C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Realty pangs get real
Recession scuppers auctions in city
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
The ongoing recession in the real estate sector has taken its toll on the auction of commercial and residential sites in Chandigarh. With the market going through one of the worst phases in its history, end users and investors have been waiting for nearly two years for an auction to be held.

And, in the process, the UT administration is losing crores of rupees in revenue that it could have earned by way of auction and collection of lease money from commercial properties.

Though the UT administration had planned an auction of residential and commercial properties last year it was cancelled at the eleventh hour.

Given the city’s relatively high standard of living and its emergence as a prime retail destination, the auction of commercial and residential sites always evoked a huge response from end users and investors here. However, officials in the UT administration feared the recession would cost it dearly as the expected response in an auction might well be “below average”. “This coupled with the provision of making full payment in three months’ time could prove to be a damper for an auction to be held at a time when the property market was passing through a crisis”, a senior official said.

The last auction held in the city - in December 2009 - was no different with the average price fetched by a residential property working out to Rs 74,820 per square yard. In fact, a five ‘marla’ (272.25 square feet) plot in Sector 32 was sold for a whopping Rs 1.4 crore at an average price of about Rs 1.06 lakh a square yard.

Despite the fact that commercial property in the city is being sold on leasehold, the average price worked out to be Rs 2.74 lakh per square yard.While conceding the recession was a major reason for the delay in auctioning property, an official said an auction was “overdue” and would be held before the end of this fiscal.

UT losing crores

Due to delay in auction, the UT administration is losing crores of rupees in revenue that it could have earned by way of auction and collection of lease money from commercial properties



GMADA may lower reserve price
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 11
With the aim of attracting greater public participation in the sale of commercial and residential freehold sites in the town, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) is expected to lower the reserve price of the properties to be put under the hammer at its upcoming auction. The price is likely to be reduced by 10 per cent, it is learnt.

Dismayed by the poor response to its last two auctions, GMADA had been taking up the issue with the Punjab government. The auctions, held in February 2010 and in September 2009, were lackluster due to the high reserve price. In the former auction only a dozen of the 45 commercial sites on offer could be sold and in the latter only 17 of the 69 commercial sites went under the hammer, with residential properties finding no takers.

To enable reduction in the reserve price, GMADA has reworked the standard formula that allows officials to decide upon the reserved price of a specific site. The plan for a major shift in the auction norms is expected to be approved by the authority’s executive committee at its meeting scheduled on Monday.

Sources close to GMADA said it has been proposed that the reserve price of unsold sites and the price of the sites that have been sold would be clubbed while calculating the lowest price to start bidding for a property in a specific sector. This would automatically bring down the reserve price of a site, which would vary for different sectors, they added.

GMADA chief administrator Sarvjit Singh said the proposal to recalculate the reserve price of auctioned sites was under consideration. “The final decision would be known only after the necessary approval by the authority”, he added.

It has been learnt a proposal to demand full payment of an auctioned plot within 90 days of the respective auction was also under active consideration. Presently, after payment of 25 per cent of the auctioned price of a commercial site within one month of an auction, the balance 75 per cent payment has to be made in four yearly installments. Accepting payment within 90 days would reduce litigation as most of the disputes have been related to payments. Since the move is likely to face adverse reaction from investors, it has reportedly not found favour with senior Punjab government officials.

Full bid payment mulled

A proposal — on the pattern of the UT estate office — to demand full payment of an auctioned plot within 90 days of the respective auction is being considered by GMADA.



Restaurants’ big disservice to customers
Pocket ‘veiled tip’ in shape of service charge; admn asleep
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
A number of prominent restaurants in the city continue to make hay by adding “service charge” to their bills even as the Chandigarh administration has been groping in the dark to identify the department to deal with the matter for the past five years.

Most restaurants have been burning a hole in the pockets of their customers by levying service charge, ranging between 5 per cent and 10 per cent, in addition to other taxes.

Around five years ago, the matter was first brought to notice of the Chandigarh administration by a city-based lawyer, Ajay Jagga, but the former did not respond.

The matter was then taken to the ministry of consumer affairs, New Delhi, which directed the administration to inquire into the matter and report back to it.

An inquiry was conducted by the then Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner, who reportedly maintained that such service charges were illegal and could not be levied.

