C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Parsvnath, CHB pledge to pay back depositors
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Parsvnath Developers Ltd and the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) on Thursday gave an undertaking before the UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission to repay money to depositors. The development came following a complaint filed by one of the depositors, Sudeep Budhiraja, who had moved the panel by filing an execution application against both Parsvnath and the CHB.

Taking note of the assertion, the commission gave the company and the CHB time till September 14 to make the payment. The development is significant as a significant number of depositors are before the high court and the commission on the issue.

In his application filed under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, Budhiraja had earlier sought directions to the developer and the housing board to comply with the commission’s order of October 27, 2010. In the application, filed through his counsel Naresh Kumar Bansal, he had asserted his application for repayment of money had been decided in his favour on October 27 last year. Directions were then issued for payment of the amount with interest and compensation.

However, both Parsvnath Developers and the Chandigarh Housing Board filed appeals before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission. On April 29, the latter passed an interim order in favour of the complainant and other depositors, with a direction to the CHB to return 85 per cent of the amount due to the depositors within six weeks.

Bansal said the balance was to be deposited with the UT State Commission within eight weeks. The hearing on both the appeals before the National Commission was also adjourned to September 8.

However, both sides failed to deposit the amount as per the interim order dated April 29. They even failed to “pay the amount due with interest and compensation, as per the order passed by the UT State Commission, Chandigarh on October 27, 2010”.

Elaborating, Bansal stated the applicant was entitled to get Rs 5,364,408.24, calculated up to June 30, in view of the court order dated October 27, 2010. “It is prayed the present execution application may kindly be accepted and the respondents be summoned and directed to pay Rs 5,364,408.24, calculated up to June 30, as well as the interest amount, up to the date of payment, in the interest of justice,” he added. “Now, after the undertaking given by the Chandigarh Housing Board and Parsvnath Developers, and the directions by the State Commission, we hope the depositor will get his payment and the present execution application will be accepted in the interest of justice,” Bansal concluded.



NRIs entitled to speedy eviction of tenants: HC
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
In a judgment affecting tenants residing in properties owned by nonresident Indians, the Punjab & Haryana High Court has upheld the provision of the law providing for speedy remedy to NRIs “in bona fide need of premises let out to tenants”. The ruling came on a petition filed by Asha Chawla and other petitioners against the Union of India and other respondents.

In their petition placed before the bench of acting chief justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and justice AK Mittal, the petitioners had earlier sought direction for declaring unconstitutional the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction (Amendment) Act, 2001 and the notification dated October 9, 2009 issued by the central government extending the amended Act to the union territory of Chandigarh.

The petitioners had claimed they were tenants in residential and nonresidential buildings in Chandigarh. They stated they were “facing eviction proceedings at the instance of different nonresident Indian landlords under section 13B of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949”, amended by the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction (Amendment) Act, 2001.

After hearing the rival contentions, the bench observed section 13B of the Act provided for special right in favour of landlords under the category of nonresident Indians.

“The classification of nonresident Indians, as a separate class of landlords, cannot be held to be violative of article 14 of the Indian constitution. The right to seek eviction on the ground of bona fide need is available to all landlords. The only difference in the case of NRIs and certain other specified landlords is that the right to contest eviction proceedings is governed by special procedure….” “The classification is not shown to be irrational. The same is intelligible and has a rational relationship with the object sought to be achieved, that is, providing speedy remedy to nonresidents in bona fide need of premises let out to tenants”, the bench stated.

“As regards the validity of the impugned notification extending the Punjab Act to the union territory of Chandigarh, the contention has to be rejected in view of the Supreme Court’s judgment in Ramesh Birch and others vs Union of India and others, upholding the notification extending the 1985 amendment of the state of Punjab to the union territory of Chandigarh…. We, thus, do not find any merit in the petition. Dismissed,” the bench concluded.



Administration in a fix
Proposal on reducing misuse charges for building violations
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
The UT Administration is caught in a dilemma over implementing its proposal to reduce the misuse charges for building violations in residential and commercial property from Rs 500 per sq ft to Rs 100 per sq ft.

Reason: The administration wants to give the benefit of reduced charges to the violators but is undecided about the violators from whom the estate office has already charged the misuse penalty at the existing rate.

Seeking a solution to the problem, UT Deputy Commissioner-cum-Estate Officer Brijendra Singh, in a communiqué to the UT Home Secretary has asked about the status of all such cases where misuse charges at the rate of Rs 500 per sq feet have already been deposited by about 50 residents, who had violated building bylaws.

Moreover, more than 50 violators have filed an appeal before the chief administrator against the penalties.

The Estate Office’s predicament stems from the fact that it has already collected an amount of Rs 65 lakh from the violators as misuse charges, while the total amount of misuse charges at the latest rate, which the department has worked out to collect from the violators, is said to be around Rs 50 crore. And in certain cases, the demand notices of charges of Rs 500 per sq feet had already been issued.

