C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


SC Relief for UT admn
Go-ahead for acquisition of 72-acre land for Phase II of Rajiv Gandhi IT Park
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
In a significant development and a huge relief to the UT Administration, the Supreme Court (SC) of India, has given its go-ahead to the acquisition of 72 acres of land to expand the Phase II of Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park (RGCTP).

While disposing of the petitions of a number of landowners, the SC gave directions to the UT Administration to hold personal hearing of petitioners and thereafter appellants shall abide by the directions of the UT Administration.No further grievance of the petitioners shall be entertained concerning the controversy thereafter, the SC ruled.

In the recent order passed by the Division Bench of the SC comprising Justice RM Lodha and Justice HL Gokhale reads, “We direct that the Collector, Chandigarh Administration, shall give personal hearing to the appellants and hear their objections and, thereafter, a report shall be submitted by the Collector to the state government for appropriate directions. The appellants shall abide by the directions that may be issued by the state government on receipt of the report of the Collector, Chandigarh Administration.”

The apex court made it clear in its order that no further application will be entertained in this case. The order further reads, “No further grievance of the appellants shall be entertained concerning the controversy thereafter. Appellants shall appear before the Collector, Chandigarh Administration, on April 23, 2012. Appeals are disposed of as above.”

The petitioners had challenged the UT Administration’s notification issued on October 1, 2002, under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1,894 for acquiring the land measuring 575 kanal ­ 13 marlas (around 72 acres), including the land of the petitioners for the urban development of the area between Chandigarh and Mani Majra, the planned development and expansion of Chandigarh Technology Park.

The petitioners had filed their objections under Section 5-A of the Act on October 29, 2002. On September 29, 2003, the UT Administration made declaration under Section 6 of the Act, including the petitioners land.

The petitioners had challenged the land acquisition by filing a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Petitioners had maintained that the UT Administration had not provided them the opportunity of personal hearing. But on February 6, 2006, the High Court dismissed the petition. Thereafter, the landowners had filed an appeal in the Supreme Court.



PCA, Kings XI Punjab owe Rs 7.72 cr to UT police: Audit
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
The fifth edition of IPL is about to begin, but the UT police has failed to recover its outstanding bills worth Rs 7.72 crore from the IPL organisers as well as the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA), Mohali, for providing round-the-clock security to teams during their stay in the city for international matches held last year.

The PCA, Mohali, and Kings XI Punjab owe Rs 4.26 crore and Rs 3.46 crore, respectively, to the Chandigarh Police. The objection for non-charging of expenses by the UT police had also been raised in the recent audit report (in possession with The Tribune).

The UT police provided exhaustive security arrangements to six international teams during their stay in Chandigarh last year, during World Cup-2011, in the matches played at the PCA Stadium, Mohali.

As per the audit report, the police made security arrangements for six teams - from February 28 to March 12 and from March 25 to March 31 - during World Cup 2011 at the PCA Stadium, Mohali.

For the security of teams from South Africa, Netherlands, West Indies and Ireland, the UT police deputed nine DSP’s, 20 Inspectors, 60 Sub Inspectors, 158 head constables and 5254 constables.

Besides, seven DSPs, 16 Inspectors, 55 SIs, 51 ASIs, 131 head constables and 482 constables of the UT police were deployed for security arrangements for India and Pakistan teams during their stay in Chandigarh for the World Cup semifinal match that was held in Mohali.

The audit states that the department terms the PCA, Mohali, as a private enterprise and cricket matches as commercial event. The police requested the CEO of the PCA to make an advance payment of Rs 1.6 crore and Rs 2.65 crore before the World Cup matches here, but no such amount has been received so far.

Last year, the Chandigarh Police provided a force of 1,800 policemen for security to Kings XI Punjab, Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Pune Warriors and Mumbai Indians from April 3 to April 22 and then again from May 1 to May 11.

The force was provided on the request of GM (Operations) of Kings XI Punjab.

Excerpts from the audit report

“Police security was provided to the PCA, Mohali, without receiving the full advance payment of Rs 4.26 crore and recovery of the same is pending since then and the police department has failed to safeguard the government interest.” In reference to the security provided for IPL matches, besides Rs 2.89 crore incurred in 2011, another Rs 57 lakh provided for security for 2010 matches is also pending to be recovered from the franchise



No water for 650 EWS houses from today
Reason: Tussle between CHB and MC over maintenance of tubewell
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
At least 650 economically weaker section (EWS) houses in Sector 38 West will not get their routine water supply from tomorrow morning due to tussle between the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) and the Municipal Corporation (MC) over the issue of maintenance of tubewell installed in the area.