As the restaurant owners continued to fleece customers, the matter was again raised in January by Jagga. “The then UT Adviser, Pradip Mehra, had referred the matter to the Deputy Commissioner-cum-Commissioner Excise and Taxation, who had marked it to the Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner (AETC). The AETC, however, sent it to the consumer affairs department on the plea that the matter came under the purview of the latter,” said Jagga.

On February 24, the consumer department again sent the complaint back to the Deputy Commissioner but the complaint once again landed back on the desk of the AETC.

Jagga, who is in no mood to give up, again approached the top brass - including the Adviser and Home Secretary. “Let’s see what happens now,” he said.

Ashok Bansal, general secretary, Chandigarh Hotel Association (CHA), said its members were not levying any service charge on their customers. Interestingly, many restaurants are not members of the CHA.

On the issue, UT AETC Naresh Dubey said he was aware of the matter but service charge did not come under his department’s jurisdiction, as the charge has not been prescribed by the competent authority and has only been devised by certain commercial establishments.

The charge is utilised by restaurant managements as they deem fit but no part of it goes towards any levy deposited with the government exchequer.

While many residents are apparently unaware of the service charge and its implication, some more aware residents feel the charge is a kind of “veiled tip” pocketed by the management in addition to the tip given to waiters.

Allowed to levy only VAT, service tax

Most restaurants add 10 per cent service charge to the bill, which they claim goes to the common fund to be given to the staff for good service. Under the law, restaurants can charge only VAT (12.5 per cent) and service tax (3.09 per cent) on food and beverages



2 top cops fail to disclose assets
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

SSP  Naunihal Singh
SSP Naunihal Singh

ASP Deshraj Singh
ASP Deshraj Singh

Chandigarh, September 11
Chandigarh’s Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Naunihal Singh and Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Deshraj Singh have not filed their property details for 2010, if the website of the ministry of home affairs (MHA) is to go by.

According to the MHA’s website, Naunihal Singh, a 1997-batch Punjab cadre IPS officer, has not filed his immovable property returns (IPR) for 2009 and 2010. However, his IPR for 2008 has been uploaded on the website.

On the other hand, the IPR is “not available” against the name of Deshraj Singh, an AGMU-cadre officer of 2008 batch.

However, the ASP claimed that he had sent the details of his property in January. “I had sent the requisite details to my department in January, which is two months before the submission of my performance appraisal report (PAR) in March this year. I am not aware of the website not showing my IPR,” said Deshraj Singh. The SSP could not be contacted for his comments.

The filing of property return has been made mandatory for IAS and IPS officers by the Government of India.

The last date for filing of the IPR for 2010 was January 1, 2011. As several IPS officers across the country are yet to furnish their details, the MHA, in its latest communiqué (letter no. 26012/1/2111-IPS-11) to the Chief Secretaries of all state governments, has directed to ask their respective IPS officers to submit their IPRs by September 20.

“If the IPRs for 2010 are not received by the ministry within the aforesaid period, the names of the defaulting officers will be posted on the website of the ministry. Further, such defaulting officers will be denied vigilance clearance for empanelment at various levels at the Centre and for consideration of promotion,” states the communiqué.

MHA sets September-20 deadline

The deadline for filing the IPR for 2010 ended on January 1, 2011. With several IPS officers across the country failing to furnish their details, the Ministry of Home Affairs has directed all state governments to ask their respective IPS officers to file their IPRs by September 20



Five bikes set ablaze
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Miscreants set as many as five motorcycles, parked outside houses, on fire at Hallo Majra here in the wee hours of today. All bikes were destroyed in the incident, which took place around 2.30 am.

The police has identified three suspects, who were drug addicts, residing in the area and efforts were on to arrest them. The motorcycle owners have been identified as Manoj Kumar, Vijay Kumar, Satish Kumar, Davinder and Parvin. The miscreants allegedly set the motorcycles on fire by dousing them with kerosene.

One of the complainants, Satish Kumar, told the police that he came out of the house on hearing some noise around 2.30 am, only to find the bikes on fire.

The fire brigade was informed and three fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the flames. The police also arrived at the scene. Police station-31 SHO Jaspal Singh said they suspected it to be the handiwork of drug addicts and ruled out enmity of the suspects with the bike owners.