The issue cropped up while proposing that the rates for the misuse be reduced from Rs 500 per square feet to Rs 100 per square feet or any other amount. Now the Estate Officer wanted to know the status of those cases which had already deposited the amount, said a senior officer of the department.

In 2007, the office had revised its misuse charges as Rs 500 per sq ft. Before that, the charges were much lesser. For residential and institutional premises: Rs 50 per sq yd (in case of misuse less than 25 per cent of the site) and Rs 100 per sq yd (in case of misuse 25 per cent or more of the site) For commercial purposes: Rs 20 per sq foot on ground floor, Rs 10 per sq ft on upper floor or on basement floor and Rs 40 sq yd for an open area.

“We have apprised them of the situation on the issue. Now the ball is in the court of higher authorities,” said the official.



Khushpreet case trial begins
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
The trial in the kidnapping and murder case of five-year-old Khushpreet began in the Chandigarh district court today.

Five prosecution witnesses deposed before the court. Witnesses Mehndi Hasan, Gian Singh, Govind Ram, Banwari Lal and Subhash Chander informed the court that accused Sukhwinder Singh had taken huge loan from them and was under debt. Recently the court had framed charges against prime accused Sukhdev Singh, his brother Gurvinder Singh and labourer Nand Kishore.

The case was cracked by the UT police with the arrest of two brothers on March 22. The accused lived in the vicinity of the victim’s house and had planned his kidnapping to tide over their financial liabilities. Khushpreet, a kindergarten student and the son of a dairy owner, was kidnapped on December 21 near his house in Burail. The family, which informed the police within a couple of hours of the crime, bemoaned that the casual attitude of the police had resulted in the escape of kidnappers with the ransom amount of Rs 4 lakh from a police trap on December 23.

The boy’s body was recovered on January 5 in Mohali.

The police had maintained that accused Sukhdev Singh was a daily wage earner with the water works department and was under huge debt. He then eyed his neighbour, Khushpreet's father Lakhbir Singh, who runs a dairy shop in Burail, and hatched a plan to kidnap his son for ransom.



PU student council poll likely on Sept 2
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Prospective schedule

n Aug 29 - 10 am-11 am: Filing of nomination; 11 am-12 pm: Scrutiny; 12 pm-1:30 pm: Display of candidates’ list; 2:30 pm-4:30pm: Filing of objections
n Aug 30 - 10 am: List of approved candidates; 11:30 am-1 pm: Withdrawal; 3 pm: Declaration of final list of candidates

Watch list

n Parties are allowed to campaign in hostels only till 11:00 pm in presence of wardens
n Size of campaigning tents along with the number of persons in it will be specified
n Wardens to prepare list of those residing on guest charges
n Checking of vehicles entering PU campus
n All students to carry their ID cards and produce them when demanded by authorised PU officials

Chandigarh, August 25
Elections to the Panjab University students’ council will in all probability be held on September 2 with the varsity, the local police and the UT administration all having given their assent. A decision in this regard was reportedly taken at a meeting between PU dean of students’ welfare AS Ahluwalia and assistant superintendent of police (central) Deshraj Singh.

“The Chandigarh police has no problems with the PU student council elections being held on September 2, and this has been communicated to all the authorities concerned. The police will not only be taking precautionary measures but has reemphasized its advisory provided to PU a month ago,” said Singh.

Meanwhile, Ahluwalia said he was still to get official confirmation on the matter. “I can’t confirm the poll date officially till the moment I get a formal letter. However, September 2 seems to be the likely date following our discussions. We have only communicated that in case this day was decided as the date the university should be sent the communication at the earliest. The date is required to plan out the entire election schedule including nominations, campaigning and elections” he added.

Sources said September 2 has been preferred as in addition to being a Friday followed by two holidays it is also preceded by a holiday on account of Id-ul-Zuha on August 31. Interestingly, while PU officials claim to be waiting for an official letter they have already drawn up the prospective schedule of the polls.



Organ donation picks up in city
600 pledge their body parts
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
In medical terms, a brain-dead individual is defined as one “who has no clinical evidence of brain function upon physical examination. This includes no response to pain and no cranial nerve reflexes, no response to the caloric reflex test and no spontaneous respirations”. And in a layman’s language it would mean a person who is literally dead, expect having a heart beat, and is practically a worthless case.

It may sound strange but this worthless case (read brain-dead person) can be a life saver for at least 40 people who are desperately in need for some organ transplant for their survival. About 37 organs, ranging from cornea, kidneys, heart, liver, lungs, pancreas and even skin can be extracted from a brain-dead person’s body and transplanted to provide life and a ray of hope to 40 sick people.