In a piquant situation, the supply will be shutdown and residents who are clueless about this will face the difficulty in the morning before going to respective schools and offices. On March 24, the CHB wrote a letter to the MC asking it to take over the operational responsibility of the tubewell installed in the sector by March 30 or else they would discontinue its maintenance and shut it down.

When contacted, Municipal Corporation Chief Engineer SS Bidda said that they had replied to the CHB today that the corporation would not take over the charge of the tubewell until the time period of five year was complete since its installation. Referring to a decision taken at a meeting chaired by UT Advisor KK Sharma it was decided that the CHB would maintain and operate the tubewell for five years and till date only two years had passed. Due to this reason the MC will not take over the responsibility of operating and maintaining the tubewell.

CHB Chief Executive Officer Rajesh Jogpal stated that the housing board was a nodal agency for executing the project handed over by the UT Administration under the slum development project. After its completion, the CHB was to hand it over to the MC authorities, which was responsible to provide civic amenities to the residents rather than the CHB. He said that due to this reason they would discontinue to operate the tubewell also.

Sources in the CHB revealed that for the past one year, a number of reminders have been sent to the MC to take over the operation of the tubewell but all in vain. Recently, at a meeting with the UT Adviser, the CHB officials brought to his notice that as the revenue in terms of water tariff and sewer was charged by the corporation so it was their responsibility to operate and maintain it too. But the corporation has not taken any initiative so far without caring about the problem to the residents of the area. 



Chaos breaks loose on HC premises
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Clerks of High Court advocates protest against the manhandling of a clerk by a woman employee of the court in Chandigarh.
Clerks of High Court advocates protest against the manhandling of a clerk by a woman employee of the court in Chandigarh. Photo by Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, March 29
In an atypical display of resentment and agitation, visibly disconcerted clerks or the munshis of the Punjab and Haryana High Court advocates today gheraoed the writ branch. They were protesting against the alleged manhandling of a clerk by a woman employee of the High Court.

The “victim”, Manoj Sharma, even alleged that the employee attacked him with an ice pick. The police had to intervene to prevent the situation from turning ugly; and its Gypsies could be seen all over the High Court premises this afternoon.

At about 3.45 pm, chaos broke loose on the High Court premises as the clerks, at least 100 in number, traversed the jam-packed parking lot to rush towards the writ branch. Tempers ran high as they surrounded Sharma for expressing solidarity and support.

As a lawyer helped Sharma pen down a complaint, the protesters could be seen hanging on to the railings around the parking lot. They then marched towards gate number one for apprising the High Court Registrar-General of their grievances.  

Talking to The Tribune, Sharma claimed he had been approaching the woman employee since Wednesday for the completion of formalities to get an order’s copy. But, she made him wait for two hours the previous day and for the same duration again this afternoon.

Sharma alleged the woman lost her cool and threatened to slap him before grabbing the ice pick used for piercing papers. Sharma further alleged that the employee then attacked him with the pick, but he managed to get away from the scene, scratch less.

As Sharma and other protesters reached gate number one, another scene was witnessed. As the men in khaki tried to prevent them from entering, heated arguments could be heard. Eventually, a delegation was allowed to move in to meet the High Court authorities on the issue.

Available information suggests the employee denied any such occurrence. But, she expressed her regrets, following which the controversy was amicably resolved after nearly an hour of intense drama. 



P’kula second in vehicular density in state
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 29
Panchkula has the second highest number of vehicles per household in the entire state, the Directorate of Census Operations, Haryana, disclosed the figures today.

In the district, a total of 26.8 per cent of the households own personal cars, which is second only to Gurgaon with 29 per cent.

At the national level, the average vehicles per household stood at 4.7 per cent. Even in Haryana, merely 10.5 per cent households own these vehicles. Neerja Shekhar, director of Census Operations in Haryana released the figures on housing, household amenities and assets recorded in the Census 2011. The residents here have topped in the state when it comes to the use of two-wheelers, telephone and mobile phone. As many as 1,10, 236 of households use two-wheelers. The figures indicated that at least 45.3 per cent of households had a scooter or a motorcycle. On the entertainment front, the local residents also left behind all other districts except Ambala. A total of 80.2 per cent houses in Panchkula have television sets,which is second only to Ambala with 82.7 per cent. In the country 47.2 per cent families own TV sets.

Panchkula is again neck and neck with Gurgaon when it comes to the use of modern technology. At least 29.2 per cent of households own a computer or laptop with 16.9 per cent of them using Internet. Gurgaon that tops the list has 31.9 per cent of households having an access to computer or laptop while 20.9 of them are availing the Internet facility.



