer, Controller Printing and Stationery, Secretary House Allotment Committee and Joint Registrar Cooperative Societies.

Director Public Relations Yogesh Kumar also holds the charges of Director (Information Technology) while SS Khara, Joint Secretary (Finance) is Joint Secretary in the departments of urban planning, engineering and housing, besides being the head of the department of the Government College of Art. Additional Deputy Commissioner ML Sharma also holds additional charges of Additional Labour Commissioner and Additional Excise and Taxation Commissioner. The Director Industries holds additional charges of State Transport Authority and Controller Weights and Measures.



UPS crash
Third day no better at RLA
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
For the third consecutive day today, services at the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) were disrupted again as the UPS system conked out in the afternoon. While the work resumed smoothly in the morning after the new system was installed yesterday, it crashed again at 2 pm forcing scores of applicants to go back. No work could be carried out till 4 pm.

Repair work was being executed till late in the evening at the office. For the last two days, applicants at the RLA have been facing a harrowing time as erratic power supply, coupled with excessive load, led to the burning of a wire and crashing of the UPS.

While no work was executed for the entire day on Wednesday, work was resumed only after lunch hours yesterday. “I have been turned back twice in the last three days. I wanted to submit my application for a driver’s licence,” said a harried Rohit, a Sector 23 resident.

Regional Licensing Officer Sanjiv Kohli said the system took off well in the morning, but had to be shut down due to repair work.



AFT purview: HC to take final call
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The Punjab and Haryana High Court will decide whether paramilitary forces under the Ministry of Home Affairs can be brought under the purview of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) for adjudication on court martial cases and other service-related matters.

In a petition filed before the high court, R.T.P.S. Tulsi, a local lawyer who had earlier served with the Border Security Force and the Coast Guard, has claimed that the paramilitary forces are being denied the applicability of the AFT Act contrary to the recommendations of the Law Commission given in its 169th report. “In case such a Tribunal is created, Parliament may also consider to bring other paramilitary services too under the jurisdiction of the Tribunal,” the report had stated.

Stating that the armed forces and paramilitary organisations at best can be deemed similar, the petition adds that Article 33 of the Constitution, which places certain limits on fundamental rights, cannot extend to create a class within the “armed forces” so as to deny the right of appeal only to the paramilitray forces under the AFT Act as well as the Criminal Procedure Code while making it available to the “defence forces and other armed forces”.

The BSF has been held to be an armed force primarily connected with the defence of the country according to the judgement in the case, UOI vs ex-Ct Amrik Singh, the petition states.

Stating that the Central Administrative Tribunal Act exclues its applicability to all armed forces, the petition contends that because of the consequent absence of alternative equivalent remedy, denial of right of appeal to paramilitary forces is illegal, unjust and amounts to denial of equal protection of the fundamental rights.

An affidavit filed on behalf of the Union of India countering the petitioner’s contentions claims that the Army, Navy and the Air Force form a distinct class from other armed forces of the union by virtue of their service conditions, disciplinary procedures and redressal forums and none of the Central Civil Services Rules are applicable to military personnel.Further, military personnel are paid from the defence estimates whereas paramilitary personnel are paid from the civil estimates. Also, service conditions applicable to paramilitary personnel differ depending upon their respective parent cadre.


On your cell soon: ‘Avoid road X, take Y’
Traffic police to start traffic update SMS service
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Moving a step ahead in modernisation, the Chandigarh Traffic Police will soon start an SMS service, on the lines of their Delhi counterparts, wherein commuters can get updates on the city’s traffic and know which routes to avoid.

The step is being taken as part of an initiative to minimise the ever-increasing traffic jams on city roads. The SMS service will help commuters get traffic updates on their mobiles.

The recently created Facebook page of the police has has grown popular with residents, who keep pasting photographs of traffic violations. The police have issued more than 600 challans on the basis of that page.