“The suspects are hard-core junkies and have committed the crime to derive sadistic pleasure and for the sheer thrill of it. They have no connection with the bike owners. The suspects have been identified and a hunt is on to nab them,” he said.

A case has been registered.



open house response

Show of wealth only creates lawlessness

People say, time has changed. But, remember the wheel of time is round and will stay as it was x number of years ago. Same goes with the teacher-taught relationship. If the above is maintained, that is ideal, anywhere; in any community. Any degree of imbalance will be detrimental to students. We see and also read examples of the imbalance gaining momentum. I think students have become more demanding and disrespectful towards teachers. Parents need to realise the fact that their wards go to school to learn and not to teach. Show of wealth, power (physical, status) only creates lawlessness. And such students seldom do well in their lives.

Ashwani Lakhanpal
Coventry, UK

Teaching has lost its glory

A file photo of college teachers’ protest
A file photo of college teachers’ protest.

Teaching is seriously a noble profession and a teacher has the responsibility of shaping the future of students by guiding and directing them. The education system has changed. It has lost its glory and has been reduced to more of a business venture or a mere formality of discharging duty by the government. To accept challenges and streamline the ties between students and teachers, there is ar need to ensure discipline. The student-teacher relation is a sacred one. With the advent of technology, the concept of this relation has altogether changed. Emphasis needs to be laid on the overall growth of a child. Even under a globalised system of life, today, teaching needs to be associated with the nation-building process. The need is to create a happy and stress-free atmosphere in classrooms. Students in higher classes lack vision, innovation, diversification, expansion and quality upgradation, which our teachers need to inculcate in them. There should be a vision through which efforts should be made to provide modern education through latest techniques and methodologies.

SK Khosla
Sector 40C, Chandigarh

Need to improve education standards

Teacher's Day is celebrated in a lusterless manner across the country. I remember how we used to celebrate September 5 in our school when we were kids. There used to be special programmes and students used to recite poems and songs for their teachers. Today, most of the children, especially those studying government schools, do not even know when and why the day is celebrated. At that time, sweets were distributed among teachers and students. It used to be a special day. But today no one pays heed to even their genuine demands. Left with no other option, they go on strikes and protest marches to highlight their plight. This year, teachers observed the day as ‘Demands Day’ and took out rallies against government in favour of their demands. Some 6,000 teachers of government-aided schools even observed it as ‘Black Day’. These teachers have not received their salaries for the past six months. It's a matter of utter shame that the government has not given teachers their due. Even the level of teaching has fallen down to the lowest ebb. The Central and state governments should do something to improve the situation and lay stress on improving the standards of education.

RK Kapoor,

Young leaders needed

A number of posts are lying vacant in schools/colleges. The government has failed to provide even the basic infrastructure in schools. If there are not good teachers, how can we expect brilliant pupils. The education ministers should be young and educated to feel the pulse of this important aspect by strengthening the temples of learning in a fair and an unbiased manner.

Gurmit Singh Saini

New assessments must

The skills students need in the 21st century are not new. Skills and knowledge are not separate. Part of the 21st century skills movement's plan is the call for greater collaboration among teachers. Indeed, this is one of the plan's greatest strengths; the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) waste a valuable resource when they don't give teachers time to share their expertise. Who will build and maintain and edit the websites, Wikis, and so forth? These challenges raise thorny questions about whether the design of today's schools is compatible with the goals of the 21st century skills movement. For change to move beyond administrators' offices and penetrate classrooms, we must understand that professional development is a massive undertaking. We need new assessments that can accurately measure richer learning and more complex tasks.The point of our argument is not to say that teaching students is not a worthy and attainable goal. Without better curriculum, better teaching and better tests, the emphasis on "21st century skills" will be a superficial one.