With more and more people understanding the importance of organ donation, it will be heartening to note that over 600 people in the city have pledged their organs for donation in case they are ever declared brain dead. Confirming this, head of the renal transplant department of the PGI, Dr Mukut Minz, said though the number of people (1,000), who have pledged their bodies for donation after death exceeds those who have pledged for organ donation in case of ever being brain dead, more lives can be saved by conducting transplants from a brain-dead person.

Dr Minz said though they had received cadavers of five brain dead patients this year, none of them were on the list of those who had made pledges. “It was the greatness of their families that they decided to donate the cadavers and save precious lives,” he said, adding that this awareness had to increase, as there was a huge shortage of organs for transplant in India.

Brain death usually results from a severe brain injury or haemorrhage that causes all brain activities to stop although other vital organs continue to function, some with the help of machines. Medically and legally, a brain dead person is dead but the state can be confusing for his family members.

Since a brain dead person on a ventilator seems alive with the heart still beating, the family harbours hope that the patient’s condition will improve. Dr Minz said all those who make such pledges are given a donor card in which they agree to donate them for use on other patients awaiting transplants. At the time of pledging, one family member has to sign on a donor card as a witness so they should know about the pledging.

Although there are no exact figures available, doctors claim that nearly hundred people out of million are in desperate need of kidney transplant every year. Going by this figure, one can imagine the extent of organ transplant shortage that this nation of over 1.21 billion is facing.


After PNB, fire at Mani Majra house
Tribune News Service

The duplex at Mani Majra in Chandigarh where a fire broke out after an LPG cylinder burst
The duplex at Mani Majra in Chandigarh where a fire broke out after an LPG cylinder burst on Thursday. Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, August 25
A major tragedy was averted in a residential area at Mani Majra today due to the timely intervention by the fire department to control a fire that broke no due to the blast of an LPG cylinder in the backyard of a duplex here.

The incident occurred at 4:11 pm due to leakage from the cylinder, which resulted in electronic gadgets catching fire. This was close on the heels of fire at the Punjab National Bank (PNB) office in Sector 17.

A telecom tower had been installed at the roof of the house. A fire official said the blast could have led to the tower falling on the adjoining building, causing major loss.

Station fire officer SK Gosai, who led the team, said action would be taken against the owner after the preparation of a report for placing a battery box of the tower in the backyard.

He said the department had no information whether the owner had taken permission from authorities to instal a tower on the roof. He said there could have been a major tragedy, affecting adjacent houses, had another LPG cylinder caught fire.

Denying that there was any tower on the roof of the house, its owner Manpreet Singh said there was a minor fire in his house due to a short circuit in the electricity meter. He said a similar incident happened two years ago, due to which an air-conditioner caught fire.

Officials in the fire department stated that the owner had installed a telecom tower on the roof of his house and its accessories like PBX, inverter and battery box and other household material were lying at the room in the backyard. Due to timely action by firemen, another LPG cylinder, which was lying in the room and leaking, was seized by the fire team.

A fire official said the cause of the fire could not be ascertained immediately and a short circuit was being considered as a possible reason. Three fire engines were pressed into service and it took about an hour-and-a-half to douse the flames.



Anxiety @ clients
Bank gets hundreds of phone calls from account holders
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Anxiousness was evident among clients of the Punjab National Bank (PNB) branch at Sector 17, where fire gutted the inspection branch and server yesterday, as bank officials got hundreds of phone calls from account holders, enquiring about the loss in the incident.

“Routine work resumed today. Phone calls from anxious customers kept coming in to enquire about data loss and resumption of work at the branch,” said SK Jagdish, assistant general manager of the branch.

He added that officials of the branch received hundreds of phone calls since yesterday. Most clients were concerned about resumption of work at the branch today, he said.

There were more than 25,000 savings accounts at the branch while the local customer base was said to be over 55,000.

“When I read about the incident of fire in today’s newspaper, I immediately rang up senior officials of the bank to enquire about data loss. We have an account in the branch and big transactions are being made on a daily basis,” said Suresh Sharma, an employee of the Anandpur Sahib Trust.

Another account holder, Nitin Gupta from Kala Amb, running Ruchira Paper Limited there, said he got the news from an FM radio station and immediately called up a bank official to enquire whether the bank would function today.

“Of late, everything is computerised. I was not afraid about the loss, record or data. I was more concerned whether the branch would operate as we had to deal with the bank daily due to our business,” he said.

Jagdish ensured that work resumed completely and all services had been restored. “Customers need not worry,” he stated.



Fire effect: Surprise checks at banks soon
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
All banks of the city will be under the scanner of the municipal corporation’s fire and emergency department, with surprise checks slated to be conducted soon for ensuring the installation of fire safety measures on the premises.

Learning a lesson from yesterday’s major fire at the Punjab National Bank (PNB) in Sector 17, the fire department chalked out a plan to launch this campaign to check the safety measures at financial institutions.