They are currently chalking out a plan on how to go about the service with telecom providers. Once the service is initiated, commuters just need to subscribe to it and will get messages on traffic updates on their mobile phones.

The link will also be posted on the Facebook page once the service comes into effect. Once that is done, residents will start getting updates at regular intervals.

The SMS update will suggest a better route and highlight the points with huge congestion, with reasons thereof. They are identifying accident-prone areas and will press additional force on these areas for better management of traffic.

“The Facebook page has achieved great success and the SMS service is another step in innovation. It aims to provide better service to residents as they can update themselves on the traffic situation in the city at a particular time. We are hopeful of starting it by the end of the month,” said UT DIG Alok Kumar.



Contractor ‘kidnapped, released’
Cops suspect the incident to be a drama
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The police remained on its toes for a major part of the day following the call of a contractor being kidnapped for Rs 1 lakh as ransom from near an ATM at Sector 32.

However, he returned on his own in the evening and told the police that the kidnappers released him. Resultantly, the police were taking the entire incident with a pinch of salt and suspecting it to be a drama. A case of kidnapping was registered at the Sector-34 police station.

Subhash of Maloya, who was into the business of shuttering, called up his labourer Mithilesh in the afternoon and told him that he had been kidnapped by four persons in an Indica car minutes after he withdrew Rs 40,000 from an SBI ATM at Sector 32.

Subhash was hired for construction at a house in Sector 32. From there, he went to the ATM and withdrew the money. As per his version, four persons came in an Indica car and forcibly pushed him into the car.

He then called up Mithilesh and told him he was in a forest area at Ambala. He also told Mithilesh that he had been tied with ropes and the kidnappers were demanding Rs 1 lakh as ransom.

The labourer informed Ankush, the son of the contractor, who called up the police. The labourer then received several calls from Subhash, telling him that he had been confined.

The police put the mobile phone number of the contractor on surveillance and the location was detected to Pipli in Kurukshetra district. A team was dispatched to recover him, but Subhash called up again to say he had been released.

“There is more to this kidnapping drama. Either the contractor enacted it or he had some dispute with his labourer over money. Not once did a kidnapper made a call, which is adding to our suspicion that it could all be fake. We have registered a case and are investigating. The exact picture will be clear once he returns to the city and we interrogate him,” said DSP (South) BS Negi.



Ludhiana-Chandigarh Rail Link
Decade not enough, wait for another 18 months
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Even a decade after its commencement, the 110-km rail link between Ludhiana and Chandigarh is likely to take another year-and-a-half for completion. Railway authorities attribute the delay to problems in land acquisition for the Samrala-Sahnewal section.

“The shortage of material, including sand and gravel, following the ban on mining in rivers, has affected construction work. With the auction of mining sites in rivers in Haryana, the Railways hope to complete the work by March 2013,” said an official with the construction wing.

Work on the New Morinda-Khamano track and the third line from Sahnewal to Ludhiana would be completed by March next. Work on the Samrala-Madpura section had also been undertaken and would be completed by March next.

“Once work on these two sections is completed, the process to get sanction from the Commission of Railway Safety (CRS) will be initiated,” Ambala Divisional Railway Deputy Chief Engineer SK Sharma said.

Work on the rail link was started in 1999-2000. By the end of 2006, the 45-km stretch till Morinda was ready. After that, land acquisition problems and other operational hiccups delayed the work. Once operational, the rail link would not only benefit industry, but also daily commuters. A passenger train from Chandigarh to Amritsar, via Ambala Cantonment, had been started, but discontinued due to a poor response.



CITCO okays renovation at Mountview, Parkview
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
In a major decision, the Board of Directors of CITCO today decided that there should be an integrated renovation plan for first-floor rooms at Hotel Mountview to enhance facilities, at a par with international standards in the hotel industry.

The board also approved the renovation of Rustles and Magic Wok restaurants of Hotel Mountview. The renovation of the party hall and toilets at Hotel Parkview would also be undertaken. The meeting was presided over by Home Secretary and CITCO chairman Ram Niwas.