Sachin Sharma,

Stop commercialisation of education system

The methodology that was adopted for teaching has undergone a drastic change. The curriculum of academics has been revised to match the aspirations of students. The introduction of politics in the academic arena has further deteriorated the discipline that warranted students. Change from the earlier system of matriculation and BA to secondary education and then graduation in arts, science, medical and commerce streams was designed to usher in a change. Postgraduate streams also got a makeover. Then evaluation of students also had undergone change. Percentage evaluation gave way to grading system. The advantages of grading system were debated. Both teachers and students resented, as this did not augur well. But our HRD Minister had his own way and seemed determined in introducing the grading system without clearing hiccups. The CGPA system is working fine in some countries. No systematic research was undertaken due to which the education policy needed to be drawn to meet the aspirations of those who teach and learn. Simply calling upon teachers to act as role models is not going to work. Such sermons are repeated every year. The commercialisation of the education sector has further eroded the importance of the Teachers’ Day. When one pays from the nose, he expects at least good quality of education. Providing quality education is the core need of the education policy. Our planners should work on a teaching methodology that after completing secondary education can help a student choose his or her choice of field. Counselling should be available post-secondary education. Commercialisation of the education sector should be put to an end and efforts that can help provide quality education be made.

Satish Chandra Sharma

Students should respect teachers

The recent incident of students accusing their professor of wrong evaluation has brought to the fore the deteriorating teacher-pupil relationship. It is most important for students to respect teacher as an educator and as a professional person. In turn, teachers should also respect students and their values. Instead of humiliating or rusticating students, they should be given proper counselling, be it regarding their behaviour or performance or conduct. Encouraging and honest teacher-student interaction is vital at all levels. There are certain shortcomings which need to be worked upon with the help of senior faculty and the university authorities. Any kind of biasness must be avoided and the system be made flawless and fool proof. This will definitely avoid controversies and help build a strong bond between students and teachers.

Dr Shruti K Chawla
Sector 38 C, Chandigarh

In the last advisory council meeting of the Chandigarh administration on September 9, UT Administrator Shivraj Patil expressed concern over the ground realties in security checks manning vital establishments. Chandigarh Tribune carried a detailed on-the-spot check at the railway station, ISBT’s of Sectors 43 and 17, the UT Secretariat and certain other important establishments in the tricity following the bomb blast outside the Delhi High Court. The survey found poor arrangements in preventing or even handling the massive patient care needed, in the wake of any major exigency. Write your opinion to openhouse@tribunemail.com or Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh.


Stray cattle have free run in southern sectors
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Despite the municipal corporation’s tall claims of having curbed the stray cattle menace in the city’s southern areas, the problem still persists in Sectors 47, 48, 49 and 52. The issue has become a major concern for the residents who say it has become dangerous to drive on the streets with cows and bullocks freely roaming around, which often lead to accidents.

The problem is worse in and around Manimajra, posing risks to commuters who often encounter minor accidents due to cattle straying on roads.

Ram Mehar Singh, a Sector 48 resident, said MC officials authorities had completely failed to solve the problem in all these years despite several representations by the residents. “Earlier the cattle used to be roam on the streets, but now they even enter parks and spoil them with cow dung, making it tough to walk in them”, he added.

Mukesh Singh, a Sector 47 resident, said stray cattle had become a major threat for those driving at night. “Cows and buffalos suddenly come on the streets, often leading to accidents, which routinely occur on the road dividing Sectors 47 and 48”, he noted.

According to the residents, the stray cattle menace is most pronounced on the road leading to Sector 48 from Tribune Chowk, the road from Sector 47 to ISBT-43 near Colony No 5 and internal streets in Sectors 48, 51 and 52.

Said Shushank Bhandari, a Sector 48 resident: “The unrestricted entry of stray cattle from Jagatpura village and other areas of Mohali has led to the problem getting worse. There should be a check on stray cattle entering Chandigarh from neighboring areas”.

Meanwhile, KL Banga, president of the Residents’ Welfare Society (CHB flats), said stray cattle is a major problem for residents of southern sectors, especially Sector-52, which he said had virtually turned into a “cattle pound”. “Thousands of citizens residing in these areas have lost hope of getting rid of this problem with the authorities failing to come up with any permanent solution”, he said.



MC officials visit garbage processing plant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
Following UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas’s directions, a team of municipal corporation (MC) on Sunday visited the garbage processing plant and dumping ground to verify the cause of foul smell that spread across the city. The team led by MC Commissioner Prerna Puri, along with the Additional Commissioner, Chief Engineer and MOH, visited both the sites.

Official sources said the team stayed at the processing plant for over 30 minutes to gauge intensity of the problem. Residents of Sectors 36, 37, 38 and 39 were complaining of the foul smell for the past few months, however, the situation worsened on Saturday when the smell spread across the city.