Security at railway station nil
Multiple unmanned entrances and lack of adequate security personnel say it all
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
Failing to learn any lessons from the Mumbai terror attacks or the attacks on Maoists, where railway stations were made a soft target, the Chandigarh Railway Station authorities continue to cock a snook at security measures.

Multiple unmanned entrances, ill-equipped scanning equipment and lack of adequate security personnel expose the utter failure of the authorities in ensuring safety of thousands of passengers who daily throng the railway station. Gaping holes in the security apparatus greet one on entering the railway station through the main entrance, which is unmanned.

There is no metal detector installed as a ‘technical snag’ has prompted the authorities to remove the detector altogether for repair. A visit to the Chandigarh Railway Station by a Tribune Team today laid bare the chinks in security. Another alarming factor is that the situation of lackadaisical security at the railway station has remained the same over the years and there are just no efforts made by the authorities to step up the security even though railway stations in other parts of the country have been made soft targets of terror in the past. 

STAFF CRUNCH ails railway station

Where have the policemen gone? 

No police personnel have been deployed at the Chandigarh Railway Station. There is no one to keep a check on anti-social elements. Passenger safety too is a big question. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan 

Shortage of staff is ailing the RPF as only five to six personnel are on duty at one given time. While they work in shifts of eight hours, two persons are required for manning the CCTV control room which leaves only three RPF personnel for round-the-clock security of the railway station at any given time. On the other hand, the GRP police post at the railway station has 42 personnel meant for regulating traffic and also investigating various cases at the railway station. At one given time, there are on an average eight to 10 GRP personnel posted at the entire railway station which makes them inadequate to look after the security of the entire railway station. The only security check at the railway station is the CCTV surveillance with 30 cameras installed at various entry and exit points. However, in the absence of manning of the entrances, the CCTV surveillance system, too, falls flat.



ROot of the problem

Chandigarh police fighting for jurisdiction since years

While the ill-equipped GRP has failed to provide adequate security measures at the railway station, the Chandigarh Police, which is far better equipped with manpower and technology, has been fighting a battle to man the railway station for the past many years.

The UT Inspector General of Police had first sent the proposal for creating a police post at the Chandigarh Railway Station in 2006. As per the proposal it was demanded that the control of Chandigarh Railway Station should be handed over to the UT Police in the interest of public convenience, especially in view of the fact that the area leading to the entrance falls within the jurisdiction of the UT. The GRP is currently manning the railway station.

The police and the UT Administration have discussed the proposal a number of times with the Haryana government, but it has not seen light of day. The reasons for the UT Police demanding control of security at the railway station were:

l Conflicts and disputes over the matter of jurisdiction always remained unsolved causing inconvenience to the public. The newly constructed railway track linking Chandigarh with Ludhiana passes through the UT area and therefore will require responsibility of safety and security to be managed by the UT Police.

l As the railway station is managed by Haryana, the police is not able to manage traffic or parking resulting in chaos when important trains arrive and depart from the station.

l Efforts of the UT Police to open a taxi pre-paid booth outside the railway station were frustrated by the Haryana Police on the grounds that the land did not belong to them.

Non-availability of pre-paid transportation from the Chandigarh Railway Station is causing harassment to passengers.

l In the present set-up, the railway station and track falling in the area of UT Chandigarh is being looked after by the GRP, Haryana, but the railway colony, located in the jurisdiction of police station, Mani Majra, is being looked after by UT police. To avoid instances of disputes between the GRP and UT Police taking place on several occasions, the police should be the custodian of the area so as to ensure better crime and law and order.

l The Chandigarh Police has covered numerous VVIP programmes at the Chandigarh Railway Station all these years while the GRP, Haryana, never bothered to cover these programmes.


No lessons learnt Acts of terror and sabotage at railway stations in the past

July, 2006: Bombing of Mumbai's suburban railways network.

February, 2007: Blast in Samjhauta Express. November, 2008: Indiscriminate firing at Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminal in 2008 by Pakistani terrorists.

May, 28, 2010 : Sabotage by Maoists that led to the derailment of the Gyaneshwari Express in West Bengal, which left 148 dead.


Multiple entrances

Free entry

In the absence of security check, anyone can gain entry to the station. which is a matter of concern.

There are at least six entrances to the Chandigarh Railway Station, all of which are unmanned. Anyone can easily walk in from the three open and unguarded entrances and also from the other side of the railway station which is facing Panchkula. In the absence of any boundary wall, anyone can bypass the main entrance where the security check has been put up. 