The board approved CITCO Employees’ Service Regulations. The regulations would enable the management to take up long-pending promotion cases of deserving employees on a priority basis.

According to CITCO managing director DK Tiwari, the board agreed to extend conveyance allowance and special allowance benefits to CITCO employees as per rules of the finance department of the administration.

Employees working on contract would be given an annual increase of five per cent in their wages. The board constituted a committee, comprising the CITCO managing director, the Deputy Commissioner and the CII chairman, to decide on industrial sheds of CITCO.

As part of its corporate social responsibility, they approved special discounts to senior citizen associations at Baithak Restaurant in Kalagram at Mani Majra.

CITCO had achieved a turnover of Rs 82.10 crore, which was higher then the corresponding period the previous year, according to a press note.



Panchkula MC to introduce eco-cabs
To have seatbelts, FM radio, first aid and fire safety kits
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune news service

Panchkula, August 5
The Panchkula Municipal Council (MC) is planning to introduce eco-friendly bicycle rickshaw, popularly known as ‘eco-cabs’, in the town on the pattern of Fazilka district in Punjab.

MC officials have invited a Fazilka-based NGO to provide MC the details about the entire project of eco-cabs.

KK Jain, executive officer of the Panchkula MC, said they had contacted with the Fazilka-based NGO, the brain behind these eco-cabs, and they would come to Panchkula this month. “We have requested the NGO to provide us detail about the project,” he added.

Jain said they had thought of providing facilities like FM radio, seatbelt, newspaper and magazines, first-aid kits, fire safety kit and dustbins in these eco-friendly rickshaws.

Sources said these rickshaws would be 25 per cent lighter than the existing rickshaws and MC authorities would tie up with banks to provide loans to rickshaw pullers at nominal rates.

The MC is yet to finalise design and fare of these modern rickshaws, sources added.

Regarding facilities and services in these eco-cabs, sources said the idea behind providing FM radio, newspapers and magazines was to provide entertainment to passengers. The seatbelt would provide more safety to passengers.



Industry seeks widening of internal roads
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 5
The Mohali Chamber of Industry and Commerce (MCIC) has demanded that internal roads in Industrial Area, Phase IX, be widened for the smooth flow of traffic and two more tubewells be installed for adequate supply of water.

The demand was raised during an interactive session with officials of various departments and corporations here on Wednesday. SS Channi, principal secretary, Industry and Commerce, and MP Arora, managing director, PSIEC, were present at the meeting.

Prabhjot Singh Sandhu, president, MCIC, pointed out that one of the major infrastructure problems was narrow internal roads in the area. These should be widened at the earliest so as to facilitate the smooth flow of traffic. Sinking of two new tubewells was also demanded to overcome the shortage of water in the area. One of the major demands of the chamber was to bring transparency in the working of the PSIEC which had raised undue and inflated demand of enhanced compensation from plot owners. For the past 12 years, the PSIEC had failed to justify the same.

The chamber also demanded 25 per cent more covered area for general industry. It stated that unit owners should be allowed to use 33 per cent of the covered area for residential purposes as per notification of the Government of Punjab.

Channi was requested to take up the issue pertaining to sewer treatment plant of Chandigarh set up in Industrial Area, Phase IX, with the Chandigarh administration. He was told that the STP was installed with the capacity of 5 MGD. Its capacity was further increased to 45 MGD, with the result of excessive flow of water, it had become four times bigger than its original size and was posing threat to industries, as these were situated at the rear side of the nullah. Members of the chamber said the STP should either be shifted or its discharge should be disposed through underground pipe.

Channi assured the members that he would take up all matters with the departments and corporations concerned in order to resolve the problems at the earliest.



9 auto-rickshaws, 3 school buses impounded for overloading
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
As part of its campaign to ensure the safety of children commuting through schoolbuses, STA officials have impounded nine auto-rickshaws and three schoolbuses for violating norms as per fresh directions.