One of the senior MC official, who visited the site, claimed that the foul smell was emanating from the processing plant and everybody during the visit had to cover their faces.

“Operators of the garbage plant are now claiming that they will install another furnace to control the stink,” sources said.

Interestingly, the MC two days ago had claimed that they were taking all necessary steps to control the foul smell, however, tall claims of the MC soon fell flat on its face.

Chander Mukhi Sharma, councillor and chairman of the special committee formed to check the functioning of garbage processing plant, said the MC had failed to address residents’ problem. He said a special committee held a meeting with MC Additional Commissioner Sunil Bhatia in this regard a month ago. In the meeting, Bhatia had assured members of the committee that he would be going through the file of processing plant and would inform the Mayor and Commissioner to call a meeting, which he did not do.

“We have been waiting for the Additional Commissioner to go through the file and call a meeting over the issue,” Bhatia added.



CTU to add 96 buses to local fleet
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
With the expanding area of the tricity and increasing pressure on the public transport system, the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) has decided to add 96 buses to its fleet for its local routes this financial year.

Based on the population of the city, the CTU has prepared a five-year plan on the basis of which the number of buses will be purchased subsequently with an increase in the population. The addition of buses will help increase the frequency of buses on each route.

The CTU has calculated the requirement of buses on its local routes based on the population of the city.

CTU manager SP Parmar says the CTU currently has a fleet of 250 buses for its local routes. Out of these, 61 will complete their lifespan within a year, following which the existing fleet will be reduced to 189 buses. Moreover, there is a need for 285 buses, calculated as per the 2011 census.

“The estimated requirement of buses has been calculated on the basis of past experiences of other metro cities with a minimum of 27 buses for one lakh people,” he says.

The department has already sent a proposal to the UT administration for approval and is hopeful of getting a sanction soon.

According to the officials, the CTU will add 48 mini AC and AC semi low-floor buses. Another 48 non-AC low-floor buses and ordinary semi low-floor buses will be added to the existing fleet.

The CTU has also drafted a plan for the purchase of buses for its five-year plan from 2012-2017. The department has planned to purchase 140 buses for the local routes and reduce the frequency to 20 minutes.

The CTU officials further say with the purchase of new buses, the routes that have been shut due to shortage of buses or have a lesser frequency will be revived.

“With the increase in the number of buses, the number of drivers and conductors will also be subsequently increased,” the officials add.

More buses needed

The CTU currently has 250 buses running on local routes. Out of these, 61 will complete their lifespan within a year, following which the existing fleet will be reduced to 189 buses. There is a need for 285 buses



Densely populated Sec 20 has only one entry & exit
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 11
Only a single entry and exit point connecting the Sector 20 with other parts of the town has become a bane of the local residents since the flyover has been constructed on the national highway 22 between Zirakpur and Panchkula.

“Even as Sector 20 is a densely populated area of the town the authorities have virtually isolated it from the rest of the town providing only a single entry/exit point, which now witnesses traffic jams throughout the day,” said JK Malhotra, the president of the House Owner’s Welfare Association.

The woes of local residents, however, do not end here. Heaps of garbage, parking areas plunged into darkness during night and bare electricity wires on poles welcome the visitors as soon as one enters the area. “A park adjoining the police station needs more care as swings installed here were stolen by anti-social elements a few years ago,” said Deepak Jain, a local resident.

The upcoming high-rise buildings in the area was another major concern for the residents as the local fire brigade did not have the arrangements in case of any emergency here, said Ashish Garg, former municipal councillor. “The buildings up to 18 storeys have been coming up in the sector. The fire brigade department, however, does not have the equipment to tackle any mishap in such high-rise buildings,” he said.

“The encroachments on the roadsides and absence of traffic lights in the area have made the situation miserable. The fast moving traffic on the roads in the sector has been increasing. There is an urgent need for traffic lights on the road in front of the market,” said Jagdish Goyal, another local resident.

Sec-19 residents’ miseries continue

PANCHKULA: The authorities in Panchkula are apparently indifferent to the grievances of people. The repeated requests and reports in the newspapers make no difference for them. A revisit to Sector 19 showed that nothing had been done to provide solace to people living in insanitary condition and they continued to tread roads with big potholes.