During yesterday’s fire, the team found that no sprinkler system had been installed at the building, for which notices had been issued in March to various bank managements. As a result, the incident turned into a major fire and destroyed electronic equipment amounting to crores.

In a recent mock drill conducted at the SBI headquarters building, the fire team discovered that the electric generator installed with the hydrant system was not functional. The department issued a warning and issued orders for fixing it immediately, lest stringent action was taken.

Taking a serious note of these violations, sources said the fire department was going to conduct surprise checks at banks, especially those in the Bank Square.

Officials said that besides supervising banks’ fire safety systems, the department would monitor whether their vehicles could move in the parking lot of the area as it was the most congested parking lot during the daytime.

MC Additional Commissioner-cum-chief fire officer Lalit Siwach said the fire department would conduct checking of all commercial and institutional establishments by the month-end.

He said individual notices would not be issued to owners or managements this year and instead, a general public notice would be published in newspapers for the installation of fire safety measures as per the fire Act.



Unsung heroes beam with passion
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Unmindful of yesterday’s six-hour exhaustive struggle to control the devastating fire that struck the Sector-17 circle office of the Punjab National Bank (PNB), Dalip Singh, a fireman with the Chandigarh fire and emergency services, and his spirited team of firemen were beaming with passion after having risked their lives to save the lives and property of others.

Indeed, they were the unsung heroes of yesterday’s operation, carried by the leading fireman and his team, which controlled the devastating blaze at the PNB building in Bank Square, Sector 17.

It was due to their timely intervention that the fire did not spread to the sensitive debit recovery section, located at the top floor.

Recalling yesterday’s incident, in which he suffered minor suffocation while trying to prevent the fire from spreading to adjoining rooms, Dalip said he, along with three firemen, took turns to enter the dense smoke-filled hall.

“If we did not take turns in going in and coming out every 15 minutes, the oxygen level in our bodies could have fallen and jeopardised the rescue operation,” he said.

Dalip and two of his colleagues werer the first to reach the spot at 3:30 am. They monitored the requirement of manpower and fire tenders required to control the fire.

His team and he had two options, either to wait until the back-up team reached the spot to provide support or to commence the operation on their own.

The daredevils went for the first option and switched off electricity supply to the building. Thereafter, they started clearing the stairs to reach the place of the fire. By the time reinforcements arrived, the fire had been brought under control.

It took six hours for Dalip and his team to control the blaze. Lal Bahadur, leading fireman who also worked as trainer, said they were lucky that the incident occurred during the wee hours.

“Had it occurred during the daytime, firemen would not only have struggled with the rescue operation, but would also have faced other hurdles like traffic jams and haphazardly parked vehicles in the parking lot,” he stated.



Absenteeism unlimited
Top officials fail to turn up for workshop on action plan
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
The UT administration’s indifference to environment issues was on display this morning, with most top officials failing to turn up for the workshop on preparation of an action plan for climate change, organised by the department of environment and forests in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at the Botanical Garden in Sarangpur today.

The only senior officers to attend the workshop, which was attended mostly by superintendent-level officers, were Adviser KK Sharma, who inaugurated the function, and Finance Secretary VK Singh.

They both left immediately after the inauguration and a brief address, leaving the UT Chief
Conservator of Forests Santosh Kumar to continue proceedings.

The Adviser was reportedly unhappy over the insensitivity of top officers to the issue.

The absentees included Deputy Commissioner Brijendra Singh, Inspector-General of Police PK Srivastva, Chief Architect Sumit Kaur, Chief Engineer SK Jaitley and Science and Technology Director Rahul Gupta.

Heads of all nine departments were invited to the workshop, but junior officials representing their respective departments were found sitting with blank expressions without preparation.

Preeti Soni, Adviser, UNDP, New Delhi, who came to attend the workshop, explained the background of international climate change negotiations and how India was to act to meet its global obligation and its own sustainable development.

The workshop included two technical sessions, in which officials of various departments were explained the process involved in the preparation of a climate change action plan and the lessons that had been learnt from various states.



RTI query forces UT admn to enforce office hours
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Admn to enforce punctuality

n Shortage of staff is another problem being faced by the department. The post of farm superintendent has fallen vacant since January this year. The department, having five fishermen, one peon and one boatman has no sweeper, no gardener and no watchman. One of the fishermen has to give duty at night to guard the premises, which has 27 ponds for fish breeding. The staff strength of the department has been reduced to six as against 20 in a few years.

10 minutes late? ‘Chalta hai’

n The gracious UT administration has given a grace period of 10 minutes to latecomers. There will be a grace period of 10 minutes, subject to the satisfaction of the branch in charge in the morning. Official sources have said it should not be a regular practice.

Chandigarh, August 25
Reporting late for office, extending lunch breaks and playing truant during office hours will cost employees dear, with an RTI query forcing the UT Administration to enforce prescribed working hours.

Absenteeism from duty constitutes a serious offence, which can lead to warnings, charge sheets and suspension of the employees concerned in case of repeated offences.