In the absence of security check, anyone can gain entry to the station. which is a matter of concern. 


l tomorrow
Upcoming infrastructure and new trains to Chandigarh


Maharaja Ranjit Singh institute gets Vijayanta tank
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 29
Western Command General Officer Commanding in Chief (GOC-in-C) Lt Gen SR Ghosh today presented a Vijayanta tank to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for display on the campus of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Armed Forces Preparatory Institute (AFPI), Mohali, at the Chandimandir Military Station.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal along with Western Command GOC-in-C Lt Gen SR Ghosh and other officers at Chandimandir Military Station on Thursday.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal along with Western Command GOC-in-C Lt Gen SR Ghosh and other officers at Chandimandir Military Station on Thursday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Complimenting the Army authorities, Badal assured all help to ensure welfare of serving and veteran soldiers and their families.

About shortage of talent from the state at par with the Army standards, Badal admitted that change in eating habits had caused an adverse impact on Punjabi youth. He also admitted the effect of drugs on youth. There was a need to create employment opportunities for the youths to keep them away from drugs, added the Chief Minister.

Badal said that setting up of the AFPI and handing over a tank to the institute was a proactive and positive step to encourage and motivate youth to join the armed forces.

The Chief Minister said that to motivate youth to join naval services, the Punjab Government was also setting up a Naval Academy at Ropar. Badal further said that to set up a Service Selection Centre at Ropar, the Punjab Cabinet had already approved to provide 200 acres of land free of cost to the Western Command for this first centre in the northern region.

Lt Gen Ghosh announced that visits by the cadets of the institute to any units of the Army or the Indian Air Force would be arranged and allowed to have exposure for better understanding of the armed forces.

Lt Gen Ghosh also announced that a rolling silver trophy would be instituted by the Western Command to be given every year to the best cadet of the institute.



Child-mapping Survey a Nightmare
Teachers say some residents even threatened to set dogs on them
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
Child-mapping survey 2012-13, which concluded a few days, ago has left city teachers fuming and hurt. The reason: City VIPs, including several senior officials of the UT Administration, residing in sector 24, 16, 7, 10, 11 and 9 virtually shooed them away.

The government school teachers had been asked to carry out the survey mandated under the RTE Act for enlisting details of city children in order to identify those eligible for admissions under the RTE. The teachers of the concerned sectors’ government schools were relieved that instead of having to visit undeveloped, slum areas they would be surveying VIP localities. However, the experience left them shocked.

Most of the residents refused to even open their doors, saying that they were not from economically weaker sections. Some even threatened to set their dogs on them, or file complaint, say the teachers.

“I went to a house which belongs to a senior UT official of the Haryana cadre. The official’s wife sent out a domestic help who said that I was not allowed inside. When I insisted that it was a government survey and mandatory for all, she threatened to call up DPI Sandeep Hans and complaint against me. When I tried reasoning out with her, she threatened to set her dog on me. It was very insulting. They may be VIPs, but we also have self respect,” said one of the teachers.

It may noted that though these officials may not have much to do with the RTE admissions, but the domestic helps and drivers staying at their homes are surely eligible for these admissions. “I used to think that surveying slums would be difficult. But it could not be worse than covering these VIP areas. There was this wife of a PCS officer who refused to come out of her house. When I started questioning her domestic help about details of his children, she started rebuking me and even threatened the help that he would lose his job. I will never go on such surveys any more,” said another teacher.

The feeling was shared by the surveyors of northern Sectors, specially Sectors 2, 3, and 4. “The people residing in these Sectors are no less than feudal lords. At one house, I was made to wait for half an hour. Later an old lady drove out in her car, rolled down her windowpane and asked me to get lost. The survey was a nightmare for us,” added the teacher. 



work allotted to same contractor
Residents complaints about poor cleanliness fall on deaf ears
Our Correspondent 

Mohali, March 29
Despite residents complaining about poor cleanliness in the town, three out of the four zones into which the town has been divided for the purpose, have once again been given to the earlier contractor for sanitation work from April 1.

Executive officer of the municipal council JS Shahi said today the civic body had allotted the work of sanitation for three zones for the financial year 2012-2013. However, there was a tie under the e-tendering process for the fourth zone, and the council was yet to take a decision as to whom the work should be given. 

He said from April 1 the work of lifting garbage from the designated collection points would now be done by the council itself instead of giving it on contract again. However, so far the parties that had offered to provide labourers to the civic body for the work had not fulfilled the terms and conditions laid down under the tender. 

The council had also allotted the work of annual maintenance of the dumping ground as per the solid waste management rules, Shahi added. Sanitation zone I consists of Phases I, II, IV and VI, Mohali, Shahi Majra and Madanpur villages. 

Zone II comprises Phases IIIA, IIIB1, IIIB2, VII and VIII while zone III covers Phases IX to XI and Sector 48C. In zone IV, the council has included Sectors 70 and 71, Phase V and Mataur village.