While the garbage scattered in the Ram Lila Ground was intact as it was published in these columns on August 17, the rainwater was also accumulated on the same road. The municipal corporation executive officer KK Jin, when contacted, said things would start improving from next week as fresh tenders for repairs of roads and electricity would be floated.

Commuters cross the underpass on the Kalka-Panchkula highway at Sector 20 in Panchkula
Commuters cross the underpass on the Kalka-Panchkula highway at Sector 20 in Panchkula. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal

Garbage lies scattered on the Ramlila Ground at Sector 19
Garbage lies scattered on the Ramlila Ground at Sector 19.

An electricity transformer placed at a low height endangers the lives of passersby at Sector 19
An electricity transformer placed at a low height endangers the lives of passersby at Sector 19.
A maze of electricity wires on a pole poses a risk to the lives of residents
A maze of electricity wires on a pole poses a risk to the lives of residents

Public urinals in a shambles in the market
Public urinals in a shambles in the market

A caved-in road on the entrance to a park in Sector 20
A caved-in road on the entrance to a park in Sector 20.



Decks cleared for Rs 1.5-cr surveillance project
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 11
Short of staff and other security gadgets the district police is likely to get a shot in its arm in near future. With getting a space to set up a control room in the mini secretariat the outdoor surveillance project of the district police is going to start within next few days.

For the want of space the 1.5-crore project to keep a watch on the prominent spots of the district, including exit and entry points, had been hanging fire for quite some time.

The police authorities have been finding it hard to cope up with the rising crime in the district with a meagre force of 900 personnel.

Following the rise in crime in district the state police had decided to install close circuit television cameras (CCTVs) at the important places. However, there was no space available for setting up a control room for this purpose in the office of the Superintendent of Police in the building of mini secretariat. A proposal to set up the control room at the police post in Sector 14 was rejected by the state police authorities as it was supposed to be housed in the mini secretariat only.

Last week officials of the district planning department agreed to vacate their office near the police control room in the mini secretariat to make way for setting up servers and other gadgets for outdoor surveillance.

The project worth Rs 1.5 crore had been hanging in fire for quite some time for the want of space for setting up control room to monitor the transmission from cameras.

The main spots to be put under surveillance include the Parwanoo-Kalka road, Nalagarh-Pinjore road, Old Panchkula, Housing Board Chowk, Morni road, Ramgarh road, Industrial Area, Phases I and II and the Zirakpur-Panchkula road.

Superintendent of Police Maneesh Chaudhary said expressions of interest were invited recently and the tender had been awarded to a private company. “The work of installing the cameras would be completed very soon,” he said.

y The Automatic License Plate Recognition system in cameras shall enable monitoring of vehicle flow at the entry/exit points and at strategic locations. On successful recognition of the number plates, the system will generate automatic alarm to alert the control room for vehicles which would have been marked as “wanted”, “suspicious”, “stolen” and “expired”.



Former chief architect awarded
Tribune News Service

Ashwani Kumar SabharwalChandigarh, September 11
Former Chief Architect of Haryana Ashwani Kumar Sabharwal has been awarded the Indian State Architects Commendation Award during 20th AYA- Architect of the Year Award ceremony organised by JK Cements at Goa recently.

The award was given for the project Nirman Sadan, Sector 33-A, Chandigarh, an office building designed and executed during his term as Chief Architect, Haryana. The awards were presented by Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat.

Sabharwal has put in more than 36 years in the architecture profession, headed the Department of Architecture, Haryana, for three years and was instrumental in design of various important projects like Mini Secretariat, District Courts and first all-women university of North India at Khanpur Kalan (Sonepat).



vat rules
Admn allows online payment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 11
The Chandigarh administration has amended the Chandigarh Value Added Tax Rules, 2006, enabling taxpayers to make payment of tax, penalty, interest or other dues through Internet banking from now on.

The new rules, likely to be called the Chandigarh Value Added Tax Rules, 2011, have come into force with immediate effect.

“When service is made through an e-mail at the e-mail address provided by the department, it shall be deemed to be a valid service,” say the new rules.

“Some changes have also been made in the procedure for provisional refund under the new rules,” said an official of the UT excise and taxation department.