Peeved at UT babus playing truant during office hours and enjoying extended lunch breaks, Harbans Lal, a Sector-49 resident, had filed an RTI application, seeking to know official working hours for government servants and prescribed lunch break.

He also wanted to know the time an employee was required to report for duty after availing himself of casual leave in the first half. He also sought to know the reporting time in case an employee availed himself of a half-day casual leave in the afternoon.

Playing truant during office hours and reporting late for duty was rampant among UT employees. The posting of UT employees in Chandigarh for the whole of their lives acted as a dampner for initiating any action.

The only minor punishment to errant employees was their posting to another branch of the administration in the city. Handling additional charge by middle-level officials was another ploy to report late for office.



‘Environment? What’s that!’
Ask UT departments and they draw a blank
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Environment features nowhere on the priority list of the UT administration. Even five months after March 31, the deadline of submitting its action plan on climate change, the UT environment department finds it hard to sensitise the authorities concerned of nine UT departments whose cooperation is necessary to achieve the objective.

Following directions from the Centre, the UT administration had constituted a 13-member committee headed by the UT Administrator in August 2008 to address the issue related to climate change at the state level and to plan, implement and monitor the UT administration’s policies on the issue.

In the first meeting presided over by the UT Secretary, Forest and Environment, on January 11 the previous year, these departments were asked to make a draft action plan within a month, as per eight national missions in the Prime Minister’s National Action Plan for Climate Change.

These departments were Chandigarh Housing Board, transport, municipal corporation, Registering and Licensing Authority, engineering, forest and environment, science and technology, Deputy Commissioner’s office and police.

Preparing action plans with deadlines and proposed objectives turned out to be a far cry. Most of these departments had not even appointed a nodal officer for the job so far. A follow-up meeting was held a year later, on February 4, in which the departments were issued reminders to give information about the progress they had made, but it was the same old story.

Though the deadline for submitting the report to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests had been missed, officials of the UT departments were yet to be sensitised on the issue.

The UT Department of environment and forests had been trying hard to prepare the action plan as soon as possible by holding seminars to make officials aware of the issue.



Duronto late by 20 minutes
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Doctor on board

n Since it is a non-stop train, a doctor and a pharmacist have been posted on board to accompany the passengers in case of an emergency.

Chandigarh, August 25
The departure of the evening Duronto from Chandigarh to Amritsar was delayed by 20 minutes by a passenger train when the Churu-Takrala-Nangal-Ambala train was made to stop at platform No 1 owing to signal failure.

The occupancy on board was almost the same as yesterday. The Duronto, that was to chug out of Chandigarh at 7 pm remained stranded at the washing line as the platform No 1 remained occupied by the passenger train that arrived at 6.28 pm and left only at 6.47 pm.

It took sometime before the Duronto was brought to the platform No 1. Later, the passengers were to be provided with ample boarding time. “Hence it got delayed by 20 minutes,” said a senior official of Railways.

On the second day, the evening Duronto had 177 passengers on board, compared to 157 yesterday. However, the morning Duronto witnessed a rise in numbers on board, with 129 passengers boarding it today compared to 110 yesterday.



Residents force demolition team to beat a retreat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Stiff resistance by residents of Kaimbwala village forced the UT estate office team to postpone the demolition at least 14 houses constructed on agricultural land in violation of the Periphery Act.

Around 50 residents of Kaimbwala sat on the road leading to the village, blocking it by placing a tree trunk and tractor-trolleys on it.

They managed to send back the demolition team, consisting of UT Additional Deputy Commissioner ML Sharma, land acquisition officer Tilak Raj and Assistant Superintendent of Police Desraj Singh, accompanied by around 125 cops, four JCB machines and other paraphernalia, without carrying out the job.

The police did not use force to disperse the residents, who were adamant that they would not allow the team to enter the village.

Senior officials tried to persuade them that they would raze only 14 structures, or else action would be taken against all illegal structures in one go there the next time.

Residents did not listen to them and said, “We will not let you touch a single house.” The drama continued for more than two hours, following which the team decided to come back without carrying out the work.

Members of the Pendu Sangharsh Committee joined the residents in the protest. “We will meet the higher authorities. The constructions under question are not new. These cannot be demolished. We will chalk out our strategy to fight a case,” said Gurpreet Singh Happy, committee president.

The estate office had served a notice on several houses at the village for violation of the Periphery Act.



190 hutments demolished
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
At least 190 hutments spread over two acres in the area adjoining Indira Colony at Mani Majra were demolished in a special drive carried out by the municipal corporation here today.

The demolition drive, carried out under the supervision of Lalit Siwach, Additional Commissioner, and in police presence, commenced around 10 am and ended in the afternoon. The Additional Commissioner warned encroachers not to occupy the municipal land again, lest strict legal action would be taken against them.