Earlier, members of the now dissolved House of the municipal council had been making a hue and cry about the state of sanitation in Mohali at almost every monthly meeting of the council. Other residents have also been expressing dissatisfaction over cleanliness in the town. However, no significant improvement was seen in this regard during the financial year 2011-2012 despite the work having been allotted to contractors on stricter terms and conditions. 



Three shops gutted

A view of the gutted shops at Ghadana village in Mohali on Thursday.
A view of the gutted shops at Ghadana village in Mohali on Thursday. A Tribune photo

Mohali, March 29
Goods worth Rs 20 lakh were destroyed in a fire that engulfed three shops last night at Ghadana village in the district here.
The fire broke out in the shops, belonging to Rajinder Kumar from Manakpur village, during the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday. Rajinder Kumar said he was informed about the incident by a resident of the village. Two fire tenders were pressed in service.

It took about one hour to control the fire, he added. Rajinder Kumar said he recently spent about Rs 15 lakh to replenish his stock.— TNS



Country liquor, IMFL prices to go up
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 29
The rates of common popular brands of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) and country liquor will increase in the district in coming days. This is surely not a good news for Bacchus lovers.

The expected increase in the rate would be between Rs 25 and Rs 40 per bottle of IMFL, while the lovers of country liquor have to dish out Rs 15 to Rs 20 more than the existing prices.

There would be no major change in the rates of scotch or other brands of whisky, said sources in the trade.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Arvind Singla, a local liquor contractor, said there would be marginal increase in April but the actual rates of liquor in the district would be fixed in May 1 when the UT would announce its liquor policy.

In their latest excise policy, the Punjab government has increased the minimum rates of IMFL and country liquor by Rs 20 and Rs 10 per bottle, respectively.

“The liquor business in Mohali district has been largely affected by the UT’s excise policy. Though an increase of Rs 25 to Rs 40 per bottle (IMFL) of popular brands is expected here, the actual rates would be set only after considering the UT’s excise policy for next year,” said Singla.

On the issue, the Mohali’s Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner Magnesh Sethi said though the minimum rates have been increased under the policy the prevailing market forces would set the maximum prices of the product in coming days.

Many contractors, who run liquor vends in Chandigarh, got vends in the district this year, said Sethi adding that in such scenario the liquor rates would surely increased.

According to sources, the liquor contractors in the UT have failed to lift even the fixed quota of liquor for this year. “About 15 lakh cases of the quota are yet to be lifted so far. The contractors in the UT have been suffering losses of about Rs 40 crore this year,” said a liquor contractor here.



Panchkula low on basic amenities
Over 5 pc families transport drinking water
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 29
Despite the fact that the district emerges among the highest number of vehicle owners and other luxuries, a substantial number of people in the district are deprived of basic amenities including drinking water and latrine facilities.

The Census 2011 revealed that 0.4 per cent of 1,10,236 families are still forced to use water obtained from the village ponds. The figures released by Director of Census Operations, Haryana, showed that another 0.3 per cent families rely on the nearby rivers and canals for their regular drinking water. This is not all. A total of 5.2 per cent families have to transport the drinking water to their homes from sources at least more than half-a-kilomeeer away from their homes. However, the tap water is available to 74.6 per cent families at their premises only.

On the hygiene front, the authorities are yet to do a hard work in the district. A mere 70.7 per cent of families have latrine facility within their premises. The figure is a little higher when compared with the average at the state level. A total of 68.6 per cent households have this facility at their homes in Haryana. Another blot on the working of authorities of Panchkula, the de facto capital of state, is the night soil disposal in the open drain. As no latrine facility is available to 0.3 per cent of the total households. 



UT cadre officers get more teeth
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
In a development to give more teeth to UT cadre officers in the Chandigarh Administration, Tanvi Garg, a 2009-batch IAS officer, was given the charge of Director, Information Technology, relieving Yogesh Kumar, an HCS officer, of the charge.

Yogesh Kumar, who is currently holding the charge of Director Public Relation, has been given the additional charge of Joint Registrar, Cooperative Societies.

In a reshuffling of departments today, the UT Administration took back the charges of Director Industries, Secretary, State Transport Authority and Controller, Weights and Measures from the HCS officer Mahavir Kaushik and gave it to Balbir Singh, a PCS officer. Along with these departments, Balbir Singh will also hold the current charge of Additional IG (Prisons).

Sources added that the change in the departments of HCS officer Yogesh Kumar had taken place because earlier he had objected to the UT Administration’s move to give his Director IT office to UT Cadre IAS officer Prerna Puri, who was recently given the charge of Secretary, Information Technology.