Checks at PG accommodations
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 11
Teams of Matour police station today carried out surprise checking at paying guest (PG) accommodations in Phase IIIB2 here.

The Station House Officer, Matour police station, said the checking was carried out to verify antecedents of the occupants of the PG in the town. Aided by sniffer dogs, several PGs in the area were checked till late this evening.





Saplings planted

Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, on its annual day celebrations collaborated with the “Green Initiative” of the UT Administration and organised a tree plantation drive, a press note said here on Sunday. The drive was held under the supervision of Prof Raj Bahadur, director-principal of the hospital. Saplings were planted on the premises of GMCH-32 and guest house-cum-residential area of the hospital in Sector 48.

Plantation drive

A three-day tree plantation drive launched in GMSSS, Sector 26, by Naresh Gulati, state information commissioner, Haryana, and Triveni Baba in collaboration with the Eco Club of the school concluded here on Sunday. More than 50 saplings were planted, according to school principal Alka Mehta. She also exhorted students to keep the city pollution free by planting more trees in and around Chandigarh.


The Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), Ward X unit, on Sunday organised a protest demonstration against pipeline blockage and also against a councillor in Badheri village under the leadership of ward president Sumit Kumar Happy. BJYM state general secretary Amit Rana said this blockage problem was prevalent from the last six months and the drainage system was blocked due to which shopkeepers and residents of the area were facing huge problems.

Theatre fest

The department of cultural affairs in collaboration with the Tagore Theatre Society is celebrating the second Chandigarh Theatre Festival from September 17 till September 21, official sources said here on Sunday.

‘Karyakarta sammelan’

A “Karyakarta Sammelan” of the district IV of the local unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was held under the chairmanship of district president Vinod Aggarwal at Mani Majra, a press release said here on Sunday. The conference was addressed by party in charge for Chandigarh affairs and national secretary Saroj Pandey, state president Sanjay Tandon and former MP Satya Pal Jain.

Reservation of flats for EWS

A meeting of the Trinamool Congress Committee, Chandigarh, held under the chairmanship of Shambhu Banerjee discussed the issue of reservation of 15 per cent flats to people belonging to the economically weaker sections (EWS) of society in all housing societies. Prominent party leaders, who attended the meeting included Hari Kumar, Anoop Singh, MP Singh, Ajay Singa, MS Batra, Anil Goyal, Deepak Kashyap, Rajneesh Luthra, Arjun Sharma and Balbir Singh. While addressing the meeting, Shambhu Banerjee said during the last few years, several housing companies and other housing societies were allotted land on subsidised rates in Chandigarh for construction of residential accommodation. The land was allotted with a condition that the people belonging to the economically weaker sections would be given 15 per cent reservation in these flats. But in connivance to some officials of the administration, these societies violated the conditions and ignored the people belonging to EWS.

Night bus service

PEPSU Road Transport Corporation has commenced a night service to Sri Ganganagar (Rajasthan) with immediate effect, an official press note said here on Sunday. The bus commencing its journey from ISBT, Sector 43, at 7.20 pm is scheduled to reach its destination at 4 am. On its return journey, the bus will start from Ganganagar at 8.30 pm. The bus route has marked Patiala, Bathinda, Malout and Abohar.

‘Walk-in bank campaign’

Officials of Indian Overseas Bank, Sector 7, started “Walk-in bank campaign” (bank at customer’s doorstep) with Gurukul Vidyapeeth as its first customer, a press release said here on Sunday. Naval Gupta, chief regional manager IOB, Sector 7, regional office, along with BK Bansal, AGM branch, inaugurated the function. As many 200 saving accounts were opened for staff and students of Gurukul Vidyapeeth with free ATM cards under IOB-SB student scheme.

Cong against corruption

A meeting of the district committee, urban II, was held in Sector 44 here on Sunday. Pawan Kumar Bansal, minister of parliamentary affairs and water resources, said the Lok Pal Bill was drafted by the Congress under the leadership of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. He said the Congress was committed to fighting corruption. He said the BJP was only trying to get cheap publicity.


The annual conference of the childhood disability group of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics and the Regional Institute for Mentally Handicap has concluded, a press release said here on Sunday. The theme of this conference was “Disability to Ability: Beyond Endeavours”.