This ‘posh’ locality no better than others
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 25
The locality of Sector 6, which is otherwise known as a posh area of the town, has turned into a place of wild growth, bumpy roads and heaps of garbage. Even the General Hospital of the town situated in the sector is surrounded by garbage near its boundary wall.

While the streetlights as well as lights in the parks have been lying out of order since long, a median in the divider on the Mani Majra-old Panchkula road near the sector has become a death zone for commuters. As soon as a vehicle from the main road turns towards Sector 6, there is a possibility that it would collide with fast moving traffic going towards Mani Majra. Many people have lost their lives in such accidents in the past. “We have approached the authorities many times to close this median, but none of the official is bothered to take any action,” said Ramesh Sood, president of the Residents Welfare Society, Sector 6.

When councillor of the area VK Sood was contacted, he said the civic affairs were in a state of neglect in this area and no official was willing to do anything for public. A road was built in front of houses between numbers 47 and 57. The condition of this road became deplorable within two years, proving that good quality of material was not used in the work, added Sood.

Executive officer KK Jain, however, said the repair of streetlights would be done only after the new Commissioner took over the civic body. “Other complaints reaching me are being attended to,” he said.

residents speak

Sector 6 is not only inhabited with prominent people it has important offices including the headquarters of the Haryana Police, HUDA, UHBVN, Pollution Board, HSIDC, HVPN, Mandi Board, health department, in addition to General Hospital, where thousands of people from different parts of the state visit everyday. Still no official bothers to maintain civic amenities here.

— Ramesh Sood, president, Resident Welfare Association, Sector 6

We have knocked the doors of the area councillor and officials concerned as well, but things have remained unchanged.

—OP Munjal, local Resident

We decided to have an accommodation in this sector believing that being at a prominent location the upkeep of the civic amenities would be in a better condition here. But the situation has been worsening from past few years.

—Poonam Bajaj, local Resident

Authorities seem to have no concern for the woes of residents.

— Sushil Singhal, local Resident



Panchkula to have ISBT in Sector 10 also
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 25
The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has decided to start construction of the new Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) here. The ISBT would be constructed in Sector 10-A, near Majri chowk here. HUDA has also decided to develop Sector 1-A as a commercial complex of Panchkula.

The decision regarding the ISBT comes after a long wait of three years. The Panchkula ISBT project was cleared by the Urban Local Bodies Committee on August 27, 2008, but thereafter nobody took care of the project.

Sources said the existing ISBT at Sector 5 would be used for local buses only after the proposed new ISBT started functioning. With the construction of the proposed ISBT at Panchkula not only the people of Haryana but also those from the adjoining areas like Chandigarh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh would be benefited.

As the existing ISBT in Sector 5 was located within the city, long route buses did not enter it. The new ISBT would attract these buses, as it would be situated on two highways -- NH 22 and NH 73. Number of Haryana Roadways buses would be increased after the new ISBT was made, HUDA officials claimed.

HUDA Administrator Rajender Kataria said the decision regarding starting the construction work of the ISBT was taken in the last meeting. He added that to develop Sector 1-A as a commercial hub they had planned to build some restaurants, shops and many other things.

He further added that as Sector 1-A was near the Western Command, therefore, they would not construct high-rise buildings. Similarly, HUDA would also take care of the environment while constructing buildings as Sector 1-A was situation on the banks of the Ghaggar.

Ecstatic over the development, Bharat Hiteshi, secretary of the House Owners Welfare Association of Sector 10, said it was a long pending demand of the residents of Panchkula.



Man suffers heart attack at HC, dies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
A 50-year-old resident of Amritsar died after he suffered a heart attack on the premises of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today.

Karamjeet Singh died as he came out of the court of Justice KS Ahluwalia following a hearing of his dispute case. The family of the deceased alleged that the opposite party threatened him.

The incident occurred at 1 pm, when the hearing of the case of Karamjeet was adjourned to another date. He came out of the court and collapsed. The police reached the spot and rushed him to the Sector-16 hospital, where he was declared brought dead.



Fissures among Anna supporters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Local Anna Hazare supporters, the India Against Corruption (IAC) and Aawaaz, engaged in a blame game.

Rahul Bhartiya, coordinator of the IAC, said they did not associate themselves with Aawaaz as the organisation was politically motivated.

“The NGO seems to be linked with a political party. We do not include it in our agitation,” he said.

Gaurav Goel, an active member of Aawaz, said they did not support or associate with any political organisation and had joined the protest against corruption.

“We are not bothered about what other organisations claim. This is just one issue. In the future, we will stage protests for more issues,” he said.



‘Depute observers from outside Punjab’

Mohali, August 25
Election observers for the SGPC election should be deputed from outside Punjab as candidates did not trust observers being appointed by the ruling SAD government in the state.

This was stated by Hardeep Singh, a candidate who is contesting the elections as an independent from Mohali.