In addition, challans have been issued to 24 auto-rickshaws and 20 school buses. Most of the challans have been issued for overloading. A week-long drive was carried out to check violations.

“Three-wheelers and schoolbuses were found carrying children more than the prescribed seating capacity. Nine auto-rickshaws and three schoolbuses were impounded,” said STA secretary Mahavir Kaushik.

STA officials issued another circular to school bus operators for maintaining seating capacity limit. “We will ask schools to ensure that parents do not send their children in overloaded vehicles,” sources said.



Gender disparity bared
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, August 5
“Chir Kumar Sabha”, a comedy play, was staged during the ongoing Tagore fest at the Tagore Theatre today.

The play flourished under the able direction of Sudesh Sharma to explore gender disparity and subjugation of women despite their incredible contribution to all walks of life. The play revolved around a bunch of bachelors, whohad taken pledge to remain single throughout their life and to work for welfare of society. Later, it was discovered that the welfare of society was not possible without an active participation of women.



72 dog owners challaned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
In a special campaign carried out by the Municipal Corporation (MC), 72 pet owners were challaned over two days for the non-registration of their dogs with the department of the Medical Officer of health.

The campaign was conducted by the Medical Officer on the directions of MC Commissioner Prerna Puri to check the licences of pet dogs and also to check any violation of the Chandigarh Registration of Pet Dogs Bylaws.

As per the records of the department, 2,067 pet dogs have been registered with the department until now. Under the bylaws, compulsory registration of dogs for a lifetime can be done after depositing a licence fee of Rs 200.



Man dies of snake bite
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 5
Brij Kumar, a resident of Dhakoli, hailing from Muradabad, died after being bitten by a snake at Dhakoli village on Thursday. According to sources, the deceased was working at a construction site when the snake bit him. He was immediately rushed to GMCH-32, Chandigarh, where he died during treatment.

The body of the deceased has been handed over to the family after conducting a post-mortem examination. An inquest proceeding has been initiated.



Tricity scan
chandigarh SCAN
Essay writing contest

Muskan won the first prize in an essay writing contest organised by the CII, Northern region, to commemorate the 20 years of economic reforms in Panjab University, a press release stated. Speakers dwelt on different aspects of the “20th Year of Economics Reforms: Growth Story of India”. Shikha Goyal won the second prize in the contest, while Ravneet Kaur and Sakshi Dua stood third.

Bankers’ strike hits work

Work was badly affected in nationalised and private sector banks in the city following a strike call given by the All-India Bank Officers Confederation here on Friday. It has been pointed out that “in the name of banking sector reforms, the government was attempting to reduce its equity in public sector banks. The new banking licencing policy aimed at enabling industrial houses to set up banks”.

Unauthorised plying of vehicles

Tightening noose around unauthorised vehicles plying in the city with incomplete documents, the State Transport Authority in July challaned over 499 vehicles, including 131 vehicles, that were impounded. Most of the challans were issued to school buses, trucks and autos for overloading.

Hike in power tariff condemned

Heera Negi, Asha Verma, BK Sood, Desraj Gupta and Devinder Aulakh, vice-presidents, Bharatiya Janata Party, Chandigarh, have condemned the hike in power tariff by the Chandigarh administration and termed it as a monsoon gift of the Congress to the common man. The party leaders while condemning the hike in power tariff said people were unable to understand the hike of 27 to 31 per cent in electricity rates. Instead of burdening the general public by unnecessary hike in power tariff, the administration should make necessary arrangements to stop line-loss and power theft.

Painting contest

The local chapter of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited Welfare Board organised a drawing competition. The competition was divided into four categories and was held in different age groups.

Workshop on gender equity

The Gender Equity Society of Post Graduate Government College, Sector 46,organised an orientation workshop on gender equity on August 5, 2011, in the college auditorium. More than 200 students participated in the workshop. Dr Shamlata, principal of the college, said students should be sensitised about gender issues.