380 units of blood donated

At least 380 units of blood were collected during a blood donation camp organised by the Competent Foundation. The camp was inaugurated by Harmohan Dhawan, former union minister, who was welcomed by Sanjay Tandon, chairman of Competent Group, Chandigarh. The programme was presided over by Balramji Dass Tandon, former minister of Punjab.


Residential complex

A new residential complex for officials and staff of the income tax department was inaugurated by Manjari Kacker, a member of the Central Board of Direct Taxes, at Sector 20 on Sunday. Jaspal Singh, Chief Commissioner of the Northwest region, was also present. The complex has different categories of housing between Type I and VI.

— Tribune Reporters



Instrumental music leaves audience spellbound
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, September 11
Series of activities marked the golden jubilee celebrations of the Chandigarh College of Architecture, which has attained the status of an institute of multi-dimensional excellence over the years.

The annual event veritably titled, “A Journey through the Heritage”, included a debate on the issue of heritage status for the City Beautiful, screening of film on forts and a classical music concert at the college campus here yesterday.

Prominent academician and elite scholars participated in the debate, who delved deep putting forth their concerted views on granting of heritage status for Chandigarh. Notable among them include architect SD Sharma, Dr Gaurav Chhabra, Rajneesh Vats, SN Kaushal, Bhai Baldeep Singh, a musicologist performer and executive board member of the Sangeet Natak Akademy.

The screening of a film on the forts of Daultabad, a ninth century marvel of the architecture and art, and Jaisalmer Fort were highly appreciated for their educative and heritage value. Eminent scholar Pushpesh Pant explained the historical perspective of forts immaculately presented in the film produced and directed by thespian GS Channi and NSD alumnus Gyan Dev.

The programme concluded with a scintillating recital of instrumental music, especially in jugalbandi by a family trio of accomplished musicians from Ujjain. Led by versatile sitar maestro, Prof Lokesh Wahane, his disciple daughters, sitarist Sanskrati Wahahne (13) and Prakarti Wahane (12), a prodigious santoor player, weaved a melody of sur, lya and tal to mesmerise one and all. Opening up with a brief alaap of raga Rageshwari, they presented a composition (gat) in slow paced (madyalya) ek tal, which melted into faster (drut lya) in teen tal rhythmic pattern.

The trio offered glimpses of light music, as they played the signature tune of a TV serial “Balika Vadhu” and a song “Dil hai ke manta nahi” based on raga Gawti. Gautam Dhar and Rajnish Dhiman provided admirable tabla accompaniment.

Earlier principal Pardeep Bhagat welcomed chief guest VK Singh, who honoured the artistes.



Kathak maestros spell magic
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, September 11
The young kathak classical dance virtuosos, Shyam Kartik Mishra and Sharda Mishra, spelt magic with bringing alive the technical and aesthetic aspects of the famous Benaras gharana kathak with élan at the Randhawa auditorium here today.

The special baithak programme organised by the Pracheen Kala Kendra witnessed tandva and lasya ingredients of the dance form with other finer nuances during the performance.

The artiste duo opened their recital with an invocatory piece “Anand Tandav of Lord Shiva” in an abhinaya format with stylish punctuation with jaties and with a delicate footwork. Then followed pure kathak set to the time cycle of 16 beats (teen taal). Shyam and Sharda demonstrated their skill and virtuosity while presenting thaat, upaj, aamad, tihai, tode, tukre paran, chakradar paran and parmelu amid thunderous applause. Intricate movements were executed with remarkable ease.

Then followed a solo number, a thumri, displaying playful teasing between Radha and Lord Krishna. Sharda Mishra beautifully danced to the lyrics, displaying her command over abhinaya aspect of kathak.

Sharda and Shyam Mishra then moved on to present a Shiv bhajan before a concluding piece, a jugalbandi.

Kendra registrar Shobha Koser honoured the artistes.



Sufi kalams mesmerise audience
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 11
The Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) organised a cultural programme of Sufi and Punjabi folk songs in collaboration with the Chandigarh Senior Citizens’ Association under the Horizon series at the Government Museum and Art Gallery hall here yesterday.

Well acclaimed Sufi maestro Jageer Singh, better known as Jageer Parvez, enthralled the receptive and intrusive audience comprising of senior citizens of the city.



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