A state cadre official said it was expected that this time the HCS and PCS would be targeted as earlier when the departments of IAS officers of Punjab and Haryana had changed the then state governments had reacted strongly. He added that in the coming days as well, the state cadre officers had to leave a few more departments for the relatively new IAS officers of the UT cadre.

Sources added that the UT Administration would change the departments of those HCS and PCS officers who had recently attended the secret meeting to oppose the ‘ill-treatment’ with the state cadre officials.

The cadre between the UT and state officers had led to the Chief Secretaries of both Punjab and Haryana writing to the Union government with their objections to the decision that related to a city that had the UT status solely because it was politically disputed by two states. 

CITCO secretary gets six-month extension

DK Tiwari, secretary (Environment & Forests), and managing director, CITCO, today got an extension of six more months. The Union government of India extended his tenure which was going to be completed on March 31. Earlier, the tenure of DK Tiwari, IAS officer of 1994 batch of Punjab cadre, had completed on December 31, but it was extended till March 31. The Union government extended Tiwari’s tenure on the communication of the UT Administration to the MHA in which it was stated that the officers would not be relived till the time the UT Administration would find the replacement.




IG’s personal assistant relieved
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
Following the directions of the UT Administration, the UT Police has decided to relieve IG (UT) PK Srivastva’s ‘favourite’ personal secretary (PS) RP Pathak on March 31.

Recently, the UT Administration in a communication to the IG PK Srivastva had termed the personal secretary’s appointment after his retirement as ‘contrary to the provisions’ of the Union government of India, and had refused to extend his contract.

Sources in the UT Administration maintained that earlier the IG office had decided to sent fresh case for the extension of Pathak’s contract to the UT Administration, but now it would not pursue the matter further and relieve RP Pathak on March 31.

A letter sent by the Joint Secretary (Home), Abhishek Dev, to the Inspector-General of Police (IG), which was first reported by the Chandigarh Tribune, read: “The matter was referred to the department of personnel, Chandigarh Administration, who conveyed that the appointment of RP Pathak as part-time consultant is contrary to the provisions of rule 176 of the General Financial Rules (GFR).

Therefore, the action of the department with regard to RP Pathak’s appointment is not in accordance with the instructions issued by the Ministry of Personnel, PG and Pensions, on April, 2009.”

The letter further read: “In view of the above you are requested to dispense with the services of RP Pathak forthwith under intimation to this administration.”

Pathak had retired on March, 2010, but thereafter the IG appointed him on a contract basis as a part-time consultant with the UT Police.

Thereafter, Pathak was appointed PS to the Inspector General of Police. As his contract was going to end on March 31, therefore the UT Police had recently forwarded a letter to the UT Administration for the extension of Pathak’s contract for one more year. But, the UT Administration did not accept the police’s application and refused to extend his contract.



Fans non-functional at MC complaint centre
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
The municipal corporation complaint centre cell which attends to the grievances of residents of the city is itself facing a number of problems and its employees are running from post to pillar to get these solved. For more than three weeks, lights and fans of the complaint cell have been lying defunct.

To get them functional the employees and the head of the cell have been approaching the MC electrical wing, time and again, but officials have paid no heed to their pleas.During a visit to the cell, it was found that the employees, who were deployed to register the complaints of the residents were facing difficulty in jotting down the grievances of residents as there was no light in the room. The employees have shifted their desk near the window.

Surprisingly, the employees of the electrical wing, who visited the complaint cell to fix the tubes and fans expressed their helplessness in replacing the defected pieces till the electrical material became available with the department. Sources said there had been acute shortage of electrical material with the department for long, due to which petty works were lying pending since long in a number of wings of the corporation. On the condition of cell, BJP councillor Davesh Moudgil said what could one expect from the corporation when its own complaint centre had failed to solve its problems. 



Departmental inquiry against Inspector
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
The UT SSP has marked a departmental inquiry against cyber cell incharge Inspector Neeraj Sarna for slow investigation in three cases. The DE has been marked to DSP Ashish Kapoor. Sources said two of the cyber fraud cases were registered in Sector 3 police station and another in Sector 39 police station where money was siphoned off without the bank account operator’s knowledge. Police had not sent a team to Mumbai or Nagaland where the bank accounts exist, it was alleged.

Man alleges police inaction

Alleging police inaction, a Sector-28 resident, Kuldeep Chaudhery, stated that 26-year-old Rajesh, who claimed that he worked with a Sector-21 Panchkula-based bank, had approached Chaudhary and collected his documents and a cheque for providing him home loan on March 16.

The cheque, which was given to the youth, was of Punjab National Bank, Sector 17, and Chaudhary came to know that somebody had withdrawn an amount of Rs 42,500 through the same cheque from his account on March 17.