Interactive session

The First Friday Forum organised its monthly interaction on ‘Gotra science and root factor” at Government College of Art here today. Nirmal Singh, former chief engineer of the Punjab State Electricity Board(PSEB), claimed that gotras had a scientific basis which found its place in modern-day genetics. Citing the controversial example of Haryana khaps, he asserted that the gotra culture that they wanted to maintain was scientific, but their killing the deviants was inhuman. He said, “Our ancestors, who had travelled to Iran, Sindhu, and Rajasthan and Punjab were strict followers of the gotra tradition.

SP meets drivers

Deputy SP (Traffic) Vijay Kumar today had a detailed discussion with drivers of school buses asking them to follow traffic rules for ensuring safety of school kids in the police lines, Sector 29, on Friday.

mohali SCAN
Protest by Shiv Sena

Activists of the Shiv Sena today staged a protest against Jet Immigration for allegedly cheating visa seekers. The protesters sat on a dharna in Phase VII. They demanded that the police should arrest the accused.

Mohali to get stadiums

Mohali will soon be known as the sports capital of the state with the completion of more than eight stadiums with numerous facilities and other infrastructure being built to cater to the demand of the youth and sportspersons from the area. This was disclosed by NK Sharma, chairman, District Planning Committee, SAS Nagar, here today.

Sharma said the Punjab government was spending more than Rs 90 crore on the development of stadiums and other infrastructure for promotion of sports activities in the area.

Social realities

Small Wonders invited students of an NGO ‘Sikhya’ to the birthday party of their beloved ‘ Teddy’. The students of ‘Sikhya’ were eagerly welcomed by students and staff of the school.

Blood donation camp

To mark the first anniversary of Aircel Punjab, the company in association with the blood transfusion department, PGI, Chandigarh, today organised a blood donation camp. Around 87 units of blood were collected during the camp. Gurmeet Makkar from Aircel and Dr Usha Rao from the blood transfusion department, PGI, presented mementos to donors.

Power bills

The Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam has decided to keep its cash collection centres at Panchkula open on all Saturdays this month and on Janmashtmi (August 22). Consumers will be able to pay their energy dues up to 12 noon on these days.

Tribune Reporters



Third round of counselling on Aug 10
Admission to Class XI in government schools
Tribune News Service

n Submission of duly filled forms for change of school/stream: 10-8-2011 to 12-8-2011
n Display of list indicating the allotment of school and stream: 19-8-2011
n Fee should be deposited by 20-8-2011 and 23-8-2011
n Forms will be available at GMSSS-10, GMSSS-19, GMSSS-21, GMSSS-40, GMSSS-46, GMSSS- MHC, Mani Majra.

Chandigarh, August 5
The education department will start its third round of counselling for admissions to Class XI in city government schools on August 10.

The counselling will be open to candidates, who have already taken admission in one of the government schools, and wish to change their school or stream.

The candidates will be required to fill in a form titled “Form for change of school/stream/option”, which will be available free of cost in six schools and even on www.chdeducation.gov.in. Candidates are free to submit this form online.

Even all those students, who had applied for admission during the first/second round of the counselling, but did not take admission for any reason or were not allotted any seat, will also submit/fill in a form titled “Form for change of school/stream/option.” Candidates, who did not apply for admissions earlier, can now apply on the “Registration Form” available in a prospectus costing Rs 100.



Teacher not marked present, claims principal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Principal of Government Model High School, Sector 36, yesterday claimed that the authorities had not marked the teacher present, who was on ex-India leave sanctioned in 2009.

The school authorities issued this statement following an inquiry marked by the UT education secretary against Davinder Kaur, a maths mistress, for allegedly violating the terms and conditions of ex-India leave.

School principal RK Sood claimed that whenever she was not on leave she did come to school and even checked students’ notebooks contrary to the complaints of VB Khanna, who had accused her of not abiding by ex-India leave norms.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | E-mail |