Alleging that the local administration was hand-in-glove with the ruling group to register voters in bulk without their physical presence, the independent candidates, Hardeep Singh, Amrik Singh and Harvinder Kaur Langh, along with their supporters, had laid a siege to the office of the election tehsildar at the District Administrative Complex on Tuesday evening. — OC



Special lok adalats tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 25
Special lok adalats will be held at three places in Mohali district on August 27 for disposing of cases linked to family disputes.

According to a press release, these lok adalats would be held in the court complexes of Mohali, Kharar and Dera Bassi. People who had their cases running in courts should take the advantage as on the spot redressal of the cases would be done in these adalats.



chandigarh scan
Map quiz

A preliminary round of INCA Map Quiz-2011 was conducted at Survey of India, Sector 32-A, here on Thursday. As many as 32 teams, comprising three students each, from different schools of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali participated in this quiz.

On the basis of this map quiz top six teams, two each from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan School, Sector 27-B, St Kabir Public School, Sector 26, and one team each from Tender Heart School, Sector 33-B, Chandigarh, and Yadavindra Public School, Mohali, have been selected for final round of “INCA National Map Quiz - 2011” to be held on September 4.

More wheat for APL families

The Chandigarh administration is being allocated 18,000 quintals of wheat every month by the Government of India for distribution to the registered Above Poverty Line (APL) families. The administration is getting the same grinded from the Roller Flour Mills and distributing fortified flour to the registered APL ration card holders at the rate of Rs 80 per bag of 10 kg through 43 fair price shops and two mobile vans being run by the food and supplies department.

The Government of India has allocated 9,000 quintals of additional adhoc allocation of the APL wheat per month to this administration for the registered APL families.

The administration has extended the benefit to the APL families who will now get 30 kg of wheat per card per month at the rate of Rs 7 per kg.

Training programme

The four-day training programme and workshop on ‘Science communication through digital media’ concluded on Thursday at School of Communication Studies (SCS), Panjab University. The workshop was jointly organised by the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST) and the SCS and was supported by the National Council for Science and Technology Communication.

The workshop was inaugurated by Hasan Jawaid Khan, editor of Science Reporter magazine. Archana R Singh, chairperson, School of Communication Studies, PU, introduced the theme of the workshop.

Poet’s birthday celebrated

The department of Hindi, Panjab University, celebrated hundredth year of the birth of the great Hindi poet and prose-writer, Shamsher Bahadur Singh. A lengthy exposition of his life and works was done through a PowerPoint presentation and lecture by Satyapal Sehgal, chairperson of the department of Hindi.

Theatre Age

The Women and Children Welfare Society organised an art and craft workshop as a volunteer with Theatre Age, Chandigarh. The workshop was conducted by Roohi Gupta (president), Ashu Kapoor (executive member) and Maninder Singh (volunteer). The main objective of the workshop was to develop children’s interest in art to enhance their creativity. Kids were distributed refreshments and complementary gifts.

Infertility camp

On completion of two years of the Fortis Bloom IVF Centre, Mohali, a free infertility camp was held on Thursday at the centre by Dr Hrishikesh Pai and Dr Nandita Palshetkar of Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai.

Dr Pai said they had achieved a success rate of 30-40 per cent during this period at the Fortis Bloom IVF centre at Mohali and the vitrification (rapid freezing) technique had given excellent thaw results.

Fresher party

The students of Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77, Mohali, gave a warm welcome to the new students of Class XI by organising a freshers’ party in the school premises.

The main motive behind this party was to curb the menace of ragging and to channelise the energies of the students in the right direction and to show the spirit of cooperation and coordination among them.

panchkula scan

Hansraj Public School won the quiz contest organised by Kandhari beverages here on Thursday. The Gurukul, Sector 20, and Saupin’s School (Chandigarh) were second and third, respectively. As many as 32 teams from the tricity and neighbourhood participated in the event.



poll time
A week to go, students don’t know candidates
Parties blame it on Lyngdoh committee recommendations
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
Even though the Panjab University student elections are just a week away, over 11,000 prospective voters are yet to have a rendezvous with the contesting candidates.

Many say there has been a downfall in PU politics. The concept of ‘face’ of the party has deteriorated considerably leaving parties a harried lot and voters uninterested in student elections.

“I hail from a small village near Abohar and joined PU this year only. Student elections are a rage in our village and a key attraction for all boys. But frankly speaking, I am yet decide which party to vote for, as both the groups have made to us similar promises. I am yet to know who will be the real fighter in the elections. More than the seniors, it’s the first-year students who have problem making choices as we don’t know any candidates,” says Gurpreet Aulukh, a first-year student, in hostel number 6.

Politics ideology or issues need faces. Political experts say that 80 per cent of the voters vote for people rather than parties. At Panjab University today two political groups struggle to lure voters on the basis of party image, as they have no relevant issues, it adversely affects the relevance of elections. What trust can be built between a leader and voters when they get to know each other only a week before the elections,” said Kuljit Naagra, former PUSU president.