Inquiries by the bank revealed that one Yashpal had withdrawn the cash from his account using the cheque and when he lodged a complaint with the police, it refused to entertain it. Till date, the police has not taken any action against the accused. 



PM to inaugurate cultural event in town on April 13
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 29
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will inaugurate a four-day cultural programme to be organised by the North Zone Cultural Centre on its 25th anniversary on April 13, here, at the Parade Ground.

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will be the chief guest on the occasion. Panchkula Deputy Commissioner Ashima Brar while presiding over a meeting of the officials of the district administration regarding the necessary arrangements said that Governors of seven states would also come to witness the performance of the artistes.

The venue will be divided into three segments and seven court yards will be set up where 15 craftsmen will exhibit their unique artifacts in each courtyard. While over 1,000 selected artistes from the country will enthral the audience with their performance. Visitors will get a chance to relish tempting food at various stalls.



Estate Office to hold personal hearing session of allottees
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
In the infamous booth scam, the UT Estate Office has decided to hold a personal hearing session of 88 allottees. The hearing session will be held in four batches starting from April 4. Besides, the officials of the Estate Office maintained that they would complete the inquiry by April-end and those found guilty would face cancellation of booths, besides penalties as well.

A senior official said the RTI queries filed by around 65 allottees would have no effect on the speed of the inquiry and it would be completed by April-end.

He added that they were expecting that by March-end the Estate Office would be able to receive the reply of all 88 allottees.

Sources added that the panel of three officials, including DC Brijendra Singh, Assistant Estate Officer Rahul Gupta and IAS officer Nidhi Shrivastva would hold the personal hearing session.

Recently, 65 allottees, instead of filing their reply to the notices issued by the Estate Office had filed RTI applications seeking disclosure of the present status of the probe.

After sitting over the inquiry report, which had rocked the city, the UT Administration in November last year had termed the report prepared by former UT Additional Deputy Commissioner PS Shergill as incomplete and had issued directions to the Deputy Commissioner for a complete probe.

After the directions from the UT Administration, the Estate Office in January, this year, had issued notices to 88 booth allottees and had asked them to file their replies.

Show-cause notices were issued, as there were serious allegations against these allottees in the inquiry report.

In his approximately 1,000-page report, Shergill had pointed to the involvement of top politicians and senior officials, including city MP and Union Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, former UT Adviser Pradip Mehra, former Deputy Commissioner RK Rao and former Mayor Pardeep Chhabra, among others.



Admn still undecided on reduction of misuse charges
Estate Office to take up matter with UT Advisory Council
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
As the UT Administration has failed to decide on the contentious issue of reducing the misuse charges for building violation in residential and commercial property from Rs 500 per sq ft to

Rs 100 per sq ft, hundreds of appeals against the misuse notices slapped by the UT Estate Office are pending in the court of the Chief Administrator for the past over one year.

The violators, around 200, have appealed against the penalty imposed at a rate of Rs 500 per sq ft on them. While the proceedings under the notices were stayed the moment the violators went in appeal, the cases are pending in the court of the Chief 
Administrator-cum- Finance Secretary.

For the past over one year, the UT Administration has been proposing to reduce the misuse charges for building violations in residential and commercial property.

The issue of the violators from whom the Estate Office has already charged the misuse penalty at the existing rate is said to be stumbling on taking the decision. Around 50 violators, whose cases were struck in the Estate Office, had come forward to deposit around Rs 65 lakh as fine. The total amount pending with the defaulters was around Rs 30 crore.

Following several rounds of meetings, the UT Estate Office referred the case to the finance department. The case is likely to be tabled in the next meeting of the UT’s Advisory Council headed by the UT Administrator.

Sources said under the Chandigarh Estate Rules, 2007, the office had revised its misuse charges from Rs 50 per sq yard (for violation in 25 per cent of the total area) and Rs 100 per sq yard (for violation above 25 per cent of the total area) to flat rate of Rs 500 per sq ft for the total misuse area. Similarly, for the commercial sites, the previous fine was 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. 



Flag march by police officials
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 29
Keeping in view the protests held by several bodies against Rajoana’s hanging, the Mohali Police staged a flag march to maintain law and order in the town here today.

Three dozen police in seven vehicles, including PCR and highway patrolling, took part in the march.

Ram Darshan, in-charge of PCR, Mohali, said they covered the entire market and sensitive points during the march. “The motive is to discourage the anti-social elements,” said Ram Darshan adding that the flag march would continue till March 31. 



Civic body to table proposal in General House today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
The municipal corporation has drafted the proposal for the construction of first primary school at a cost of Rs 3.73 crore which will be tabled in the General House tomorrow for an approval.