Interestingly, contrary to the yesteryears, the election fervour is yet to begin on the PU campus. While the parties can still be seen canvassing in hostels, the campus is yet to witness the usual protests, rallies and campaigns.

speaking out

Is Lyngdoh Committee to be blamed?

Promising presidential candidates are generally booked on false criminal charges barring them from contesting the elections. Thus a person who devotes years to serve students is left with no other option but to act as a guide while somebody who may be a dedicated worker but not as experienced is made the student representative.

— Sukhjeet Brar, President, PUSU

Sorry to say, but due to the Lyngdoh committee recommendations the student council has become a mere rubber stamp now. The voters connect to us but they are asked to vote for somebody who generally is introduced days before the elections. The committee has also triggered the trend of getting leaders falsely implicated”.

— Robin Brar, president, sopu

A leader is not made in a day but it takes years for an individual to connect with fellow students, understand their problems, gain their confidence, and emerge as a true representative. Thanks to some postulates of the Lyngdoh Committee that nobody has been able to become president for more than an year ever since 2006. This forces parties to come out with a new rubber stamp candidate every year, which make the elections irrelevant. I think some aspects need to be deliberated upon.

— Kuljit Naagra, former pusu president

Dealing with violence and over expenditure are necessary but sometimes the measures taken make prospective incubators of leaders like PU defunct. In our times, a leader or face epitomised the party and its ideology. People trusted individual but things have apparently changed and I think voters surely have a problem putting their faith in an organisation symbolised by a group or an individual who is introduced days before the polling day and bid farewell in a year.

dps Randhawa, founder member, sopu



PEC students protest over retention criteria
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
A student organisation, Students For Society (SFS), members of which were formerly associated with the Revolutionary Youth Association (RYA) organised an indefinite day and night dharna outside the PEC administrative block.

Those students who were enrolled in the first year last year and could not meet the conditions laid down by PEC to graduate to second year protested along with the SFS supporters.

The students claimed that following a PEC senate meeting held on August 18, 2011, no consideration was given to graduate these students to the second year by the PEC officials.

“We had no option but to sit on a dharna that would continue till the students are given justice,” said Amandeep, a student of SFS. Another student of the 2010 batch said, “The PEC management has been unreasonable and there are different set of rules for students. Is it not violation of right to equality?”

students claimed that there was no proper platform for them to address their grievances. When contacted PEC press in charge Dr Puneet Arora said that there was no official reaction given by PEC on the issue yet. Although in the past, the PEC officials have made their stand clear that certain conditions have been laid down for the first year students in particular for them to know if they have the aptitude to become engineers.

n In order to ensure retention of serious candidates, PEC has been following this practice since 2008. Once enrolled in first year, students are expected to clear three compulsory conditions. These conditions are:
n A student must score at least a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 5
n A student must get 24 credit points out of total 47 for all subjects in the first year
n A student has to pass in a minimum nine out of 11 exams of BE (I).



60 MCA students of SD College left stranded this placement season
PU fails to provide them placement coordinator
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
A year after being shifted to the Department of Computer Science and Applications (DCSA) from the disaffiliated MCA department of SD college, over 60 students who protested in front of Vice Chancellor office today claimed that they had been left stranded this placement season, as PU failed to provide them the long-promised placement coordinator.

While these students claim to be abiding by their contract of not being a part in the department’s placement drive, they have accused the PU authorities of sheer indifference as they have refused to help them at the last moment.

“ What was our fault if the course was disaffiliated? We still carry the baggage of ‘SD refugees’. We signed a contract stating that our placement would not be the department’s responsibility but were asked to make our own placement cell where the university would provide a coordinator. We are ready with every thing and have been running from one official to another but nobody is ready to meet us, leave aside dealing with our issue,” said a student. “ We are in the department’s merit list and have paid equal fee to PU, then why are we being discriminated against? Firstly, the contract was unjustified but still we signed it to get admission. Now, they are not even giving us a coordinator. This is a university where student leaders shout and get golden chances even after repeated failures and meritorious students have nowhere to go. Is protest the only way to wake them from slumber of indifference,” said another student.

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) withdrew affiliation of GGDSD College, Sector 32, Master of Computer Applications (MCA) course for providing “false and misleading information” to an inspection committee. As many as 60 students had been admitted to this course were shifted to PU signing a declaration that DCSA would not be responsible for their placements.



150 units of blood donated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
The AIDS and Health Awareness Society in Association with the Rotary and Blood Bank Society Resource Centre of Postgraduate Government College for Girls, Sector 42, organised a blood donation camp on the college campus on Wednesday.

The students and staff of the college donated more than 150 units of blood. Mani Bedi, principal of the college inaugurated the camp.



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 |