During the transfer of the primary schools, the UT Administration had handed over 18 sites to the MC for the construction of new schools. The department has allocated the budget for the primary school in the coming financial year. Besides, the proposal of the first multi-level parking costing Rs 54 crore will also be tabled in the House.

Meanwhile, during a pre-house meeting of the Congress councillors today chaired by party president BB Bhel, it was decided that no parking fee will be imposed on the residents for the under ground parking lots in the city. The department will also table the issue in the House meeting that all five under ground parking lots which were free parking zones should be converted into paid ones. There are three underground parking lots in Sector 17 which include two storeyed at 30-Bays Building and Telephone Exchange and single storeyed at CMC hospital in Sector 17. 



Pvt schools convert RTE seats to general
Admissions begin; govt says it’is unacceptable
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
Even as the UT education department claims to be waiting for ‘comments’ of private schools over not entertaining any applications under the RTE, the schools have converted 470 vacant RTE seats into general and have started admission in full swing.

Hundreds of parents were seen thronging schools today, seeking admissions to the seats advertised under the quota.

Interestingly, while admissions to other general seats was made by draw of lots in most of the schools, these seats are being handed out in hastily as no school wishes to start session with empty seats.

When contacted, Independent school Association President HS Mamik refused to say anything. One of the principals said, “They asked us to reserve seats, we did it. Then they asked us to wait till January 31, and then till Feb 15, we did that too. But we did not get applicants under the RTE. The Act allows conversion if there are no takers, so we have only acted according to the Act.”

The department officials however say that this is not acceptable. “They cannot convert any seat without permission. We have not got any written complaint in this regard so far, so we can’t act. But we will surely check it up. The schools have been given a day to explain their action,” said an official.

“God knows who are they trying to fooling. The public should now realise that by not performing their duties on time they made Act null and void. So there is no RTE this year,” said an office bearer of the Independent School Association.



ABVP holds protest at VC office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
The members of ABVP, Panjab University, held a peaceful protest outside the Vice-Chancellor office against PU’s attitude towards violence in campus.
The students had submitted a memorandum on March 16 to the VC demanding a policy to curb violence. However, after failing to get any response from the authorities, students decided to stage a peaceful protest wearing black badges.

ABVP demanded that the students who are found involved in violence should be immediately suspended.

Party president Parvesh Singh Chandel said, “Such incidents not only defame the university but also adversely affect the students who have taken admissions to study.” 



Globalisation promotes human rights, says PU professor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
The Centre for Human Rights and Duties, University Institute of Emerging Areas in Social Sciences, organised a distinguished lecture at the PU Campus. Dr BS Brar, professor of political science and Dean University Instructions, PU, delivered the lecture.

While elaborating his views on the theme ‘Investigating Globalisation’, prof Brar gave a lucid account of the developments that led to the onset of the globalisation process. Referring to the enormous popularity of the term, he emphasised that there exists an increasing tendency among analysts to say that globalisation is not new. He said that the propelling force behind globalisation is technology and narrated several anecdotes from the rural and urban Punjab to put across his views. According to him, the inevitability of globalisation is not due to desirability but because of the conditions imposed by the World Bank, IMF and WTO for ensuring a smooth global trade. He opined that global integration is conducive to promoting human rights but unequal process of integration of local and regional with the global violates human rights.



PUSA president not invited to Senate meeting, yet
The meeting is scheduled for March 31
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
It seems that for the first time the president of Panjab University Staff Association (PUSA) would be deprived from attending the Senate meeting as an ex-officio member. Despite the repeated representations made by the new PUSA president, the PU authorities have failed to respond to the communication and intimate PUSA about the senate meeting to be held on March 31.

Although it’s been more than a month since the PUSA elections were held and Deepak Kaushik was elected as the president of the staff association, the university has failed to send an invitation to the president.

The Senate has six ex-officio members, including PUSA president who raises the issues related to over 3,000 non-teaching employees working in the university.

Kaushik said that non-teaching staff has nine associations that further form a federation which decides as to who would represent the employees in the Senate. “We gave a written representation to the Vice Chancellor and have been waiting for a reply from the PU authorities since then,” Kaushik said.

To make matters worse, the PU senate would be discussing the introduction of semester system in undergraduate courses in PU affiliated colleges from 2013, which would double the pressure on PU’s examination branch, already coping with a shortage of staff. In absence of a house member representing the non-teaching employees, there would be no one to highlight the employees’ feedback.

As per the PU calendar, the Senate members should receive the agenda for the meeting a week before the Senate. However, with just one-day to go for the meeting, the PUSA president has not even received the agenda. “Even if PU acts now and invites me to the meeting, what would I do? I have not even gone through the agenda,” he said. 



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